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Mt. Kailash Trekking - Most Sacred Tour in Tibet

Trip Length
15 Days
Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse-Everest Base Camp-Lake Manasarovar-Mt. Kailash Kora-Darchen-Paryang-Saga-Gyirong Border
West Tibet
Start - Finish
Drolma La (5630m)
Apr. to Oct.
Trekking Time
18 hours
Tour Map
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Holiest Mountain Kailash in TibetMt. Kailash (6,714m), Asia's most sacred mountain, is located in a high and isolated enclave of West Tibet. Mt Kailash is their soul-mountain. To Buddhist believers, it is the abode of Demchok, the wrathful manifestation of Buddha Sakyamuni. For Hindus, Kailash is at the center of the universe. Four major rivers of Tibet, India, and Nepal have their sources near Kailash.

Trekking around Mt. Kailash once in the Year of Horse is equal to 13 koras, which will enrich good Karma 12 times and purge Souls of Sin 12 times.

3 days' Kailash trek tour is a 53km-pilgrim-path around Mt. Kailash. It begins and ends Darchen, a small settlement at the mountain's south base. Three days is perhaps the minimum time required to walk leisurely around the mountain, spend two nights in or near Drirapuk and Zutrulpuk monasteries. If conditions permit, try to stay four or five days, which would allow time for short trips to the inner regions of the area.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Fly into Lhasa

Today's Highlights:

Airport Pickup; Rest in the Hotel


Taking the flight into Tibet. Upon your arrival, the local guide will meet you and transfer you to Lhasa. On the way, you can enjoy the heart-beating highland view along the Lhasa River. The rest time is free for relax and adjustment.

Day 2 Lhasa Sightseeing

Potala PalaceToday's Highlights:

Potala Palace; Jokhang Temple


Today, our highlights are Potala Palace and Jokhang temple. The cardinal landmark of Lhasa, Potala Palace, is a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. Potala Palace is a place where you can appreciate the Tibetan culture, religion and art of architecture as well.

Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple to pray for their now and future. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Around the temple is the Barkhor Street, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet. We can have a visit after the Jokhang visit. Out there, we can visit a handcraft product store.

Day 3 Lhasa Sightseeing

Drak YerpaToday's Highlights:

Drak Yerpa; Sera Monastery


Drak Yerpa: This morning, our tour begins with a 20km-drive out of Lhasa to one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet, the Drak Yerpa hermitage. In old times, some ascetics and kings have sojourned here for meditation. Among them, the most famous ones are Guru Rinpoche, Atisha, Lhalung and King Songtsen Gampo. Here we could visit some meditation caves once used by those famous figures, like Lhalung-puk (monk Lhalung), Dawa-puk (Guru Rinpoche) and Chogyal-puk (Songtsen Gampo).

Sera is one of the greatest Gelugpa monasteries. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, It was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Choje, one of the eight disciples of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect, covering an area of 114,964 square meters. The structure is imposing, picturesque in disorder, and splendid in green and gold. It is a typical Tibetan architecture. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.

Day 4 Lhasa to Shigatse

Yamdroktso LakeToday's Highlights:

Drive to Shigatse; Yamdroktso Lake; Palkhor Monastery;


Today we will drive to Shigatse. Make a tour to Yamdroktso Lake on the way. Yamdroktso Lake is a coiling, many-armed body of water shaped like a scorpion. It doubles back on itself on the western side, effectively creating a large island within its reaches. For Tibetans, it is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet.

Also, we will go for the tour of Palkhor monastery, built in the 15th century, is situated in the west of Gyantse Town with mountains enclosing form three sides of the east, west and north. Its uniqueness is that its three sects of Buddism-Shaja, Ningma, and Guolu stayed harmoniously under one roof. We will stay in Shigatse tonight.

Day 5 Shigatse to Shegar

Tashilhunpo Monastery in ShigatseToday's Highlights:

Tashilhunpo Monastery; Free Market; Drive to Shegar


After today's visits to Tashilhunpo monastery and the local free market in Shigatse, we are heading to the town of Shegar, we might call it the gateway to Mt. Everest area. On the way, you are going to pass two high mountains named Gyula and Gyatsola.

Day 6 Shegar to Mt. Everest base camp to Lhatse

Mt.EverestToday's Highlights:

Mt. Everest Base Camp; Back to Lhatse


Transfer to Mt. Everest Base Camp En route, visit Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery across the world, then appreciate the beautiful views in the base camp and drive back to Lhatse for overnight

Day 7 Lhatse to Saga

Pilgrims do kora around Mt. KailashToday's Highlights:

Drive to Saga and Paryang


Today we drive to Saga, en route visit the stunning Himalayan views. From Saga, it is 145 km to Zhongba and Paryang. The road is good and the trip can be completed in 4-5 hrs. There is also a small monastery at the western end of town on a hill. From Zhongba onwards the southern road deteriorates. There is also a danger of vehicles getting stuck. But this section of the road has panoramic views of mountains on either side of the road.

Day 8 Saga to Lake Manasoravar to Darchen

Lake ManasoravarToday's Highlights:

Lake Manasarovar


Saga to Lake Mansarovar is a long drive of 10 hrs or more. There will be several river crossings and we drive past Mayum La Pass (4,600 M). The scenery is stunningly beautiful with panoramic views of the Himalayas.

Appreciate the holy lake and its beautiful surrounding landscapes, then drive to Darchen. About 30 km north of Lake Manasoravar is Darchen, the main gateway, and the village. The monastery at Darchen, Darchen Gon, is a part of the Drukpa sect. The two-story monastery structure in the center of the town serves as a trading post and shelter for pilgrims. While beginning their kora pilgrimage around Kailash, many pilgrims often circumambulate the Darchen Gon Monastery and the Mani Lhakhang before setting out.

3 Days' Pilgrimage of Mt. Kailash Kora

Today's Highlights:

Starting pilgrimage of three days' kora around holy mountain Kailash


Mt. Kailash kora covers 53 km and can be done in 3 days.

Time Chart

Day     Places to Trek     Trekking Time   Distance  Ascent    Descent
 1     Darchen-Dirapuk       6 hours           20km     200m
 2          Zutrulpuk           8 hours           18km     550m      600m
 3           Darchen          3-4 hours         14km                    150m

Day 9 Darchen to Dirapuk monastery 10 hours/ 20km/ 200m ascent

Mt. Kailash KoraToday's Highlights:

Trekking to Dirapuk Monastery


We head west in clockwise direction. Only 4 kilometers from Darchen the trail climbs up over the southwest end of the ridge to reach a cairn (4,730m). Then, the trail bends around to the north to the Tarboche flagpole. The flagpole is replaced each year at the Saga Dawa festival. After passing the Lha-Chu valley, we arrive in Chuku monastery where we can have a break. Another 3 hours trek along the river, we hit our first day's stop, the Dirapuk monastery. O/N: Camp.

Day 10 Diraphuk to Zutulpuk monastery 6-7 hours/ 18km/ 550m ascent/ 600m descent

Mt. KailashToday's Highlights:

Trekking to Zutulpuk Monastery


Trek along Drolma Chu and reach the Jarok Donkhang (5,210m). A little while, Shiva-tsal (5,330m) comes in front. It is a rocky expanse dotted with stone cairns draped with items of clothing. Our next challenge is to get over Drolma La Pass (5,630m), the highest point of the entire kora, where you can look south for your last glimpse of the north face of Kailash. After the ascent, we are experiencing a steep descent. Almost immediately, Gauri Kund Lake comes into view. Finally, after a long valley and river, we reach our second day's stop, the Zutulpuk monastery. O/N: Camp.

Day 11 Zutulpuk to Darchen 3-4 hours/ 14km/ 150m descent

Mountain Kailash TrekkingToday's Highlights:

End the kora at Darchen


The final day's walk begins with the easy stroll down to where the river emerges onto the plain. The valley narrows and the prayer flags fluttering across the river. There is a rough road from here back to Darchen and it's less than an hour's walk, passing many mani walls embellished with yak skulls. Finally, our kora ends up at Darchen.

Day 12 Darchen to Paryang to Saga

Today's Highlights:

Back to Saga via Paryang


After breakfast, drive back to Saga via Paryang for an overnight stay.

Day 13 Saga to Shigatse

Today's Highlights:

Back to Shigatse


After breakfast, drive back to Shigatse to have a good rest.

Day 14 Shigatse to Lhasa

Today's Highlights:

Back to Lhasa


After breakfast, drive back to Lhasa along the river Brahmaputra.

Day 15 Say goodbye to Tibet

Today's Highlights:

Tour ends


After breakfast transfer to the airport or railway station and say goodbye to the memorable tour in Tibet.

Optional Tour: Cross Border Gyirong-Rasuwa to Kathmandu, Nepal

Optional tour arrangement is available for tourists who plan to visit Nepal after the trip in Tibet. To exit Tibet via Tibet-Nepal border, we will see you off at the Gyirong Border of Tibet side, and you go through China customs to move ahead to Kathmandu.

Tour itinerary from the Day 11 will be done with a small detour like following, with one extra destination Gyirong Valley, which is considered the most beautiful green valley at the foot of of Himalaya Mountain Range.

Tips for Mt. Kailash Trek or Pilgrimage & Manasarovar Yatra

1. The conditions of hotel/guesthouse are rather poor, having a good tent for camping;
2. Bring enough food for three days if you don't have a cook;
3. Don't bring too much luggage, an easy walk is necessary;
4. Don't move too fast when ascending, especially on day 2;
5. Start early every day and have more rests;
6. Drink lots of water before departure;
7. No alcohol;
8. Avoid catching a cold and bring some medicine;
9. Most important is taking it easy;
10. Cold in the night, bring enough clothes to keep warm;
11. Heavy sunshine in the daytime, bring sunglasses and sunblock. If necessary, bring a walking stick.

Small Group Tour to Mt. Kailash - Fixed Departure Date 2020

Departure Months
Departure Days
Departure Days
Departure Days
Departure Days
Departure Days
/ / / / /
/ / / / /
18 22
24 28
03 10 15 18
/ /
/ / / /

Price Quotation

Seasons to Travel Tour Cost in USD Tour Cost in RMB Single Supplement in USD Single Supplement in RMB
Off Season of December, January, February / / / /
Shoulder Season of April, May, November USD1,780 RMB11,300 USD150 RMB950
Busy Season of June, September, October USD1,950 RMB12,300 USD166 RMB1,050
Peak Season of July, August USD1,980 RMB12,500 USD183 RMB1,150

1. Prices listed above are for per person, based on double occupancy.
2. The tour cost exchange rate in the chart is about 1:6.3 which is subject to change.
3. Deposit is 150USD per person for booking the tour, we accept wire transfer, PayPal or Western Union etc.
4. Contact Us Directly to Get Discount for Early Booking

Price Includes:
1. Airport transfer: The free airport pick-up is at 09:30 am, 01:30 pm and 04:30 pm respectively from the airport to Lhasa and from Lhasa to the airport is at 06:30 am, 08:30 am, and 12:30 pm. If your flight time cannot be matched with our free pickup/drop-off service, we would provide you with the private airport transfer with extra charges.


Cost per Car (in USD)

Cost per Car (in CNY)
Single Way between Lhasa and Airport USD60 CNY400

Single way between Lhasa and Train Station

USD40 CNY250

2. All necessary Tibet Travel Permits
3. Accommodation: 3-star standard hotels in cities and guesthouses (dorm-bed) in remote regions
4. Local Tibetan English-speaking tour guide 
5. Meals: breakfasts provided by hotels and one welcome dinner upon arrival
6. Different vehicle type according to different group size.
7. Administration and conservation fees of Mt. Everest and Mt. Kailash areas
8. Bottled oxygen for emergency use
9. Travel insurance (insured amount US$15,000/p.p.)

Price Excludes:
1. Cost of Yaks and Porters during trekking period, if needed, please pay the service fees on site 
2. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities 
3. Extra expenses incurred due to unexpected natural events (delays, road washouts, etc.)
4. Lunches and dinners and breakfasts no provided by guesthouses 
5. Gratuities: gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
6. Border transfer from Gyirong to Kathmandu, Nepal

Your Control on This Tour

Are you interested in this tour? Want to customize your unique trip? Send us an online enquiry and you will receive your personal travel advisor's reply within 12 hours.

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