Lhasa to Mt Kailash

Lhasa to Mt Kailash 21 Days / 20 Nights


Trip Type:
West Tibet and Mt.Kailash

Maximum Altitude:

21 Days

Trip Starts:

Trip Ends:

Hotels, guesthouse and tented camps.

Best Time For Travel:
Late May to Mid October

Trip Over View

We spend three nights in Lhasa - a Buddhist Capital. We will visit the famous Potala Palace, the Jokhang, great monasteries and walk through the bustling Barkor market before taking a drive towards Manasorvar. We drive through central Tibet via Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake) and visit the cultural and religious centers of Gyantse and Shigatse.

Potala Palaca in Lhasa, Tibet

We then drive across the wide-open spaces of the Tibetan Plateau to Lake Manasarovar. At Lake Manasarovara, you will have an extra day to explore the shores of the holy Lake. Religious travelers will perform rituals and meditate at the lakeside. We complete the parikrama or the circumambulation trek in 4 days, unlike other regular trekkers who complete it in 3 days. From there, we re-cross the vast arid plains before heading south to the Nepalese border and returning to Kathmandu.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Flight to Lhasa (3595m).

Day 02-03: At Lhasa.

Day 04: Drive to Gyantse ( 3950m, 260km, 6hrs).

Day 05: Drive to Shigatse (3900m, 90km, 2hrs).

Day 06: Drive to Lhatse (4050m, 150km, 5hrs).

Day 07: Drive to Saga (4600m, 306km, 7-8hrs).

Day 08: Drive to Paryang (4750m, 250 km, 8hrs).

Day 09: To Lake Manasarovara (4560m, 260KMS, 8hrs).

Day 10: An extra day in the Lake Manasarovara.

Day 11: To Darchen (4560m, 30km).

Day 12: Commence the Circumambulation Trek (6hrs).

Day 13: At Driraphuk Gompa.

Day 14: Trek to Zuthulphuk Gompa (4790, 6hrs).

Day 15: Finish trek and drive to Tirthapuri.

Day 16: Drive to the Lake Manasarovara.

Day 17-18: Back track to Saga.

Day 19: To Nyalam.

Day 20: Drive to Kathmandu.

Day 21: Service ends.

Day 01: Flight to Lhasa (3595m)
Meet the guide at the airport and transfer to hotel. Take a rest for acclimatization. Overnight in hotel Dhod Gu or similar.

Day 02-03: At Lhasa
Visit the highlights of Lhasa, including Potala Palace, Jorkhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung and Sera Monasteries. Overnight in Hotel Dhod Gu or similar.

Day 04: Drive to Gyantse ( 3950m, 260km, 6hrs)
Drive to the Tibetan town of Gyantse via the Southern Friendship Highway. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Himalayas from Kamba La (4,704m) and Karo La (5,045m). The road runs more than 40 miles along the bank of beautiful Yamdrok Tso Lake, the most scenic part of this trip. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05: Drive to Shigatse (3900m, 90km, 2hrs)
After breakfast, visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum Stupa then drive to Shigatse-the second largest city of Tibet. Visit Shalu Monastery which is about 20km before Shigatse and about 4 km off the highway. Upon arrival in Shigatse, check in to the hotel and visit Tashilunbo Monastery - the principal seat of Panchen Lama. Overnight at Manasarovara Hotel.

Day 06: Drive to Lhatse (4050m, 150km, 5hrs)
Drive to Lhatse via a couple of gentle mountain passes. About 24km before Lhatse, take the Sakya turn off. Sakya Monastery is the principal seat of the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism that once ruled Tibet, prior to the emergence of powerful Gelugpa Sect in 17th century. Overnight in Lhatse farmer’s hotel.

Day 07: Drive to Saga (4600m, 306km, 7-8hrs)
A few kilometres beyond Lhatse, we cross the Brahmaputra River and after crossing, the road enters a river valley with scattered villages. This is a beautiful area for photographs. We continue on, past the turn-off for the northern route, and arrive at Saga, having covered 306km for the day. Today, you will meet Nepali crews and enjoy the hot meal prepared by them for dinner.

Day 08: Drive to Paryang (4750m, 250km, 8hrs)
From Saga it is 145 km to Zhongba. The road is good and the trip can be completed in 4-5 hrs. From Zhongba onwards the southern road condition deteriorates but you are well compensated with the panoramic views of mountains on either side of the road. Overnight in camp.

Day 09: To Lake Manasarovara (4560m, 260KMS, 8hrs)
There will be several river crossings, so we use the bridges and we will drive past Mayum La (4600 m). The scenery is stunningly beautiful with panoramic views of the Himalayas. Overnight in camp.

Day 10: An extra day in the Lake Manasarovara
Explore the shores of Lake Manasarovara. Visit Chiu Gompa and take a sulfur hot spring bath. Overnight in a guesthouse.

Day 11: To Darchen (4560m, 30km)
It’s a short drive to Darchen for the trail head and finish point. Take your time and visit the monastery at Darchen while the crews assemble gear, arrange yaks, buy the fresh produce and so forth. Overnight in a guesthouse.

Day 12: Commence the Circumambulation Trek (6hrs)
This Kailash circuit covers 53 kms and can be done in 3 days. We head west in clockwise direction and after a few kilometers the trail climbs up to a cairn at 4730 m from where the southern face of Mt. Kailash comes in to view. Overnight in camp nearby Driraphuk Gompa.

Day 13: At Driraphuk Gompa
Take an extra day in the Driraphuk Gompa for proper acclimatization. Explore the area. Pilgrims perform rituals and meditate here. Overnight in camp.

Day 14: Trek to Zuthulphuk Gompa (4790, 6hrs)
Today we cross Drolma la pass (5630 M) and Gauri Kund Lake (5608 m) where Hindus worship and immerse themselves in the icy waters of the lake. Overnight in camp.

Day 15: Finish trek and drive to Tirthapuri
The final end of the parikrama is an easy 2-3 hrs walk down to where the river emerges on to the Barga plain. We complete the circuit trek of Mt. Kailash and drive to Tirthapuri Hot springs. For pilgrims, Tirthapuri visit is a part of the Mount Kailash pilgrimage and considered incomplete if you skip it.

Day 16: Drive to the Lake Manasarovara
If you still have stamina, take the Tirthapuri Kora or drive to Lake Manasarovara and take a rest.

Day 17-18: Back track to Saga

Day 19: To Nyalam
Drive back and re-join the Friendship Highway near Tong La (5,120m). Cross the pass and descend to Nyalam, the last Tibetan town. Overnight in a guesthouse.

Day 20: Drive to Kathmandu
Drive to Zhangmu where you complete Chinese immigration/custom formalities and exit Tibet. Hop on Nepali transport and drive to Kathmandu. Overnight in hotel.

Day 21: Service ends.

  • Includes

    • Middle range hotel in Lhasa and top end hotels in Gyantse and Shigatse, guesthouses in Lhatse, Lake Manasarovara, Darchen and Nyalam.
    • Breakfast in Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Lhasa and rest of the places 3 meals a day prepared by Nepali crews.
    • Tibet entry permits.
    • All transfers and sightseeing by 4WD Toyota Land cruiser Jeep.
    • Supporting truck for gears and supplies.
    • English speaking Tibetan Guide and drivers.
    • Nepali Sherpa crews for camping and meal arrangement.
    • All camping and kitchen gears. Camping gear includes 2 persons share tent, dinning tent, kitchen tent, dinning tables and chairs, toilet tent.
    • Portable Pressure Chamber Bag (Gamow bag).
    • Oxygen cylinder.
    • First Aid Kit.


    • International airfare and internal airfares (Kathmandu-Lhasa US$ 316, Chengdu-Lhasa US$ 210, Beijing-Lhasa US$ 340).
    • Chinese visa fee ( US$ 65 ).
    • Lunch and dinner during hotel stays.
    • Drinks, tip and other expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tip, phone, laundry etc.
    • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, illness, road bloackade, epidemic, civil unrest etc. 
    • Personal clothing and trekking gears.
    • Travel Insurance.