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(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’.

DayRoute
1 Arrival in Lhasa
2 Lhasa City
3 Lhasa Suburb
4 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse
5 Shigatse - Tingri - Rongphu - EBC
6 EBC - Saga
7 Saga - Manasarovar
8 Manasarovar - Darchen
9 Darchen - Kailash - Darchen
10 Darchen - Zanda
11 Zanda - Tsaparang - Zanda
12 Zanda - Ali - Rutok
13 Rutok - Pangongtso - Ali - Gegye
14 Gegye - Gertse
15 Gertse - Tsochen
16 Tsochen - Raka
17 Raka - Lhatse - Sakya - Shigatse
18 Shigatse - Lhasa
19 Free Day in Lhasa
20 Departure from Lhasa by Flight/Train
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.

The Potala Palace stands in the ancient Lhasa for centuries and plays an important role in Tibetan people’s beliefs.
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 has white constructions and looks like a heap of rice in the distance. Its name, “Drepung”, means “Collecting Rice” in Tibetan.
Sera Monastery has a rich collection of cultural relics
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.

Yamdroktso Lake is a freshwater lake in Tibet
The white glacier looks spectacular for visitors passing by.
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.

Rongbuk Monastery has guesthouse for the tourists. There are lots of tents nearby as well. Tourists need to be careful on the belongings.
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. 

In the lake area, there are unique birds and animals of Tibetan plateau, such as Tibetan antelope, wild horse, etc.
The lake surrounded by mountains on three sides.
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.
Lake Manasarovar is the most transparent fresh water lake in China. It supports life while the salt lake Rakshas Tal lies next to it supports no life.
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. 

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.
With an altitude of 6656m, Mt. Kailash is not the highest mountain in the world. But it is mysterious that it is never to be conquered.
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 plays an important role in Tibetan history.
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. 

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.
Lots of murals from the Guge remains are kept well. The murals are describing the life of the times, such as farming, herding, singing and so on.
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 in Tibet usually recorded scripture or poetry.
Rutog monasteries painted in red.
  • Ancient Petroglyphs
  • Rutog Monastery
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.
  • Pangongtso Lake
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.

Dungtso is so beautiful like a blue diamond mounted in the ground.
There's a great opportunity to view the uniuqe scenery of Tibet.
  • Dungtso
  • Dawatso
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.

Best time to visit King Tiger Hot springs is in September.
Tagyel-tso
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 was founded in 1073 by Konchok Gyelpo.
Its Mongolian architecture is quite different.
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” means “Auspicious Sumeru” in Tibetan language
Tashilhunpo Monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's Mountain), Shigatse
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

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

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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

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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 ?

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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?

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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

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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. 

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