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Lhasa to Everest, Kailash Trek and Guge Kingdom

For the journey from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and on to Mt. Kailash, you will begin  by exploring the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and its many ancient monasteries and temples, including the famed Potala Palace. From Lhasa, you will then travel to the beautiful alpine lake of Yamdrok Tso before visiting Karo La Glacier, Tibet’s most famous glacier. Shigatse is Tibet’s second largest city and home to Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, one of the largest in Tibet. From there, you will go to the North Face Everest Base Camp where you will get an up close look at the world’s highest peak.

From Mt Everest, this amazing journey continues across Western Tibet to the holy lake of Manasarovar. This amazing lake looks out to the giant glaciated peak of Gurla Mandhata. From this holy lake, you will then do the epic 3 day trek around Kailash, the most sacred peak on the planet. You will rub shoulders with Buddhist pilgrims along the way. 

The last place you will visit will be the ancient Kingdom of Guge, located in far western Tibet. Guge is one of the true secrets in Asia. It is a magnificent old kingdom that has been slowly going to ruin for nearly 400 years. You will spend 2 nights in this amazing region before returning to Lhasa to end your journey.

For more information on this journey, send us an email at: info@himalayajourney.com

Day 1: Lhasa  Elevation: 3600 meters

Arrive in Lhasa. When you arrive to Lhasa, you will be met by your guide and transported to your hotel. You can spend the afternoon wandering around the Barkhor, Tibet’s ancient market area that surrounds Jokhang Temple. Each day thousands of Buddhist pilgrims make their way around this sacred temple.

Day 2: Lhasa

You will explore the Jokhang, the holiest Buddhist temple in the Himalaya’s. Founded nearly 1400 years ago, Jokhang Temple houses the most sacred statue of Buddha. You will work your way through this fascinating temple alongside Buddhist pilgrims from the faraway regions of Tibet. The sound of pilgrims chanting mantras fills the air as does the smell of yak butter candle offerings. In the afternoon, you will go to 600 year old Sera Monastery, one of Tibet’s largest Buddhist monasteries. Each weekday afternoon starting at 3pm, monks engage in Buddhist philosophy debates, which are fun to photograph.

Day 3: Lhasa

You will start the day by exploring the Potala Palace, Tibet’s most iconic building. Towering above Lhasa with more than 1000 rooms, the Potala Palace served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lama’s for hundreds of years. After lunch, you will go to Drepung, another of Tibet’s huge monastic complexes. The pilgrimage circuit around Drepung takes about an hour and offers spectacular views.

Day 4: Lhasa—Yamdrok Lake—Karo La Glacier—Gyantse Distance: 260kms Elevation: 3840m

In the early morning you will depart Lhasa and drive to Yamdrok, one of Tibet’s most beautiful lakes.  From the lake, you can see the 7191 meter peak of Nojin Kangtsang in the distance. You will then travel along the lakeshore and drive up to the amazing Karo La Glacier before arriving in the town of Gyantse.

Day 5: Gyantse—Farming Villages—Shigatse  Distance 95kms  Elevation: 3840m

In Gyantse, you will visit the Pelkhor Chode Monastery where you can see the largest stupa (Buddhist pagoda) in Tibet. From Gyantse, you will then make the short drive to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. Between Gyantse and Shigatse, you will stop at a couple of traditional farming villages. In Shigatse, you will explore the large monastery complex of Tashi Lhunpo.

Day 6: Shigatse—Gyatso La Pass— Shelkar  Distance 235kms  Elevation: 4320m

This day you will continue traveling west to the small town of Shelkar. Along the way you will cross over the Gyatso La Pass, which rises to over 5200 meters in elevation. The pass offers a nice view of the surrounding Himalaya Mountains.

Day 7: Shelkar—Rongphu Monastery—Everest Base Camp  Distance: 115kms  Elevation 5150m

On the morning, you will cross over the Geu La Pass from Shelkar, which gives a sweeping view of the Himalaya Range, where you can see 4 of the world’s 14 highest peaks, including Everest. You will continue through small villages until you reach Rongphu, the world’s highest monastery at 5000 meters in elevation. Rongphu offers a fantastic view of Everest. A few kilometers beyond Rongphu Monastery is Everest Base Camp, where you can spend the night in front of the world’s highest peak.

Day 8: Everest—Peiku Lake—Saga  Distance: 300kms  Elevation: 4500m

From Mt. Everest, the next destination is the stunning alpine lake of Peiku Tso. While driving to the lake, there are terrific views of 7000+ meter Himalayan peaks and the possibility of seeing wildlife. After visiting the lake, you will drive to the town of Saga.

Day 9: Saga—Lake Manasarovar  Distance: 485kms  Elevation: 4590m

The ninth day of this journey will take you across the wilderness of western Tibet to the shores of the holy lake of Manasarovar. The lake offers spectacular views of the surrounding Himalayas.

Day 10: Lake Manasarovar—Darchen  Distance: 35kms  Elevation: 4690m

In the late morning, you will make the short drive to Darchen, the traditional starting point for the trek around Mt. Kailash. In Darchen, you will make final preparations for the 3 day trek around the peak.

Day 11: Kailash Trek Day 1  Distance: 20kms  Elevation: 5080m

The first day of our trek will take us 20 kilometers from Darchen around Mt. Kailash to Dira Puk Monastery. You will follow this ancient pilgrimage route with Tibetan Buddhist and Indian Hindu pilgrims. You will stay in a small guesthouse near the monastery. The elevation of Dira Puk Monastery is 5080 meters.

Day 12: Kailash Trek Day 2  Distance: 18kms  Elevation: 4820m

The second day of our trek around Kailash will take us up and over the Dolma La Pass, the highest pass on the circuit at 5630 meters. Excellent mountain and glacier views will follow you for most of the day. From the Dolma La Pass, you will descend to Zutul Puk Monastery, elevation 4820 meters. The total trekking distance this day is 18 kilometers

Day 13: Kailash Trek Day 3  Distance: 14kms  Elevation: 4590m

The third and final day of our trek will cover 14 kilometers from Zutul Puk Monastery back to the town of Darchen. 

Day 14: Darchen—Zanda  Distance: 235 kms  Elevation: 3740m

After breakfast, you will set out for the far western region of Zanda. Along the way, you will see many big Himalaya peaks, amazing canyons and stay at the edge of the ancient Kingdom of Guge.

Day 15: Guge Kingdom

This day you will spend exploring Tsaparang, the main section of the Guge Kingdom. You will hike all through these ancient ruins, which are still well preserved. 

Day 16: Zanda—Lake Manasarovar  Distance: 265kms  Elevation: 4590m

In the morning, you will begin the journey back to Lhasa. This night you will stay another night along the beautiful shores of Lake Manasarovar.

Day 17: Lake Manasarovar—Saga  Distance: 485kms  Elevation: 4500m

After breakfast, you will begin the journey back to Lhasa. From Lake Manasarovar, you will head east to the town of Saga.

Day 18: Saga—Shigatse  Distance: 450kms  Elevation: 3840m

You will continue driving back to Lhasa while stopping at Shigatse for the night.

**OPTION: Instead of returning to Lhasa, you can also take days 18 and 19 to go to the Nepal border and exit Tibet from there, if the border between Tibet and Nepal is open.

Day 19: Shigatse—Lhasa  Distance: 260ms  Elevation: 3600m

The final full day of your Tibet journey will lead you back to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. You will arrive in the mid afternoon with enough time to stroll the pilgrimage path around Jokhang Temple one last time.

Day 20: Depart Lhasa

You will be transferred to the airport or train station to depart Tibet for your next destination.

All of our travel routes are built with altitude acclimatization in mind to reduce the risks of altitude-related illness. Contact us today to begin arranging your journey from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and the 3 day trek around Mt. Kailash! Send your inquiries to: info@himalayajourney.com

Lhasa to Everest, Mt. Kailash ad Guge Kingdom

The package journey from Lhasa to Everest, Mt. Kailash and Guge Kingdom can be done anytime from mid-April through late October, however, the months that offer the best views are from mid April through mid June and again from mid-September through October.

We can arrange this private journey for groups of two to ten people. Price is discounted for groups of 3 or more. Contact us for the price for this journey at info@himalayajourney.com

Included in the price:

  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy)
  • Breakfast each morning in Tibet
  • Welcome dinner in Lhasa
  • All ground transportation in Tibet
  • All entrance fees for the itinerary listed
  • All fees for Mt Everest and Mt Kailash
  • All Tibet travel permits
  • Local Tibetan guide fees
  • Lhasa Airport or train station pick up and transfer 

Not included in the price:

  • Passport and Chinese Visa fees
  • International airfare to/from Lhasa, Tibet
  • Yak, horse or porter fees at Mt. Kailash (available for an extra cost)
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Travel vaccinations
  • Insurance (travel, medical, etc)
  • Souvenirs or personal items such as laundry, snacks, alcohol drinks, etc
  • Photography fees inside temples and monasteries
  • Gratuities to the Tibetan guide and driver
  • Slight additional cost to depart Tibet at the Nepal border

Travel Gear: Upon joining, each participant will be sent a list of required and recommended gear for this journey that they will be responsible for.

Accommodations: In Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, you will be staying in comfortable and pleasant boutique or 3 Star Tibetan-owned hotels. At Everest Base Camp, accommodation will be either simple tent hotels or a simple guesthouse. In Saga, Lake Manasarovar and along the trek around Mt. Kailash, accommodations will be very simple as these areas are very remote and poor. Guesthouses have no heat, but plenty of blankets. Toilets are usually outside and are not always clean. Showers are often unavailable or are available at a local shower house that is not attached to the hotel.  Hotel upgrades available in Lhasa upon request.

Meals: Breakfast is included in the price for each morning you are in Tibet. Lunch and dinner are not included in the price.

Eligibility: Participants must be in good health and be able to spend each day walking around towns, villages and monasteries. Most of this tour will take place in mountainous terrain between 3600 meters and 5200 meters (11,800 feet to 17,000 feet) above sea level. The 3 day trek around Mt. Kailash is 52 kilometers long and will take 3 days to complete. This trek is beautiful, but is quite demanding as the high pass rises to 5630 meters (18,465 feet). You will spend 3 nights in Lhasa for altitude acclimatization before going above 3600 meters. Ascent will be slow and gradual along the way from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and on to Mt. Kailash. 

Responsible Tourism: Himalaya Journey is foreign-owned, but Tibetan staffed. All of our guides and drivers are local Tibetans who have been working in tourism for many years. It is a top priority for us to support as many Tibetan-owned businesses as possible. During this tour, all of the hotels you will be staying at in Tibet are locally-owned. The preservation of the culture of Tibet, as well as the protection of the environment of Tibet, are extremely important to us. In fact, when we are not out leading and arranging journeys across Tibet, we are working with local Tibetans in numerous eco-tourism and conservation projects. For more details on how we started and why we exist, please go to the following link: Why Use Us?