Visit Mt. Kailash in a Week, Is It Possible?

December,25 2019 BY Kham Sang 0 COMMENTS

Normally, around two weeks are required for a trip to Mount Kailash, but for those that are short on time, this trip can be done in a single week. However, there are many things to consider when deciding whether to take one week or two for this epic adventure. so, follower our Tibetan travel gurus’ analysis and find out how you can visit Mt. Kailash in a week and what you should bear in mind for such a special tour plan?

How to plan your Mt. Kailash tour in a week?

If you are thinking of taking just a single week for this trip to the world’s most sacred mountain, then you will need to plan carefully. Making sure that you manage to get to the mountain and are able to trek some in the area is important. And there are many things to consider for this kind of short itinerary.

The sacred Mountain Kailash in Ngari, TibetThe sacred Mountain Kailash in Ngari, Tibet

Suggested 7-Day Mt. Kailash Tour from Lhasa

For this week-long tour to Mount Kailash, we would recommend the following itinerary as a best-option for making sure you get there and back safely. This is the most sensible plan for a week-long trip to Mount Kailash, as it makes sense to be safe at higher altitudes, and does not waste time that you do not have with things you do not want to see. For someone who only has an interest in visiting Mount Kailash, this is the perfect itinerary.

Day 1-3: Sightseeing and acclimatization in Lhasa
After you arrive in Lhasa, you will need to acclimatize to the higher altitude before heading west to reach Mount Kailash. For the first few days, you will spend the time sightseeing and acclimatizing in the Tibetan capital, to allow the body time to adjust.

Visit the ancient Jokhang Temple in LhasaYou can first visit the ancient Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.

During your acclimatization, you will get to visit the iconic Potala Palace, the sacred Jokhang Temple, and some of the many monasteries that lie around the city of Lhasa. You will also be able to explore the famous Barkhor Street, another of Tibet’s most popular pilgrimage destinations.

Day 4: Fly from Lhasa (3,658m) to Ngari Gunsa Airport (4,274m) and transfer to Darchen (4,575m), 3hrs - 200km, 917m ascent
To get to the mountain faster than the normal overland trip, you will need to fly from Lhasa to the Ngari Gunsa Airport. Lying more than 1,250 kilometers from Lhasa, it takes around two hours to reach the airport in western Tibet. There is, however, only one daily flight to Ngari from Lhasa, which departs daily at around 7:30am. The airport lies just outside the town of Shiquanhe, the main town of Ngari Prefecture in western Tibet.

Far view of the holy Mount KailashThe car will drive you to Darchen where you will star the epic treks around the sacred mountain.

From Shiquanhe, you will then be driven the 200 kilometers to Darchen, the small village at the southern foot of Mount Kailash. It is from here that all tourists begin their epic treks around the sacred mountain, and the village lies at an altitude of around 4,575 meters above sea level. The drive normally takes around three hours, so you can be in Darchen just after lunchtime.

Day 5: Acclimatization day in Darchen: enjoy the vista of Mt. Kailash
The fifth day of your trip is actually spent resting and acclimatizing in Darchen, as you have flown and driven to an altitude that is almost 1,000 meters higher than Lhasa. Acclimatizing again is essential here, as you will be heading upwards briefly, but will be spending more than one night at this increased altitude. While there is not much to do in Darchen, the village does have some decent restaurants to eat in, and the views of the southern face of Mount Kailash are spectacular.

Trekking around Mount KailashOur clients are taking a group photo with the holy Mount Kailash

Day 6: Half-day trek from Darchen to Chuku Temple and return to Darchen
Today, you will take a short trek to the famous Chuku Temple, one of the five Tibetan Buddhist monasteries that lie around the sacred mountain and the subject of legends born from the ancient Guge Kingdom.

You have a choice of trekking the whole eight kilometers to the monastery (and eight kilometers back), or you can us the eco-bus to take you to the small community at Sarshung Village, where the main treks around Mount Kailash begin. This leaves you just two kilometers to hike to the monastery, and the same back to Sarshung, which is sometimes enough for some people at high altitudes. The hike is not far, but the altitude and terrain does rise gently, and you will find some rising and falling slopes that can be tiring along the way. Normally, the trek can take 2-3 hours, and you will usually get back in Darchen in the early afternoon.

Day 7: Fly back to Lhasa for the onward flight leaving Tibet
After your completion of the short hike and the afternoon sightseeing the southern view of the mountain, you will drive back to Shiquanhe and take the flight back to Lhasa, ready for your departure from Tibet.

The Quick Visit Comes with a Great Cost

While it is an easy thing to take this week-long trip, instead of the normal 15-day tour across the plateau, it has to be said that the trip comes at a cost. And we mean more than just financially.

Less time for proper acclimatization to high altitude
Acclimatization is an important aspect of travel to Tibet. At altitudes well above 3,500 meters, and rising to more than 5,000 meters in some places along the plateau, acclimatizing is essential. Altitude sickness, while normally just mildly discomforting, can be much more serious without acclimatizing, and can be fatal in some cases. This shorter trip does not allow as much time for acclimatizing to the higher altitudes outside Lhasa, so you really need to pay attention to your health and well-being while traveling. - Check the expert’s tips to avoid altitude sickness for Tibet tour.

Miss out the best part for 3-day Mt. Kailash kora
The standard kora trek around Mount Kailash is normally a three-day trek, and takes you to some of the most amazing places in Tibet. You also get to see some of the more spectacular sights of the mountain on your trekking route. And the monasteries you would normally stay at are a spiritual and divine experience that is not to be missed. However, with the shorter time for trekking, you miss out on much of the stunning scenery around the kora route, not to mention the experience of staying in the monasteries overnight.

Got to shoulder a staggering amount of tour cost
On the financial side of things, this kind of trip can be staggeringly expensive. Instead of being able to travel with a group on one of our Tibet Small Group Tours to save money, you will need to book a private tour, which is much more expensive. Private tours mean you pay the whole cost of the tour guide, driver, and vehicle, which is shared in group tours. You will also be paying additional costs for the flights to Ngari and Back, which are rather expensive.

Who are the right candidates for Mt. Kailash tour in a week?

So, if it is such an expensive and costly trip, who would be prepared to take on this kind of tour? For many private tours in Tibet that include added extras such as the flights to Ngari and back, the main customers for this kind of tour would be those that have the money to pay for it without worry. Rich travelers, who are also very fit and used to traveling and trekking at high altitudes, would be the best people for this kind of tour.

Why, to most of travelers, the 15-day Lhasa to Mt. Kailash small group tour is your best choice?

There are many reasons why the 15-day tour of Mount Kailash is the better option for the majority of people that travel to Tibet to visit the sacred mountain.

Join our Mount Kailash small group tourJoin our Mount Kailash small group tour is one of your best choice to visit Mount Kailash.

Have time for the proper acclimatization to Tibetan plateau

It is recommended in many scientific and medical circles to ascend slowly and gradually when ascending at extreme altitudes. The 15-day tour of Tibet to Mount Kailash allows you to do just that, stopping at several locations along the way to allow for better acclimatization before reaching the heights of the mountains you will visit. Ascending too fast increases the risk of altitude sickness, which can spoil the whole trip and make you very ill if not treated properly.

Most cost-effective to budgeted travelers

For those traveling on a more limited budget, a 15-day Small group Tour is beneficial in many ways, not the least being the cost. All members of a group party share the cost of the driver, vehicle, fuel, and tour guide equally, making the trip a lot cheaper than a private tour. You also have the advantage of meeting new people in your group, and many travelers form lasting friendships that go well beyond Tibet.

Three-day kora trek around Mount KailashThree-day kora trek around Mount Kailash is one of the best highlights of this tour.

Cover all the highlighted attractions along the way

A 15-day tour across the plateau also gives you much more value for money in terms of worth. The longer tour across the region means that you will get to visit many of the amazing sights that this high-altitude land has to offer.

Visit amazing sights of Mount EverestYou will get to visit amazing sights of Mount Everest in Everest Base Camp.

Your tour to Mount Kailash also takes you to see the amazing 32-meter tall Gyantse Kumbum Stupa, the only one of its kind in Tibet; the beauty of Shigatse’s Tashilhunpo Monastery, the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama; the stunning scenery around Lake Manasarovar, the sacred lake for Hindus and Buddhists that is believed to be the place where Buddha was conceived; the amazing trek around Mount Kailash itself, the highlight of this tour; and the outstanding opportunity to stand in the shadow of the world’s highest mountain at Everest Base Camp.


So it is possible to travel to Mount Kailash and do a little trek in just one week. You can easily make it, if you have the money, the right level of fitness, and the experience of plateau high altitudes for travel and trekking.

However, for the majority of people, this is not the best way to visit Mount Kailash. While it is possible, the cost alone is usually more than is feasible for most tourists to Tibet, and the benefits of taking the longer 15-day tour to the sacred mountain far outweigh the benefits of the shorter trip.

So if you are thinking of planning a trip to Mount Kailash, the Sacred Mountain in Tibetan Buddhism, then the 15-day tour of the plateau is the best option for most travelers, and can save you money and hassle too. And we can help you arrange all the tour services you need, simply contact our Mt. Kailash travel experts for the details.

Kham Sang

About the Author - Kham Sang

Kham Sang is responsible and honest with more than six years of guide experience in Tibet.She has strong interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively with tourists.

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