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TTCS: 16 Days Mount Kailash and Lake Monasarova & Lake Namtso Tour
Tour Type: Private Tour
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
Tour Highlights:
    • Go down into the bowels of the Potala Palace, the impressive but spiritless citadel of the Dalai Lamas. 
    • Join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet.
    • Take in a prayer meeting or some monk debating at Sera Monastery, one of the largest and most intact of Tibet’s great monasteries.
    • Worship before a 26m gold Buddha at Tashilumpo Monastery, a walled complex the size of a village.
    • Stay overnight at Everest Base Camp and enjoy superb scenery of the north face of Mt. Everest and the Rongbuk monastery.
    • Join the pilgrims looking to erase the sins of a lifetime on the three-day trek around holy Mt. Kailash.
    • Hike the sandy shores of scared Lake Manasarovar, or just marvel at the turquoise waters and snowcapped-mountain backdrop.
From $Request per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa Sincere greetings & airport-hotel transfer.
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Upon your arrival at the Lhasa airport, your tour guide will greet you and escort you to your hotel and help you get checked in. You will have the rest of the day and evening to rest and relax to become acclimatized to the higher altitude of Tibet.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available

Accommodation: Lhasa Economic/Comfortable Standard Hotel (Twin sharing)

Day 2 Lhasa city tour(B) Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Barkhor street
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Today's tour will first bring you to the tourists head to Jokhang temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve. Outside, you can see pilgrims making prostrating in front of Jokhang Temple. Around the temple is Barkhor street, where you can do kora (a religious circle of a building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals, and explore the old market.

In the afternoon, you will visit Sera Monastery, which is one of the ‘great three’ Gelug monasteries of Tibet. The hot attraction is the Monks debate at around 3-5 in the afternoon. In addition, you can tour the Tibetan religious scripture printing house. Inside the monastery, you can see three sand Mandalas and the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha.

Meals: Breakfast Provided by the hotel

Accommodation: Lhasa Economic/Comfortable Standard Hotel (Twin sharing)

Jokhang Temple
Sera Monastery
Day 3 Lhasa Sightseeing(B) Potala Palace, Lhasa Traditional Handicraft Art center
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Today's tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace which is the winter palace of the Dalai lama. It was put to use since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.

This day will take you to fully immerse yourself in experience traditional Tibetan handcraft art center, including making Tibetan incense, Tibetan calligraphy-the methods behind Tibetan calligraphy and the secrets of block printing.

Meals: Breakfast Provided by the hotel

Accommodation: Lhasa Economic/Comfortable Standard Hotel (Twin sharing)

Potala Palace
Lhasa Traditional Handicraft Art center
Day 4 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse(B) Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Kumbum Monastery
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In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse .On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) .The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance you can have spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar, (7191m) the highest mountain near Lhasa .

Later, we will pass and enjoy the Korola Glacier on the roadside; At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang pray flag at Simila Mountain Pass; Then, we will arrive in Gyantse, historically Tibet's third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse).In Gyantse, we will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy the Far view of Gyangtse Fortress.

After one and a half hours of driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse,  we may visit traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer).

Meals: Breakfast Provided by the hotel

Accommodation: Shigatse Economic/Comfortable Standard Hotel (Twin sharing)

Yamdrok Lake
Gyantse Kumbum
Day 5 Shigatse to Everest Base Camp via Tingri (B) Rongphu Monastery, sunset at EBC
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After breakfast we’ll set out towards the peak of the world – Mount Everest. Departing from Shigatse and traveling via Lhatse and Tingri, you will see some of the most beautiful and unique scenery in the world – incredibly blue skies, floating high clouds, endless grasslands and the highest mountain peaks in the world. We’ll also stop by the Rongbuk Monastery – the world’s highest altitude monastery before spending the night at the Everest Base Camp.

Travel Tips: 1. Tibetan Tent or uegsthouse (8-15 pax/tent, multi-beds room), from Oct to April next year due to the withdraw of Tibetan Tent in Base Camp, travelers will stay in Basongcun/Tashizongcun guesthouse(multi-beds room).
2. Today the accommodation is poor, the altitude is high, and the temperature is low. Please pay attention to keep warm and prevent altitude sickness. The temperature is about 0-8 degrees in summer night, so please bring down jackets, or rent one in the Base Camp.

Meals: Breakfast Provided by the hotel

Accommodation: EBC Tent or Rongphu Guest House (Dorm bed with humble facility)

Rongphu Monastery
Everest Base Camp
Day 6 Everest Base Camp - Shishapangma Protection Zone – Pelkhu-tso - Saga Shishapangma Protection Zone, Pelkhu-tso
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Today we will drive the old Tingri Road to Saga County, with views of Mount Everest and Mount Shishapangma (elevation 8012 meters), which was the last of the world’s 8000-meter peaks to be climbed. The road conditions get rougher from the old Tingri Road as it runs parallel to the to the Himalayan mountain ranges and the Nepalese sides known as the Anapurna Ranges. The main road passes through the desolate plains of Digur Tang, with its enormous sand dunes contrasting with the neighboring snow peaks of Shishapangma and Langtang to the south. As we leave the Bum-chu basin, we will descend into the relatively lower elevations of the Pelkhu-tso (elevation 4600 meters), a cobalt blue lake. After checking out the lake, we’ll drive the additional 69 kilometers on to Saga County and spend the night in the small town of Saga.

Meals: No Meals

Accommodation:Saga Hotel or Similar

Pelkhutso Lake
Pelkhutso Lake
Day 7 Saga – Zhongba – Payang – Darchen - Mt. Kailash - Lake Manasarovar – Lhanag-tso Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar
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On this 7th day we will drive to Drongpa County, which was founded around the bountiful resources of the Brahmaputra River. We will make a stop in a small village along the main road that consists of only a few basic guesthouses, restaurants and a small monastery known as “Old Drongpa”. Scattered around the monastery you will be able to observe a pile of yak heads that are carved with “sutras” and “mantras”. New Drongpa is another small town with a few shops, hotels and restaurants located about 25 kilometers from Old Drongpa monastery. We will continue on to the Baryang Township (elevation 4750 meters) and drive around Lake Manasarovar before reaching our final destination for the day, Darchen, where we will spend the night.

Meals: No Meals

Accommodation:Darchen Local Hotel

Mt. Kailash
Mt. Kailash
Day 8 Mt. Kailash Trek Day One – Darchen – Drirapuk (11 kilometers) Trekking Day 1
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Buddhist pilgrims traditionally begin the 52-kilometer religious trek around Mt. Kailash at Darchen (elevation 4574 meters), which is also the finishing point for the circumnavigation of the sacred mountain. After hiking for a few hours out of Darchen, we will reach a valley known by the locals as “Sarshung” where we will meet an eager group of porters who will be happy to help us carry our gear on yaks and horses along the rest of the trek. After another couple of hours of trekking, we will find a grassy plain populated by nomads, who will be happy to offer up their tents as a place to relax with some soft drinks for a while. From here, we will travel on for another approximately two hours to a place known as Drirapuk (elevation 4920 meters) where we will spend the night in a monastery’s guesthouse that offers the best accommodations in this area (although it is still very rustic.)

Meals: No Meals

Accommodation:Local Guest House (Dorm Bed with humble facility)

Mt. Kailash Trekking
Mt. Kailash Trekking
Day 9 Mt. Kailash Trek Day Two – Drirapuk – Dzultripuk (22 kilometers) Trekking Day 2
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This second day of our circuit of Mt. Kailash will be the toughest as we ascend 762 meters up to the Dolma-la Pass. The peak of this pass lies about 5630 meters above sea level, so we’ll get an early start as the sun begins its rise over the mountain ridges above us. Once we have reached the peak of the Dolma-la Pass, we’ll stop for a rest and the opportunity to admire all of the fantastic scenery around us. Then we will begin our descent to the Lhachu Valley, which will take us about one hour. After another short rest, we’ll trek on for another four hours to our final destination for the day. We will walk along the right side of the river to finally reach Dzultripuk, whose name means “miracle cave of Milarepa” in the local language. We will be glad that we got an early start to reach Dzultripuk so that we will get there before the other groups – there are a limited number of rooms available here. We will have time this evening for some rest and relaxation in the guesthouse as we prepare for the final stretch of our trek tomorrow.

Meals: No meals

Accommodation:Local Guest House (Dorm bed with humble facility)

Mt. Kailash Trekking
Mt. Kailash Trekking
Day 10 Mt. Kailash Trek Day Three – Drirapuk – Dzultripuk (22 kilometers) to Zanda Trekking Day 3
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Today we will complete our trek around Mt. Kailash, beginning by visiting the many caves, temples and shrines that have been built upon around Milarepa’s cave. It is an easy walk back towards Darchen, taking only about 3 hours of trekking to reach the end of the valley where our driver will meet us to take us back up to Darchen and then the driver will take us to Zanda where we will spend the night.

Meals: No meals

Accommodation:Zanda

Mt. Kailash Trekking
Mt. Kailash Trekking
Day 11 Zanda to Darchen Guge Kingdom, Earth Forest, Torling Monastery
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We will visit the ruins of the ancient【Guge Kingdom】and the【Torling Monastery】. Located in the Ngar Region of Tibet, the ruins of the Guge Kingdom were once an imperial estate that fell into disrepair after the civil war revolt and the invasion of the 8 Allied Forces of foreign countries that destroyed the once prosperous state. Luckily the legendary kingdom has not been totally lost as much can still be learned from what remains of it.

And after that,you will see the magnificent Zanda【Earth Forest】. Entering into Zanda county, the earth forest standing on both sides of Elephant Spring River winds over more than five kilometers. The earth is like warriors defending the mountaintop, some like thousands of horses galloping, and some like devout followers of a religion nurturing themselves, standing there quietly. From different angles, you can see wonderful scenery.

The earth forest in geology is known as "the Level Terrane Physiognomy," formed by erosion, where the sediment of lakes and rivers, mainly composed by sandstone and earth, have formed into various shapes. The Level Terrane has developed upright qualities, and the valley is deep.

Meals: No meals

Accommodation:Darchen hotel or Similar

Guge Kingdom
Earth Forest
Day 12  Darchen – Saga) Enjoy Scenery en Route
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Today we will drive through the windswept territory of rural Tibet, passing through numerous small villages as well as camps of yak and sheepherders on our way back to Saga. With all of the beautiful scenery surrounding us, we will have plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos if you like.

Meals: No meals

Accommodation:Saga hotel or Similar

Day 13 Saga – Shigatse Enjoy Scenery en route
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More spectacular scenery awaits us as we continue on our leisurely drive back to Shigatse where we will spend the night.

Meals: No Meals

Accommodation:Shigatse Econimic/Comfortable Standard Hotel (Twin Sharing)

Day 14 Shigatse to Damxung (B) Tashilunpo Monastery, Grassland in northern Tibet
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We will get an early start today to visit the Tashilunpo Monastery, which was founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama. After visiting this ancient monastery, one of the most important sites in Tibetan Buddhism, we will head to Damxung in the afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast Provided by the hotel

Accommodation:Damxung Economic/Comfortable Standard Hotel (Twin sharing)

Tashilunpo Monastery
Tashilunpo Monastery
Day 15 Damxung to Namtso Lake to Lhasa (B) Namtso Lake
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Today you will have free time until your tour guide escorts you to the Lhasa train station or airport for your departing train or flight from Lhasa. This will end your tour services in Tibet.

Meals:Breakfast Provided by the Hotel

Lake Namtso
Horseback riding by the lake in Lake Namtso
Day 16 Depart from Lhasa(B) Airport/Train Station Drop off
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Today you will have free time until your tour guide escorts you to the Lhasa train station or airport for your departing train or flight from Lhasa. This will end your tour services in Tibet.

Meals:Breakfast Provided by the Hotel

B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner

The quotation for this trip is from Request P/P

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.

2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.

Price Includes.

    Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;

    All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;

    Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;

    Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;

    All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.

    Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;

    All meals listed in the above itinerary;

    Tourist accident/casualty insurance;

    First aid kit;

Price Excludes.

    International flight to and out of China;

    Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )

    Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)

    Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).

    Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;

    Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

Travel Guide Tips.

Trip Notes:

1. Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit is a must for Tibet tour. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for the permit after you book a Tibetan tour with us. Shortly after we get your permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau, we will inform you and mail it to your hotel in China via express.

In some extreme cases, our staff will hand it over to you at the airport or railway station. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.

2. Accommodation

Tibet is never known for its 5-star luxury resorts, though you can find some like Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, St.Regis Lhasa Resort, Sheraton hotel, etc in Lhasa. Overall, the accommodation facilities and services are not as good as those in coastal and central parts of China. However, from cheap and clean youth hotel, to distinct Tibetan style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotel, you will find one that suits your interest and pocket in Lhasa.

We’ve handpicked cozy and safe hotels in the central area of Lhasa, where you will find Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street are just steps away from you. You can easily experience more of the local life and culture. Normally, as you travel to remote areas in some parts of Shigatse like Tingri, or EBC, Ngari, Nagqu, etc. the accommodation would be much poorer. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel;others may only have electric blanket in the guesthouses. And the food is also very basic.

3.Guiding and Tipping

Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service. Throughout your stay in Tibet, we will minor your health and provide prompt help to you. If you run into any trouble, please do not hesitate to reach them or our customer service manager.

Travelers’s tipping to Tibetan guide and driver is taken as an extra gratitude to their good service, just like what you do in the west. Normally, a tipping of 7 USD/day is acceptable. The basic rule is good service for good pay.

4. Toilet

Admittedly, to many western tourists, using toilets in Tibet is the most dreadful experience. So, please down play your expectation. If you take Tibet train to Lhasa, both western toilet and squat toilet are available in the train. If you stay in hotel above 3-star hotels in Lhasa, Shigatse, etc. you will have no complaining using standard western flash toilet.

However, if you visit some of the attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso, EBC outdoor, mostly you will see the smelly and filthy pit toilet.It's better to carry enough toilet paper.

5. Tibet Weather

One of the biggest features of weather on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the dramatic temperature change between day and night. The annual temperature in Lhasa is -2℃-- 12℃(spring), 9℃-- 22℃(summer), 7℃-- 19℃(fall), -7℃-- 9℃(winter). Do wear clothes properly such as thermal tops, fleece jacket, breathable underwear, down jacket, jeans, beanie, etc.

Of course, sun screen, lip balm, sun glasses are essential to shield you from powerful blinding sunlight on the plateau. Do drink more water and eat more vegetable as you travel in Tibet. It can prevent you from dehydration.

6. Acclimatization to the High Altitude

For the first timer to Tibet, either by flight or train, a good rest is a must for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Never rush to tour the street or attractions on your own. Walk slower and do not exert yourself like running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa is a good way to get acclimatized before heading to Shigatse or Namtso. If you have any discomfort, do tell it to your guide,and he will help you out.

7. Other Dos and Don'ts

Normally, taking photos is forbidden in the monastery. If you want to take photos of Tibetan pilgrims, a gentle ask of permission would be appreciated or you can do it from a long distance. Swimming and fishing are not allowed in holy lakes in Tibet; Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics; International tourists are not allowed to travel alone in Tibet according to the policy; Walk clockwise around Barkhor Street; Never venture into the unknown trails; do as much as you can to protect the fragile eco-system in Tibet, etc.

As Tibetan Buddhism is deeply-rooted in every facet of Tibetans' life, always follow and respect the unique customs in Tibet. If you are uncertain about something, it’s advisable to ask your guide before you do it at will.

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