The tour takes place on a significant highway connecting Tibet and Xinjiang. The trip gives you the experience of a unique culture and diverse scenery. It is one of the most challenging roads in Tibet with several highest elevations throughout the route. The average height of the highway is above 4500 meters.
This 16 Days' trip from Tibet to Xinjiang begins with a guided sightseeing tour of Lhasa, followed by the trip to the second-largest city of Tibet, Shigatse. Then, we head to Yamdro Tso, a gorgeous lake. Eventually, we will visit lake Mansarovar, Mt. Kailash. At Mt. Kailash, we will engage in a holy walk, Kora, that lasts for three days. After completing Kora, we visit places like Zanda, Dahongliutan, Yecheng, with the trip ending at Kashgar, the largest oasis in China.
Explore the sunlight city Lhasa, with its famous attractions including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera and Drepung
Travel overland the ancient route from the holy city of Lhasa to the desert oasis of Kashgar
Walk on the sandy shores of holy Lake Mansarovar, or just relish the beauty of the turquoise water with snowcapped peaks in the background
Do kora with other pilgrims around the sacred Mt. Kailash
Experience the nomadic lifestyle
Marvel at the turquoise blue waters of Yamdrok-Tso, one of Tibet's most holy lakes
Follow monks around the Barkhor street
- All necessary permits to Tibet according to the itinerary
- Meals as specified in the itinerary
- All entrance ticket fees for the sites listed in the itinerary
- Ground transfer in a private vehicle
- Experienced English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide shared in your group
- Hotel Accommodations, twin sharing room
- All Service Charge & Government Taxes
- Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant when group members meet in Lhasa
- Airport Transfer to and from Lhasa
- Tibet Handy Map
- Drinking water during the trip
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
- International flight
- Domestic flight or train to and out of Lhasa
- Lunches and dinners
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone calls, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid alcoholic drinks during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.
Arrival at Lhasa
After you arrive at Lhasa, our airport representative will pick you up at the airport/station and escort you to your hotel. On the way to Lhasa, you will get some beautiful views of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, also known as the Brahmaputra river (the largest river in Tibet) and the Lhasa River. After arriving at your hotel in Lhasa, check into the hotel, and you can simply relax. If you want, you can go on a sightseeing tour around Potala Palace. This is the winter palace of Dalai Lama. Here, you can enjoy the fountain with different colors and get amazing photos of the Potala and around. It is essential to get proper rest in Lhasa. The high altitude of the environment makes newcomers prone to altitude sickness. So, having a good sleep is a great way to prevent altitude sickness.
Sightseeing in Lhasa
After breakfast, we will begin the sightseeing trip to Lhasa. Firstly, we will visit the grand Potala Palace. Here, you can explore the majestic chapels see the jeweled burial Chorten of past Dalai Lamas as well as sculpture, frescoes, and paintings. Later, we visit the famous Jokhang Temple, the most sacred temple of Tibet. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims from all around the world to worship the magnificent image of Sakyamuni at 12 years old, housed here. Then, we walk around the Barkhor street. Barkhor Street is a famous road that encircles the Jokhang. Barkhor street is also a renowned market place. Here, we can find some handicrafts, ambers, jewelry, Tibetan clothes, etc.
Today, we will explore two of the largest monasteries in Tibet; Drepung and Sera Monastery. Jamyang Choeje founded the Drepung monastery in 1416. The monastery stands at the base of a mountain. Two different colleges separate the monastery; Drepung loselling and Drepung Gomang college.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Sera monastery. Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje founded the Sera monastery in 1419. Sera' jhe' and Sera' may' are two monasteries that divide the whole monastery. All the monks from these colleges assemble at' Tsokhang chenmo' and pray together. The monks' debate at Sera monastery is also very famous. The debate starts around 3 pm in the courtyard and lasts for a couple of hours. If you like, you can do kora around the Drepung and Sera monastery. After finishing the tour, we will return to the hotel to prepare for the next days' trip.
Drive to Shigatse via Yamdro Tso
Departing from Lhasa, today, we drive towards Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. On the way to Shigatse, we move past Kangpa La at the height of 4700m. In the clear weather, you can get spectacular views of Yamdrotso lake in a fabulous shade of deep turquoise from the top of the Kangra La. Driving for a few kilometers from the shore of Yamdro-Tso, we reach the Nangartse county, the largest town in the lakeside. Then, we head out from Yamdrok-Tso towards Gyantse city. On the route, we have to pass the Karo La while enjoying the beautiful roadside views of the Nanchan- Kangtsang glacier. In Gyantse, we will visit the Kubum monastery, the town's chief attraction. It's fascinating to see the 35m-high Chorten(stupa) with trimmed white layers and decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome. After witnessing the imposing monastery, we drive to Shigatse.
Drive to Saga County
From Shigatse, we take the western Tibet road to reach Saga. Though today's drive is quite long, the recently paved road will help to reach Saga a lot faster and safer.
Saga to Lake Mansarovar
From Saga, we move towards the Drongpa County, the region around the sources of Brahmaputra River. The county is about 16km from the Saga. Then, we will reach the highway with few guesthouses with necessary facilities, restaurants, and a small monastery called "old Drongpa." Around the monastery, you can see a pile of yak heads carved with "sutras" and "mantras" like "OM MA NI PAD MEY HUM," which is the mantra of a god of compassion. New Drongpa is a small village with few shops, hotels, and restaurants is about 25km apart from the old Drongpa. From here, we head towards the Baryang with a height of 4750m. Then, we drive to the Mansarovar lake.
Tour Mansarovar Lake, then move to Darchen
Today, we enjoy strolling around the lakeshore and immerse in the natural beauty of the lake. In the summer, flocks of swans gather on the lake, making lake even livelier. You can also see many Tibetans and Hindus praying and doing Kora around the lakeshore for the whole day. You can also get a mesmerizing view of snowcapped peaks in the background. After enjoying the tranquil environment of the mesmerizing lake, we head towards Darchen.
Day Eight :
Kora day one- Darchen to Drirapuk
The pilgrims undertake a 52kilometers trekking circuit around Mount Kailash that begins from Darchen. Darchen is both starting and ending points for the general course of this holy peak. A few kilometers from Darchen, we will meet the trekking crews at a valley called "sarshung." After walking for around two hours, we reach a grassy plain with a nomad's settlement. You can rest here for a bit on the nomadic tent while drinking some soft drinks. From here, we still have to walk for around two hours to reach Drirapuk. Today, we wither stay in a tent or monastery's guest house. The guest house has better facilities than others in Drirapuk. You can see a small monastery with a guest house on the opposite side of Drirapuk.
Kora day two – Drirapuk to Dzultripuk
The second day of the trek is the most challenging among the three days. The trail is most strenuous around Dolma La pass, which lies 6.4km ahead but 762m above Drirapuk. The peak of Dolma La Pass is about 5630m, and we can get enchanting views of sunrise from here. So, we begin the trek early in the morning. So, we stay at the peak while enjoying the view from the pass. Then, we descend to Lhachu valley. The drop takes about an hour from the pass. From here, we still have to trek for four hours to reach today's destination. Walking on the right side of the river, we finally reach Dzultripuk (miracle cave of Milarepa). The number of rooms in Dzultripuk is minimal, so we have to get there early if you want to stay in the room. After reaching Dzultripuk, rest in your room as we should trek in a bit challenging path the next day.
Kora day three – Dzultripuk to Darchen
This is the final day of the Kora around Mt. Kailash. Today, we will visit various caves, temples, and shrines. The walk today is relatively more comfortable, and we can exit the valley within three hours. After we exit the canyon, there will be a vehicle waiting for us. We take the vehicle and drive back to Darchen.
Darchen to Zanda
Today morning, we drive for about eight hours to reach Zanda. After driving through winding trails for several hours through beautifully eroded gorges and gullies, we enter wider Sutlej Valley. Then, we cross the bridge to reach the Zanda. The town is also known as the Guge Kingdom. Here, we visit the Toling monastery, founded by Richen zangpo in the 10th century. The monastery was once Ngari's most important monastic complex. The influence of Richen Zangpo made Toling the main religious center of the Guge kingdom after inviting the great Indian master ATISHA. The kings of GUGE replaced the city as a political center of power by establishing capital slightly closer to the Indo-Tibetan trade routes. But the monastery remains an essential cultural heritage of Ngari.
Zanda to Pangong Tso
Departing from Zanda, we head towards Pangong Tso. On the way, we get to enjoy the varied landscape. After driving for a few hours, we reach Ali, the capital of Ngari prefecture, which provides an excellent place for meditation. Indus river flows through this region, originating from Mt. Kailash to flow towards Pakistan. It is a modern city with a central administration, business, and shopping district. Then, we continue the tour to Pangong Tso Lake. Here, we can visit the mysterious lake Pangong Tso. The lake's one part lies inside the Tibetan area while other parts are lying in the Indian Territory.
Pangong Tso to Dorma to Dahongliutan
Today, we depart from Pangong Tso to move towards Dahongliutan. The road from Pangong Tso to Dahongliutan is in very rough condition. We move towards north from Pangong Tso. Then, the way from Dolma becomes even more difficult. Soon, we reach a pass called Tialongtan-la pass with a height of over 5000 meters. From here, we still have to drive for about eight hours to reach Dahongliutan.
Dahongliutan to Yecheng
Today, we have to cover the distance of around 500km to reach Yechen from Dahongliutan. Today's trip duration hugely depends on the weather and the road condition. Along the route, we get to enjoy superb Kunlun mountain ranges on the right side and the Karakorum mountain range on the left side (more close to the Indian border). As we pass by Mazar across the Kunlun mountain range, we continue the journey to Yecheng. The last pass that we cross to reach Yechen is the chiragsaldi pass. From chiragsaldi pass, we drop down towards the Yecheng ravine through Xingjiang. Ye Chen lies at the edge of the Taklamakan, a city with a pretty Bazaar inhabited by Uigur and Han Chinese.
Yecheng to Kashgar
From Yecheng, Kashgar is at a distance of around 250km. Kashgar is the largest oasis in China. The road from Yecheng to Kashgar is very smooth with a black tar road that runs through the edge of Taklamakan desert. The scenery along the route is also excellent, with grey-black rocks and dunes composing the significant features of the landscape of Taklamakan. The Sunday market is one of the major attractions of the region and also one of the largest weekly markets of Asia. Especially in the morning, you can see the highway crowded with full-load donkey trucks carrying vegetables, fruits vendors, children, and women.