18 Days Xi’an to Lhasa and EBC and Manasarovar, Kailash Tour
(XTT006) Xian - Lhasa - Shigatse - Everest Base Camp - Saga - Manasarova - Kailash - Shigatse - Lhasa
Escorted by private guide and vehicle; leave 365 days a year!
Easy - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
Trip Level Guide:
- Easy - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
- Moderate - suitable for ones with average level fitness, family with kids bigger than 12 yrs.
- Moderate to Strenous - suitable for ones physically fit; have experiences of high altitude trek.
- Strenuous: suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.
This ultimate 18-day Tibet tour starts from ancient Chinese capital Xi’an and moves to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Having visited the most iconic Tibetan monasteries in Lhasa, Tourists would travel to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city, via historic Gyantse County. In Tingri, tourists will be able to enjoy the lofty mountains along awe-inspiring Himalayas and particularly the Mt. Everest at Everest Base Camp. Then, the whole group will move westwards to Ngari, the western Tibet to experience the incredible kora around sacred Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar and explore the lost ancient Tibetan civilization around magnificent Guge Kingdom.
At a GlanceDay 1
Arrive in Xi’anDay 2
Xi’an Tour: The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose PagodaDay 3
Xi’an Tour: Shanxi History Museum, Cycling on the top of Ancient City Wall, and Muslim QuarterDay 4
Fly to Lhasa, acclimate the high elevation of LhasaDay 5
Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Johkang Temple, and Barkhor StreetDay 6
Lhasa Tour - Drepung and Sera MonasteryDay 7
Lhasa - Yamdrotso Lake - Shigatse (10 hrs, 370km)Day 8
Shigatse - Sakya - Tingri (10hr, 290km)Day 9
Tingri to Rongbuk Monastery and Everest Base Camp (3 hrs, 90km)Day 10
Rongphu Monastery - Everest Base Camp - Saga (13hrs, 460km)Day 11
Saga to Lake Manasarova to Darchen(14hrs, 550km)Day 12
Trek Day One - Darchen to Drirapuk (6.5 hrs, 20km)Day 13
Trek day two - Drirapuk to Dzultripuk (18km, 7-8hours)Day 14
Trek day three- Dzultripuk to Darchen (14km, 3-4hours)Day 15
Drive from Darchen to Saga (530Km, 14 hours)Day 16-17
Saga to Shigatse to Lhasa (2 days, 750km)Day 18
End the tour, Airport drop off
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Xi’an
Upon your arrival in the Xi’an airport or railway station, your local tour guide will escort you to your reserved hotel in Xi’an. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Stay overnight in Xi’an
Day 2: Xi’an Tour: The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda
In the morning, we are about to visit the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. You will not only be attracted by the life-sized warrior figures and horses, each of which has distinct facial expressions and positions, but also be astonished by various kinds of ancient weapons which reflect the highly advanced technology in weapon-making 2,200 years ago.
Afterwards, we will head to tour another must-see attraction in Xi’an Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Originally built in 652 during the Tang dynasty, the Pagoda is known for keeping the Buddhist scriptures and figurines of the Buddha brought by Xuanzang, one of the most renowned Chinese monks. The whole place is one of the most visited destinations by international tourists in Xi’an.
Stay overnight in Xi’an
Day 3: Xi’an Tour: Shanxi History Museum, Cycling on the top of Ancient City Wall, and Muslim Quarter
In the morning, we are expected to visit Shanxi History Museum, the best place to take a glance at the glorious history of ancient Chinese civilization. The precious exhibits dates from the Paleolithic era to the Qing Dynasty. The breadth and depth of the artifacts and quality of artwork from each time period and dynasty are breathtaking! The museum is crowded, so be prepared to go with the flow of the people in front of each display.
In the afternoon, tourists can enjoy wonderful cycling on the top of Ancient City Wall. The wall around the city centre of Xi'an is a massive construction, about 14 kilometres in perimeter. With 98 defensive ramparts, four main gates, and a moat around it, the ancient city wall is a wonderful example of ancient defensive building. Near its centre are the Bell Tower and Drum Tower.
Later, we will travel to Muslim Quarter, the most famous gourmet street and largest Muslim business street in Xi’an. It’s the perfect place to have close chat with street venders of Muslims and buy the exquisite handicrafts and enjoy various local snacks.
Stay overnight in Xi’an
Day 4: Fly to Lhasa, acclimate the high elevation of Lhasa
Take a flight to Lhasa. Upon your arrival, your local tour guide will escort you to your hotel in Lhasa. The rest of the day is for you to take a good rest so as to adapt yourself to the high altitude of Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Day 5: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Johkang Temple, and Barkhor Street
Today's tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace which is the winter palace of the Dalai lama. It was put to use since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.
Then after lunch, tourists head to Jokhang Temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century, in order to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve, perhaps the only most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor street where you can do kora (a religious circle of a building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals, in the meantime you can buy souvenirs.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Day 6: Lhasa Tour - Drepung and Sera Monastery
In the morning, you are going to visit Drepung Monastery which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. Ganden palace used to be Dalai Lama’s palace in the Drepung before he moved to the Potala palace.
In the Afternoon, Tourists will visit Sera Monastery which is another one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. The hot attraction is the Monks debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Day 7: Lhasa - Yamdrotso Lake - Shigatse (10 hrs, 370km)
Passing by the green farmland of Nyangchu Valley, Yamdro-tso lakes, Karo-la Glacier roadside at 4960m, we move westwards to Tibet's traditional town, Gyantse. The most important attraction for today is Yamdro-tso Lake, and Kubum monastery in Gyantse. Yamdro-tso Lake is shaped like coiling scorpion with deep blue in color and Kubum monastery has a 35m-high chorten (stupa) with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome. Today, we drive to Shigatse, which is the second biggest city of Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Shigatse
Day 8: Shigatse - Sakya - Tingri (10hr, 290km)
In Shigatse, you will visit the famous Tashi Lhunpo monastery where you can see the well preserved largest statue of Jampa (future god) in the world. The monastery itself is abiding place for the successive Penchen Lamas. Drive to the Sakya County where you can visit the famous Sakya monastery. The most interesting thing in Sakya sect is that the sect does not believe in reincarnation and the head of Sakya sect will wear white cassock and also marry and have children. Then forwards to world highest pass Gyatso-la pass with 5200 m above sea level, and then drive to Tingri, the entrance of Himalayan Nature Reserve.
Stay overnight in Tingri
Day 9: Tingri to Rongbuk Monastery and Everest Base Camp (3 hrs, 90km)
There is only 2-3hours driving from Tingri to Rongpuk through 90km new winding road in the mountains. On the way from Tingri to E.B.C, you can enjoy the stunning mountain scenery; pass the wild grassland, the torrent and soaring mountains. If it is in clear weather, you can see the panorama of Himalaya range and among mountains you can see 4 mountains which are 8000m high and more to enjoy like Mt. Lhotse (8516m), Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8201m) and Mt Makalu (8463m), and even majestic view of golden summit of Mt. Everest at sunset.
Stay overnight in Ronguk Guest House or local Tibetan Tent
Travel Tips: Given the remote location and inhospitable natural environment (e.g. short of water supply and sanitary device, etc.), the accommodation facilities in Tingri, esp. at EBC are extremely basic. It’s often the case that the bed sheet is filthy and the room is cramped and untidy. Only dirty pit toilet is available. There is no hot water in the room. Rats can be seen sometimes. However, we will do our outmost to meet your personal demand and provide the best service we can.
Day 10: Rongphu Monastery - Everest Base Camp - Saga (13hrs, 460km)
We need to take the old tingri road to Saga County. From the old Tingri, you can see the Mt. Everest and Mt. Shishapangma which is at 8012m was the least of the world's 8000m peaks to be climbed. The road condition worsens from old tingri and runs parallel to the Himalayan ranges and Nepalian sides called Anapurna ranges. The main road passes through the desolate plain of Digur tang, with its enormous sand dunes and the closely neighboring snow peaks of Shishapangma and langtang to the south. Leaving the bum-chu basin, it then descends into the depression of Pelkhu tso Lake (4600m), a cobalt blue lake. Today we drive to Saga, a small town 69km from the Phelgu tso
Stay overnight at local guesthouse of Saga
Day 11: Saga to Lake Manasarova to Darchen(14hrs, 550km)
Moving towards the Drongpa County, the region around the sources of Brahmaputra River, which is about 167km from the Saga town. At about 50km from today’s destination Darchen, we will make a small detour to Lake Manasarovar, the holy lake of Tibetan and Hinduism. You can relax around the lake shore and experience the natural beauty of the lake. In the summer time, flocks of swans will gather on the lake, bringing grace and life to the area. You can also see so many Tibetans and Hindus praying and circling around the lake shore, snow-capped mountains on the background and hundreds of swans gathering on the lake, attracting hundreds and thousands of tourists from all over the world. In late afternoon, we will reach Tarchen, a small town at the foot of Mt. Kailash. Tour guide will assist tourists to arrange trekking yaks and porters and doing some preparation for your following 3 days trekking around Mt.Kailash.
Overnight at local guesthouse in Darchen town
Day 12: Trek Day One - Darchen to Drirapuk (6.5 hrs, 20km)
The Traditionally pilgrims undertake 52 km trekking circuit around Mount Kailash, commencing at Darchen (4574m) and crossing the Dolma-la pass on the second day of the three day walk. 8 kilometers after leaving Darchen with environment-friendly bus (40minutes), we get to a village called Sarshung, where porters are waiting for their clients. After two hours, we come upon a grassy plain populated by nomads. For this turn in the valley it is another two hours at least before reaching Drirapuk(4920m). You need to camp or can rest in monastery's guest house made from cement with a few good facilities than others in Drirapuk. At the opposite side of Drirapuk, there you can see small monastery with its guest house little cleaner than others.
Stay overnight at the tent guesthouse of monastery.
Travel Tips: Mt. Kailash kora is a true test of body and soul. You trek at an average altitude of 4675m during 3-day kora, the highest mountain pass being 5630m. And the accommodation facility is pretty bad. You stay in makeshift guesthouse with poor sanitation. Sleeping bag is a must. However, all your physical misery will be compromised, compared with the divine experience around Mt. Kailash.
Day 13: Trek day two - Drirapuk to Dzultripuk (18km, 7-8hours)
The second day is the hardest and most tough circuit with the Dolma-la pass lying 6.4km ahead but 762m above Drirapuk. The peak of Dolma-la pass is about 5630m above sea level, so it is better to set off early in the morning as the sun rays break over the ridges above. After taking a rest at the peak of Dolma-la pass, you will descend staircase bringing you to Lhachu valley floor, taking about one hour from the pass. From here it is still four hours trekking to the today's final destination with no shelters on the way. It is better to walk on the right side of the river and finally get to Dzultripuk (with miracle cave of milarepa). It is advisable to get there before other groups because limited numbers of rooms are available there in Dzultripuk. Take a good rest in the guest room and prepare for next morning's departure.
Stay overnight at the tent guesthouse of monastery
Day 14: Trek day three- Dzultripuk to Darchen (14km, 3-4hours)
Today, we will go through Milarepa's cave, where the temple and shrines have been built around. Then we walk back to Darchen is easy and the exit from the valley can be reached within three hours. At the ending point of the valley, the driver will come to pick you and take you back to Darchen.
Stay overnight at the local guesthouse at Tarchen.
Day 15: Drive from Darchen to Saga (530Km, 14 hours)
Drive back along the incoming road.
Day 16-17: Saga to Shigatse to Lhasa (2 days, 750km)
Drive back along the incoming road.
Day 18: End the tour, Airport drop off
The guide will see you off at Gonggar airport or Tibet Railway Station. Tourists can take the onward flight or train to the next destination.
- 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;
- 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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