Lhasa, capital city of Tibet
The 16 Days Kailash EBC Group Tour is an itinerary that covers top attractions across the entire Tibetan Plateau. It is a popular option among travelers who wish for an in-depth exploration of the wonderful Tibetan culture and landscape.
Day 1: Lhasa Arrival and Acclimatization Welcome to Lhasa (3650 m)! Our local Tibetan guide and driver will pick you up and take you to your hotel. You will spend the rest of the day acclimatizing to the high altitude. Tips: drink a lot of water and have a good night of sleep. Overnight stay at a premier Tibetan style hotel in downtown Lhasa.
Day 2: Lhasa Sightseeing: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery(except Sunday) We start the day with a visit to Norbulingka, the summer palace of Dalai Lama. Built in the 18th century by the seventh Dalai Lama, it has a tradition of hosting picnics in its beautiful garden. It is also the major venue for various Tibetan opera performances and dances during Shoton Festival (August-September). In the afternoon, we go to visit Sera Monastery, one of the three great Gelugpa universities. You will have the chance to observe one debating session of the monks. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Day 3: Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street Today we visit the world famous palace of Dalai Lama: Potala Palace. Also known as the winter palace, it was built in the 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama. Perched on the hilltop, Potala Palace gives you amazing views of the entire Lhasa city. You will visit private residential quarters of Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. We then visit Jokhang Temple, one of the most sacred sites in Tibet. It was founded in the 7th century by the first great Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo. Afterwards, we explore the surrounding Barkhor Old Quarter, where you will see pilgrims from all over the Tibetan plateau doing rituals on the street. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Day 4: Lhasa –Yamdrok-tso – Karola Glacier – Gyantse (4040m)- Shigatse (3840m) 360km Our adventure into the grand Tibetan plateau starts today! We head west towards the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse. On our way, we cross Kampala Pass (4797m) and then Karola Pass (5050m). We will first encounter the stunning holy lake of Yamdrok-Tso and then Karola Glacier only steps off the main road. We will visit Pelkhor Chode Monastery in Gyantse that houses the most important Tibetan paintings in Kumbum Stupa, and the majestic Gyantse Dzong (fortress) that overlooks the valley. We will finally reach Shigatse before dinner. You will have plenty of time to rest. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 5: Shigatse –Sakya Monastery – New Tingri (4300m) 240 Km We visit the prominent Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama, it has since been the seat of Panchen Lamas. We recommend that you do Kora pilgrimage around the monastery. We then drive to New Tingri today to move closer to Mt. Everest. Our trip involves crossing the high pass of Gyatso La (5220 m), where we will have the opportunity to see Mt. Everest and the Himalayas for the first time! We will also stop by Sakya Monastery. It has a unique Mongolian style of architecture that you will find mesmerizing. Overnight stay in New Tingri.
Day 6: New Tingri – Everest Base Camp (5150m) 120 km This is going to be an exciting day! We will finally reach one of the biggest highlights of our trip, the Mt. Everest Base Camp. Located at the foot of the Everest is Rongpuk Monastery (4900m), the highest monastery in the world. In its background, we will catch a glimpse of several other peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu. When we get ourselves settled down in the camp site, it will be just in time to see the sunset turn the Everest peak into golden color. Overnight stay at Mt. Everest camp site or Rongpuk Monastery guesthouse subject to availability and weather condition.
Day 7: Everest Base Camp -Lake Peikutso – Saga (4600m) 330km After spending some more time enjoying the spectacular view or trekking at the base of Mt. Everest, we will head northwest towards Saga. On the way, you can continue to enjoy the Himalayan peaks such as Mt. Shishapangma, and discover the turquoise water of Lake Peikutso. We will pass by Gyirong town, currently the only gateway from Tibet to Nepal. We stay overnight in Saga to prepare for another day of driving in the Ngari region.
Day 8: Saga – Yarlung Tsanpo River – Lake Manasarovar (4560m) 480 km We will enter the nomadic regions of Tibet’s far west today. We will appreciate the Tibetan landscapes during this long drive journey. We follow Yarlung Tsanpo River (Brahmaputra in India) west until we reach Lake Manasarovar, another one of the three most sacred lakes in Tibet. Indian pilgrims believe that bathing in the lake will rid them of sins and attract auspicious karma. This photogenic spot will allow you to capture the perfect combination of Tibetan lake, mountain and landscape. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near the lake. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 9: Lake Manasarovar-Darchen (4670m) 60 km In the morning, we watch sunrise in front of Lake Manasarovar. After a brief stop at Chiu Monastery, we drive to Darchen at the foot of the holy mountain Mt. Kailash. For the rest of the day we will get ready for our upcoming 3-day trek. You will want to organize your belongings and do some last minute shopping, before getting a good night of sleep. Overnight stay in Darchen.
Days 10: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 1: Darchen-Dira-Puk Monastery (5050m) 20 km, 5-6 hours We begin the Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage in the clockwise direction. 4km into the path, we reach the height of 4790m and the first prostration point that marks the first views of Mt. Kailash’s southern façade. The next important landmark is Tarboche flagpole (4750m), where the main rituals of Saga Dawa Full Moon Festival takes place here every year. You can pay visit to the nearby Chorten Kangnyi and Sky-Burial Site Of The 84 Mahasiddhas. Coming up next is Chuku Monastery (4820m), where you can find a revered marble statue inside. After some break time when you can take in more views, we will head towards the second prostration point, where you see prayers flags and views of the west side of Mt Kailash. The second Buddha footprint is a short distance ahead. There are several trails to reach our final destination of the day: Dira-Puk Monastery (5080m). It faces the north side of Mt. Kailash, and also provides viewpoints for peaks in other direction. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Dira-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 11: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 2: Dira-Puk Monastery – Zuthul-Puk Monastery (4790m) 18 km, 6-8 hours We continue on the main Kora path towards the east. We pass through Kangkyam Glacier and Jarok Donkhang (5210m) meadowland. A short distance above is Shivatsal (5330m). Pilgrims go through a symbolic death here and are reborn at Drolma-la (5630m), which is half an hour away. After some rest and refreshments, we soon arrive at lake Gauri Kund. We gradually descent to the grand valley of Lha-chu, and begin a long journey in the grassland. The day concludes at Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 12: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 3: Zuthul-Puk Monastery- Darchen (4670 m) 14 km, 3-4 hours We follow the river and then climbs the Gold & Red Cliffs. Pilgrims search for holy stones on these cliff walls. We will see prayer flags across the river, and Lake Rakshas Tal in the far distance. After reaching the fourth prostration point, the final walk back to Darchen is quite easy. Overnight stay in Darchen.
Day 13: Darchen – Saga 490 km Return to Saga from Darchen. Overnight stay in Saga.
Day 14: Saga – Shigatse 450 km Return from Saga to Shigatse. Overnight stay in Shigatse.
Day 15: Shigatse – Lhasa 340 km We will choose the North Scenic Route to go back to Lhasa. On our way is the famous Yangpachen Hot Springs, as well as a number of ethnic villages off the beaten path. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Day 16: Departure Day in Lhasa You will enjoy your final moments in Tibet. Our guide and driver will then pick you up and transfer you to the airport or train station. We hope you have gathered precious memory of your time in Tibet, and we wish you the best on your future adventure.