13 Day Mt. Kailash to Kathmandu trekking tour

An unforgettable journey through the Tibetan Himalayas

  • 13 Days Mt. Kailash to Kathmandu tour
  • Best time: Apr - Oct
  • Group Size: 2 - 15
  • Tour Pace: Difficult

Tour Summary

You will be in exclusive company if you come on this 15 Days Mt Kailash Tour that takes you on the journey of a lifetime. To do a “kora” around Mt Kailash is supposed to erase a lifetime of karma in the religion of Tibetan Buddhism, and as you trek this incredible landscape you will witness the faithful prostrating along the same path.  Mt Kailash sits in the western reaches of Tibet and is a pilgrimage not only for Tibetan Buddhists, but also followers of the Bon religion, Jainism, and Hinduism. This is a unique place in the world full of ancient traditions and customs, as well as being all together wild and remote. Have the adventure of a lifetime and let us transport you to a place that abounds in magic and mystery in the wilderness of Tibet.

From $1878

The price of this tour depends on the season and comfort class. Click here for pricing details.

Included

  • English Speaking Tibetan Guide
  • Lhasa airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Tibetan welcome dinner
  • Safe tourist vehicle
  • 3-star comfortable hotel
  • Breakfast (excl. base camp area, nagari area, gyirong)
  • All entrance fees
  • Lots of fun people
  • Sunrises and sunsets
  • All travel permits!

Excluded

  • Transport into and out of Lhasa
  • Lunch and dinner (except welcome)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for the guide and driver

Tour itinerary at glance

Day 1
Lhasa (Arrival)

Pick-up, rest, acclimatize

Day 2
Lhasa

Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Barkhor Str.

Day 3
Lhasa

Drepung and Sera Monasteries

Day 4
Lhasa/Gyantse/Shigatse

Yamdrok Lake, Karo-la Glacier, Gyantse Kumbum

Day 5
Shigatse/Everest Base Camp

Tashilunpo Monastery, Rongbuk Monastery, Mt. Everest

Day 6
Everest Base Camp/Saga

Sunrise, moments of awe​

Day 7
Saga / Lake Manasarovar / Darchen

Lake Manasarovar, Mount Kailash

Detailed itinerary

Day 1 - Lhasa (Arrival)

You are welcomed warmly in Tibetan by the greeting “Tashi Delek” at Train station/ Airport by our professional Tibetan guide. After meeting your guide you will be transferred to your prearranged hotel in Lhasa. The choice is yours, either enjoy some time relaxing or take a stroll through the city’s’ streets to take in some of the local flavor. Whatever you choose it is important to take it slow as your body needs time to acclimatize. This will help you to have a more enjoyable experience for the rest of your time.

  • 68km, 60min drive

Day 2 - Lhasa

In the morning, we will begin the tour with the grand Potala Palace! Built in 7th century, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the highest building in Lhasa. With roughly 1000 stairs to climb, you will enjoy a commanding view of beautiful Lhasa City and the surrounding mountains. There are many rooms, courtyards, and views to explore in Potala Palace, so the better part of the morning will be spent here. In the afternoon we will visit Jokhang Temple, which is considered the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. It was built approximately 1350 years ago in a mix of styles including: Tibetan, Tang Dynasty Chinese, Nepalese and Indian. After experiencing this incredible and ancient temple you will find it is the perfect opportunity to envelope yourself in the famous shopping district of Barkhor Street. Beautiful and unique handicrafts from all over Tibet can be found here, and the shopping is enjoyed by both tourists and locals alike! After perusing the wares, join in with locals and pilgrims from around the country and the world in a traditional “kora”. A kora is a clockwise walk done around Buddhists sites, and is traditionally done three times. You may see some walking counterclockwise, however this is only for Bon religion followers, and it is best to stick to clockwise as a tourist. After your kora, sit and watch the many faces and colorful clothed locals while sipping traditional Tibetan butter tea, made with fresh yak butter and yak milk. Free welcome dinner will be arranged for the first night!

  • 0km, 0min drive

Day 3 - Lhasa

First on the itinerary for your 3rd day is Drepung Monastery. It is considered to be one of the three great Gelug monasteries in Tibet. Drepung Monastery is also famous for hosting the unveiling and displaying of the enormous Thanka of the Great Buddha and the Tibetan Opera Show during the Shoton Festival. Later in the afternoon, we will explore another of the “Great Three” monasteries, Sera Monastery. Visitors will have the unique privilege in witnessing one of the magnificent traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, the courtyard debates among the monks. These lively debates contribute to the monks understanding of Buddhist philosophy and achieve a higher level of study. The debates are held on weekdays from 3pm to 5pm in the afternoon.

  • 8km, 30min drive

Day 4 - Lhasa/Gyantse/Shigatse

On day four, our tour leaves the bustling and ancient city of Lhasa and heads into the Nyangchu Valley. The valley follows the Nyang River, one of the tributaries to the Yarlung Zangbo which later becomes the Bramaputra River. This wide floodplain is home to a host of wildlife and bird species. The road will also cross over the Gampala Pass(4900m), on the way to Yamdrok Lake(4400m). Yamdrok Lake with its turquoise waters looks surreal as it stretches from horizon to horizon. After driving along the picturesque lake, and leaving it behind we then meet the Karo-la Glacier(4960m) which is in easy view from the roadside. Once pictures are taken and memories made we continue on to Gyantse, a famous historical city, where we will pay a visit to Pelkor Monastery and Gantse Kumbum. Later we arrive in Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet.

  • 360km, 7-8hrs drive

Day 5 - Shigatse / Everest Base Camp

In the early morning on day five, the tour will arrive at Tashilunpo Monastery which is the seat of the of Panchen Lamas. Built in 1447, the monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of the Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in the world and a tomb of all the Panchen Lamas. This enormous Buddha is decorated with jewels and precious stones, and many pilgrims come to rub their “malas” or prayer beads along the flanks of this statue. Later you will make your way to the highest monastery in the world, Rongbuk Monastery (5100m). First the tour will pass by Latse, and Shegar before arriving at the Rongbuk Monastery where both monks and nuns live and practice together. A little further on you will find the guesthouse run by a wonderful family where you will spend the night. From here, it offers a commanding view of Everest, or “Qomolangma” in Tibetan. Rongbuk Monastery sits small and unassuming tucked into the rock, a visit to this retired monastery with its one monk caretaker is a window into the past with its secret spaces and wall frescos.

  • 350km, 7-8hrs drive

Day 6 - Everest Base Camp / Saga

Leaving behind Mount Everest today we drive to Old Tingri in the morning, and it will be last place where we can see Mount Everest on the way west. The scenic drive will also take us through the Lalongla Mountain Pass, and it is the best place to view Mount Shishapangma. Shishapangma is 8012 meters above sea level, and it is the only mountain above 8000 meter that is entirely located in China. On the way, we will also pass by Peikutso Lake. It is the largest lake in Shigatse with more than 300 square kilometers surface area. This clear, sapphire blue lake is a heaven for the wild animals on the plateau.​

  • 450km, 9-10hrs drive

Day 7 - Saga / Lake Manasarovar / Darchen

Leaving behind Mount Everest today we drive to Old Tingri in the morning, and it will be last place where we can see Mount Everest on the way west. The scenic drive will also take us through the Lalongla Mountain Pass, and it is the best place to view Mount Shishapangma. Shishapangma is 8012 meters above sea level, and it is the only mountain above 8000 meter that is entirely located in China. On the way, we will also pass by Peikutso Lake. It is the largest lake in Shigatse with more than 300 square kilometers surface area. This clear, sapphire blue lake is a heaven for the wild animals on the plateau.

  • 450km, 9-10hrs drive

Day 8 - Trek Day One - Darchen to Drirapuk(4920m)

The journey begins after passing the prayer flag square and we step onto the famous kora route. The journey to the west side of Darchen (4560m ) is not very far and the scenery will take you to another place and time. Our first stop is six kilometers down the trail to Qugu Temple, where lunch, hot water and instant noodles are available. Further along we come to some basic tents that offer a chance to rest. Then we continue on for another 2 kilometers and reach Drirapuk.

  • 20km, 6-7hrs drive

Day 9 - Trek day two - Drirapuk to Dzultripuk(4760m)

One of the magical moments during this adventure is waking up with the sounds of the river and the distant clang of the bells around the yaks necks at the foot of the sacred Mount Kailash. You will feel transported to a different century as you rise and get ready for the days hike. From Drirapuk the trail ascends to Dromala Pass(5630 m) about 6.5 kilometers along the hike. It will be the highest place during this trek. At the pass is a great opportunity to rest and enjoy Mount Kailash in the not too far distance to the west. We then continue to walk roughly 10 kilometers and start to follow the river with ample places to relax before another nine km to Dzutrpuk. You will fall deeply asleep from the exhilarating and physical day.

  • 22km, 7-8hrs drive

Day 10 - Trek day three- Dzultripuk to Darchen

Today the journey will be a more relaxed hike from Dzutrpuk Temple down to the mountain. The views s always on this adventure, are astounding and the saunter downhill will lift your spirits. About 6 kilometers along the hike you have the option of taking a vehicle here with your guide, or walking another 3 kilometers to Darchen.

  • 9km, 3-4hrs drive

Day 11 - Darchen / Saga

The drive back to Saga will descend through a vast desert landscape from Darchen. Either sit back and enjoy a nap as the ride in the bus lulls you to sleep, or enjoy snapping photos of this moonlike landscape and an almost 2000 meter descent.

  • 450km, 9-10hrs drive

Day 12 - Saga / Gyirong

Sit back and enjoy the outstanding views of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, and other towering peaks of the Himalayas along the left side of the road. Then the tour turns to glide along Pekutso Lake and onward to the border. Keep an eye out across the vast expanse of the Tibetan plateau for the Tibetan Antelope or Kiangs. After passing the Ghungtang Lhamo(5236M), the tour will arrive in Kyirong in the late afternoon. Before driving to hotel, we will go get registered for tomorrow’s departure before 5pm.This border town has an interesting mix of cultures and a wide variety of food can be found from traditional Tibetan, to Sichuan style hot pot!

  • 180km, 3-4hrs drive

Day 13 - Gyirong / Nepal Border

Today you will be assisted by the tour guide to exit China. The border crossing is generally very early in the morning and takes approximately 2 hours depending on the amount of people and customs officials present. Please be prepared to present all goods purchased in Tibet, and allow easy access for the customs officials in case they would like to search your luggage. Please be advised to keep all your valuables on your person for easy access, and upon crossing the border, for purchasing a jeep ride into Kathmandu. It is well possible that your luggage will be inaccessible on top of your jeep into Kathmandu, so have a small bag with items you wish to access throughout the day on your person as well as passport and money. End the services at the border.

  • 10km, 0.5hrs drive

Some extra information for this tour:

From Gyirong to Kathmandu

Vehicle from Gyirong Border to Kathmandu shall be arranged on your own, and the fee is around RMB300-400 per person in a jeep type vehicle. You will find 3 or 4 separate vehicles ready to take border crossers to Kathmandu and the villages along the way. The journey takes 9 to 10 hours and the road is a fairly primitive narrow mountain road.

Prepare $25 cash

Please prepare RMB200 or $25.00 (15 days) and two passport size photos for the Nepali visa application at the border. The drivers are generally aware of the process for foreigners and are happy to provide the service of helping you through the process.

The journey

Along the drive you will stop through many military and police checkpoints and have your passport and all valuables on your person. Your bag will be put on the roof of the vehicle along with all the other passengers gear, so having a small daypack with valuables and any clothing you want to access with you inside the vehicle.

Detailed price information

Prices are different per season. The weather is more comfortable in summer, but the experience is more private in winter.
  • Apr – Jun | $ 1878 / CNY 12580
  • Jul – Aug | $ 2080 / CNY 13940
  • Sep – Oct | $ 2080 / CNY 13940
  • Apr – Jun | $ 1937 / CNY 12980
  • Jul – Aug | $ 2163 / CNY 14490
  • Sep – Oct | $ 2163 / CNY 14490

A standard class tour includes a clean, standard hotel room including breakfast. A comfort class tour includes an upgrade in hotel or room type. This option is especially recommended if you are used to traveling in upper class hotels.

Included in this trip

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When would you like to go?

You will receive an email with available departure times and custom advice about weather conditions and potential alternatives.