The sacred peak of Mount Kailash
(6,658 m/21,838 ft) is the final destination for many travelers to
Tibet, ranging from tourists to Buddhist pilgrims and other followers of
spiritual traditions from far and beyond. From the slopes of Mount
Kailash flow four of the world's great rivers - the Indus, Brahmaputra,
Karnali and Ganges; embodying its reputation as the 'heart of the
world'. Starting our overland journey from Lhasa, the holy capital of
Tibet, we will cross the rough terrain across the valleys of Kyichu and
Brahmaputra into the expanse of West Tibet. The road to the sacred
mountain is long and at times ardurous, but the breathtaking view of the
snow-capped peak, as well as the uninterrupted view of the Himalayas and
rural Tibetan villages are certain to make the journey an unforgettable
Day 1 Arrive in Chengdu :
We will meet you at the airport in Chengdu. The afternoon is left open
for you to either take a rest or stroll around the city to buy souvenirs
or necessities. Chengdu is a prosperous and lively metropolis famous for
its delicious spicy food and attractive tea houses.
Day 2 Chengdu to Lhasa :
The 2-hour flight, which glides over the snow capped peaks of the
Himalayas, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful flights in the
world. We will arrive at Gongga airport at around 11:00am, and drive for
1.5 hours to reach downtown Lhasa. Starting from this drive, you are
already thrown deep into a culture which is unknown to most people.
Situated at 3,700 m(12,136 ft), Lhasa and surroundings may appear
slightly barren, except for the trees lining the roadside. We will spend
the afternoon resting and adjusting to the high altitude.
Day 3 Lhasa :
We will have a full day in this mystical capital exploring the Potala
Palace, Jokhang (Dazhao)Temple and Norbulingka, the Summer Palace of the
Day 4 Lhasa to Gyantse(Jiangzi) :
The road to Gyantse meanders down through the Kyichu Valley to Yarlong
Tsampa (Brahmaputra)River before climbing over Khama La Pass at 4,900
m(16,076 ft).We will stop to take a breath in this majestic topography -
the serene turquoise lake of Yamdrok Tso with a backdrop of snow-topped
mountains. Before reaching Gyantse, we will make one more ascent over
Karo La at 5,200 m(17,060 ft).
5 Gyantse to Shigatse(Rikaze) :
Here we will soak up the old-world atmosphere of Tibetan rural life.
For centuries, this town has dominated the wool and timber trade routes
from Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan.We will explore the 14-15th century
fortress and temples, most notably the Gyantse Kumbum, the Stupa of
100,000 Deities, which is one of Tibet's most famous architectural
achievements. In the afternoon we will head to Shigatse.
Day 6 Shigatse :
Shigatse is pleasantly covered in trees, a view which is quite rare in
Tibet. The city is divided into two parts - the charming old town
retaining old Tibetan homes lining the narrow streets, and the newer
commercial district with department stores and karakoke bars. We will
take the whole day to tour around the grand Tashilhunpo Monastery, which
was founded by Pachen Lama I in 1447 and remains the center of the
Day 7 Shigatse to Lhaze(Lazi) :
We will leave Shigatse in the morning for Lhaze.
Day 8 Lhaze to Saga :
From Lhaze onwards, we will be driving on rugged roads. Saga, meaning
'Happy Land', is situated along the Tsangpo River in a region
criscrossed by the upper Brahmaputra and its tributaries. The land
becomes rugged, the air thinner and the sky endless and impossibly blue.
TREKKING TOURS INDEX
TO EVEREST REGION
GANDAN - SAMYE
TSURPU - YANGPACHEN
SHALU - NARTANG
AROUND LAKE MANASAROVAR
9 Saga to Paryang(Payang) :
Another day's driving will take us to Paryang in the heart of western
Tibet, where the four great rivers of South Asia diverge from their
glacial sources around Mount Kailash. During the rainy season, the roads
to Paryang are likely to be washed out by floods, in which case we may
need to drive the truck through a 30 cm(11.7 inches)deep stream.
Day 10 Paryang to Darchen(Taqing) :
In the higher altitudes you would be able to enjoy an uninterrupted
view of the Himalayas bordering India and Nepal.
Day 11 Darchen :
Darchen, situated at 4,000 meters(13,123 ft), is the starting point of
the route around Mt. Kailas. The town itself may trigger mixed feelings
- you may encounter the fascinating sight of pilgrims camping by the
town, cooking and washing to prepare for their journey to Mt. Kailas
Kora, while the inspiring view of beer bottles, left by tourists who
have finished the trek, is likely to bring you back to reality. We will
have an early start this day to begin our 3-day trek in Mt. Kailash.
Day 12-13 Mt. Kailash :
The highest pass of the hike is at 5,600 meters(18,373 ft), an altitude
at which walking can become quite a demanding task. We will move at a
slow pace and take plenty of breaks along the way. Back at Darchen, we
will get into our car and drive to Lake Manasorovar to camp for the
Day 14 Lake Manasarovar :
We will camp another night at this sacred lake. We will take a walk up
to the Chiu Monastery, located atop a cliff, to enjoy the spectacular
view of the lake.
Day 15-16 Zhanda(Zhada) :
We will spend a day driving to Zhanda, a small town situated deep in a
valley. The drive itself offers a breathtaking view of sand-rock
formations shaping the deep valley. We will spend another day in the
area to visit the ruins of the Guge Kingdom, which ruled western Tibet
300 years ago.
Day 17-20 Zhanda to Lhasa :
We will return to Lhasa by retracing the original route we took,
stopping on the way to play frisbee in the grasslands with Tibetan
children or photographing golden haired yaks grazing in the sunset.
Day 21 Fly from Lhasa via Chengdu :