*** Updated 2020 ***
Day 1: Lhasa arrival [3650m]
Upon arrival in Lhasa you will be welcomed by your English-speaking Tibetan Guide and Tibetan Driver who will bring you to your hotel. Acclimatization to high altitude: please, drink lots of water and take plenty of rest in order to minimize altitude sickness.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Hotel, which are a Tibetan style hotel located in Lhasa city center (Barkhor)
Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing
We begin visiting Ramoche Temple, built in honor of the image of Jowo Rinpoche that Chinese princess Wencheng brought by marrying Songtsen Gampo, the first king of Buddhist doctrine and who unified the Tibetan empire in the 7th century. Thereafter, we continue with Jokhang Temple, the most sacred monastery in Tibet. It was also founded in the 7th century by Songtsen Gampo. Later you can explore the surrounding Barkhor old quarter and spend time walking around Jokhang Temple following pilgrims from all over the Tibetan plateau. In the afternoon we go to Sera Monastery, one of three great universities of Gelugpa Sect. We will attend the debating session of the monks.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Hertiage Hotel
Day 3: Lhasa sightseeing
Today we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Potala winter palace was built in the 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama. Provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, built in the 18th century by the seventh Dalai Lama. It’s tradition to do picnic in its beatiful garden and perform opera dances during Shoton Festival (August-September).
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Hertiage Hotel
Day 4: Ganden Monastery & warm-up hike day trip [100Km]
In the morning we visit Ganden Monastery, 50 km from Lhasa. It is the main seat of the Gelug Sect and was founded by Tsongkhapa in 1409. It’s placed in the top of a hill in the Kyichu valley. We hike for some hours in the surroundings to improve our acclimatization to high altitude.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Heritage Hotel
Day 5: Lhasa – Samye – Tsedang [180km, 3575m]
Adventure starts: We will we drive South-East to reach the Yarlung Valley – in the heart of Tibet and the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Today we will visit the region where the ancient Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the 7th century. Our first stop along the way will be Tsedang – the fourth city in importance of Tibet – to visit the Yumbulagang Palace which dominates the valley from the top of a hill. It is considered as the first construction of Tibet and resembles a medieval fortress. Then we will go to Samye Monastery (8th century), the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, and with its particular architecture forms a gigantic mandala following the structure of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology. If the time available allows, we will also visit the Temple of Traduk today.
Overnight at Tsedang Hotel
Day 6: Tsedang – Gyantse [321Km, 3980m]
Early breakfast and drive West to Tsang region: First we cross Kampa-la Pass [4797m] and then Karo-la Pass [5050m], where Mt. Noijin Kangsang [7206m] glacier lies near the road. In the middle, we enjoy the unreal turquoise waters of holy lake Yamdrok-Tso. Then we stop in Gyantse town, where we visit the considered best tibetan art paintings in Kumbum Stupa inside Pelkor Chode Monastery. Also from here, we admire the majestic Gyantse Dzong (fortress) overlooking the valley.
Overnight at Yeti Hotel or similar
Day 7: Gyantse – Shigatse – Sakya [380Km, 4300m]
In the morning we drive North-West to reach second largest city in Tibet. We visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama. Nowadays seat of the Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy. We recommend to do Kora around Tashilhunpo Monastery. We have incredible panorama view of the valley and impressive Dzong (fortress). Also, you can walk around local market. Back to the Friendship Highway, we continue to Sakya Monastery; the principal seat of Sakyapa Sect founded in 1073 and one of four major Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Its powerful abbots governed Tibet during the whole of the 13th century until they were eclipsed by the rise of the Gelukpa Sect. Its Mongolian architecture is different from that of temples we seen before.
Overnight at Yuan Mansion Hotel
Day 8: Sakya – Mt. Everest North Face [120Km, 5000m]
Exciting day today: we reach one of the major highlights of our trip, near Mt. Everest North Base Camp [5200m]. The journey involves crossing the high pass of Gyatso La [5220m] and the opportunitty to view Mt. Everest and the Himalayas for the first time. From New Tingri we continue driving towards Rongbuk Monastery, located at the foot of the Everest and the highest monastery in the world. During the journey we enjoy amazing views of several peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Mount Everest from the top of the Pang-la pass [5150m]. Overnight at tourist camp site located in Rongbuk; a few Kilometer from the real EBC and from where we have direct views of Mt. Everest (Qomolangma). Since 2018 tourist are not allowed to visit EBC used by climbing expeditions.
Overnight at guesthouse tent (dorm bed without bathroom). Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 9: Rongbuk – Saga [300Km, 4490m]
If you would like start early your day, enjoy sunrise with Everest peak views in the horizon [8848m]. After breakfast we visit Rongbuk Monastery where we will take last look at Mt. Everest North Face and then we drive North West crossing high passes with enchanting views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks like Cho Oyu and Shishapangma and wild Peikutso lake.
Overnight at MuLinSen hotel or similar
Day 10: Saga – Darchen [490Km, 4670m]
Today early morning we enter in the semi-nomadic regions of Tibet’s far west. We will enjoy the authentic Tibetan landscapes during this long drive journey through the biggest and highest plateau in the world. We follow Yarlung Tsampo river West (also called Brahmaputra in India) until the little city of Darchen, at the foot Mount Kailash, where we will get ready for the trek.
Overnight at Himalaya Kailash Hotel
Days 11-13: Mt. Kailash Kora during Full Moon / New Moon [52Km, max. altitude 5630m]
We begin the Pilgrimage Kora of Mount Kailash, most sacred mountain in Asia. Tibetans and Hindu people from all over the World come here for religious reasons. First we go to an important pilgrimage area called Tarpoche where Saga Dawa Festival takes place every 15th day of the 4th month in the tibetan calendar to celebrate the day Lord Buddha Sakyamuni was born, achieved enlightenment and passed away. Saga Dawa is the most important festival in Tibet and for this reason we all tibetans are willing to visit Mt. Kailash and complete its kora during this time. Then, full moon / new moon, we continue trekking around the mountain:
Trek to Dira-Puk Monastery [20Km, 5-6h, 5050m]
Trek to Zutul Puk Monastery, [18Km, 6-8h, 4820m]
Trek to Darchen [14Km, 3-4h, 4670m]
Overnight at guesthouse dorm bed without bathroom during trekking (2 nights). Sleeping bag is recommended.
In Darchen, overnight at Himalaya Kailash Hotel
Day 14: Darchen – Guge Kingdom [250Km, 4670m]
We have a long day drive along rough road where we will enjoy beautiful views of the unique landscapes until we finally reach the oasis town of Zanda. We explore Tholing monastery and Tsaparang citadelle. Tholing, which was once the most important monastic complex in western Tibet, is a awesome sight. Below stands the first capital of Guge whilst the skyline comprises a vast sweep of the Ladakh Himalaya. Guge’s later capital at Tsaparang is of even greater significance in the history of Buddhist art, its fantastic wall murals displaying evidence of close links with Ladakh and Kashmir. We will rediscover the cave dwellings, secret twisting paths tunnels linking the palaces.
Overnight at Gu Ge Hotel or similar.
Day 15: Tholing – Mapam Yumtso lake [250Km, 4556m]
Today begins the end of your tibetan journey through the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and greatest mountains on earth. After breakfast we drive back until lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yumtso in tibetan language), one of the three most sacred lakes in Tibet. Hindus believe that whoever bathes in it will clean all their sins and provide good karma. Before, we make a short detour to Tirthapuri, place where pilgrims traditionally come to bathe in their hot springs after completing the kora of Mt. Kailash.
Overnight at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom). Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 16-17: Mapam Yumtso lake – Saga – Shigatse [935Km]
In the morning we enjoy sunrise at the beatiful holy waters of Lake Manasarovar. After visiting Chiu monastery we continue driving East to Shigatse; today stopping at Saga for one night. We travel through arid landscapes of sand dunes and wonderful views of the Himalaya Range and the Tibetan Plateau.
Day 16: Overnight at MuLinSen hotel or similar.
Day 17: Overnight at Gesar Hotel 5* newly built building.
Day 18: Shigatse – Lhasa [272Km, 3650m]
Our last day of our tibetan traverse goes along the Yarlung Tsampo (Brahmaputra) River. This is the most direct route to Lhasa and part of the Friendship Highway. Free time in Lhasa.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Heritage Hotel.
Day 19: Tibet departure
Enjoy your last hours in Tibet exploring Lhasa by your own until your guide and driver meet you at the hotel to transfer you to the airport.
End of our services.
Consider extending your trip spending extra days in Lhasa city or surroundings. Like one-two more days visiting holy Namtso lake in North Lhasa (250Km, 4-5 hours drive, one way). Or even take a relaxing day in Lhasa on your own!
Please, contact us for further information about any available extension of your trip.
This is an original itinerary designed by us after many years of experience and excellence of our guides who have been leading hundreds of our now beloved friends from all over the world.
Tour price for 4-12 people, 2850USD per person.
– Single room occupancy supplement: 450USD.
Rates shown above include all permits, english speaking tibetan guide, comfortable accomodation, transportation and entrace fees ONLY.
All our fixed departure tours for this itinerary start in Lhasa. All participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to Lhasa. We take care of all VISA process if coming from Nepal. The size of the group is between 4-12 people and the kind of transportation varies according to the size of it: minivan or minibus.
Hotel in Lhasa is Shambhala Palace / House of Shambhala in Barkhor area; outside Lhasa we selected best accomodadion available. ALWAYS in double room sharing basis with bathroom and breakfast, except Mt. Everest, Manasarovar (Mapam Yumtso) lake and during Kailash Kora guesthouses. Single room use in hotels available for additional fee. Please, contact us for further details.
Please, check our upcoming departures.
If you are planning to visit Tibet in late May / early June 2020, we highly encourage you to join this departure. Saga Dawa is celebrated on June 5th, 2020 at Mt. Kailash. This is a special moment to be there. As we do every year, we are organizing our most special trip for this big celebration, starting on June 8th. We do Kora during that time because its meaning for us. There will be lots of pilgrims. We celebrate birth, death and enlightment of Buddha and we all tibetans want to do Kora for a better next life.
Yes, I want to assist to Saga Dawa Festival 2020 at Mt. Kailash. You can also book your space next year Saga Dawa Festival 2021 at Mt. Kailash.
Price varies accoring to the number of people in your group, category of hotel, transportation and other services you request. Please contact us with these important details first.
Consulte salidas especiales al Monte Kaikash con el único español residente en Tíbet.
We had some lovely time in Tibet during 8 days, it is a beautiful country well developed with amazing palaces and monasteries, they are all different and beautiful. We were... read more also very lucky to be accompanied by our guide Dawa and our driver Lobsangdawa who...More
Wonderful trip around Tibet. Dhondup was responsive and helpful from the moment I first mailed him, organising my Tibet permit, train from Xining, China and answering many questions! I... read more was travelling solo and was put into a small group with 3 others, which was perfect....More
We spent three days in Lhasa. We took a train from Xining to acclimate for a high attitude. We book a private tour with Tibetan guide. Dhondup made all arrangements... read more including Tibet permit and answered all pre- departure questions. Upon arrival we were met by...More
It had been a very good & successful trip. The tour guide Sonam & Dhawa are incredibly devoted to their work helpful & caring in all aspects. The 5 stars... read more rating for them.
Highly recommended! We chose Tibetan Guide for our Lhasa EBC Kathmandu Friendship Path Tour in part due to its favourable on-line reviews but largely because it is a local-owned... read more home-grown business employing local guides and drivers (as opposed to the many larger Chinese tour companies...More