Journey to Mount. Kailash

  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Trip Notes

Day 01   Arrival to Lhasa   (D)
Welcome to Lhasa! Upon your arrivalin Lhasa (3650m), you will be greeted by your guide and warmly welcomed with a pure white katak scarf (prayer scarf). Then drive to Lhasa, 100km away from the airport.
On the way, you may enjoy the highland view along the Lhasa River and stop occasionally for pictures of local villages. As you have just made a sudden ascent to 3,670 meters, transfer to the hotel for a good rest and drin plenty of water. The rest of your time is free for relaxing and adjustment. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 02   Explore Lhasa   (B+L)
One of the most charismatic structure ever build in Tibet, the Potala palace, winter residence for the successive Dalailamas. It is an awe-inspiring experience. Venture up to the Potala Palace, the incredible former home of the Dalai Lama that’s perched 130 metres above the city. The palace is divided into two parts, the White Palace (secular and used as offices and the like) and the Red Palace (home to chapels, shrines, and tombs of Dalai Lamas). Although you must stick with your guide while exploring Potala Palace, this in no way lessens the impact of seeing what is truly a wonder of the architectural world.
Afterwards, visit Jokhang Temple – considered the spiritual heart and most sacred temple of Tibet. It always attracts steady waves of pilgrims. Spend some time exploring this large World-Heritage listed site and learn a thing or two about its history. According to legend, the temple was built on top of a lake after many failed attempts to build monasteries in other nearby locations. Feast your eyes on golden Buddha which stands in the centre. After then, join the pilgrims walk around the Barkhor Street or around the Potala palace (in a clockwise direction) – both of which are considered sacred Koras by the Tibetan Buddhists. Overnight in Lhasa

Day 03    Explore Lhasa   ( B+L)
After breakfast, we will start the day traveling to Ganden monastery, the most important monastery in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, build in 1409 on Wanggo Mountain, the views of the Ganden and its surrounding is amazing. The highlight will be the 1.5 hours hike from the back side of the mountain to see the whole Ganden valley. The hiking route is also known as pilgrim kora route for the local Tibetans.Afterwards, After our picnic lunch, we will spend the afternoon hiking its upper kora, we hike from 4000m up to 4800m, it will take 2-3 hours to finish the afternoon hike, we then drive back to Lhasa for the night.

Day 04   Half day hiking Pawangka Monastery to Sera monastery (B+L)  
Built in the seventh century by Tibetan royal king Songtsen Gampo, Pawang Monastery is an important historical monastery, it is the place where Tibetan calligraphy had firstly designed by Tonmi Sambhota. After the visit, we will start our trekking. We will hike over the active "Sky burial" to Tashi Choling monastery and then continue to Continue trekking to Sera monastery follow the path of hillside. Should prepare hiking shoes, crutch, sunglasses, and windcheater. In the afternoon,we will visit the Sera monastery where lively lama debating will be seen (except Sundays)

Day 05   Lhasa– Shigatse    Commence drive towards Kailash to Sigatse via Gyantse  (B+L)                                   
Today we will start early to drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. The total distance of the driving today is 360km , it takes 7-8 hours to get there. So we have plenty of time to take in the extraordinary Himalayan views. From Lhasa we drive down the Kyichu Valley to the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) before ascending to the Khamba La (Khamba Pass) at 4900m. The views are outstanding – in the foreground is the vast freshwater Yamdrok Tso or Turquoise Lake, while to the south the snow-capped ranges merge with the main Himalayan range. We drive around the lake before crossing the Karo La (5200m) to reach Gyantse. We visit Pelkhor monastery for its famous Kumbum Pagoda, the only one which contains different Tibetan Buddhism sects in Tibet. After that, we continue our journey to to Shigatse. On the way, we shall visit a local family for a glimpse of their everyday Tibetan life.Overnight in Shigatse.
Lhasa – Gyantse  267km, for 8 hours
Gyantse – Shigatse 90km for 1.5 hours
Altitude: 3,900m

Day 06    Shigatse - Lhatse - Saga   (B+L)                        
Today is another long day drive, we will cover 480km and it will take 9-10 yours to get to Saga where we spend the night.
After breakfast, we will start out long drive across the roof of the world. After some 20 km you will cross Brahmaputra River, staying on the highland road with views of highland lake as Ngamring and highland grassland as Sangsang. Roads in Tibet are under continuous development and are very different from what you might be used to at home. At times they can be very slow moving but this is all part of the adventure in this remote part of the Himalayas. Arrival late in the afternoon to the typical Chinese and Tibetan town of Saga. Overnight: Saga Hotel

We plan to reach Mount Kailash at the time of the Saga Dawa festival which held on the 15th of April of Tibeten Calander = 05/Jun of the new calander
The Saga Dawa Festival celebrates the day Lord Buddha Sakyamuni was born, achieved enlightenment, and passed away. For over a 1,000 years, pilgrims have flocked to Mt Kailash to replace the Tarboche flagpole, a huge pole that stands on the Kailash Kora, south of the mountain. The ceremony is led by a Lama from the nearby monastery and Tibetans and Buddhists gather here that day to attach their prayer flags, pray, and help erect the flagpole.
Drive: 450km, 9-10hrs
Altitude: 4,500m
Day 07   Saga- Darchen    (B+L)                                          
Take another travel day to reach Darchen, home base for the Kora Trek. Follow the road across grasslands for the first spectacular view of Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.
We go across the dry and vast plain with stunning views of great Himalaya in the south and Trans-Himalayan in the north, the moonscape plain of the region is home for sparse lone nomads whose lifestyle remains close to what it has been for centuries, and numbers of plateau wild lives. Different natural landscapes like sand dunes and picturesque mountain views are not only the great beauty of the day but also the holy lakes and mountains. We will reach to the Manasarovar Lake (victorious lake), one of the holiest lakes in Tibet in the late afternoon.Eevery year it receives hundreds of hundreds of pilgrims from all corner of Tibetan plateau, India and Russia. The lake is surround by several prominent peaks like Gurla Mandata (7760m). We will continue to drive to Darchen, a small nomadic village the starting point of the Mt Kailash (7762m). Upon arrival, we have time to explore around the town and prepare for the trekking and your guide will arrange others trekking necessities like porters and yaks for your luggage transportation.  
Overnight at Darchen.
Drive: 520km, ~ 7-8 hrs  
Altitude: 4,600m- 5000m)

Day 08  Kailish Kora  First Day Trekking to DIRAPUK Monastery(B+L)  
In the morning, we will take the bus from Darchen to Sarshung Valley will we start our first day trek . We Walk the path with pilgrims who have saved money their whole lives to have this moment. After 4hours trek we will reach to Tamdin(4780m) where a nomadic tents serves simple lunch and boil water. From there it is only 4km to Dirakpuk monastery but between this stretches has the some of the best scenery of the entire kora. Dirakpuk was rebuilt in 1985 located on the north side of the Lha-chu River facing to the north fa e of the Mt. Kailash. The name of Dirakpuk originally comes from a word Dira that means female yak horn and Puk means cave that in a mythical story says a female yak opened the cave. Finally, we will visit Drirapuk Monastery. Stay overnight in local guesthouse.
Drive: 7km from the starting point.
Trek: 13 km from Darchen around the base of Mt Kailash. for 6 hours
Altitude: 5000m

Day 09   Kailish Kora  2nd Day Trekking from Drira Phuk to Zutrul PhukMonastery  (B+L)                                       
Today is the most challenging part of the trekking where we will cross two passes, though there are not too steep but the altitude makes the day difficult,
We climb both Dikpala (5000m) & Dormala (5600m), At this point, the pilgrims on the kora will undergo a symbolic death until they reach the Dromla Pass and are symbolically reborn. We then climb down into the long valley and have lunch at Shabjay Dakpo nomadic tent. By the end of the hike, we will visit Zuktul puk monastery (4790m). Overnight at Zultul Puk local guest house.

Trek: 18 km from Drira Phuk to Zutrul PhukMonastery for 7 hours
Altitude: 5000m
Day 10  Kailish Kora  3rd Day Trekking, Compete Mount Kailash Trek from Zutrul Phuk back to  Darchen - Drive to Manasarovar  (B+L)   
Today is an easy day trek to complete the Mount Kasiash Trek. From Zutrul Puk it is a further 4 hours trek across the open plains and past lines of mani walls and prayer flags which brings up back to the small town of Darchen. Then continues drive to Lake Manasarovar and overnight at guesthouses near the lake.

Trek: 12km from Zutrul Phuk to Darchen
Altitude: 4575m
Drive: 40km for an hour from Darchen - to Manasarovar

Day 11   Manasarovar–Saga  (500 km  10-11 hrs)   (B+L)
Drive back to Saga for overnight. Overnight stay at Saga Hotel or similar class.

Drive: 500km for 10 hours

Day 12    Saga- Rongbuk   (B+L)
Today we will drive along the Pekutso Lake to Rongbuk. Sit back and relax. Enjoy the scenery outside your window along the ride. Upon arrival, enjoy a visit to Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world. It was first built in 1902 by the Nyingma Lama and originally housed more than 500 monks. Today, only about 50 monks and nuns remain, sharing the same prayer hall but maintaining separate residences. The nuns here are great fun and will be delighted to have you join their evening prayers. Continues drive towards south-east, off the main road and head into the valley to the south to the day’s destination -Everest Base Camp located in the Rongbuk valley. Overnight at local Rongbuk monastery guesthouse.

Drive: 380km for 8 hours

Day 13   Rongbuk - Shigatse
Today we will drive to Shigatse for the night. Upon arrival, visit Pachen Lama's seat place, the great Tashilumpo monastery, it is a very big and complex monastery in Tibet. Pelkor Chode Monastery was founded in 1418 and is regarded as the centre of Gyantse. Gyantse Kumbum (meaning 100,000 images) is an 8 story structure containing a seemingly endless series of tiny chapels full of Buddhist images – Buddhas, demons, protectors, and saints. Overnight in hotels in Lhasa.

Drive: 350km for 7hours

Day 14 Lhasa - Departure (B+L)
After breakfast, We will follow Yalong Valley back to Lhasa. On the way, you can stand on the viewing platform to view the vast Yalong River bed. Uppon arrival into Lhasa, we will drive you to the airport to catch flight home. Trip ends here.

Please note that the flight for leaving Lhasa is not included, we can help to book flight tickets to Beijing or Chengdu to connect their flight home. Or we can help to book post accommodation in Lhasa or in any other cities in China.


A visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei who are allowed visa free stays under 14 days. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China.

In some cases, you may be required to provide further information or documentation and if this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible.

Booking a Single Room

On this particular tour we are pleased to be able to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Due to the variety of accommodation used on this tour, single rooms are available for a majority of the nightstops, however it would still mean sharing on any overnight trains. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.

Vaccinations and Your Health

We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years. 


Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. At the start of the trip you must provide us with: the name of your insurance company, your policy number, a 18 hour medical emergency contact number, and the expiry date of the policy. You should ensure that your policy covers you for medical expenses and repatriation. If you are unable to provide all this information at the start of the trip you will not be allowed to join the trip. You can purchase insurance easily online by checking our Travel Insurance page.


One main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage – so don’t overload yourself. It is essential that your baggage is lockable; the airline/train authorities insist on this. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.

Itinerary Disclaimer

The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. 


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15 Days