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16 Days Lhasa to Kailash Tour in Shoton Festival

16 Days Lhasa to Kailash Tour in Shoton Festival

(TFT006) Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Everest Base Camp - Saga - Lake Manasarover - Mt. Kailash - Saga - Sakya - Shigatse - Lhasa


This Tibet Shoton Festival and Kailash tour is designed to meet your needs for a tour filled with culture, tradition, religion and the spectacular natural beauty of the high plateau. The tour starts from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. In Lhasa you will explore its magnificent architecture such as Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. The highlight of your stay in Lhasa is the Shoton Festival which gives an attractive introduction to the Tibetan culture and rooted traditions.

From Lhasa, after visiting Yamdrok Lake, Shigatse, Everest Base Camp, you will go on to Mount Kailash - the holiest mountain in Asia and the world. Mt. Kailash has attracted devout pilgrims all over the world for more than two thousand years. It is believed that one kora around Mt. Kailash (52km) cleans sins of a lifetime, 108 koras breaks the cycle of rebirth and assures one of nirvana at death.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

Arrive at Lhasa airport or train station where you will be picked up by our local guide and driver then transfer you to hotel. Main highlights on the way to Lhasa, you will see the biggest river in Tibet called Yarlung Tsangpo or Barmaputra in Indian language, the unique architectural village houses of Tibetan farmers and the first glance of Potala Palace.

Free sightseeing or take a rest in your room in late afternoon to acclimatize. Your guide will give you more detail advice on acclimatization.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Note: If your arrive in Lhasa by train, then you don’t have the chance to see the river view and Tibetan village houses because the train station is next to the city.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Lhasa: the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street

In the morning your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby and drive you to the Potala Palace, the land mark of Tibet, the first construction ever built in Lhasa by the most well known and outstanding Tibetan king Tsongtsen Gambo in seventh century as his residence and central government official. And in seventeenth century the fifth Dalai Lama began to extend it into current style. It is listed into the UNESCO’s World Heritage in December 1994. More than three hours visiting outside and inside the palace, you will learn all detailed history about the palace by your guide.

After marvelous visiting and climbing hundreds of stairs there, your driver will pick you up at the exit of Potala Palace and transfer you to local restaurant near by Jokhang Temple, you will feel bit exhausted and tired but no matter you can have good relax during the lunch time and ask for your guide to order a glass of Ginger Lemon Tea+honey that will give you more energy and feel fresh again.

After lunch break, your guide will lead you to Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street by walk to explore the culture center of Tibet, the heart of Tibetan Buddhism and the main destination of the pilgrims coming from all over the Tibetan territories and the Barkhor Ancient Street with local bazaar and art workshops.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 3: Sightseeing in Lhasa: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery/ Thangka Painting Display (Shoton Festival)

Today you have a great opportunity to visit the opening ceremony of the most important annual festival in Lhasa called “Shoton” which means "Yogurt Banquet" in Tibetan. The opening ceremony begins from Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, the two largest monasteries in Lhasa.

In the very early morning your guide and driver will pick you up and drive to Drepung Monastery to attend the ceremony. With thousands of local pilgrims and tourists, you will luckily see one of the largest embroidered Thangka/scroll painting of Buddha in Tibet. Hundreds of monks and volunteers transfer it to a hillside not far from the monastery and display it on a huge wall, then the monks perform a special religious ritual to open the ceremony, the pilgrims from nomadic area offer fresh Yak Yogurt to the monks and everyone receives blessings from main master of monastery.

In the afternoon you will be driven to Sera Monastery, the second largest monastery to visit another beautiful Grand Thangka and religious ceremony. It’s a very busy day for you but very worth.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 4: Sightseeing in Lhasa: Norbulinka/ Summer Palace and Tibetan Opera (Shoton Festival)

Today you will spend the whole day in Norbulinka to see how peopleare enjoy their festival, you will have a great chance to watch the performance of traditional Tibetan opera, join the very friendly local people, their hospitality towards you makes you feel like very close friends, they will serve you free cookies, Yak meat or yogurt sometimes and plenty of their homemade barley beer if you like it.

You will also visit the main residence of the successive Dalai Lamas’ personal residences, guest interview room, meeting rooms, the wall of paintings that tells the general history of Tibet and ancient civilization as well as its unique architectural design and wooden carves.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 5: Lhasa- Gyantse - Shigatse (360km)

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. On the way, drive over the Gampala Pass (4790m), and you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m). The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance you can have spectacular views of holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa.

Later, we will pass and enjoy the Korola Glacier on the roadside. At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang prayer flags at Simila Mountain Pass. Then we will arrive in Gyantse, historically Tibet's third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse). In Gyantse, we will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy the far views of Gyangtse Fortress.

After one and a half hours' driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, we may visit the traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer).

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 6: Shigatse - Everest Base Camp (350km)

In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Then, we’ll leave Shigatse after getting your Alien’s travel permit and drive to Lhatse, a small town where you can have lunch.

After that, we will pass Tsola Pass (4600m) and Gyatsola Pass (5248m). Shortly after we enter Mt. Everest National Nature Reserve, you can enjoy the panorama of Himalaya at Gawula Pass (5198m). Then we drive along the new zigzag road to Everest Base Camp (5200m). You can get closer to gaze at the Mt. Everest peak and see the sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permits at the lodging area.

Stay overnight at tent or Rongbuk monastery guest house.

Day 7: EBC - Saga (450km)

In the morning, we can enjoy the sunrise of Everest Peak at lodging area if weather permits. Then As we head to Saga, you can view of the world's 14th highest peak Mt.Shishapangma (8012m), and the turquoise Lake Peiku Tso (4590m). If you are lucky enough, you are very likely to see wild animals like wild donkey, wild antelope etc.

Stay overnight in Saga Xibuyizhan Hotel or Mu Linsen hotel.

Day 8: Saga - Darchen, via Lake Manasarover (450km)

On the way to Darchen, you will have a chance to appreciate the stunning view of the Saga Valley between Gangdise Range and Himayala Range. Meanwhile, the beautiful grassland and local's villages can also be seen. As we cross the Mayomla Pass (5112M), you can enjoy the spectacular vista of Mt. Naimonanyi (7694m). Then we are supposed to pass by the holy Lake Manasarover and finally arrive at the southern foot of Mt.Kailash, the most holy mountain in Tibet.

stay overnight in Tarchen Chongqing Hotel.

Day 9: Darchen - Drirapuk (driving 7km, trek 13km)

In the morning, we are supposed to take eco-bus from Darchen to Sarshung Valley. Then we will meet Yaks and porters at Sarshung Village (the cost of hiring yaks, horses, and porters are not included in the package). After that, we can begain the trek (around 13km) from Sarshung to Drirapuk Monastery along the Lachu Valley and rivers. You can enjoy the both west and north face of mountain Kailash today. Finally, we will visit Drirapuk Monastery.

stay overnight in Guest House.

Day 10: Drirapuk - Dzutrpuk (trek 18km)

Today, we will trek over Dromala Pass (5630m), the highest pass of the Kora. On the way you can have a rest in a teahouse. All the way, you can see locals Tibetans prostrating in the Kora path and beautiful Kadoe Lake when walk downhill. We may also visit Zutulpuk Monastery.

Stay overnight in Guest House.

Day 11: Dzutripuk - Darchen (trek 7km, driving 5km)

On the day three of the Kora. you will trek 7km to Zongto where you can take bus to Darchen. Along the Kora, you can see piles of Mani Stones. We will end the Trek around noon, rest in the lodging place.

(Optional): Taking bath in Lake Manasarova and enjoy hot spring.

Stay overnight in Tarchen Chongqing Hotel.

Day 12: Darchen - Saga (450km)

Drive from Darchen to Saga via Lake Manasorova.

Stay overnight in Saga Xibuyizhan Hotel or Mu Linsen hotel.

Day 13: Saga - Sakya (350km)

Drive from Saga to Sakya.

Stay overnight in Sakya Yuan Fu Hotel.

Day 14: Sakya - Shigatse (170km)

In the morning, we will visit ancient Sakya Town and you can tour Sakya Monastery with amzing murals and huge collection of scriptures and statues.Then  we are about to drive from Sakya to Shigatse.

Stay overnight in Manasarovar Hotel.

Day 15: Shigatse - Lhasa

We will follow Yalong Valley back to Lhasa. On the way, you can stand on the viewing platform to view the vast Yalong River Bed and visit Water Mill making Tibetan incense material (in Summer if time permits). Drop off at hotel in Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa (3-Star Hotel).

Day 16: Depart from Lhasa

Hotel to airport/train station transfer, end the tour.

(Or Go to Nepal after Tibet Mt.Kailash Tour).

The tour is also available for tourists who start in Lhasa and end in Gyirong Border, so if the group has members to exit Tibet to Nepal from Gyirong, we will see them off at the Sino-Nepal border, thus the itinerary from the Day 13 will be done with valuable detour to Gyirong, which will give you one extra destination to Kelong Valley, this destination is considered the most beautiful valley at the foot of Himalaya Mountain Range and attracts many tourists a year. 

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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