Day 1 |Arrive in Lhasa
Welcome to 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.
Day 2 | In Lahasa for acclimatization
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.
Day 3 | In Lahasa for acclimatization
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. Afterwards visit Norbulinka, the 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.
Day 4 | Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse ( 356 km / 7 Hrs )
Drive to Gyantse. On the Kamba La (4796 m) have a fantastic view of the holy lake Yamdrok (4,441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. On arriving, visit Pelkor Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both of them built in the 15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse. This typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the only one large building complex in Tibet that old monastery and stupas are completely preserved and characterized as a monument. It is recorded 14,000 kilograms of copper was used to make the 8-meter-high sitting statue of Sakyamuni Buddha housed in the grand hall of the temple. The 8-storey stupa is 42m high and 62m in diameters contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world. Afterwards drive about 90 kilometers to Shigatse (3880m), the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang.
Day 5 | Shigatse – Shegar – Rongbuk / Everest BC ( 334 Kms / 6 Hrs )
In the morning visit the Tashilunpo, “Mountain of Happiness”. Tashilunpo is also one of the six major temples of the Gelug Sect. Shigatse is the seat of the Pantschen Lama. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in China. Then drive to Shegar, crossing the paths to Yalung La (4.520 m) and Gyathso La (5.220 m). Continue (90 km, 2 hours) to the Rongbuk Monastery (5,154 m) and the Everest Base Camp, where you can see the steep north side of Qomolangma. On the way at Pang La (5150 m), the view is magnificent: from left to right are Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse and Cho Oyu. Rongbuk is the largest monastery in this region and was built at the beginning of the 20th century. You can also admire the spectacular sunset on Everest (Qomolangma) in good weather.
Day 6 | Rongbuk – Paiku Tso – Saga ( 473 Kms / 10 Hrs approx )
Today you will wake up early to have a clear view of the unforgettable sunrise over Qomolangma (Everest). Then drive via Paiku Tso Lake and Xixiabangma Mountain to Saga. Paiku-Tso Lake covers an area 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.
Day 7 | Saga – Paryang – Manasarovar Lake ( 495 Kms / 7 Hrs approx )
Continue along the south route and enjoy beautiful views while visibility is clear. During the south route the Himalayas rising gradually in the north, and the mountains stand side by side. Sometimes, especially on the last stretch of road, kiangs (wild ass) and antelopes can be seen. Drive to Manasarovar lake.
Day 8 | Manasarovar Lake – Darchen ( 49 Kms )
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 Hindus, Manasarovar is a sacred lake. Therefore,Walking around the lake and washing and purifying themselves with the lake became the most important goal of the pilgrims. Short hike and visit at Manasarovar lake. Enjoy the views of the eight monasteries on the shores of the northern Kailash and Manasarovar Lake. Then continue in about 1 hour to Darchen (4,800 m, starting point of the Kailash Circumnavigation).
Day 9 | Trekking to Kailash, about 22 km
Start a 3-day trekking tour of Kailash
The village of Darchen only consists of a few stone houses, which are located about 6 km north of the main road. Accompanied by carriers and yaks, you will start a 3-day tour in Kailash. For Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bon, the mountain is the most sacred place in the world. It is the cosmic axis, the “navel of the world”. Past numerous chorten and Manimauern the path leads into the broad valley 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.
Day 10 | Trekking around Kailash, about 20 km
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 calls it Kund and consider sacred. The total walking time on the second day is 7 to 8 hours.
Day 11 | Trekking around Kailash, about 11 km, drive Darchen – Paryang
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 brings you to Paryang.
Day 12 | Paryang – Saga – Kyirong (Jilong) ( 405 Kms / 7 Hrs approx )
Continue driving via Saga to the Chinese border station Kyirong (Jilong).
Day 13 | Kyirong – Kathmandu ( 185 Kms / 7 Hrs approx )
Driving to the official border crossing of Kyirong China in the morning. Say goodbye to colleagues from Tibet and the colleagues from Nepal are waiting for you at the Nepalese border post. After finish formalities for leaving Nepal, continue driving to Kathmandu.
Day 14 | In Kathmandu
In Kathmandu visit the villages Khokana and Bungmati, where you can experience the daily life of the Nepalese in the countryside. Then visit the city of Patan, which is also known as Lalitpur “City of Art”.
Day 15 | In Kathmandu
Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu: Durbar Square or Hanuman Dhoka Palace. When the weather is nice you can enjoy a good view over the Kathmandu valley. In the afternoon, visit the Bagmati River’s Pashupatinath Temple, the most famous temple of Indian religion. About 2 km away is Bouddhanath, the largest stupa of its kind. It locates on the ancient Tibetan trade route.
Day 16 | Departure
On time transfer to airport to board departure flight for home.