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Our Lhasa with Mansarover Lake and Kailash Kora tour begins in Lhasa, which is also believed to be the cradle of Tibetan civilization. We then journey along several Tibetan towns leading to the enchanting Mansarovar Lake and finally to the holy Mt. Kailash. On our tour of the Tibetan towns, we visit amazing landmarks and monasteries like the Potala Palace, Tashilhunpo Monastary, Phalkot Monastery, Gyantse Dzong, Shalu Monastery and others.
For a devout adventure seeker this trip offers the rugged beauty of the vast Tibetan plateau, solitude and a sense of accomplishment, and for the devout pilgrim a visit to the Mansarovar Lake and Mt. Kailash will be the ultimate realization of their spiritual pursuit.
|Day 01 Arrival in Lhasa||3,650m/11,976ft|
|Day 02 Sightseeing in Lhasa: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital||3,650m/11,976ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 03 Sightseeing in Lhasa: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar||3,650m/11,976ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 04 Lhasa to Shigatse||3,900m/12,796ft||8-9 hrs|
|Day 05 Shigatse to Saga||4,600m/15,093ft||9-10 hrs|
|Day 06 Saga to Mansarover Lake||4,556m/14,948ft||6-7 hrs|
|Day 07 Mansarover to Darchen||4,560m/14,961ft||1 hour|
|Day 08 Kailash Kora: 3 days||6,638m/21,779ft|
|Day 09 Kora||6,638m/21,779ft|
|Day 10 Kora ends, back to Saga||4,600m/15,093ft||7-8 hrs|
|Day 11 Saga to Shigatse||3,900m/12,796ft||8-9 hrs|
|Day 12 Shigatse to Lhasa||3,650m/11,976ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 13 Final departure||-|
We arrive in Lhasa either from a direct flight from Nepal or via mainland China. If we decide to fly from Nepal, then we get to enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. If we choose to go to Lhasa via mainland China, we may fly from any of the major Chinese cities or take the world’s highest train route to Lhasa. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up either from the airport or the train station for about an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace 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 and houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundred. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
After breakfast, we embark on a pleasant drive to Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet via Gyantse. We drive past Khamba La (4,794m) pass and savor the enthralling views of Yomdrok-Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the Holy Lakes in Tibet and Mt. Nazin Kang Sa (7,252m). Further to the west, we come across another pass, Karo La (5,045m) and take in amazing views of the majestic glaciers. Upon reaching Gyantse, we visit the Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong(Fortress), which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. From Gyantse, we continue to Shigatse enjoying a captivating mountain landscape along the way. Overnight in Shigatse.
After breakfast we travel to Saga via Lhatse and along the Brahmaputra River. We stop for a while at Lhatse which is considered as one of the best counties of Shigatse and enjoy the beautiful landscape. Overnight in Saga.
We travel to Saga enjoying the beautiful snow-covered peaks and the Tibetan plateau. We cross several rivers and drive past Mayum La Pass at 4600m. Today is also the day we reach the beautiful Manasarover Lake. Shrouded in myth and legends, Mansarover Lake is located at the southern foot of Mount Kailash and extremely beautiful with the image of snow-capped mountains in its crystal-clear waters.
We take a Kora around the Manasarovar Lake which is a sacred circuit following the edge of the lake Manasarovar which displays brilliant color at the height of 4560m. After completing the kora, we head for Darchen which is located at the foot of the sacred Mt. Kailash. Overnight in Darchen.
Kailash Kora is an exciting 3-day trek around the sacred Mt. Kailash (6714m/22156ft). We will circle around the mountain in the following three days to appreciate its beautiful scenery, explore its historical sites and experience the mountain’s religious significance. We drive up to Tarboche and trek up to Diraphuk Gompa. We continue walking for a few kilometers before ascending to a cairn from where the southern face of Mt. Kailash comes into view.
Today is the second day of our three-day Kora and the toughest part of our journey. We continue the trek around Mt. Kailash and cross Dolma La pass (5604m) which is the highest point of the Kora. We can do a short prayer at Dolma la. Today we also visit the Gauri Kunda which is an important place for the Hindu pilgrims.
We cover around 10km distance and end our Kora around Mt. Kailash today. After the completion of Kora, we drive to Darchen and pick participants who did not complete the Kora. From Darchen we drive to Saga to spend the night. Overnight in Saga.
From saga we travel to Shigatse via Latse. Our trail will be along the Tsangpo River in a region crisscrossed by the upper Brahmaputra and its tributaries. Upon reaching Shigatse we freshen up and later visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery which was founded by Pachen Lama in 1447. Overnight in Shigatse.
After breakfast, we drive towards Lhasa. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. After the tour we continue to Lhasa. On the way, we come across the Karo La Pass (5,045m). Before reaching Lhasa, we also cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief halt to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Overnight in Lhasa.
Our journey on Tibet also known as the “Roof of the World” ends today. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport or the train station for our next journey.
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Breakfast (only) will be served in Lhasa and Shigatse. Therefore, it is better to set aside a food budget for breakfast in the rest of the places and for lunch and dinner.
We will be staying at Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa, Gesar Hotel in Shigatse and tea houses in Saga, Manasarovar and during the Kailash Kora. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 550.
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We were five women in a group and our travel started in Khatmandu/Nepal in july 2007. Mr. Naba from Himalayan Glacier agency (www.himalayanglacier.com) organised for us three weeks tour in Tibet.From Hotel Encounter (nice hotel very near Thamel) the agency arranged for us drive to the border place Kodari, then with a help of Nepali guide we crossed the border and soon we met our Tibetan guide Mr. Chiwang and two jeep drivers.
In Zanghmu, the first town in Tibet, we changed some money and late in the night came to Nyalam (3700 m), where we slept in a very clean and nice rooms.Our next stop was Tingri and on the way to there we crossed the pass Torong La (5200 m). The landscape was inspite of bad weather magic. In Tingri we learned that the road to the Everest Base Camp is very bad because of raining, so we changed the plan and continued our travel to Lhatse and Sakya. We stopped in Sakya for a visit an old monastery and then we drove further to Shigatse. We stayed over night in the Tibetan Farmers Hotel. Shigatse is a nice town with impressive Tashilumpo Monastery, interesting Summer Palace and peaceful park with old chortens.In Gyantse was our next stop. First we visited the old castle, from where is nice view to the old and new part of town. The old town spreads till very high stupa (32,4 m) with 108 cells countaining venerable mural paintings. After quite long drive we reached Lhasa, the capital town of Tibet. Here we stayed five nights in the Hotel Pata on Barkhor Square. In the surroundings of the hotel is Jokhang, the most sacred temple in Tibet and Potala Temple, the most impressive building in Lhasa. We visited also Norbulinka “ The Dalailamas Summer Palace, the Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and one day we spent in Ganden Monastery, located about 45 km east of Lhasa.But our main wish was circling around Kailash and before that visiting the highest monastery in the world “ Rongbuk and Everest Base Camp. When we returned to Tingri, the weather was again very bad, the road wet and muddy, but anyway we drove to EBC and also saw the top of the Mount Everest in the moment when clouds ran away. This was something special. I got a feeling that the top of the mountain is touching the sky.On the way back to Tingri, we had some car damages, but this was nothing serious. After lunch in Tingri we drove in the direction to Saga. On the way we had heavy raining and after crossing Qomolangma Natural Protection Area, we sticked on a bank of the river. The water was too high for crossing. It was already late in the afternoon, so the only possibility was to spent night in the jeeps.Next morning the river was only narrow stream, so we could continued drive to Saga and the same day we reached Zongba. We slept there in a quite bad hotel (Yak Hotel), but it was the best in the village.The weather became better and the landscape more and more beautiful. We drove toward Darchen, the village from where we started our three days walk around Kailash. First we reached Lake Manasarovar. It was turquoise and sparkled in the sunset From there we saw Mount Kailash, the centre of the universe for Hindus, Budhist and Jains. The view was magnificant.
We overnight in Darchen, our guide arranged the porters for our luggage and next morning we started our pilgrimage. First day we walked only three hours till Drira Phuk Monastery. The place is located in a nice valley precisely opposite Mount Kailash.
The weather was clear these day, so the view was remarkable. We slept in a dormitory near the monastery.Next day we were walking cross the Drolma La (5636 m) to the Zutrul Phuk. These was long walking day ( 8 hours ), but very nice. Zutrul Phuk is a place with small monastery and also with small dormitory. We spent night there and next morning we had only two and half hours back to Darchen. The circle was completed. I was happy and sad in the same time. Happy because I fulfilled my long wish and sad because I knew that I should soon say goodby to this beautil country.Anyway we spent another two days near Manasarovar lake and this was fantastic again. The lake and the surrounding is beautiful. West of Manasarovar is Lake Raksas. Between two lakes is a channel known as Ganga Chu. We slept in the Guest house very near the lake and only a half kilometer from village Chiu with monastery and nice chortens on the hill. If I will have chance to come in Tibet again, I would like to trek around the lake.After two wonderful days near Manasarovar Lake, we started drive back toward to Paryang, Saga, Zangmu and the fouth day we came back to Khatmandu.I can say, that we spent really nice weeks in Tibet. I realised, that travelling in Tibet can enrich ones personality, but one must be prepare on this country physicaly and even more psychicly.I am thankful to Mr. Chiwang, our guide, and our jeep drivers for their help and patience. And of course to Mr. Naba from Himalayan Glacier Agency for arranging us this travel.
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