15 days Mount Kailash tour for Saga Dawa Festival

⇀ Shigatse
⇀ Saga
⇀ Manasarovar Lake
⇀ Mount Kailash Kora
⇀ Saga
⇀ Shigatse
⇀ Lhasa
Traveling to Mount Kailash at Saga Dawa Festival with local pilgrims will ensure you a unique lifetime experience. Saga Dawa Festival celebrates the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha, a great time to experience Tibetan religion & culture.
15 days
Trip code
From CN¥ 11,200 per person

Saga Dawa festival is called 'the festival to free captive animals' in local custom. Through the whole fourth month, monks don't eat meat and don't commit slaughter. They only concentrate themselves on turning prayer wheels and reciting Buddha's scriptures. It is said that on the 1st of the fourth month is the day that Shakyamuni was born, became enlightened and achieved nirvana. And you will see large numbers of pilgrims at Lhasa's Jokhang, on the Barkor circuit and also Mt.Kailash.

Day 01 :
May 27, 2023 Arrival at Lhasa (3,658m)

Upon arrival at Lhasa airport or train station, to be met and transferred to your hotel in Lhasa. Then have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa.

Day 02 :
May 28, 2023 Lhasa City sightseeing

Today you will visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is the most sacred shrine in Tibet which was built in the 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, the circuit around it called Barkhor street, which is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from the entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Overnight at Lhasa.

Day 03 :
May 29, 2023 Lhasa City sightseeing

Today you will visit Drepung, Sera monasteries and Summer Palace - Norbulingka palace. Both Drepung and Sera monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 10,000 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice, the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see. Norbulingka is the summer palace of Dalai Lama, you can visit the residences of different lineages of the Dalai Lama. Overnight at Lhasa.


Day 04 :
May 30, 2023 Lhasa / Yamdrok lake (4,441m) / Gyantse (3,900m), 270km, 6-7 hours' drive

Morning drive up to Kampala pass (4,794m), you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-Tso and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, the turquoise-colored Lake Yamdrok-Tso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, the unforgettable vista of pincer-shaped turquoise water of the lake and amazing spectacle of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar glacier from Karo la pass are the wonders of the day. Then along the Friendship southern Highway drive to Gyantse, visit the famous stupa - Gyantse Kumbum, the most stunning architectural wonder in Tibet. Overnight at Gyantse.

Day 05 :
May 31, 2023 Gyantse / Shigatse (3,800m) / Shegar (4,150m), 300km, 6-7 hours' drive

Morning head to Shigatse, there you will be arranged to visit Tashilunpo Monastery and the spectacular tombs of Panchen Lamas, monks of this monastery are nice looking with their home-made traditional shoes. If you like hiking, don't miss the Kora of Tashilhunpo monastery where you can have the nice views of Shigatse and surroundings. Then continues today's driving to Shegar, you will go through several high passes and get to see the first sight of Mount Everest before you reach Shegar. Overnight at Shegar. 

Day 06 :
June 01, 2023 Shegar / Rongbuk (4,900m), 100km, 2-3 hours' drive

Morning start driving to Rongbuk, cross over Gawu la pass[5250m], from the top of the Gawu la you will see the spectacular Himalayan Ranges and its glorious peaks viz Mt.Makalu[8463m], Mt.Lotse [8516m], Mt.Everest [8844m], Mt.Cho Oyu [8201m] and Mt.Shishapama [8020m] from left to right, climbing down through numbers of switchback bends lead to the dry valley of Tashi Zom and then to today's destination - Rongbuk monastery, it is the highest monastery in Tibet and consist both monks and nuns, and a good point to see Mt.Everest. Then explore Rongbuk and see the best view of Mount Everest. Enjoy the sunset over Everest on a clear day. Overnight at local tent guesthouse or Rongbuk monastery guesthouse(dorm bed).

Day 07 :
June 02, 2023 Everest Base Camp / Saga (4,610m), 310km, 7-8 hours' drive

After breakfast at Rongbuk, then head to Saga, on the way you will stop to see the stunning lake of Pelku Tso and Mt. Shishapama, the rest day's driving will be on the grasslands, nomads herders with their yaks and sheep also can be often seen along the road. Stay overnight at Saga. 

Day 08 :
June 03, 2023 Saga / Paryang (4750m) / Darchen (4,670m), 500km, 8 hours' drive

Morning drive from Saga to Paryang, you weave your way through small dusty town of Zhongba amidst enchanting panoramic views, dotted nomads tents are mingled with their herds of animals on the open plateau. Pass numbers of villages and camps of Yak herders with the distance view of snow-capped mountains, cross the Mayun-la pass (5,220m), if lucky might see many wild animals at the plateau grasslands. Check-in at Darchen and prepare for the following days trekking.

Day 09 :
June 04, 2023 Saga Dawa Festival celebration, Start the 1st day Trek to Dira-puk Monastery, 20km, 6 hours' trekking

Morning head west to Tarboche to experience the Saga Dawa Festival, the most important religious festival in Tibet to celebrate the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha Sakyamuni, the main purpose of the festival is to pray for the long life of all the gurus, for the spreading of teachings of Buddha, and for the happiness of all the sentient beings. Many Tibetans come to join this festival. Many rituals like Buddhism, Bon, and Hinduism will be taking place around Tarboche. The most important part of the festival at Mount Kailash is to replace the 'Tarboche Flagpole, every year the flagpole is brought down and a new pole will be replaced. The festival offers a great opportunity for photo shootings.

Afterward, we will start the first day's trekking of this 3 day Mount Kailash Kora, the walk will start from the Sershong and a gradual walk with multitudes of other local pilgrims chanting and praying. From the valley, you can see the Choku Monastery up on the hillside. The trail leads to a few ups and downs until we reach our camp at Dirapuk (4,750 m). You will meet many more Bon pilgrims going in the opposite direction (Anti clock-wise) because Mt. Kailash is being worshipped by four different religions:  Buddhisms, Bons, Hindus, and Jains. Overnight at Dirapuk guesthouse.

Day 10 :
June 05, 2023 Trek to Zutul-puk Monastery by crossing Drolma-la Pass, 15km, 6-7 hours' trekking

Today our trekking leads to much higher side of the holy path just beneath the Mount Kailash. The walk will bring us to one of the highest points at Drolma La (5,200m), and the pass is quickly descending to the gradual field towards Zutul-Puk for the overnight camp, Dzutul Puk in Tibetan and which means magical cave, this small monastery is connected to an interesting story of talent competition between Great Yogi Milarepa(Buddhist) and Naropa(Bon). Overnight at Zutul-Puk guesthouse.

Day 11 :
June 06, 2023 Trek back to Darchen, 14km, 2-3 hours' trekking / Drive to Lake Manasarovar

The winding gradually comes out of the valley and the river allows to follow into the Barka plain, the trekking stops at Trangser Trangmar and your car takes you back to Darchen. After a short rest at Darchen, you will be arranged to drive about 50km to Lake Manasarovar, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. In Buddhism and Hinduism, Manasarovar is the lake of compassion, tranquility, and bliss. Climb up to Chiu monastery and have a good view of the lake or wander along the lakeshore to have a relaxing afternoon. Overnight at the local guesthouse near Chiu monastery (dorm bed).

Day 12 :
June 07, 2023 Lake Manasarovar / Paryang / Saga, 500km, 8 hours' drive

Morning enjoys a brilliant sunrise at Lake Manasarovar, then start driving back to Saga retracing the same route, you will have a last view of the Mt.Kailash on the way. Overnight at Saga.

Day 13 :
June 08, 2023 Saga / Shigatse, 450km, 9 hours' drive

Today start driving back to Shigatse, enjoy the landscapes on the way. Overnight at Shigatse.

Day 14 :
June 09, 2023 Shigatse / Lhasa, 280km, 5 hours' drive

After breakfast, start driving back to Lhasa from Shigatse via northern friendship highway, driving along Yarlutsangpo river and enjoys its beautiful sceneries. Overnight at Lhasa.

Day 15 :
June 10, 2023 Lhasa airport/ train station dropping off

Morning Lhasa airport or train station dropping off, the time comes to say your farewells to your guide and driver, end the trip.

Tour notes:

Please note prices are based in CNY.

General inclusions:

All required government taxes and fees.
Please contact one of our Tour Advisors to get a custom quotation made to your requirements.
All required Tibet permits and domestic travel documents.
Necessary oxygen and medicine for the acute high altitude sickness.
Where possible 3 star hotels will always be provided, if the city or town does not have then the local guest house or monastery guest house will be provided (i.e. tent / dormitory bed, no private bathroom etc.)
All entrance tickets as noted in the tour's itinerary.
Local Tibetan guide fluent in English, Chinese or Japanese that is certified by the state tourism build. (If your native language is not listed please let us know, we are certain we can assist your needs.)
Airport and/or train station pick-up and drop-off.
Comfortable and clean 7/8 seats minivan for groups of 5 persons or less; for larger groups minibus and tourist coach are available.

General exclusions:

Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, internet access, fax, telephone calls etc.
Tips for your guide and driver.
Meals that are not specified in the tour itinerary.
Optional Attractions that are not specified in the itinerary.
Flight tickets or train tickets in and out of Lhasa (Please note: We can offer you train and/or plane tickets in and out Lhasa from all cities within China. Please check the latest price with us via email.)

You may also like

6 days
∙ Private ∙
Natural scenery
See "the Tibetan Switzerland" on a pleasant journey to Nyingchi located in central Tibet. Nyingchi is known for its natural beauty mixed among the high plateau unique scenery of gorgeous alpine lakes and green mountains.
⇀ Lhasa
Lhasa ⇀ Tsedang ⇀ Gyantse ⇀ Shigatse ⇀ Lhasa
8 days
∙ Private ∙
Culture and Heritage
The holiness of Tibet, the tradition of Potala Palace, the majestic beauty of Mount Everest and Yamdrok Lake - whether you are a pilgrim, tourist or adventurer, Tibet has something to offer you!
From CN¥ 5,200
CN¥ 5,200
⇀ Kathmandu
Beijing ⇀ Lhasa ⇀ Shigatse ⇀ Sakya ⇀ Mount Everest ⇀ Gyirong Border ⇀ Kathmandu
12 days
∙ Private ∙
This 12 day Tibet tour starts from Beijing, the capital city of China to the highest mountain in the world -Mount Everest then continues to Kathmandu in Nepal. A train ride on Tibetan plateaus also gives you another travel experience in China.
From CN¥ 11,000
CN¥ 10,000
⇀ Lhasa
Xining ⇀ Qinghai Lake ⇀ Lhasa ⇀ Gyantse ⇀ Shigatse ⇀ Lhasa ⇀ Namtso ⇀ Lhasa
9 days
∙ Private ∙
Culture and Heritage
Begin your train journey in the multinational city-Xining, Qinghai province. This Tibet train tour offers you a once in a lifetime chance to relax in these breathtaking spots including Qinghai Lake, the Potala Palace and more.
From CN¥ 7,810
CN¥ 7,100