Mount Kailash Tibet Tour begins in the fabled district of Humla, located in the remote Midwestern corner of Nepal. From here we begin our five-day trek to the Tibetan border through the remote Humla, a place classed by many as the modern-day Shangri-la. Here the inhabitants are predominantly Bhotias, of Tibetan descent.
Mount Kailash Tibet Tour, the remote trek takes us deep within a region of truly unspoiled natural beauty; here a diverse culture exists where people, nature and an abundance of rare wildlife exist in harmony. The path we will follow is of the ancient Silk trade route, where old men with weathered, Central Asian faces, still to this day trade supported by their trains of mule, horse & sheep. Here the men sit smoking a hookah & the women of Rajasthani descent adorn themselves in mirrors and silver coins, the Bhotias, in their turquoise, coral and amber necklaces.
During the Mount Kailash Tour‘s most highlights is the Kailash Kora, in the high plateaus of the Ngari region in western Tibet, is one of the most spectacular short treks in the Himalaya, crossing the Dolma La (5,600 m) to erase the sins of a lifetime. Camping beneath the north face of Kailash, we complete the trek with a myriad of Tibetan & Indian pilgrims who have travelled through harsh conditions and over long distances to acquire merit for. Heading East across the Tibetan plateau over high passes we arrive at a truly awe-inspiring place, the true gem of Tibet – Mt Everest. It truly is an awe-inspiring experience to stand beneath the mighty North Face of this the world’s highest mountain and one can’t help but be humbled by its dominating presence. Nowhere is the view of Mt Everest as spectacular as it is from right here.
With plenty of trekking, a bit of exploring and some good karma under our belts, we embark on an epic cross-Tibet jeep expedition via the scenic southern route, thus seeing much of far-western Tibet and the Himalayan range en route. We visit the Menri monastery, resplendent gompa of Tashi Lhunpo in Shigatse and finally arrive at the exotic capital of Lhasa, where we explore this history-laden city and its ancient gompas and palaces.
Day 01-04: Arrival in Kathmandu and Visa Preparation
Day 05: Flight to Nepalgunj (150m)
Day 06: Fly to Simikot & acclimatization (2,950m)
Day 07: Simikot to Dharapuri (2,770m)
Day 08: Dharapori to Kermi (2,860m)
Day 09: Kermi to Yalbang (3,020m)
Day 10: Yalbang to Tumkot (3,389m)
Day 11: Tumkot to Yari (3,700m)
Day 12: Yari to Hilsa (3,647m/11,965ft) via Nara La pass (3,647m)
Day 13: Drive to Trugo/Chiu Manasarovar Lake (4,530m)
Day 14: Explore Manasarovar and drive to Thirthapuri (4310m)
Day 15: Explore Garuda valley and drive to Darchen (4,590m)
Day 16: Drive to Dharboche and Trek to Dira Phuk (4.998m)
Day 17: Trek over Drolma La [5.630m/18471ft] to Zutrul Puk (4,800m)
Day 18: Trek to Zongdue/Darchen and Drive to Saga (4,465m)
Day 19: Drive to Rungbuk//EBC (5,010m)
Day 20: Explore Everest Base Camp and drive to Shigatse (3,900m)
Day 21: Drive to Lhasa (3,650m)
Day 22: Full day sightseeing in Lhasa (3,656m)
Day 23: Full day sightseeing and shopping in Lhasa (3,656m)
Day 24: Drive to airport and fly to Kathmandu (1,336m)
Day 25: Departure Day
1. 3-night Hotel in Kathmandu
2. Tibet VISA fees
3. Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Simikot flight
4. Humla restricted permit
5. Humla DDC Tax
6. Airport/Hotel transportation in Nepalgunj
7. One-night hotel accommodation in Nepalgunj in MAP plan
8. One-night Guest house accommodation in Simikot in AP plan
9. Trekking Cook, Kitchen and Sherpa staff until Kailash kora
10. Full board organize trek with all necessary equipment such as [Member tent 1 tent for each 2 Pax]
11. Dining Tent, Kitchen Tent & Toilet Tent. [From SIMIKOT until end of KAILASH kora]
12. Full insurance for Nepali supporting crew
13. Private tourist standard transportation will be provided in Tibet as per itinerary
14. Best available Guest House will be provided (from Purang/Taklakot – to – Saga)
15. Standard Hotel accommodation in Shigatse and Lhasa in BB plan.
16. Sightseeing with a good English speaking Tibetan guide as per itinerary.
17. All necessary Tibet Travel Permit
18. All necessary entrance fee to Monasteries & Monuments.
19. Hotel / Airport transfer in Lhasa
1. Extra baggage charges.
2. Extra stay in Nepalgunj [Flight cancelling due to bad weather]
3. Lunch and Dinner in central Tibet (Lhasa)
4. Photography fees in monasteries.
5. Extra cost due to natural and political causes such as landslides, snow, strikes, etc.
6. All expenses of personal nature such as drinks, laundry, riding horse etc…
7. Lhasa – Kathmandu Airfare [Approx. USD 380/- Per Person]
8. Nepal re-entry visa fee.
9. Tips for Nepali / Tibetan crew
10. Horse rental while on Kora if you want.
11. Emergency evacuation costs (cost of renting a Land Cruiser and medical and rescue insurance is recommended). We advise you to purchase insurance with a zero deductible.
12. Personal expenses, e.g. a phone call, laundry, bar bills, photography charges, web usage, and telephone calls
13. Tips for guides, drivers, porters, etc.
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a representative from Community Trek will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel.
Arrive in Kathmandu at least 4 working days in advance. Give your original passport to our staff and pay for the Chinese visa application and visa service.
Official days start from Sunday to Friday (Friday half) only
Note: During this time we can make 2-3 days short trek around the Kathmandu Valley if interest
A spectacular afternoon flight takes you to Mahendra Airport in Nepalgunj, the largest city on the steamy Terai, the flat border region between Nepal and India. The drive to the hotel passes through an old village, and you’ll get the chance to experience the ‘old’ Nepal. Stay the night in an air-conditioned hotel and head to bed—you’ll have an early wake-up call the following morning.
Take the early morning flight 135 miles (218 km.) north to Simikot, the district headquarters of Humla. The town is situated on a ridge overlooking the Humla Karnali River. The flight is spectacular, cruising just over the tops of a mass of snow-covered peaks. If the flight is on time, arrive before lunch and be met by your friendly trekking crew. Simikot is an atmospheric village, a mix of local Humla and Tibetan culture and provides endless fascinating opportunities for exploring. It’s likely that you will feel the jump in altitude, so take it easy today, making sure you drink plenty of water.
After lunch, slowly we shall explore Simikot and the surrounding valley.
Today we start our first day of this beautiful trek with a short climb of about an hour to a little pass just over 3000 M. After the pass it’s a long and steep descent to Dharapori; another beautiful town. The trail goes high above the Karnali River, partly through pine forests, passing a few villages. Along the way, you meet local people, both Hindu and Buddhist, sometimes carrying their heavy loads all the way up the steep trail. People from these regions can be really friendly.
It is a rather short walk today. The trail keeps on following the Karnali River, sometimes high on the slope, with the river far below you and sometimes almost level with it. The river finds its way through narrow gorges with high rocky slopes. You pass along fields with mainly barley, buckwheat, rice and potatoes.
In the afternoon you can relax your muscles in one of the two natural hot springs close to the village. It’s a 30-minute walk, passing Kermi village. Kermi is a small agricultural village and is the first completely Buddhist village on the trail. From Kermi onwards, all the villages are Buddhist. There are two interesting Buddhist monasteries close to Kermi: Laikyo Gompa, a few hundred years old, is about 45 minutes from the campsite and Lhundrup Choeling Gompa, less than half a century old, is about 30 minutes from the campsite. Both are seldom visited by tourists.
Today the trail is flat or slightly uphill, passing alongside fields planted with barley and buckwheat. You can see beautiful lizards sunning themselves on rocks. After 2 hours you cross a small pass, after which it is a steep descent of about 20 minutes until you reach a big iron suspension bridge over the Sali River. The walk goes through beautiful pine forests now. Below you, you see the emerald green Karnali river.
Once and a while you meet caravans of mules and dzopa’s (a crossbreed of yak and cow). These are mostly villagers from Simikot and the Nyinba Valley to the east of Simikot. They are going to (or are coming back from) Taklakot, just across the border with Tibet, to buy goods for trading or for personal use.
In and around Yalbang there are so many interesting things to see that it is easy to spend an extra day here. Above the village, there is a beautiful monastery: the Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery. You notice you are getting near the monastery by a huge stone, with a Tibetan mantra carved on it. The Namkha Khyung Dzong is the biggest monastery in the region, with around 130 monks living there. It belongs to the Nyingmapa lineage, the oldest Buddhist lineage, which is founded by Guru Rinpoche, an important magician of the 7th century. Inside the monastery, you can see a big statue of Sakyamuni Buddha and some smaller statues, among which a statue of Guru Rinpoche. The monastery has a school and a clinic, which you can visit as well. A Buddhist monk will be happy to show you around, after which you will be invited for tea upstairs. At 7 am and 4 pm there is a daily puja (a Buddhist prayer ceremony) that you can attend (please remain silent and sit down along one of the side walls, behind the monks)
Leaving Yalbang the path goes high above the Karnali River again. After about 20 minutes you pass the little village Yangsar. The path is mostly Nepali Flat; flat parts and sometimes going up, sometimes down. At some parts the path is spectacular and you find yourself walking in a kind of three-sided tunnel. you will notice the environment changing as it is getting rockier and the big pine trees make way for smaller bushes. You cross the Karnali river by a big wooden suspension bridge. The path climbs high above the Karnali River and goes along the upper side of a deep gorge. You see the emerald green Karnali River far below you. Along the way you may meet big flocks of sheep carrying salt, an old trade still existing today.
After 3 to 4 hours, you arrive in the charming village of Muchu.
Itʼs an hour walk to Tumkot. Actually, the main trail doesnʼt pass through Tumkot Village, but some small teahouses and a campsite. The actual village is some 20 minutes south of the trail. Close to the campsite and village lies a very interesting monastery of the Sakya lineage, the Dhungkar Choezom Monastery, one of the most important Sakya monasteries in the Tibetan region.
The monastery lies on a hill, itʼs a 20-30 minutes climb to get there. It is the only Sakya Monastery in Humla, and one of the few monasteries of this lineage in Nepal.
The trail climbs slowly but steadily, with a few steep climbs in between. Pretty soon after leaving Tumkot, you can see the landscape changing: itʼs getting more and more rocky and desolate. The few trees left are low junipers. Part of the trail goes over the dirt road that is being built at the moment. It is still uncertain when and if the road will ever be finished. You cross the small village Pani Palwang, a couple of teahouses along the road, which makes a nice place for a cup of tea or a lunch break. Itʼs another 1 ½ hour to Yari or Thado Dunga, just after Yari.
Today you cross the Nara La pass at 4620 meters. Itʼs a long and tiring climb, but the views are your reward! As the trail climbs, the landscape gets more desolate. Trees disappear completely and the landscape looks more and more like Tibet. Sometimes you meet big caravans of mules, dzopa or yaks. The bigger yaks are an especially impressive sight. You pass a few teahouses at Tado Dunga; from here the trail becomes steeper. Itʼs still 2 hours climbing to the pass, if there happens to be snow it will take a bit longer. At about half an hour from the pass, you cross a few big tents (tent hotels, serving foods and drinks). You can see the Nara La pass in the distance, but due to the altitude, it is still a hard climb to get there. You recognize the pass by the pile of stones (it brings good luck to add one!) and the strings of Tibetan prayer flags, carrying the prayers far away with the strong wind.
You have breathtaking views ahead into Tibet and back towards Yari far below. At the other side of the pass, it looks like you are in Tibet.
Today we drive for about 3 hours to the Toyo Village and with views to the stunning Mt Kaliash, we pass between the fearsome Rakashas Tal and sacred Lake Manasarovar. The two lakes are linked by a channel called Ganfa chu. On rare occasions water flows through this channel from Lake Manasavor to Rakshas Tal; this is said to augur well for the Tibetan people. The two bodies of water are associated with the conjoined sun and moon a power symbol of Tantric Buddhism
Lake Manasarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world; it covers an area of 320 square kilometres and has a maximum depth of 90 metres. This stunning sacred lake sits in a basin between Mt Kailash and Gurla Mandata, it is a truly awesome location for our camp tonight.
After breakfast we explore and walk around Manasarovar Lake, after lunch we drive to Tirthapuri. Tirthapuri is regarded as the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in western Tibet. Situated at the northwest of Mt.Kailash and the north bank of the Sutlej River, Tirthapuri(also called zhadaburi,4310m) is famous for its sacred hot springs and Guru Rinpoche monastery(Tirthapuri monastery). Getting there, you need to drive 123 km north west of Manasarovar and then 9km south of Mensi(Moincer).
After breakfast, we drive about 25km to Garuda Valley. (English name) or Khyunglung (Tibetan name) is an ancient complex of living caves and meditation caves set in the mountains on the north bank of the Sutlej River. (Sutlej River is the holy river which starts from Mount Kailash, Sutlej River in Tibet is called Langqen Zangbo, meaning “Elephant Fountain”). So the Garuda valley, you can find it about 35 km west of the Tirthapuri Hotsprings and Tirthapuri gompa (monastery), which is the nearby small town of Moincer (Menshi) in the modern Tibet prefecture of Ali/Ngari in the Tibet autonomous region of China. And there are more ancient ruins on the tops of the mountains above the Bon monastery of Gurigyam which are about 30 minutes’ road from Tirthapuri.
After completing the memorable exploration of Garuda/Khyunglung valley we will be heading towards Darchen. It is considered as a base camp for the Holy Kailash Parikrama 95 km drive.
This morning we set off toward Mt Kailash for Tarboche the base for the saga Dawa festival and the starting point of our kora around Mt. Kailash. Tarboche is marked by a tall flagpole adorned with thousands of multi-coloured prayer flags and Khata (white scarf) strung out in a radiating line from the pole. This morning we meet our team of yaks and Tibetan Yak herders who will escort us around the Kora. From Tarboche we walk up the Lha Chu Valley through beautiful green meadows and streams with Mt. Kailash towering above us. We follow the beautiful turquoise river which enters a narrow canyon with high, steep cliffs and spectacular waterfalls. Continuing up the valley, the north face of Kailash comes into view before we reach the 13th-century monastery at Dira-Puk.
We now leave the Lha Chu Valley and enter the Drolma Chu Valley, heading up towards a high pass, the Drolma La (5630m) which is the highest point in our trek. It’s a tough climb to the summit which is festooned with prayer flags but from there it is all downhill or flat to Zutul-Puk, with views of one of the highest lakes in the world, the breathtaking Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion.
Our trail descends to the flat fields of Zutul-Puk which houses a monastery and several fascinating caves. These caves are popular for meditation, with Milarepaʼs cave being one of them with Milarepaʼs footprints and elbow prints believed to be imprinted in its walls. We camp tonight at Zutul-Puk.
This morning we have an easy walk along some impressive gorges and around many mani stones and mani walls, with magnificent views of Mt Kailash along the way. We then enter the Bharka plain and it’s about an hour’s walk through this desert-like landscape to Darchen.
Our kora is finished – we have erased our sins, endured cold nights and mornings, crossed one of the highest passes in the world and met countless fellow pilgrims along the way. So we bid the sacred lakes and holy mountain farewell as we head back east to Paryang. The scenery along this section is some of the most beautiful of the entire journey, with Tibetans, horses, yaks and sheep against the background of the Himalayas, and continue to drive through the vast Thang Kiang Naga or ʻPlain of wild donkeys and grassʼ on our way to Saga. We have 330km to cover and pass through several small towns, including Zhongba, crossing the Torkyo La at 4880m before coming down into Saga.
In the beginning we cross Brahmaputra River (Yarlung Zangbo River) you will have a long driving to Mount Everest (about 360km). Though being a long driving of about 8 hours, but the views along the road are tremendous beautiful. In clear days, you can see the clear face of Shishapangma Peak and enjoy the beautiful view of Pekutso Lake. When you finally get to the Rongbuk Monastery, and get the first sight of the mighty Everest, you will immerse in a solemn ethereal mood and find all the efforts you have made along the long way are not in vain. Located about 5100 meters above the sea level, Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. It is the best location to take some great photos of the front face of Mount Everest. The rest of today is free for you visit the Rongbuk Monastery and explore surrounding landscape.
If you visit Mount Everest during off season (November to April), you will usually accommodate at Rongbuk Guest House near Rongbuk Monastery; if you visit Mount Everest during the peak season (May to October), you will usually accommodate at the Tibetan Tent Camp which is about 4km further from Rongbuk Monastery. Please note that the accommodation conditions at both places are very basic. Only dorm beds are available.
Wake up early to enjoy the marvelous sunrise on the peak of the world. Before returning back to Shigatse, you will have some free time to enjoy more landscape of the majestic Everest.
The top part of the Mount Everest is always covered by snow all the year round, and when the sun shines on the mountain, the peak is like a giant white pyramid, which is one of the most famous sceneries of Mount Everest. In bright days, you can also see a wisp of cloud hanging above the top of Mount Everest. It flies eastward in the fast western wind just like a flapping flag. This unique phenomenon is the spectacular “Cloud Flag”. The cloud will change from surging waves into a thin cooking smoke or from galloping steeds into the mysterious veil of a goddess.
Till now your Mount Everest adventure is about to end. The rest of today is to drive back to Shigatse City. You will get to Shigatse in the afternoon, then take a visit to the official seat of Panchen Lama – Tashilhunpo Monastery which is also the largest and most influential Gelug Monastery in Shigatse prefecture. Here you will see a giant statue of Future Buddha, the largest one of its kind on earth ( 26.2 meters high and 11.5 meters wide ), decorated with precious pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers.
Today, you will leave Shigatse and drive about 8 hours to Lhasa (altitude: 3,700m), the capital city of Tibet. It may be a long journey, but there are many things to do along the road. After two hours’ driving, you will get to the historical city of Gyantse, then go to visit the mysterious Palcho Monastery (altitude: 4,040m). The monks and tradition of three important sects of Tibetan Buddhism – Sakyapa, Zhalupa and Gelukpa, peacefully coexist in this monastery. Its Kumbum, which is 35 meters high and has 76 small chapels with hundreds of images of Kriyatantras, is believed to be the largest such structure in Tibet.
Keeping driving about 2 hours from Gyantse, you will stop along the road and see the imposing Karola Glacier (altitude: 5,045m) towering aloft on the left side of the road. Moving on not very far from Karola Glacier, you will reach the holy Yamdrok Lake (altitude: 4,400m). As the largest fresh lake in the north of the Himalaya Mountains, it spreads about 675 square meters from south to north, like an eardrop lying in the arms of snow-capped giant mountains. Viewing from a distance, you can see fertile pastures full of yaks and sheep, and some small Tibetan villages along the lakeshore. Continuing your trip, you will arrive at Lhasa in the afternoon. Have a good rest!
After our breakfast at Hotel, we start today’s Lhasa exploration with an exciting visit to the landmark – Potala Palace which is regarded as one of the most beautiful architectural building in the world. You will climb up the palace along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the top of the palace where you can not only appreciate the exotic Tibetan-style architecture, but also get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas, then walk into the inner space of Potala Palace to explore the stately chapels and learn about the history of the palace.
Continuing your exploration, you will then get to Jokhang Temple which is considered as the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Each day, there are thousands of pilgrims coming from different places in Tibet to the temple to worship to the Buddha. This temple is also known as the “house of Buddha” because it keeps the precious Jowo Rinpoche, the life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12. The last site for today’s exploration is the famous Barkor Street. It is a circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. The local people like to walk on the street for several circles usually in the late afternoon as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handcrafts.
After breakfast, we get ready for a full day sightseeing. Firstly, we will visit Drepung Monastery. From your Hotel, about 9/10 km drive to the western outskirts we get to Drepung Monastery. Drepung, in Tibetan, means “prosperity”. Since its establishment, Drepung Monastery has always been one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders used to study here, especially the Dalai Lamas. So Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”.
After Drepung Monastery; we drive about 12/13 kilometres to another famous monastery in Lhasa – Sera Monastery. It is famous for the spectacular “Buddhism Debating”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the Buddhist doctrines with supplemented gestures, which is thought to be helpful to, facilitates better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study.
After your Lunch; today’s final destination and most beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas in the ancient time and now is a public park. It is famous for its Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai lamas with grandiose Tibetan architecture style. After enjoying Norbulingka and a beautiful garden, you will be transferred back to your hotel. The rest time is your own free time to rest.
After your breakfast drive to Gongaar airport about 1:30 hrs for departure flight to Kathmandu
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! A representative from Community Trek will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you’ll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 KG.
You must bring the following items:
1. Hiking boots
3. Trekking trousers/pants
4. Waterproof overtrousers/rainpants
5. Baselayer shirts
6. Casual shirt and/or T-shirts
7. Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
8. Waterproof jacket
10. Warm hat
12. Thermal gloves
13. Warm and waterproof over gloves or mittens
14. Headtorch/Headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
15. Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
16. Water bottles 1 L.
17. Antibacterial handwash
18. Small towel
19. Daypack, 25/30Litres
20. Trekking poles
21. Sleeping bag 4 or 5 seasons * (rated down to – 20ºC)
22. Warm jacket (down)*
Basic First Aid Kit including:
A broad-spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite) and Glucose tablets.
Note: Walking pole, down jacket, sleeping bag, etc available on hire in Kathmandu.
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