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18 Days Private Tour Lhasa – Nam Tso - Serling Tso - Dangra Tso – Nyima – Dong Tso – Gertse – Oma - Gerkyi – Shiquanhe - Tsada – Tirthapuri – Darchen – Kailash Trekking - Darchen - Manasarovar – Saga - Paiku Tso – Rongbuk / Everest BC - Shegar – Shigatse – Gyantse - Yamdrok - Lhasa
It is a spectacular journey to Northern Tibet Qiangtang and Kailash in Western Tibet. Northern Tibet Qiangtang is so-called unmanned zone, it's paradise for wild animals and birds, such as Tibetan antelope, black neck crane, etc. The Northern Tibet Lake region is the densest one in China, mostly salt-water lakes with colorful water. It's much different from other areas in Tibet, since the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet-Bon religion originates and pass on to generations from here. We'll worship Dangra Tso, the holy lake of Bon religion. We drive across Northern Tibet Qiangtang and reach Shiquanhe and turn southwards along Xinjiang-Tibet Highway to Tsada to visit the ruins of the Guge Kingdom, then we drive to Kailash (6.714 m) which is regard as "center of the world" by Hinduism and Buddhism. We get across the 5.600 m high Doelma La (La=Pass), decorated with fluttering prayer flags and mani stones, we trek around the snow-crowned dome of the glacier mountain along the pilgrimage path in three days. Afterwards short drive to Manasarovar - the holiest lake in Tibet. Continue driving to the Rongbuk Monastery and the Everest Base Camp, grand view of the world's highest peak - the steep north side of the Everest (Qomolangma). Then drive via Shigatse, Gyantse and holy lake Yamdrok back to Lhasa.
Highlights
Adventure Tour across Northern Tibet Qiangtang to Kailash
DAY
1

Arrive in Lhasa

Welcome in Tibet – the roof of the world

Today arrive in Lhasa (3650 m), the capital of Tibet, transfer to hotel. Stay at the hotel for adapting to the high altitude. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days, and try to drink some water.

Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Barkhor Street
Barkhor Street
DAY
2

Lhasa

Potala Palace – landmark of Lhasa, Jokhang and Barkhor Street

In the morning visit Potala, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures altogether create a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon visit Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties.

Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Breakfast
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
DAY
3

Lhasa

Panoramic view over Potala, Norbulingka, Debate in Sera

In the morning visit Parla Lupu Cave Monastery, located on the slopes of Yaowang Mountain, was built in the 7th century. It is 22m high and from here you can have a wonderful panoramic view over Potala palace. Then visit Norbulingka The 40-hectare jewel park was built in the middle of the 18th century. as a summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. In the afternoon visit Sera Monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. It is also one of the six master monasteries of the Gelugpa. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. You have the opportunity to experience the famous monks' "Buddhism scriptures debates". Public religious debates are part of the education of monks.

Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Breakfast
Debate in Sera Monastery
Debate in Sera Monastery
DAY
4

Lhasa – Nam Tso Lake

Nam Tso Lake and Nianqingtanggula Mountain

Today you drive north to Nam Tso Lake. At Nam Tso Lake, the nomads live in the vast Changthang (Qiangtang) Plain. With the at 4718 m above sea level, Nam Tso is the highest lake in the world. The Nam Tso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and it is an important sanctuary for the Tibetans. Walk around the Tashi Peninsula and complete a circle around the sacred mountain whose cliffs have been eroded in recent centuries. There are mani stones in the street. You have the opportunity to visit the people in the Yakshaare’s woven tents. In good weather, you can admire the magnificent sunset on Nianqingtanggula Mountain and Nam Tso Lake.

250 km
5 hours 40 minutes
Overnight at simpla guesthouse in Nam Tso Village
Breakfast
Nam Tso Lake
Nam Tso Lake
DAY
5

Nam Tso - Bange (4715m)

Sunrise over the Nam Tso Lake, Shengxiang Tianmen and San Sheng Shi Scenic Areas

Today, you will wake up early to experience the unforgettable sunrise over the Nam Tso Lake and Nianqingtanggula Mountain on a clear day. Then drive to the northern shore of the Nam Tso Lake to visit the Shengxiang Tianmen (Holy Elephant Gate) and San Sheng Shi (Three Lives Stones) Scenic Areas. There are natural elephants stone statue and beautiful lakeshores at Shengxiang Tianmen Scenic Area. Besides, you can enjoy the spectacular panorama of Nam Tso and possess a great place to watch Nianqingtanggula main peak that is located in the south of Nam Tso. It is said that the couple will get marriage in the other three lives as long as they make a wish on the San Sheng Shi. Finally, drive to Bange.

266 km
8 hours
Overnight at simple Nam Tso Hotel
Breakfast
Elephant Gate
Elephant Gate
DAY
6

Bange - Serling Tso - Dangra Tso

Serling Tso, Dangqiong Tso, Dangra Tso

Today drive to the Serling Tso (4530 m), the second largest lake in Tibet. In Qiangtang, northern Tibet, you will see fewer and fewer people, but more and more wildlife and birds which you can photograph. Drive over a more than 5000 m high path and a small lake Dangqiong Tso to Dangra Tso (about 4500 m, or Dangra Yumtso). Here are many wild animals such as Elsels, deers, antelopes and birds. Dangra Tso is a well-known holy lake for the followers of the Bon. Friendly local people wear beautiful traditional costumes. In the south of the Dangra Tso stands out Targo Ri, the holy mountain of the Bon.

450 km
8 hours
Overnight at simple guesthouse
Breakfast
Black Necked Crane
Black Necked Crane
DAY
7

Dangra Tso – Nyima – Dong Tso – Gertse

Dong Tso Lake

Walking and visit to Dangra Tso Lake in the morning, then continue via Nyima and the Dong Tso lake to Gertse (about 4500 m).

360 km
6 hours
Overnight at 2*Fulong Hotel
Breakfast
Dangra Tso Lake
Dangra Tso Lake
DAY
8

Gertse – Oma - Gerkyi – Shiquanhe

Arrival in Shiquanhe, capital of Ngari district in western Tibet

Continue towards west through the small town of Gerkyi (4524 m) to Shiquanhe (4300 m), capital of Ngari (Ali) district.

490 km
6 hours 30 minutes
Overnight at 2*Hanjin Boya Hotel
Breakfast
Kiang
Kiang
DAY
9

Shiquanhe – Tsada

Earth forest in Tsada, ruins of the Kingdom of Guge, Tolin Monastery

Drive to Tsada, by the way admiring Tsada Earth Forest. Walking in the secluded valley of the Tsada forest, you feel like you are in the ruins of a huge old city. You can see a wild and imposing picture. Then drive to Tsaparang, the oldest center of the Kingdom of Guge. Four temples around the lower fortress walls, the fifth is located above the city, in the remains of the former summer palace of the kings. Various motifs adorn the coffered lattice ceilings and carved beams of the temples. Partly well-preserved murals with numerous details decorate the walls. Lama Anagarika Govinda calls these works of art "prayers and meditations in color and form, Every stroke is carefully completed". Then visit the Toling Monastery. Its unique murals represent exaggerated and extravagant style have a coincidental resemblance to Picasso's works.

251 km
5 hours 10 minutes
Overnight at 2*Tulin Castle Hotel
Breakfast
Ruins of Guge Kingdom
Ruins of Guge Kingdom
DAY
10

Tsada - Tirthapuri – Darchen

Tirthapuri meditation cave of Padmasambhava

In the morning drive to Tirthapuri. Behind the lake Manasarovar and the mountain Kailash Tirthapuri is the most important place of pilgrimage of West Tibet, because here is the meditation cave of Padmasambhava and his companion Yeshe Tsogyel. This place is also famous for its hot springs. Continue to Darchen (4,800 m, starting point of the Kailash Circumnavigation). The village Darchen only consists of a few stone houses, which is about 6 km north of the main road.

244 km
5 hours 3 minutes
Overnight at simple The Faraway Home Hotel
Breakfast
Holy Mountain Kailash
Holy Mountain Kailash
DAY
11

Trekking around Kailash, about 22 km

Start of the 3-day Kailash trekking tour

The village Darchen consists only of a few stone houses, which are about 6 km north of the main road. Accompanied by porters and yaks you set off for the 3-day Kailash orbit. For Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bons, the mountain is the holiest point in the world, the cosmic axis of the world, the "navel of the world". Past numerous chorten and Manimauern the path leads into the broad gorge on the west side of the mountain. Along with Tibetan and Indian pilgrims, you will pass the famous prayer flagpole, the Buddha's Footprints, and abandoned hermit clauses. After about 7 hours of walking, on the first day of the tour you will reach our campsite at 5,100 m altitude.

Trekking 22 km
Overnight at simple guesthouse
Breakfast
Trekking around Kailash
Trekking around Kailash
DAY
12

Trekking around Kailash, about 20 km

Crossing the 5,600 m high Dolma La

The most important part of the circumnavigation around Kailash involves crossing the most sacred spot, the 5,600m high Dolma-La, the highest point of the Parikrama, where there is a "holy" stone adorned with prayer flags , according to legend, that is the place where the goddess Dolma disappeared. Trek down a slightly steep but good path. Soon you will pass Thuji Zimbo Lake, which the Hindu Gauri call it Kund and consider sacred. The total walking time on the second day is 7 to 8 hours.

Trekking 20 km
Overnight at simple guesthouse
Breakfast
Trekking around Kailash
Trekking around Kailash
DAY
13

Trekking around Kailash, about 11 km, drive to Darchen - Manasarovar

Kailash Kora ends, resting at Manasarovar Lake

The third stage needs past numerous mani walls with stone tablets back to Darchen, which means the circle of your circumnavigation ends. In Darchen you get into the vehicle, which takes you about half an hour to the holy lake Manasarovar (4588 m). Manasarovar Lake is 330 square kilometers, 81.8 meters deep. The lake is nestled between two snow-capped mountain ranges, the area is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Tibet. For Tibetan pilgrims, circumnavigating the lake and bathing in its sacred waters is part of a Kailash pilgrimage. Guesthouse near the Chiu Gompa on the north side of Manasarovar Lake (4588 m).

Trekking 11km
49 km
42 minutes
Overnight at simple guesthouse
Breakfast
Manasarovar Lake
Manasarovar Lake
DAY
14

Manasarovar – Paryang – Saga

Walk around Manasarovar lake

Morning walk around Manasarovar Lake. Then drive via Paryang to Saga.

495 km
6 hours 53 minutes
Overnight at Bramaputra Hotel
Breakfast
DAY
15

Saga – Paiku Tso Lake - Old Tingri – Rongbuk / Everest BC

Paiku Tso Lake, Rongbuk Monastery, Sunset on Everest (Qomolangma)

A long drive via Paiku Tso Lake and Old Tingri to Rongbuk Monastery. Paiku-Tso Lake covers an aera of 300 square kilometers, is the largest lake in Shigatse. Paiku-Tso locates between three mountains, is rich in fish. There live various wild animals such as wild horses, wild donkeys and yellow ducks, etc. Continue from Old Tingri to Rongbuk Monastery (5,154 m) and Everest Base Camp, where you can enjoy the impressive Qomolangma with its steep north side. Rongbuk is the largest monastery in this region and was built at the beginning of the 20th century. You can also admire the sunset on Everest (Qomolangma) in good weather.

473 km
11 hours
Overnight at simple Rongbuk Guesthouse
Breakfast
Mountain Everest
Mountain Everest
DAY
16

Rongbuk – Shegar - Lhatse – Shigatse

Sunrise over Qomolangma (Everest)

Getting up early, and admiring the sunrise from Everest (Qomolangma) in good weather. Visit to the Rungbuk Monastery and continue via New Tingri (= Shegar) to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. On the way at Pang La (5150 m), the view is magnificent: from left to right are Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse and Cho Oyu.

334 km
6 hours 6 minutes
Overnight at 4*Mulunlazong Hotel
Breakfast
Mountain Himalaya
Mountain Himalaya
DAY
17

Shigatse - Gyantse - Yamdrok Lake – Lhasa

Tashilunpo Monastery, Karo La Pass and Glacier, Palkhor with Pagoda Kumbum, Sacred Lake Yamdrok

Morning visit Tashilunpo Monastery. Tashilunpo is also one of the six master monasteries of the Gelugpa. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in China. Then drive on varied roads over Gyantse and several paths to Lhasa. At the highest point of this trip (Karo La Pass at 5,010 m) you will see the glacier of Noejin Kangsa (7,223 m). On the way you can take some photos of the Tibet's third largest holy lake - Yamdrok. In Gyantse you can visit the Palkhor Monastery and the impressive pagoda of Kumbum.

356 km
6 hours 41 minutes
Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Breakfast
Distant View of Palkhor Monastery in Gyantse
Distant View of Palkhor Monastery in Gyantse
DAY
18

Leave Tibet

Travel to next destination

Today transfer to airport or railway station, leave Tibet.
Breakfast
Barkhor Street
Barkhor Street
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This trip can also be tailor-made, please let us know your travel idea: travel date, duration, number of travelers, child (2 - 12 years old), baby (0 - 2 years old), other travel destinations, meals, accommodation category, boutique hotel, special interest ...

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With individual China Tibet travel, you can decide when, where and how you go on tour by yourself. What's more, you can choose the length of travel and whom you go with.

Information
Hotel, program and itinerary are subjected to change with prior notice.
We must point out that you counter a very basic tourism infrastructure in this region. You stay overnight mostly at simple hotel/guesthouse. Long journeys on bad roads and trekking on high altitude and delays require good physical fitness, resilience and flexibility of the participants. Program and route changes due to unforeseen events are expressly reserved. If you desire the unknown and have an understanding of contingency, this is the right trip for you.
More Impressions
Nianqingtanggula Viewing Platform | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Tashji Monastery by Nam Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso Lake with Nianqingtanggula | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso Lake with Nianqingtanggula | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso Holy Elephant Gate | Photo by Liu Bin
Bange Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Near Bange Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Tibetan Antelope at Serling Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Serling Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Dongqiong Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Village near Dangqiong Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Dongqiong Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Kiang near Nima | Photo by Liu Bin
Tibetan Gazelles near Nima | Photo by Liu Bin
Cuoe Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Barkhor Street | Photo by Liu Bin
Barkhor Street | Photo by Liu Bin
Barkhor Street | Photo by Liu Bin
Barkhor Street | Photo by Liu Bin
Barkhor Street | Photo by Liu Bin
Jokhang Temple | Photo by Liu Bin
Norbulinka | Photo by Liu Bin
Potala Palace | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Trekking in Kailash
Palkhor Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Palkhor Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin