19 Days Tibet Pilgrimage Tour with Mount Kailash and Mountain Everest

Starting your adventure from Lhasa, this 19-day Tibet Pilgrimage Tour with Mt. Kailash and Mt. Everest brings you a superb chance to explore the essence of Tibet with a focus in vast wilderness of Ngari. Nowhere else can you truly explore the glory of ancient Tibetan civilization and understand how magnificent the western Tibet is than having the big loop tour around Ngari region. With little human presence, the vast wilderness in Ngari(300,000sq.km) presents an utterly different picture than anywhere else in Tibet. The ruins of lost civilizations like Guge Kingdom, ultimate pilgrimage destination such as Mt. Kailash, and a vast array of wildlife keep captivating ceaseless flow of global photographers, pilgrims and other tourists to visit in Ngari region. This route will also take you to explore the rich Tibetan Buddhism in Lhasa and along the way. Enjoy the starry sky and stunning sunrise of Mt. Everest.


  • Explore the glory of ancient Tibetan civilization in the western Tibet-Ngari region;
  • Experience the Tibetan Buddhism in the main monasteries in Lhasa city and along your way;
  • Enjoy the starry sky and stunning sunrise of the highest mountian in the world-Mt. Everest;
  • Trekking the most sacred and mythical mountain in the world-Mt. Kailash;
  • Explore the paradise of wild lives-Changtang Wild Land;
  • Meet snown mountains, tranquil lakes, shimmering rivers, Tibetan villages and rare animals on your way.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lhasa Arrival
  • Day 2: Lhasa
  • Day 3: Lhasa
  • Day 4: Lhasa-Shigatse
  • Day 5: Shigatse-E.B.C
  • Day 6: E.B.C-Saga
  • Day 7: Saga-Darchen
  • Day 8: Darchen-Drirapuk
  • Day 9: Drirapuk-Dzutrpuk
  • Day 10: Dzutripuk-Darchen
  • Day 11: Darchen-Zanda
  • Day 12: Zanda-Shiquanhe
  • Day 13: Shiquanhe
  • Day 14: Shiquanhe-Gerze
  • Day 15: Gerze-Wanpo South Village
  • Day 16: Wanpo South Village
  • Day 17: Wanpo South Village-Namtso Lake
  • Day 18: Namtso-Lhasa
  • Day 19: Lhasa Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa(3650m)

Sightseeing and Activities:Arrive in Lhasa

When you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel .An route to viewing the Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Bhamaputra river (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa river. After arrive in Lhasa, you can take rest and acclimatize. If you feel to go out, then you can go to the Potala square, where you will enjoy the fountain with different color and get amazing photos of the Potala and around. Stay overnight in Lhasa. 

Day 2 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Barkhor Street
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It has been used since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collection are the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.  

After you take lunch and then 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 single most venerated object in Tibet Buddhism.

Around the temple Barkhor Street where you can do kora (circling the Barkhor street) with pilgrims and locals and buy the souvenirs. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 3 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Drepung Monastery, Carpet factory, Sera Monastery
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you are going to visit Drepung Monastery which was one of the “three greet” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. Ganden palace is used as Dalai lama’s palace in the Drepung before moving to the Potala palace.

Afternoon, Sera Monastery—It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419 by Jamchen chojey, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. The highlight is the Monks debate at around 3 – 5 in the afternoon. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 4 Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m)

Sightseeing and Activities:Yamdrok-tso, Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse .On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), 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 pray flag 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 enjoy the far view of Gyangtse Fortress.

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

Day 5 Shigatse (3900m) to Everest Base Camp(5200m)

Sightseeing and Activities:Tashilunpo Monastery, panorama of Himalaya, Everest Base Camp, sunset of golden Everest peak
Accommodation:Rongbuk Hostel
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

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 then drive to Lhatse, it is 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, tourists 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 gazt at the Mt. Everest peak. The sunset of golden Mount Everest if time and weather permits at the lodging area. Stay overnight at Rongbuk monastery guest house.

Day 6 EBC to Saga(450km)

Sightseeing and Activities:sunrise of Everest Peak, Mt.Shishapangma, Turquoise Lake Peiku tso
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, we can enjoy the sunrise of Mount Everest at lodging area if weather permits; then As we head to saga, you can view of the worlds’14th highest peak Mt.Shishapangma (8012m), and  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 local guesthouse.

Day 7 Saga to Darchen via Lake Manasarovar(450km)

Sightseeing and Activities:Saga valley, Mt. Naimonanyi, Lake Manasarover, Mt.Kailash
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

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 local guesthouse.

Day 8 Darchen-Drirapuk (driving 7km, trek13km)

Sightseeing and Activities:Sarshung valley, Drirapuk Monastery, Lachu valley, Mountain Kailash, Drirapuk Monastery
Accommodation:Drirapuk Guest House
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, we are supposed 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 bothwest and north face of Mount Kailash today. Finally, we will visit Drirapuk Monastery. Stay overnight in local guesthouse.

Day 9 Trek Day Two – Drirapuk to Dzultripuk (trek 18km)

Sightseeing and Activities:Dromala pass, Kadoe Lake, Zutulpuk Monastery
Accommodation:Zutulpuk Guest House
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

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 seelocals Tibetans prostrating in the Kora path andbeautiful Kadoe Lake when walk downhill. We may also visit Zutulpuk Monastery. Stay overnight in local guesthouse.

Day 10 Trek day three – Drirapuk to Darchen (7km trekking,driving 5km)

Sightseeing and Activities:piles of Mani Stones, Lake Manasarova
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

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.

Day 11 Darchen to Zanda: Guge Kingdom and Torling Monastery

Sightseeing and Activities:Sutlej Valley, Toling monastery
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

It is about an eight-hour driving from Darchen to Zanda, though the distance is only about 243km. After several hours of zigzagging down and up fantastically eroded gorges and gullies, we enter wider Sutlej Valley and finally reach Zanda after crossing a bridge. Tsamda county is the current name for the region and was known as Guge kingdom. The capital of the county is located at Toling. Toling Monastery, founded by Richen zangpo in the 10th century, was once Ngari’s most important monastic complex.
It was due to the influence of Richen Zangpo that Toling became the main religious centre of Guge kingdom after inviting the great Indian master ATISHA. The kings of Guge replaced the city as a political centre of power by establishing capital slightly closer to the Indo-Tibetan trade routes. But the monastery is still an important cultural heritage of Ngari. Stay overnight in Zanda.

Day 12 Zanda–Shiquanhe: Clay Forest, Xiangquan River Canyon

Sightseeing and Activities:Clay Forest, Xiangquan River Canyon
Accommodation:Shiquanhe Town Guest House
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, we are expected to travel from Zanda to Shiquanhe town. The 200km’s scenic drive would be your lifetime experience. You will be able to see the stunning Clay Forest formed by crustal movement in Xiangquan River Canyon. Shiquanhe town is the capital city of Ngari prefecture as well as the last big town during the big loop tour of Ngari region. Later, Tourists can tour the Shiquanhe town and buy some supplies for the following travel. Stay overnight in Shiquanhe Town.

Day 13 Shiquanhe–Pangong Tso –Shiquanhe

Sightseeing and Activities:Pangong Tso, Rutog Rock Painting
Accommodation:Shiquanhe Town Guest House
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

The focus of today’s tour will be the Pangong Tso Lake(4242m), or known as the “long-necked swan”. It is the world’s highest birds’ habitat. In the lake are over a dozen of islands and it is home to more than 20 kinds of wild birds, including Bar-headed goose, Brown-headed Gull, etc.

On the way back to Shiquanhe Town, we will stop at Rutog County to visit the famous Rutog Rock Painting. The paintings involve the sun and moon, mountains, horses, cattle, antelopes, houses, and locals, vividly presenting the livelihood of ancient Tibetan nomads around Pangong Tso Lake. After that, we will head back to Shiquanhe Town. Tourists can buy some supplies for the following journey. Stay overnight in Shiquanhe Town.

Day 14 Shiquanhe—Gerze

Sightseeing and Activities:Changthang grassland,Tibetan Wildlife, Salt Lake
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Starting from Shiquanhe Town, we will pass Gégyé and travel all the way to Gerze. Shortly after we venture into the Changthang Grassland of Gégyé County, we will enjoy packs of wild Tibetan donkeys, Tibetan antelopes, and Tibetan gazelle, etc. Besides, a great number of nameless lakes, mountain passes, and snow-capped mountains make picturesque scenery. On the way, we can also see a big salt lake and trucks preparing to load supply from here. And finally finish the over 200km’s drive from the salt lake to Gerze. Stay overnight in Gerze.

Day 15 Gerze-Wanpo South Village

Sightseeing and Activities:Wildlife, Zhari Namco Lake, Tangra Yumco Lake
Accommodation:Wanpo South Village
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

As you enjoy the ride from Gerze to Wanpo South Village, you will have a rare chance to see a variety of rare wildlife that can only be seen in remote areas of western Tibet. Animals like Tibetan gazelle, marmot, and Black-necked crane, wild donkey, etc. will keep you company in Northern Ngari where there is little human presence.

After we pass Coqen County, tourists can see many colorful mountains, red, green, or yellow, largely due to the abundant mineral resources hidden inside these mountains. The road gets bumpier as we move from Coqen to Zhari Namco Lake. The lake is widely-known as the largest saline lake with the highest altitude in Ngari region and its favorable environment produces ibetan cashmere goats.
In the afternoon, we will be arriving at Tangra Yumco Lake, which is the holiest lake in Bon religion. Many believe that its holiness is equal to that of Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova. It’s said that the color of the lake can change three times within a single day. Having finished visiting Tangra Yumco Lake, we would move to Wanpo South Village. Stay overnight in Wanpo South Village.

Day 16 Tour Wanpo South Village

Sightseeing and Activities:Wanpo South Village, Dangchung Monastery
Accommodation:Wanpo South Village
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Facing Tangra Yumco Lake and Dagoer Snow Mountain, Wanpo South Village (4500m) is a secluded and picturesque place with charming pastoral scene. The local villagers here are half-nomadic and half-farming. They cultivate barely, potatoes, Rapeseed and Bok Choy, etc. Such peaceful , harmonious and pastoral scene is extremely rare at such altitude. that’s why it’s called the “Wanpo Paradise”. Tourists can have a good rest in the village and explore this village. If you are interested, you may visit Dangchung Monastery in Wanpo North village. Stay overnight in Wanpo South Village.

Day 17 Wanpo South Village–Nima–Bangkog–Namtso Lake: Tibetan gazelles, Serling Tso, Namtso

Sightseeing and Activities:Tibetan gazelles, Serling Tso, Namtso Lake
Accommodation:Namtso Guest House
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, we will have an early star. After we leave Nima, and you will find yourselves travel in the world of Tibetan gazelles and finally we will reach Serling Tso around noon after passing numerous small lakes. Siling Tso is the second largest saline lake in northern Tibet, only next to Namtso Lake. In Tibetan, it is believed to be a “Demon Lake”.

In the afternoon, we are about to continue our journey to Namtso Lake. We will move close-wise along the north bank of Serling Tso and you will see many Tibetan Antelopes and Tibetan gazelles grazing or playing at lakeside. Around 3 hours’ drive we will arrive at Tashi Island of Namtso. Here, you can enjoy the stunning view of Namtso and climb the Tashi Island to have a panoramic view of the biggest salt lake in Tibet. Never miss the chance to view the starry night at the bank of Namtso Lake. It will definitely be one of the highlights of this long journey. Stay overnight at Namtso.

Day 18 Namtso to Lhasa(220km)

Sightseeing and Activities:sunrise of the Namtso Lake, Yangpachen Hot Spring
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, never miss the stunning sunrise view of the Namtso Lake. Then we will head back to Lhasa. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 19 Depart from Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Depart from Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Lhasa Luxury St. Regis Lhasa Resort Lhasa Gang Gyan Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel
Shigatse / Shigatse Manasarovar Hotel Jiumu Yamei Hotel in Shigatse
Saga / Xibu Yizhan Hotel Brahmaputra Hotel
Darchen / / Darchen New Hotel
Zanda / / Yadu Hotel
Gerze / Fulong Hotel Gai Ze Ecological Hotel

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation with breakfast as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide and vehicle for transfers & sightseeing;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  •  Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Two bottles of mineral water each day.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • All optional programs;
  • Domestic air tickets fares with airport tax and fuel extra fee based on economy class mentioned in the program.

Travel Tips:

  1. Tibet Permits

There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)

  1. Available Months to Visit Tibet

Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.

  1. High Altitude Sickness

The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.

  1. How to Go to Tibet

Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa. Kathmandu also has several flights to Lhasa each week.

If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).

  1. Packing and Wearing Ideas

Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended. As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.