In October 2019, the team at Wild Earth Expedition’s will be heading to the Tibetan Plateau, which is on the northern side of the Himalayas. The mountains in Tibet average 22,960 feet high which is why it is called the ‘Roof of the World’. Experience the life of Tibetan people and culture; Trek out to Mt Kailash and visit Everest Base Camp
Starting Point: Lhasa
End Point: Lhasa
Maximum number of people: 10
Day 1: Arrive.
On arrival in Lhasa (3650M) you will be welcomed by your English speaking Tibetan guide and your Tibetan driver. They will take you to your hotel – the Shambhala Hotel in the centre of Lhasa – where you will continue to acclimatise to high altitude. We will need to drink lots of water and take plenty of rest to minimise altitude sickness.
Day 2: Explore Lhasa.
We begin by visiting the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred monastery in Tibet. It was founded in the 7th century by the first great Buddhist king Songsten Gampo. Later you can explore the Barkhor old Quarter and spend time walking around the Jokhang temple following the pilgrims who have come from all over the Tibetan plateau. In the afternoon you will be taken to the Sera Monastery, one of the three great universities of the Gelugpa Sect. We will attend a debating session of the monks. The night will be spent at the Shambhala Palace near the centre of Lhasa and is a Tibetan style hotel.
Day 3: Explore Lhasa
Today we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. The Potala winter palace was built in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. It provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the current Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and was built in the 18th century by the 7th Dalai Lama. It is a tradition to have a picnic in the palace’s beautiful gardens and there are operas and dancing performed during the Shoton Festival (August – September). Again we will stay overnight at the Shambhala Palace.
Day 4: Lhasa – Shigatse (354 km – 3840m)
The adventure starts as we drive west to reach the second largest city in Tibet. First we cross the Kampa-la Pass (4797m) and then the Karo-la Pass (5050m). Here the Mt. Noijin Kangsang glacier lies near the road (7206m). In the middle of our day we enjoy the beautiful turquoise waters of the holy lake Yamdrok-Tso. Then we stop at Gyantse town where we visit what is considered to be the best Tibetan artwork in Kumbum Stupa inside the Pelkor Chode Monastery. Also we admire the majestic fortress of Gyantse Dzong overlooking the valley. We reach Shigatse before dinner and we stay overnight at the Gesar hotel.
Day 5: Shigatse to New Tingri (250km, 4300m)
This journey involves crossing the high pass of Gyatso La (5220) and the opportunity to see Mt Everest and the Himalayas for the first time. First we visit Sakya Monastery which the principal seat of the Sakyapa Sect founded in 1073 and one of the four major Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Its powerful abbots governed Tibet during the whole of the 13th century until they were eclipsed by the rise of the Gelukpa sect. The monastery’s Mongolian architecture is different from that of temples we have seen before. We spend the night at the “Roof of the World”.
Day 6: New Tingri – Everest Base Camp (120km, 5000km)
This will be an exciting day as we reach one of the major highlights of our trip – Mt Everest North Base Camp at 5200m). We can either trek or take the bus. From New Tingri we continue driving towards Rongbuk Monastery located at the foot of Mt Everest and the highest monastery in the world. We enjoy amazing views of several peaks – Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Mt Everest itself from the top of the Pang-La pass (5150m). We will spend the night at a tourist camp a few kilometres after the Rongbuk monastery and from here we have direct views of Mt Everest. We will spend the night in the guesthouse tent – a dorm bed with no bathroom. A sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 7: Rongbuk – Saga (300km, 4490m)
After spending some time at the base of Mt Everest we drive North West across high passes with magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks like Shishapangma and see the wildlife at the Peikutso Lake. We will spend the night at the Grand Hotel of Western Post or a similar one if necessary.
Day 8: Saga – Mapam Yumtso lake (465km, 4566m)
Early in the morning we enter the semi-nomadic regions of Tibet’s far west. We will enjoy genuine Tibetan landscapes during this long drive through the highest plateau in the world. We follow the Yatlung Tsampo river west (also called the Brahmaputra in India) until the lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yumtso in the Tibetan language). This is one of the three most sacred lakes in Tibet. Hindus believe that whoever bathes in it will clean all their sins away and provide good karma. We will stay overnight at the guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom). A sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 9: Mapam Yumtso Lake – Darchen 35km. 4670m)
In the morning we enjoy the sunrise at the beautiful Holy waters of Lake Manasarovar. After visiting the Chiu monastery, we drive to the little city of Darchen at the foot of Mt Kailash where we will get ready for the trek. We will stay overnight at the Himalayan Kailash Hotel.
Days 10 – 12: Mt Kailash Kora (52 km 5630m max.)
We begin the pilgrimage to Kora of Mt Kailash the most sacred mountain in Asia. We trek to the Dira-Puk Monastery (20km, 5-6 hours 5050m). We then trek to Zutul Puk Monastery (18 km, 6 – 8 hours, 4820m). Then we trek to Darchen (14km, 3-4 hours 4670m). We stay overnight at the guesthouse with dorm beds without bathroom while trekking (2 nights), A sleeping bag is recommended. In Darchen we will stay overnight at the Himalaya Kailash Hotel.
Day 13-14: Darchen-Saga-Shigatse
We drive east again through arid landscapes and sand dunes and wonderful views of the Himalaya range. On day 13 we will stay at the Grand Hotel of Western Post (or similar). On Day 14 we will stay overnight at the Gesar Hotel in Shigatse.
Day 15: Shigatse – Lhasa
We visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery, built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama. Nowadays it is the seat of the Panchen Lama. We recommend you do Kora (or pilgrimage) around the Tashihunpo Monastery. You can also walk around the local market. When we have finished we will return to Lhasa and stay overnight at the Shambhala Palace – our first hotel.
Day 16: Depart Tibet
Enjoy your last hours in Tibet, exploring Lhasa on your own until your guide and driver meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport.
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