Great Tibet Tour Logo GREAT TIBET TOUR ®

Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour

Duration:
19 Days
Route:
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - EBC - Saga - Lake Manasarovar - Darchen - Mt. Kailash - Guge Kingdom - Ali - Gegye – Gertse - Shigatse - Lhasa
Season:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
Add to Favorites

Overview

Ngari, the most Tibetan area in Tibet and the roof of the roof the world, is vast, thinly populated with an average altitude of over 4500m. Ngari is in Tibet’s wild west, a remote and frontier corner. For most of you, it seems far away and mysterious. Yet, this barren land is blessed with superb scenery and once gave birth to an unsearchable and brilliant ancient civilization - the Guge Kingdom. Today's Ngari still maintains a unique charm, especially the Ngari Loop! Along this route, you can see fascinating and beautiful sceneries, such as Yamdroktso Lake, Everest Base Camp, Manasarovar Lake, Zada ​​Forest, Guge Kingdom Ruins... Join this tour, you will walk into Ngari and touch the lost civilization.

Daily Itinerary

Collapse Expand
Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m)

This is the first day in Tibet. Your guide will greet you at Lhasa Gonggar Airport/Railway Station and transfer you to your hotel. It usually takes around 1.5 hours to drive from Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa and takes about 20mins from Lhasa Railway Station. Tourists could have a look at the Yarlung Tsangpo River, the largest and longest river in Tibet on their way to the hotel. After check-in, you can have a good rest first. And if you feel like going out, you can wander around the city. But just remember that don't take too much stuff, try to go with a light pack. Meanwhile, drink some more water, do not move strenuously. It’s really useful to get acclimatized to the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 2 Lhasa City

In the morning our guide will meet you at the hotel and first take you to visit the famous Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. It was first built by the 33rd King - Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and rebuilt later by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Now it's a museum and world heritage site. 

In the afternoon, we will go to visit Jokhang Temple in the center of the Lhasa old town. Jokhang Temple is one of the most sacred temples all over Tibet and it is always bustling with earnest local pilgrims since the early days. After that, you will take a walk around the Barkhor Street - one of the most devotional circuit as well as a crowded central market of Lhasa. Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it‘s also a must-see place for visitors.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

A Tibetan granny turning players at Potala Palace Square.
Many pilgrims are worshipping and performing their devotions at the gate of Jokhang.
  • Breakfast
Day 3 Lhasa Suburb

In the morning, we will go to visit Norbulingka. Norbulingka park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music, and festivities. The park is where the annual Sho Dun or 'Yoghurt Festival' is held.

In the afternoon, you are heading to Drepung Monastery, which means Monastery of Rice Heap in the Tibetan language. The entire monastery is large in scale and the white buildings cluster and covers the hillsides. They look like huge rice heaps in the distance, so it is called Drepung. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Drepung Monastery is the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.
The yard for Buddhist debates at Sera Monastery.
Day 4 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse

From Lhasa to Gyantse is about 264km, en route you will pass by Gambala Mountain Pass (4990m), where's the best place to overlook the Yamdroktso lake. Then head to Shigatse via the fertile Nyangchu Valley, a wide agricultural plain where colorfully decorated yaks and horses are used by Tibetan farmers to cultivate this land.

Stay overnight in Shigatse

Yamdroktso Lake is a freshwater lake in Tibet
The white glacier looks spectacular for visitors passing by.
Day 5 Shigatse - Tingri - Rongbuk - EBC

Tibet has a serious rule about speed-limit. Though from Shigatse to Everest region is only abt 350km or so, no-more-than-40km/hr speed limitation, and the many road checks dotted on the way, really slow us down. So be prepared to spend around 8~10hrs on the road including mealtime. The upside is the view along the way is superb. Also please take some snacks with you for the long-time driving.

In the summertime, usually May~Oct, we will stay overnight at Everest Tent Camp; in wintertime, usually Nov~Apr, we will stay at Rongbuk Monastery’s guesthouse. There are dorm beds available in the 2 places. Both places you can see the glorious Everest sunset if the weather is good.

Stay overnight at EBC

At the site of Rongbuk Monastery, you can view the highest mountain of the world brightly shining and clearly sparkling. The snowy peak seems happily to touch the blue sky.
Far view of Mt.Everest
Day 6 EBC - Saga

From EBC to Saga is abt 460km, a hard-drive of abt 10~12hrs. The sprawling truck-up town of Saga is the last of any size on your tour to Mt Kailash, cherish it – have a lavish meal and take a long hot shower, of which you have to do without for the following days. 

At an altitude of 4580 meters, Peikutso Lake is the largest lake in Shigatse.
Day 7 Saga - Manasarovar

Saga to Zhongba, 145km, there are several ruined monasteries along this stretch. From Zhongba to Paryang, 78km, there's a photogenic section of sand dunes, lake and mountains. Photos taken along this route can often get desert dunes and snow-capped mountains in the same shot.

Paryang to Hor Qu, 223km, this route is a pleasant 4hr-drive along with many snow-capped mountains of the Himalaya in the south. After crossing over the Mayum-la Mountain Pass(5220m), your will soon get your first magic views of Mt.Kailash, just before the town of Hor Qu(4620m).

From Hor Qu, it's 22km to the settlement and checkpoint of Barkha. Lake Manasarovar comes right after.

Lake Manasarovar and holy mountain Kailash.
Day 8 Manasarovar - Darchen

In the morning, we will drive to the holy Manasarovar Lake (4558m). As one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, it is said that Manasarovar Lake is the holiest one. The sacred water can wash away the troubles and obstacles in the soul. You may take a leisurely kora around the Manasarovar, meditate beside the tranquil lake, or even take a holy dip, etc.

In the afternoon, we will visit the 8th century Chiu Monastery. Although it is located in the west of the lake, it's between the holy lake and the ghost lake. Standing on the mountain, you can have a panoramic view of the two lakes. It is said that Guru Padmasambhava once meditated in a cave of the temple and there are also his footprints inside. When the sun sets in the afternoon, the setting sun is reflected in the temple, which has a special flavor.

After sightseeing around the sapphire-blue holy Lake Manasarovar, head to Darchen, where's located at the foot of Mt.Kailash.

You can enjoy the stunning scenery of Manasarovar from Chiu Monastery.
Day 9 Darchen - Kailash - Darchen

Darchen is the starting point of Mt Kailash Kora for pilgrims. You will take an eco-bus ride (about 15mins, 6km) from Darchen to Serlung Chu Valley, the trailhead of Mt. Kailash Kora. Start your hiking at the terminal of the bus, walk through the Two-legged Stupa adorned by colorful prayer flags, and keep hiking to Qugu Temple about 2.6km away. You can see prostrating Tibetan pilgrims and enjoy the grand Serlung Valley with the spear-shaped summit of Mt. Kailash in the background. After enjoying sweet tea at tents around Qugu Temple, you can circumambulate Guqu Temple before heading back to Darchen.

If you don't want to hike at all, you can take the shuttle bus here today to sightseeing Mt Kailash instead.

Stay overnight in Darchen.

The top of Mt. Kailash is covered with sparkling snow all year round. You will be deeply touched by its sacred and solemn face!
Day 10 Darchen - Zanda

It's about 8hr-drive from Darchen to Zanda, though the distance is only abt 243km. The first 65km from Darchen to Mincer is on a paved road, and then another 50km from there to the army base at Ba'er, where the road branches south. The 122km from Ba'er to Zanda takes 4hrs of winding up and down along fantastically eroded gorges and gullies. Zanda (3760m), Zhada or Tsamda, is the bland, one-street town that has been built up alongside Thöling Monastery.

Tholing Monastery is the first Buddhist monastery built in the Guge Kingdom.
Day 11 Zanda - Tsaparang - Zanda

Tsaparang is abt 18km west of Zanda, in the valley of Langchen Tsangpo, Sutlej River, the 'elephant river', which rises west of Manasarovar and continues over the border with India into Ladakh and finally Pakistan. 

The ruins of the former capital of the Guge kingdom are located at Tsaparang.
Day 12 Zanda - Gar - Rutog

Today, you will head to Rutog, with a distance of about 400 kilometers. The road passes through the earth forest, just like driving on Mars. The earth forest in Zanda Valley is magnificent and imposing. After that, you will enter a plateau meadow with snow-capped mountains beckoning you in the distance. On the meadow, you can see Tibetan wild asses, it's an easy seen large wild animal on the plateau.

When reaching Gar(Ali) County, you will find that the Gangdise Range always is on your right. Gangdise means the“King of Mountains" in the Tibetan Language, which is also called the Axis of the World. In Gar County, the capital of Ngari, you will have a rest for one hour. Then continue to drive, passing Lalung-la Pass (5,191m), finally, you will arrive at Rotug.

Petroglyph in Tibet usually recorded scripture or poetry.
Rutog monasteries located at the top of the hills.
  • Ancient Petroglyphs
  • Rutog Monastery
Day 13 Rutog - Pangongtso - Gar - Gegye

Today your will mainly visit Pangong Tso, a lake on the western Tibetan plateau. It lies about 12km northwest of Rotug County. The eastern and western sections of the lake are part of China, and the western end extends into Kashmir. The lake has an elevation of 4241 meters and an area of ​​413 square kilometers. Pangong Tso means "long-necked swan" in Tibetan. The lake is clear and has the highest bird island in the world. It is a paradise for birds, such as black-necked cranes, bar-headed geese and brown-headed gulls. Surrounded by the snow-capped mountains, the scenery around the lake is extremely beautiful.

After the visit, you will return to Rutog and follow G219 to Gegye County via Gar. The whole journey drives on the tarred road and it takes 6 hours. On the way, you will cross Lalung-la Pass (5,191m) again and encounter some Tibetan antelope, horses and cattle.

Bird Island in Pangong Tso is a famous tourist attraction in Tibet.
Day 14 Gegye - Gertse

Today's journey is also long, taking about 7 hours, with the full-course tarred road in good condition. After breakfast, you will start from Gegye County and then proceed to Salt Lake City. Along the way, you will travel around countless snow-capped mountains and lakes.

Day 15 Gertse - Tsochen

Drive from Gertse to Tsochen, which is about 257km, 7hrs driving distance. Along the way, there are many lakes and snow-capped mountains. The snow-capped mountains accompany you all the way out of Gertse, stretching dozens of kilometers under the background of the blue sky and white clouds.

Dung-tso, Dawa-tso, and Qiduo Co birds island are the highlights of the day.

Another name of Dung tso is moon lake.
There's a great opportunity to view the uniuqe scenery of Tibet.
  • Dungtso
  • Dawatso
Day 16 Tsochen - Raka

Today, we will drive from Tsochen to Raka, the junction of the road with Northern road to Gar or Mt Kailash. Along the valley, you will pass Songma-la pass (5,500m), then you will see Tagyel-tso and other small lakes.

Only 21km north of the Raka junction are the Tagyel Chutse or King Tiger Hot Springs. You will smell the warm spring and see the steaming steam from far away. It's a collection of geysers, bubbling hot springs, puffing steam outlets, and smoking holes that seem to lead straight down into the bowels of the earth. You can take a hot spring bath here.

Tagyel-tso
Day 17 Raka - Lhatse - Sakya - Shigatse

In the morning, we will get back to Lhatse first, then move further south back to Shigatse. En route, we will detour to Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery is the main monastery of Sakyapa, built in the 1360s. The walls around this monastery were mainly in gray, but the top part of the walls was painted in red and white stripes. That’s why Sakyapa is also being called Variegated Buddhism. There are many cultural relics such as seals, Buddha statues, a large collection of books, more than 3000 exquisite murals, etc. The murals of the Yuan Dynasty are the most distinctive, which makes Sakya Monastery known as the "second Dunhuang".

Sakya Monastery is a Buddhist monastery on the road to Tingri.
Day 18 Shigatse - Lhasa

In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchen Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery, which was founded by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447. It is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse. It's located on the central hill of the city. The full name in Tibetan of the monastery means "all fortune and happiness gathered here" or "heap of glory".

Then, we will drive back to Lhasa from Shigatse along the Friendship Highway, via the northern route to Lhasa. It is the most direct route and usually takes around 6 hours to reach the capital. We will make several stops on the way in order to enjoy the views of the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley.

Tashilhunpo Monastery is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse
Day 19 Departure from Lhasa

Your tour ends today. Our guide and driver will collect you from your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station for your next destination.

Our Service

INCLUSIONS
  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB) and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
  • Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
  • 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 guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Free use of sleeping bag;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.
EXCLUSIONS
  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
  • Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
  • Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
  • While Gratuities for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
  • All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.2%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone calls, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Barb***

2019-01-29

Hello do you have already a date planned for this trip? I would like to join a group, if possible. Maybe we will be 2 persons, but this is not sure. Kind regards, Barbara

Image

Caroline

In your inquiry, you mentioned that one or two of you are interested in our 20-day Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour, which is a private tour. To be frank, the cost of this tour for only 1-2 travelers is a little bit high. And so far we don't have a set tour for this itinerary. For travelers less than five, we usually suggest them join our small group tours to keep the cost down. We have a 15-day Lhasa Everest Kailash Group Tour. Please check if you like the following itinerary.

Ursu***

2019-01-21

Hi Means my partner planing one of your tours We looking for 12-14 tour with not much walking What would you recommend. Regards Ursula

Image

Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned your parents would like to have a 12~14 Kailash tour with not much walking.  We have 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour. If your parents don't like to trek at Mt.Kailash, they can stay at the hotel in Darchen with our driver. They can walk around Darchen to wait for the group. 

May I know when would you like to have this tour?

Hyeo***

2018-11-10

We are a Korean couple, and interested in your "Mt.Everest & Ngari Off-the-Beaten-Path Tour". Do you have any group which we can join in 2019 ?

Image

Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned two of you would like to have the 20 Days Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour which is a private tour. We have another three travelers also would like to have this tour in May 2019? Would you like to join them? 

Manf***

2018-09-02

Hi, we are 61 and 60 years old and we are interested in the tour "Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour". Is it possible for us to do the tour? What is the price? Where do we sleep?

Image

Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned two of you would like to do the 20 Days Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour which is a private tour. It is okay for the healthy senior to do this tour. May I know when would you like to do this tour?

vibh***

2018-08-19

Planning a 20 day solo luxury trip to Tibet in nov 2018 Please tell me know how to take this further

Image

Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to do the 20 Days Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour in November. It is very cold at Ngari Prefecture in November. The best time to do the Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour is from May to October. How about doing this tour in October. 

Read More ...

What Our Customers Say
Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour

We had a great experience with Great Tibet Tour this September! We are a group of friends from 5 different countries, and it was not so easy sometimes for non-Chinese to get the permits to see places outside Lhasa. Just imagine that you have to register yourself at the local PSB all the time... but ....

Read more testimonials...
INQUIRY ABOUT THE TRIP
Email response within 0.5~24 hours.

You may also like

Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Tour
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - EBC - Saga - Lake Manasarovar - Darchen - Mt.Kailash Kora - Zada - Gegye - Gertse - Shigatse - Lhasa

20 Days Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Tour

View more
Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Group Tour
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - EBC - Shigatse – Lhasa
FROM USD860

8 Days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Group Tour

View more
Mt Kailash Kora with Mt Everest Tour
Lhasa- Gyantse - Shigatse - EBC - Saga - Darchen - Mt Kailash Kora - Lake Manasarovar - Saga - Shigatse - Lhasa

14 Days Mt Kailash Kora with Mt Everest Tour

View more
Dode Valley One Day Trekking Tour
Lhasa-Dode Valley-Lhasa

5 Days Dode Valley One Day Trekking Tour

View more

Tailor-made your tours within 0.5~24 hours

Want something different and unique? Just let us know! Please send us your ideas about the travel plans, destinations, attractions, your group, hotel class, etc. We specialize in planning your journey based on our first-hand experience, your budget, style, and interest!