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

Duration:
20 Days
Destination:
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
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Vast, thinly populated and with an average altitude of over 4500m, Ngari is Tibet’s wild west, a rough and ready frontier occupying one of the remotest corners of Aisa. Worshiped by more than a billion Buddhist and Hindus, Asia’s most sacred mountain, Mt Kailash rises from the Barkha plain like a giant four-sided 6714m chorten. Throw in the stunning nearby Lake Manasarovar and a basin that forms the source of four Asia’s greatest rivers; endowed with springs, Everest Base Camp(elev 5150m) has a couple of permanent structures and a small army base. Clamber up the small hill festooned with prayer flags for great views of the star attraction, Mt. Everest, then have your photo taken at the base camp marker, reads ‘Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp’.

Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa

Our staff will greet you at Lhasa Airport/Railway to transfer you to hotel. From Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa, it usually takes abt 1.5hrs; from Lhasa Railway Station, abt 20mins. After transferred to hotel, the rest of the day you will be free to wander around the city on your own but try not to overtax yourself. The first day's well-rest is crucial to acclimatize high altitude. Remember to drink lots of water, eat light, and not to shower if you can help it. 

Day 2 Lhasa City

As the capital city, Lhasa is the political, economic, cultural, communication and tourism center of Tibet with a history over 1300 years.

As the winter palace of the Dalai Lama, Potala Palace is an important religious landmark of Tibet.
khang Temple has a beautiful golden roof, which will attract you when you get close to it. The golden roof of Jokhang Template. Ancient wooden beams and rafters can be found under the roof.
  • Breakfast
Day 3 Lhasa Suburb

Today you will visit attractions in Lhasa suburb. You will stay long hour on sightseeing under the fierce sun of Tibet, do arm yourself with sunglasses/ hat/ sunscreen, etc.

Drepung Monastery was the largest monastery in Tibet, with over 10,000 monks. Now, this monastery houses about 700 monks.
Sers Monastery, a best place to see the colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines
Day 4 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse

From Lhasa to Gyantse is abt 264km, en route you will pass by Khamba-la Pass (4794m), and with the huge massif of Mt Nojin Kangtsang (7191m) at far distance in view. 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 till the land.

Bathing in sunshine, Yamdrok lake is dispalying its dazzling beauty to visitors both home and abroad
The white glacier is spectacular from the highway
Day 5 Shigatse - Tingri - Rongphu - EBC

Tibet has a serious rule about speed-limit. Though from Shigatse to Everest region is only abt 350km or so, the no-more-than-40km/hr regulation, and the many road checks dotted on the way, really slow us down. So be prepared to spend around 10~12hrs on the road including meal time. The upside is the view along the way is superb. Get your camera ready. Also, prepare some snacks with you to bring along.

If it’s summertime (usually May~Oct), we will carry on the last few kilometers to Everest Tent Camp to stay the night; if winter time (usually Nov~Apr), we will stay at Rongbuk Monastery’s guesthouse. Both places have but dorm bed lodging available. Both places you can see the glorious Everest sunset if the weather is good.

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.
Since there is a very simple post office at EBC, you can send postcards  from this highest place to your families, your friends, and even to yourself.
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. 

Peikutso lake
Beautiful Peikutso lake
Day 7 Saga - Manasarovar

Saga to Zhongba, 145km, there are several ruined monasteries along this stretch.

Zhongba to Paryang, 101km, a photogenic section of sand dunes, lake and mountains kicks in 60km from Zhongba. Abt 23km before Paryang you crest a 4780m pass and drop past more spectacular dunes to Paryang. Photos taken along this route can often get stepped, streams, desert dunes and snow-capped mountains in the same shot.

Paryang to Hor Qu, 223km, this route is a pleasant 4hr-drive along the spine of the Himalaya, passing through yellow steppe, with craggy, snowcapped peaks looming to the south when the weather is clear. There is a tricky section of sandy road 12km west of Paryang but all the major river crossings now have bridges.

At the Mayum-la(5220m), the road crosses from the drainage basin of Yarlung Tsangpo to that of the Sutlej, as you cross from Shigatse to Ngari prefectures. Your first magic views of Mt Kailash come into view approximately 90km after Mayum-la, just before the town of Hor Qu(4620m).

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

Day 8 Manasarovar - Darchen

After sightseeing the sapphire-blue holy Lake Manasarovar, head to Darchen, nested in the foothills of Mt Kailash.

Travelers back from Manasarovar could never forget the beauty of the lake. In the sunshine, the lake water is crystal clean and glimmering blue.
Pilgrims also do kora pilgrimage around Lake Manasarovar. It usually takes 4 or 5 days to complete one kora.
Day 9 Darchen - Kailash - Darchen

Darchen is the starting point of Mt Kailash Kora for pilgrims, but you will take the local shuttle bus here today to sightseeing Mt Kailash instead. 

It is said that one kora around Mt Kailash can wipe away sins of this lifetime; 108 koras can help people break the cycle of rebirth and assure one of nirvana at death.
There are many legends about Mt. Kailash. One love story tells that Mt. Kailash was a handsome man who married Mt. Naimona'nyi and later met his Valentine—Lake Manasarovar.
Day 10 Darchen - Zanda

It's about 8hr-drive from Darchen to Zanda, though the distance is only abt 243km. It's 65km along a paved road from Darchen to Mincer, 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 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
Tholing Monastery is the oldest monastery (or gompa) in the Ngari
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. 

In 1624, a Jesuit missionary and his companion arrived Guge Kindom. They saw irrigation canals and rich crops in what is now a dry and desolate land.
Most of the sculptures at Guge are gold and silver buddhist statues. One named “Guge Silver Eye” represents the highest level of the artistic achievement.
Day 12 Zanda - Ali - Rutok

Drive from Zanda to Rutok today, abt 132km, passing Lalung-la Pass (5330m) and Ali (Gar), the capital town of Ngari Prefecture. 

Petroglyph is a kind of stone art from ancients.
Rutog Monastery is in far western of Tibet.
Day 13 Rutok - Pangongtso - Ali - Gegye

About 8km north of Rutok Xian, the road hits the east end of lovely turquoise Pangongtso (4241m). After sightseeing here, head to Gegye (4520m).

Pangongtso Lake  shows blue uner the sky.
Pangongtso Lake reflects the sky.
Day 14 Gegye - Gertse

It’s an 8hr-drive from Gegye to Gertse. The initial landscape is a dreamy blur of lake and sky, cut by salt rings and brooding mountains of rust, mustard, turmeric and green barley. 

Day 15 Gertse - Tsochen

Drive from Gertse to Tsochen, which is abt 257km, 7hrs-ish, on the way you will see some small lakes, today pass beautiful valleys one after another and turquoise water lake Dung-tso and Dawa-tso are the highlights of the day.

Another name of Dung tso is moon lake.
It's where from Tsochen to the junction of the northern road.
Day 16 Tsochen - Raka

Drive from Tsochen to Raka, along the valley, pass Songma-la pass (5500m), then you will see Tagyel-tso, and other small lakes. Raka is situated on the junction of the road with Northern road to Ali or Mt Kailash.

Tagyel-tso
Best time to visit King Tiger Hot springs is in September.
Day 17 Raka - Lhatse - Sakya - Shigatse

In the morning trace the road back to Lhatse via Sangsang, then further south back to Shigatse. En route, we will detour to Sakya Monastery. 

Sakya Monastery
Sakya Monastery
Day 18 Shigatse - Lhasa

We will depart today from your hotel in Shigatse around 08:00ish. The rode condition is pretty good but because of the speed-limit, we will spend about 6hrs on the road. 

Tashilhunpo Monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's Mountain), Shigatse
Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters
Day 19 Free Day in Lhasa

Have a relaxing free day in Lhasa with a tour guide. If you like to go somewhere, taking a taxi is strongly suggested but the taxi fee should be on clients' own expense.

Day 20 Departure from Lhasa by Flight/Train

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 private customized Tibet tours are ideal for families, small groups and individual travellers who desire a more thorough and intimate introduction to Tibet. Price varies with size, season, hotel rate. etc. Please fill out this form so our travel designers can start helping you plan a trip.

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Asked Questions from our Clients

S M ***

2018-01-12

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

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amy

Day 1: Arrived at Nyingchi Airport(3100m) Upon your arrival in Nyingtri by flight, our local tour guide will welcome you at the airport and transfer to your lovely hotel by a private car. Day 2: Nyingchi - Bomi Visit: Cypress tree, View of Namcha Barwa, and Lulang Forest Day 3: Bomi - Rawo Visit: Midui Glacier, Ranwu Lake Day 4: Rawo - Nyingchi Enjoy the Sunrise of Ranwu Lake, take pictures of snow-capped mountains, forests and lakes along the way. Day 5: Nyingchi - Lhasa Visit: Draksumtso Lake Day 6: Lhasa Sightseeing Visit: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street Day 7: Lhasa Sightseeing Visit: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery Day 8: Lhasa - Nagqu by Train (4hrs) Today we will move from Lhasa to Nagqu by train, and you can enjoy the breathtaking Northern Tibetan Landscape on the way to Nagqu. After the arrival, you can have a rest and explore freely around the hotel. Day 9 - Day 10: Enjoy Nagqu Horse Racing Festival In these two days, you will get to experience the Nagqu Horse Racing Festival, where you can enjoy spectacular horsemanship and have lots of Tibetan delicacy. Day 11: Nagqu to Lhasa by Train Take a train back to Lhasa. You will arrive in Lhasa in the early afternoon. The rest time is free for you to enjoy local Tibetan food, watch traditional singing and dancing or explore freely in Lhasa city. Day 12: Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse Visit: Yamdroktso Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum Day 13: Shigatse - Tingri - EBC Visit: Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp Day 14: EBC - Saga Visit: Peikutso Lake Day 15: Saga - Manasarovar Long driving today, but we could stop for you to take pictures when crossing beautiful sites. Day 16: Manasarovar - Darchen - Kailash - Darchen Visit: Mt. Kailash Day 17: Darchen - Manasarovar Visit: Lake Manasarovar Day 18: Manasarovar - Payang - Saga Long driving today, but we could stop for you to take pictures when crossing beautiful sites. Day 19: Saga - Lhatse - Shigatse Visit: Sakya Monastery Day 20: Shigatse - Lhasa Visit: Tashilhunpo Monastery Day 21: Lhasa Departure by Flight/Train 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.

Jacq***

2017-11-28

I am just starting to look into travel to Tibet in 2018 and am very interested in this 20-day trip. Can you tell me what departure dates are available in September/October and the cost? Thank you!

Rita

Dear Jacquelin,

The Mt. Everest & Ngari Off-The-Beaten-Path Tour takes very long. If you travel alone, the 20 days cost of the whole vehicle, driver, tour guide will be all at your expense. It's quite high. The estimated price is more than $6000. I don't think it's cost-effective for you.

As you travel alone, I suggest you join Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour. The cost is quite lower compared with the private tour. $1980 for 3-star hotel accommodation and $2080 for 4-star hotel accommodation in September. $1750 for 3-star hotel accommodation and $2000 for 4-star hotel accommodation in October.

Dan ***

2017-09-20

Plan on leaving Canada Nov 30th or Dec 4th Fly to Beijing take train to Lhasa. Would love to experience treking around Tibet and prefer to stay in hostels. I'm looking to stay in a budget and then plan on taking train to shenzhen after tour to meet with my wife. Please let me know what tours you can offer! I am very flexible! Thanks in advance. -Dan

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amy

Dear Dan MacIsaac,

Actually, it’s not suitable to do any trekking due to heavy snow in Dec here, so for traveler’s safety and we won’t arrange any trekking tour for our clients in winter, hope you understand.

As a solo traveler, I highly suggest you join our 8 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt. Everest Group Tour on 23rd Nov if you are flexible, the price could be more affordable by sharing the expenses with other travelers. 

Sand***

2017-07-01

Interested in the Everest - manasrovar - mt Kailash tour. 20 days. Then either overland or fly to Kathmandu. I am traveling solo. Dates flexible, but interested in October.

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amy

Dear Sandy Scherrens,you could only fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu after tour because Zhangmu port(Nepal border) has been closed for travelers due to the earthquake happened in earlier 2015 in Nepal, the road of Nepal border was badly destroyed by that and is still under construction now, we have no idea when it probably can be done, so travelers could only fly between Lhasa and Kathmandu this year(even next year), hope this is fine with you. 

You mentioned that you are interested in taking our Mt.Everest- Manasrovar-Mt.Kailash Tour in Oct, as you are a solo traveler and I highly suggest you to join our 15 Days-Mt.Everest- Manasrovar-Mt.Kailash Group Tour starting on 26th Oct(tour ends on 9th Nov), there is one traveler in this group so far and I hope you could join. 

    

June***

2017-06-25

Plan to visit in September 2017.

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amy

Dear June Fong, I'm glad to hear you are interested in taking our 20 Days-MT. EVEREST & NGARI OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH TOUR, this is a private tour, so I will quote you with detailed price inclusions & exclusions by email shortly. 

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