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The 10 Best Tips for Mount Kailash Trek

Mount Kailash Kora Trek is one of the most sacred and popular trekking routes in the world. Every year, thousands of pilgrimages and trekkers from all over the world gather at Mt. Kailash for a kora trek. It is really a unique and unforgettable experience! However, getting ready to trek in a remote area like Mount Kailash can be difficult. The process of booking air/train tickets, obtaining a passport (if you don’t have one or if it has expired), applying for Tibet Permit and visas, packing clothes and trekking gear is almost like taking on a second job. You are strongly suggested to start working on these details at least 3 months in advance. If you have no idea how to prepare for these, this guide will help you make it.

Mount Kailash Trek
Mount Kailash Trek

Part 1. Preparation for Mount Kailash Trek Tour

Part 2. Detailed Travel Tips for Mount Kailash Trek Tour

Part 1. Preparation for Mount Kailash Trek Tour

1. Physical Conditions

Trek to high altitude areas brings particular challenges, both physically and mentally. These partly relate to low oxygen levels and partly to extreme environmental conditions. The low oxygen levels may result in high-altitude sickness and make exercise more tiring. To trek under this bad environmental condition, you need to build a strong foundation of fitness for the mountains before heading off. Here we have compiled some practical tips for you.

Mount Kailash Trek – Physical Condition  
Mount Kailash Trek – Physical Condition

  1. Strenuous Aerobic Exercise. To Cope with the decreasing level of oxygen in high-altitude areas, you need to build aerobic fitness, which can strengthen your heart, reduce the risk of heart and stroke, and make your lungs strong, etc.
  2. Strength Training. Focus on building in your legs, back, shoulders, arms, and abdominal muscles. It improves your posture and helps reduce the risk of straining muscles.
  3. Staying Hydrated. Focus on staying hydrated while training. It makes you more susceptible to getting altitude illness.
  4. Maintain Adequate Sleep. Try to maintain at least 8 hours of sleep during your training. Travelers often have trouble sleeping at high altitude, and diminished sleep will make your trekking much more challenging.
  5. Hilly Terrain. Walking, hiking and backpacking over hilly terrain to experience walking on different surfaces are very important. It can help you get used to the hills and weather in a better way.

2. Documents

  1. Passport with visa: This is the most basic and necessary document for international travelers. Double check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months before your planned departure date.
  2. Tibet Travel Permit: International tourists must obtain the Tibet Travel Permit before entering to Tibet, otherwise they will not be allowed to board flights or train to Tibet. This permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and you cannot apply it on your own or contact a local travel agency to help you arrange it.
  3. Aliens Travel Permit: This permit is not required in Lhasa, but it is needed in Mount Kailash. Generally speaking, your tour guide will arrange it after your arrival at Tibet.
  4. Military Area Entry Permit. The Local travel agency will apply for it on behalf you.

3. Location & Maps

it is necessary for you to carry a detailed map of your Mount Kailash trek. You may not need it much for navigation (most popular routes are well marked), but it will still be useful. A good map with detailed trail descriptions can be helpful. It’s nice to know what challenges lie ahead and get excited about upcoming highlights.

Mt Kailash Trek – Map of Mount Kailash
Mt Kailash Trek – Map of Mount Kailash

4. Weather & Tips

Check the weather conditions before starting trekking is very important, since different weather will give you different sceneries of Mount Kailash. Good weather gives trekkers good, uninterrupted views of the mountains, while bad weather like rainy days gives trekkers bad visibility to see the peaks of mountains. No one wants to trek in bad weather, so it’s important for you to learn about the Mount Kailash weather before heading there.

5. Equipment and Clothing

Equipment and clothing are crucial for a trek since they directly decide whether you can have a great experience. Generally, if you trek in Tibet with a local agency, they will supply all necessary camping equipment. Apart from the equipment they prepare, you also need to prepare for some necessary equipment and clothing. Below is a list of suggested equipment and clothing for a trek.

(1) Equipment

  • A small backpack with daily essentials.
  • Some useful gears including water bottles, a pair of hiking sticks, a thin sleeping bag, a headlight, a power bank, sleeping pad, etc.
  • Handkerchief

(2) Clothing

  • A pair of good hiking shoes to protect you from rugged terrain.
  • A hat that can be used to keep warm and protect you from tense sun’s ray.
  • A pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from hurt by strong sunshine.
  • Thermal underwear can keep you warm at night when the temperature drops to zero or below.
  • Cotton underpants (4 -5 pairs).
  • Socks (At least of 3 pairs of wool/wool-mix socks and several pairs of cotton socks.
  • Shirts, Pants, Sweater,
  • A jacket that is ideal for trekking.

Part 2. Detailed Travel Tips for Mount Kailash Trek Tour

1. How to Get to Mount Kailash?

There are 2 ways for trekkers to get to Mount Kailash: From Kathmandu, Nepal and from Chinese cities.

(1) From Chinese Cities to Kailash

This is one of the most popular ways to go to Mt. Kailash. Approximate 90% of people take this route. People often choose to go to Lhasa from Chinese cities by flights or train and stay there for 2-3 days for better acclimation, then leave Lhasa for Mt. Kailash. This not only because it is good for your body to adjust to the high-altitude, but because this route covers almost all attractions.

(2) From Kathmandu to Kailash

This is the easiest and closest way to go to Kailash. But we do not recommend you to take this route since it doesn’t give your body enough time to adjust to the high altitude. The dramatic increase of altitude from Kathmandu (1350m) to Paryang (4600m) in just 2-3 days may put your life in danger.

2. Where to Stay? & What to Eat during Mt. Kailash Trek?


Guesthouse under Mount Kailash
Guesthouse under Mount Kailash

There is no restaurant but simple teahouses on the way of trekking. The only places for meals are the guesthouses you stay overnight. The teahouses only provide tea and instant noodles. To ensure you have enough energy for trekking, we suggest you eat sufficient foods. Besides, you can also take some dry nuts, chocolate, and fruits in your small backpack to provide energy.

Accommodation is very important for trekking, cause a good sleep can enhance athletic performance, which is good for trekking. Here in this guide, we compile some of the best hotels in Mount Kailash for you to choose from.

3. When to Go Trekking? (The Best Time for Kailash Trek)

One of the most common questions asked by those keen on trekking on Mount Kailash is when is the best time of year to do the trek. In general, the best season for trekking in Mount Kailash is from May through October. The weather during these months is mild, with sunny days and chilly nights in the mountains.

Autumn (September - October) is often considered the best time for trekking, with sunny days, clear blue skies, cool breezes and chilly night – optimal trekking conditions. At this time, the days are cooler and the willow and birch leaves begin turning yellow. No matter the weather or scenery is perfect for trekking.

Mt. Kailash – Autumn
Mt. Kailash – Autumn

Spring ( April to May) is the second most popular time of year for trekking. Since the snow is melt and the weather starts to warm. At this time of year, the barren hills don fuzzy green clothing of grass, while in some areas become lush and speckled with wildflowers and blooming shrubs.

4. Recommended Trekking Itineraries (Most Popular and Classic)

Mt. Kailash Kora Trek is one of the most sacred and popular trek routs in Tibet. The routes start from Darchen, which is also the endpoint. The 52 kilometers trekking route can be covered in 3 days (or a little bit more) and offers tourists physical challenge, wildlife view, amount of pilgrimages and mountain scenery. If you have no idea on how to choose the best itineraries, below are two of the most popular and classic trekking itineraries we collect for you to refer to. Hope you have a pleasant journey!

5. Important Notice for Mount Kailash Trek

When trekking in Mount Kailash, you will be far from hospitals. That makes it important to take every precaution before heading off. Below you’ll find some safety tips for trekking in Mount Kailash.

Important Notice for Mount Kailash Trek  
Important Notice for Mount Kailash Trek

  • Educate yourself on Altitude Sickness.
  • Don’t trek alone.
  • Always pay attention to weather conditions, especially on long pass days. Storms can develop quickly in the mountains and can be fatal if you are unprepared.
  • Carry enough water on the trail and stay hydrated, since dehydrate might make high altitude sickness worse.
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Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. Ju*** from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express

Hi, I plan to arrive in Lhasa on the 9th of March in 2020 by train and would like to do a 4 day tour. Unfortunately there are no tours scheduled between January and April, will there be tours added or are there not any planned?

Kind regards

Julian Franz

Answered by Helen

Hello Mr. Ju***,

    Thanks very much for your inquiry. We currently have no group tour in February and March, if you would like to travel Tibet in these months, we are able to arrange a private tour for you. While there are several confirmed departure date for the group tour in January and April, if your time is flexible, you may consider joining a group tour in April. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Warm regards.

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