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15 days Mount Kailash Trekking Circuit of Saga Dawa Festival 2018

Price from $1730 per person
15 Days 2-12 Pax Click view Departure
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Mt. Everest Base Camp - Saga - Mt. Kailash - Lhasa
Potala Palace, Johkang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Tashilumpo Monastery, Lake Manasarovar, Saga Dawa Festival, Mt Kailash Trekking, Pelchor Monastery, Yamdrok Lake
Save up 35% Compared with Private Tours No Hidden Cost or Shopping Discount for Early Birds

Trip Day By Day

Day 1-3 Lhasa city tour
Day 4-5 Lhasa - Shigatse - Tingri
Day 6-8 Tingri - EBC - Saga - Darchen
Day 9-11 Kailash Trekking
Day 12-14 Darchen - Lhasa
Day 15 Depart from Lhasa

Tour features:
1. Visit iconic holy cultural landmarks in Lhasa
2. Explore the base camp of the highest mountain in the world
3. Trek with pilgrims around the holiest mountain in Asia
4. Experience unique and authentic Saga Dawa Festival by Mt. Kailash

Trip Overview

This epic 15-day overland tour features an exploration to the Mount Everest Base Camp plus an authentic Tibetan Saga Dawa Festival before the trek around Mount Kailash.

The first three days acclimatizing visit in Lhasa allows you to see the iconic Potala Palace, Johkang Temple and other famous places at this holy city. Departing Lhasa, turquoise Lake Yamdrok is the first impressive place to see; while visiting the Pelchor Monastery in ancient town of Gyantse, you feel like arriving in the past with its walls and Dzong Castle in the surrounding hills. On day 6, head for the EBC, where you can enjoy your highest hiking, golden sunset and starry night. Then drive to sacred Mount Kailash and holy Lake Manasarovar that are surrounded by various myths and legends, the visit to those two places happens to be the Saga Dawa Festival which is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Tibet. The festival celebrates the birth, enlightenment and Nirvana of Sakayamuni. On the festival day, many pilgrims flood to Mount Kailash to watch the Tarboche flagpole covered in prayer flags is replaced. It’s a special experience to understand and get up close to the authentic Tibetan culture and religion. After experiencing the festival event, we will start the trekking around Mount Kailash. On the three days’ trek, you will see the beautiful sceneries from different sides of Mount Kailash, pilgrims doing full-body length prostrations and cross the high and enduring Dolma-La Pass.  

Considering Mount Kailash trekking has been one of the most spiritual pilgrimage walk in Asia, to trek it during the special Saga Dawa Festival to meet more devoted pilgrims and to experience the authentic event couldn’t be more impressive.

  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Price Guide
  • Departures 2017 & 2018
  • Inquiry Now

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 (21st, May, 2018): Arrival upon Lhasa

Highlights: Arrival & Pick-up & Acclimatization

Schedule today: Arrival at Lhasa at airport or train station, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to hotel for acclimatization; you can have your free time hanging out at this holy city to get the first impression of Tibet

Warm Tibetan Style Pickup Service Warm Tibetan Style Pickup Service
Warm Tibetan Style Pickup Service Warm Tibetan Style Pickup Service

Day 2 (22nd, May, 2018): Lhasa city tour

Highlights: Potala Palace, Johkang Temple,Barkhor Street

Schedule today: In the morning, visit the symbol or landmark of Lhasa - Potala Palace (video), the successive Dalai Lama's winter residence since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. In the afternoon, visit the center of Tibetan Buddhism - Johkang Temple (video), where you will come across lots of devoted pilgrimages coming from every corner of Tibet. Both sites are under the list of the world cultural heritages by the UNESCO. Afterwards, free time for you to wander through the Barkhor Street, the busiest street in old Lhasa quarter.

Potala Palace Johkang Temple
Potala Palace Johkang Temple

Day 3 (23rd, May, 2018): Lhasa city tour

Highlights: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery

Schedule today: In the morning, we will visit Drepung Monastery which is the biggest Tibetan Buddhism College with the biggest number of monks in Tibet. The monastery used to be the winter residence of the Dalai Lama before the 5th Dalai Lama moved his residency to the Potala Palace. And in the afternoon, we will visit another influential Gelugpa Monastery - Sera Monastery (video), where you can see the largest scale of sutra debating (video) among monks is famous all across Tibet.

Drepung Monastery Sera Monastery
Drepung Monastery Sera Monastery

Day 4 (24th, May, 2018): Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse

Highlights: Yamdrok Lake, Pelchor Monastery, Karo Glacier, Gyantse Pelkor

Schedule today: In the morning, drive to the historic town of Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake (video), according to local mythology, Yamdrok Lake is the transformation of a goddess, on the Gangbala Pass, you will have a clear picture of this Tibetan holy lake in turquoise, in distance you can also see the snowcapped Summit of Ninjingkangsang. In Gyantse (video) , you will find the largest stupa in Tibet - Kumpa Stupa (Ten-thousand stupa), just next to the Stupa is the Pelchor Monastery (video). Another important site in Gyantse is Dzong Castle which once was a battle field where Tibetan fought against British invasion. Continue drive to Shigatse and stay overnight there.

Yamdrok Lake Pelchor Monastery
Yamdrok Lake Pelchor Monastery

Day 5 (25th, May, 2018): Shigatse - Tingri (230 km/ 5-6 hours on wheel)

Highlights: Tashilumpo Monastery

Schedule today: In the morning, visit Tashilumpo Monastery (video) which is the seat of Panchen Lama, the equally important religious figure in Tibet as Dalai Lama. The monastery was built by the first Dalai Lama in 1447, and inside the Monastery placed the highest statue of Buddha in Tibet which is 26.8 meters high. Afterwards, drive to Tingri, the nearest county to the EBC; acclimatize one more night here before reaching 5200 meters high.

Tashilumpo Monastery Tingri County
Tashilumpo Monastery Tingri County

Day 6 (26th, May, 2018): Tingri - EBC (100 km/ 3 hours on wheel)

Highlights: Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp

Schedule today: Today's drive is not long at all, we can have a really good sleep and wake up late, leave hotel around 10 AM after breakfast. On the way towards Mt. Everest, you can see 4 of the highest mountains over 8000 meters (Mt. Everest; Mt. Makalu; Mt. Lotse; Mt. Cho Oyu) in the world at the same time on the top of the Gyalpo-la pass, what a great view! Before arriving at the EBC, you will first visit the highest monastery in the world - Rongbuk Monastery, which is also a good position to watch the Everest; continue drive till the tent guesthouse area, check in the guesthouse, then you can either trek to the base camp or take the green bus to the base camp. The sunset view (video) is fantastic when weather is good. Wish you a good luck to see the sunset.

Rongbuk Monastery Mt. Everest Sunset
Rongbuk Monastery Mt. Everest Sunset

Day 7 (27th, May, 2018): EBC - Saga (300 km/ 6-7 hours on wheel)

Schedule today: In the morning, if weather is good, you can choose to wake up early to watch the sunrise over the base camp. After breakfast, we will drive to western Tibet of Saga County directly. On the way, we can see the beautiful Peikutso Lake and Mt. Shixiapangma. Today, we will cover some bumpy part of road, but not very long.

Mt. Everest Sunrise Peikutso Lake
Mt. Everest Sunrise Peikutso Lake

Day 8 (28th, May, 2018): Saga - Lake Manasarovar - Darchen (510 km/ 8-9 hours on wheel)

Highlights: Lake Manasarovar

Schedule today: In the morning you will head to Lake Manasarovar, Tibet's holiest lake which sits at 4590 meters. We will go on following the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra River going through vast expanses of grasslands before arriving in Paryang, elevation 4590 meters. And Lake Manasarovar is an important pilgrimage destination for Tibetans and Hindu's from India and Nepal. From the lake, you can see Kailash in the distance. Then we will make the short drive to Darchen Town, the starting point of the trek around Mt. Kailash.

Lake Manasarovar Darchen Town
Lake Manasarovar Darchen Town

Day 9 (29th, May, 2018): Darchen - Diraphuk Monastery trekking & Experience the Saga Dawa Festival

Highlights: Saga Dawa Festival, Kailash Trekking

Schedule today:Wake up early about 7:30, after breakfast trek 2 hours to the festival site where large ritual ceremony will be held, on the way you can see lots of pilgrims from all over Tibet and even India, Nepal and Thailand. Saga Dawa Festival celebrates the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death, or attaining of Nirvana. It is the most important religious festival observed by the entire Buddhist world. Any merit obtained for the performance of a good deed or religious practice will be enhanced. The ceremony will start around 10:30 and lasts about 3 hours. There you can see not only locals raise a very big prayer flag pole along with lots of religious rites performed by monks, but also even a temporary bazaar with many nearby locals come here to trade. It couldn't be more authentic to see such an event at this corner of Himalayas.

After seeing the festival, continue the trekking, most of trail today is along the rocky valley, on the road you will see the faces of Mt. Kailash appear from time to time. It will be around 6 PM to arrive at the guesthouse near the Diraphuk Monastery (5080m) which locates under the astonishing north face of Mt Kailash that from this angle appears as a massive, jet-black slab of granite ornamented with alabaster-white strips of snow.

Saga Dawa Festival North Face of Mt. Kailash
Saga Dawa Festival North Face of Mt. Kailash

Day 10 (30th, May, 2018): Diraphuk - Dolmala Pass - Zutruphuk Monastery

Highlights: Dolmala Pass, Zutruphuk

Schedule today: In the morning we will trek across a valley up to the Dolma-La Pass. Today's trekking will be the most arduous part since Dolmala Pass is quite high at 5640 meters, plus today's trekking length is around 20km, so we have to wake up early. By the late afternoon arrive at Zutrulphuk Monastery, the cave of miracles where the Tibetan poet-saint Milarepa once stayed.

Asending Dolmala Pass At Dolmala Pass
Asending Dolmala Pass At Dolmala Pass

Day 11 (1st, June, 2018): Zutruphuk Monastery - Darchen

Schedule today: In the morning we will hike back to Darchen at some easy walk. And your car is waiting for you when you finishing the trekking.

Mountain Kailash Trekking Day 3 Mountain Kailash Trekking Day 3
Mountain Kailash Trekking Day 3 Mountain Kailash Trekking Day 3

Day 12 (2nd, June, 2018): Darchen - Saga

Schedule today: In the morning, we will head back to Lhasa by following the Brahmaputra River back to Saga as we pass through the nomadic regions of western Tibet.

Darchen Town Western Tibet
Darchen Town Western Tibet

Day 13 (3rd, June, 2018): Saga - Shigatse (450 km/ 8-9 hours on wheel)

Schedule today: Nothing special to visit, simply drive back to Shigatse.

Western Tibet Wild Donkey in western Tibet
Western Tibet Wild Donkey in western Tibet

Day 14 (4th, June, 2018): Shigatse - Lhasa (280 km/ 5-6 hours on wheel)

Schedule today: Drive back to Lhasa along the road with Brahmaputra River flows along; the free time is on your own after arrival Lhasa.

Brahmaputra River Brahmaputra River
Brahmaputra River Brahmaputra River

Day 15 (5th, June, 2018): Depart from Lhasa

Schedule today: Tour ends, our guide and driver will drop you off at airport in Lhasa. Welcome to Tibet next time.

Price Guide

What's included in this price?
1. Free group pick-up from airport & free group drop-off from hotel, BUT only three times available, surcharge (RMB 450) occurs if your flight schedule does not meet the free transfer time. Stay at airport for 1-2 hours to await other tourists is possible since this is a group pick-up service.
Group Pick-up Time at airport 09:30 - 10:30 12:30 - 13:30 15:30 - 16:30
Group Drop-off Time leaving hotel 06:30 from hotel 08:30 from hotel 12:30 from hotel
A. The drive length is about one hour between airport and downtown
B. It’s free to have pickup and drop-off between train station and downtown
2. English speaking local Tibetan Guide.
3. Well maintained vehicle throughout the whole tour.
4. Entrance fee to all the scenic spots mentioned.
5. All Tibet traveling permits concerned, such as TTP and PSB.
6. Clean and comfortable 3 star standard hotels with private bath room and breakfast in Lhasa and Shigatse, guesthouse or yak hair tent near EBC and during the trekking, basic hotels in Tingri, Saga, Darchen and Gyirong Town.
Lhasa (Day1,2,3,14) Yak Hotel or Gangyen Hotel 3*
Shigatse (Day4,13) Zangba Hotel or Manasarovar Hotel 3*
Tingri (Day 5) Snowland Hotel or Qomulangma Hotel 2*
EBC (Day6) Guesthouse or Yak hair tent Basic
Saga (Day7,12) Saga Hotel 2*
Darchen (Day 8,11) TBD Basic hotel
Trekking (Day9,10) Guesthouse Basic  
7. Tour guide and vehicle's entry fee to Mt. Everest.
8. Oxygen supply on Vehicle.
9. Delivery fee of Tibet permits.
10. Guide and driver's food and accommodations.
What's excluded in this price?
1. Lunches and dinners, plus breakfasts from day 6.
2. Tips for the tour guide and driver.
3. Bank service fee when you transfer deposit to our company.
4. Transportation into and out of Lhasa.
5. Porters and packing animals during the trekking around Mt.Kailash if you need.
6. Air or train tickets into and out of Lhasa

Departures 2017 & 2018

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