TIBET – CENTRAL AND WESTERN TIBET - 10 Days

Trip Facts:

Tour Name : TIBET – CENTRAL AND WESTERN TIBET - 10 Days
Entry / Exit : Fly in / Fly out
Grade : Adventurous
Max Elevation : 5630m/18466Ft.
Accommodation : Hotel/Guest House
Meal : Bed & breakfast
Transport : Flight/ Private vehicle
Tour Days : 10

Trip summary:

The beauty of the 6700-meter high Mount Kailash that looks like a symmetrical cone shaped rock capped by pure crystalline ice is equally venerated as the holiest pilgrimage site by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bön-Po. Tibetans regard this mountain as the manifestation of Mount Meru, “the navel of the earth” where founder of Bon religion, Tonpa Shenrab, is believed to have descended from heaven, Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, Buddhists as the abode of Samvara and Jains as a sacred site where their prophet, Rishaba attained spiritual enlightenment. With its four sheer walls, distinctive snow-capped peak, and valleys interspersed with brightly-clad Tibetan pilgrims, Mount Kailash or Khang Rimpoche (‘precious snow-peak’, as known by the Tibetans) is an awe-inspiring sight.

Four great rivers of Asia: the Karnali, the Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra (Tsangpo) originate from here. A three-day trek (Parikrama or Kora) around Mount Kailash over a 5630 meter Drolma La (pass), clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, and anti-clockwise followers of the ancient Bon religion, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime. To complete the Kailash pilgrimage one should bath in the sacred Lake Manasarovar, stunningly set on the Tibetan plateau bordered by the majestic Gurla Mandata.

The tour begins with a comprehensive trip briefing in Kathmandu followed by a sensational trans Himalayan flight to Lhasa that passes over Mt. Everest and many highest peaks of the world (if you join the tour in Kathmandu). This is the only flight fly over Mt. Everest and other highest peaks. In case you wish to start the tour in Lhasa arriving from anywhere in mainland China or taking a new train from Beijing you will be briefed about the tour by your Tibetan Guide. This is truly the trip of a lifetime with stunning scenery and cultural highlights.

SERVICES INCLUDED:

Twin sharing and dormitory accommodation as per the itinerary on bed & breakfast (BB) basis.
English speaking Tibetan Guide.
Transportation as per the itinerary by necessary vehicle.
Monastery entrance fee.
Tibet Travel permits.
All necessary entrance permits.
Yak and Yak Man
Emergency mineral water in the vehicle.
Emergency portable oxygen cylinder in the vehicle.
Trip briefing by Tibet expert & entertain question.
Trip Information pack.
Gift pack (prayer flag or string of flag & paper prayer Lungtha).
Note: Offer Prayer flag or Lungtha (string of prayer flag) in high passes, temple for good fortune & long life.

SERVICES EXCLUDED:

Tibet Visa Fee (Acceptable in US$ cash only as per the Nationality).
Any Airfare:
Airfare: Lhasa – Ali – Lhasa
Travel insurance.
Expenses during any rescue operation.
Lunch and Dinner
Alcoholic beverages & bar bills.
Hiring personal Yak and Horses during Kora
All expenses of personal nature, phone calls, laundry etc.
Gratuity to staff.
Services not mentioned herein.

Itinerary

Day 01: Fly to Gongkar Airport & drive to Lhasa (3600m/11811ft) 65 km, 1hr:

Your Tibetan guide will be waiting to welcome you at Gongkar Airport. After immigration formalities, you will drive for around 45 minutes to reach the old city, Lhasa (3660 meters). After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest, drink plenty of fluids and most importantly let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. During afternoon you can go around the hotel area for light walk and sightseeing. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)

Day 02: Sightseeing: Jokhang Temple, Norbulinkha Palace, Barkhor Market & Sera Monastery:

After breakfast you will be briefed in detail about the program and entertain last minute questions. Then your guide will take you on a tour to Jokhang Temple, Norbulinkha Palace, and Barkhor Market & Sera Monastery respectively.

Jokhang Temple: This temple is a seventh-century geomantic temple at the heart of Lhasa is the most sacred temple of all Tibet. It is considered to be a Power Place in all Tibet. Queen Bhrikuti, a Nepalese princess married to King Songtsen Gampo founded Jokhang Temple and in recognition of Queen Bhrikuti the main gate of the temple faces west towards Nepal.  The most impressive structure of the Jokhang Temple is the many chapels surrounding the temple.

Norbulinkha Palace: This Palace is also called the “Jewel Park”, is a large open area about four kilometers to the west of Lhasa, and referred to as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Its official name now is the People’s Park. Kelsang Gyatso, the Seventh Dalai Lama, was the first Dalai Lama to make use of this rural park. He came here not only to rest but to bathe in a curative spring to treat his legs. Since the time of the Eight Dalai Lama, the park has been used as a summer palace, retreat and recreation area for the successive Dalai Lamas. Most of the main buildings were constructed during this century by the Thirteenth and the Fourteenth Dalai Lamas. Construction begun under the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso in 1775. It is the first building one encounters in the eastern section of the Norbulinkha is the Kelsang Palace – name after the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso.

Barkhor Market (Bazaar): The most popular Barkhor Market (Bazaar) is a square where Tibetan handicraft items, Buddhist artifacts, carpets, paintings etc. are all in sale for your delight. At the end of the day your guide will escort you back to your hotel. Lhasa offers variety of Restaurant for both Lunch and Dinners.

Sera Monastery: This monastery is approx. 5km drive away from Lhasa. Sera Monastery was founded in 1419. It sits in the prettiest and most charming atmosphere at the base of Mount Purbuchok. Sera Monastery used to be an important center for learning where in the past approx. 5,000 to 6,000 monks resided. Currently about 550 monks are supposed to be living there. The important structures inside the monastery include Coqen Hall, (the main assembly hall), three Zhacangs (Buddhist colleges) and twenty-nine Khangtsens (monk dormitories).The most intriguing feature here is the nine-meter image of Maitraya which was erected in 1419; here one can also witness the practicing of debate among the monks, who pitch their knowledge against each other. 
After detail visit you will drive to hotel. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)

Day 03: Sightseeing Tour of Potala Palace & Drepung Monastery:

After breakfast you will be briefed about the day’s program. Then your guide will take you on a tour to majestic Potala palace & Drepung Monastery respectively.

Potala Palace: This Palace is also known as the “winter palace”. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. It is a 13th storied complex monument rising to a height of above 117m which houses 10,000 shrines and over 200,000 images and about 1000 rooms.As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. Due to tourist traffic, only one hour is allowed to visit Potala Palace.

Drepung Monastery: This Monastery is 8 km west of Lhasa. One of the three great Gelukpa Monasteries near Lhasa, the other two being Sera and Ganden. Until the occupation it served like its two sister monasteries as centre for learning and monastic training to which monks from all over Tibet would come to spend as long as 15 years methodically studying and debating the meaning of the Buddhist scriptures. For centuries it existed as a small monastic township housing thousands of fully ordained monks and other functionaries. It was founded in 1416 by Jam yang Chöje Tahsi Palden, a disciple of Tsong Khapa.
After detail visit you will drive to Hotel. O/N at hotel in Lhasa (BB).

Day 04: Drive to airport for flight to Ali (4274m/14022ft) and drive to Darchen (4560m/14957ft) 280km, 5hrs: ‎

After breakfast, you will drive to airport for flight to Ali. The flight from Lhasa to Ali takes about 2 hrs. After you arrive at Ali, you will drive to Darchen. O/N at Hotel in Darchen (BB)

Day 05: Drive to Tarpoche (50km, 1 hr). Trek to Dirapuk (4900m/16072ft.)

Leaving the lake, we drive for about 50 km towards Tarpoche, the Base Camp of Kailash or the starting point of Kora where we begin our first walk of 6-7 hrs, towards Kailash. Here you meet your team of yaks and Tibetan yak drivers who will escort you around the Kora. Further ahead from Tarpoche, you have to trek past verdant meadows and picturesque streams to Lha Chu Valley. The trail overlooks Turquoise River cascading over a narrow canyon with high steep cliffs. En route, north face of Kailash comes into vision. The trail will approach 13th century monastery of Dirapuk. We spend an overnight in Dirapuk. O/N at Guest House in Dirapuk (BB)

Day 06: Trek Dirapuk to Zutulpuk. Cross Dolmala Pass (4790m/15711ft):

Lha Chu Valley blurs as you turn towards Drolma Chu Valley. Looking forward to the amazing Mount Kailash tour and trek, you ascend to Drolma La (5630m), the highest point of the trip. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion at the summit; you realize that this tough and challenging ascent has indeed been very worthwhile and fruitful. Several prayer flags can be seen at the summit. Further on, the trail descends to the flat fields of Zuthulpuk which houses a monastery and several fascinating caves. The caves at this locale are most popular for meditation; Milarepa’s cave being one of them with Milarepa’s footprints and elbow prints believed to be imprinted all over this cave of Mani stones. After a tough challenging day walk of approximately 10 hrs, we reach Zuthulpuk, our overnight place. O/N at Guest House in Zuthulpuk (BB)

Note: Offer "Lungta" and prayers flag (printed prayers for the peace and good health/happiness) together with your Tibetan Guide. Offering Lungta in high passes and temple is believed to bring good fortune and long life in Tibetan culture.

Day 07: Finish Trek. Drive to Darchen (4560m/14957ft) 30km, ½ hr:

The Last day of Kailash Parikrama / Kora is easy walking on beautiful valley. We will walk for about 4-5 hours to where our vehicle will be waiting for us to drive to Darchen. O/N at Hotel in Darchen (BB)

Day 08: Drive to Ali airport for flight to Lhasa:

After breakfast, you will drive to airport for flight to Lhasa. The flight from Ali to Lhasa takes about 2 hrs. After you arrive at Gongkar airport you will drive to Lhasa. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)

Day 09: Free day in Lhasa:

Today is your free day and last day in Lhasa for shopping and other activities on your own. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB).

Day 10: Tour Concludes (3600m/11811ft) 65 km, 1hr:

After breakfast, your guide will give you a final departure transfer for your next destination. Tour Concludes.