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Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Tour

20 Days
From USD4020
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - EBC - Saga - Lake Manasarovar - Darchen - Mt.Kailash Kora - Zada - Gegye - Gertse - Shigatse - Lhasa
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Tibet is known as the Roof of the World, and Ngari of Tibet can be labeled as the ridge of the Roof of the World, which is the world`s third pole in the true sense. There are countless magnificent snow-capped mountains and glaciers as well as vast grasslands and alpine lakes. Driving through the Ngari Northern Loop route usually takes about 20 days. Starting from Lhasa for the adventure, you will appreciate beautiful landscapes including the jaspideous Yamdrok Lake, the world's highest mountain - Everest, Shigatse`s largest lake Peikutso, pay three days to pilgrimage around Mt.Kailash, admire the West Jade Pool of Lake Manasarovar and mysterious Devil Pool of Lake of Rakshastal, explore the ruins of the lost civilization of the Guge Kingdom, as well as the boundless mountains and lakes in Northern Tibet. On the way, it's possible to meet a variety of wild protected animals, such as Tibetan wild donkey, Tibetan antelope…What you see along the way can subvert almost all the beautiful scenery you have ever seen before!

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel
2 Lhasa City Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
3 Lhasa Sightseeing Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery
4 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse, 360km, Approx, 7hrs Yamdroktso Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chode Monastery
5 Shigatse - Tingri - EBC, 350km, Approx, 7hrs Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp
6 EBC - Saga, 450km, Approx, 9hrs Peikutso Lake
7 Saga - Manasarovar, 490km, Approx, 9hrs Lake Manasarovar
8 Manasarovar - Darchen, 46km, Approx, 1hrs Manasarovar Lake, Chiu Monastery
9 Mt Kailash Kora①: Darchen - Dirapuk(4700m), Drive 5km, Trek 15km, Approx. 7~11hrs Mt.Kailash kora
10 Mt Kailash Kora②: Dirapuk - Zutulpuk(4790m), Trek 22km, Approx. 11~14hrs Mt.Kailash kora
11 Mt Kailash Kora③: Zutulpuk – Darchen; Trek 9km, Approx. 2~5hrs; Drive Darchen - Tirthapuri - Moincer; 79km, Approx. 1.5hrs Tirthapuri Hot Springs
12 Moincer - Tsaparang - Zanda, 202km, Approx, 4hrs Guge Kingdom (Tsaparang)
13 Zanda - Gar - Rutog, 377km, Approx, 6.5hrs Zanda Clay Forest
14 Rutog - Gar - Gegye, 250km, Approx, 3.5hrs Pangong Lake
15 Gegye - Gertse, 364km, Approx, 4.5hrs Enjoy the scenery along the way
16 Gertse - Tsochen, 258km, Approx, 3.5hrs Gertse to Tsochen
17 Tsochen - Raka, 287km, Approx, 5hrs King Tiger Hot Springs
18 Raka - Lhatse - Sakya - Shigatse, 497km, Approx, 8hrs Sakya Monastery
19 Shigatse - Lhasa, 300km, Approx. 6hrs Tashilhunpo Monastery, Yarlung Tsangpo Valley
20 Departure from Lhasa Send off to the airport/railway station

Daily Itinerary


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 hour to drive from Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa and takes about 20 minutes 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, and do not move strenuously. It’s really useful to get acclimatized to the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

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 the most sacred temple in 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 circuits 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

In the morning, we will visit Norbulingka, which is a typical Tibetan-style royal garden, the summer resort of the Dalai Lama. There are a lot of towering trees, exotic flowers and plants in the garden, as well as many collections of cultural relics, Buddha statues, pagodas, thangkas, murals, etc. They are all very precious treasures.

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 cover the hillsides. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

From Lhasa to Gyantse is about 264km, en route you will pass by Gambala Mountain Pass (4790m), where's the best place to overlook the Yamdroktso Lake. Later we will pass and enjoy the Karola Glacier, which looks spectacular from the highway. Then visit the main monastery in Gyantse - Pelkor Chode Monastery, famous for its exquisite architecture and intact murals and statues. Finally head to Shigatse via the fertile Nyangchu Valley, a wide agricultural plain where yaks and horses are used by Tibetan farmers to cultivate this land.

Stay overnight in Shigatse

Tibet has a serious rule about the speed limit. Though from Shigatse to Everest region is only about 350km or so, with no more than 40 km/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.

You will stay overnight at Everest Base Camp(5,200m). You can see the glorious Everest sunset if the weather is good.

Get up early to enjoy a beautiful sunrise over the stunning landscape surrounding Mount Everest. You can see Mount Everest gradually emerging, the clouds being blown away by strong winds. If you are lucky, you will have the chance to see the famous "flag clouds" of Mount Everest. In the late morning, we need to travel 330 kilometers from EBC to Saga County via old Tingri, which takes about 8 hours. From old Tingri, you can see Mount Everest, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma at 8000m+ above sea level. The road runs parallel to the Himalayas. On the Nepalese side of the mountain range, it's called the Anapurna Mountains. In addition to overlooking the snow-capped peaks and the desolate wilderness, you can also enjoy the pure scenery of the cobalt blue Peikutso Lake (4,600 meters).

Stay overnight in Saga

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.

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.

In the morning, you will take an eco-bus (included in the cost) to Sarshung Valley and start the Mt. Kailash trek from there. Then you will meet your porters and yaks at Sarshung Valley(the cost of hiring yaks, horses, and porters are not included in the package). You’ll trek about 15 km from Sarshung Valley to Drirapuk Monastery along the Lachu River Valleys. During your trekking today, you can see both the west and north face of Mt.Kailash. Finally, you will visit Drirapuk Monastery and stay overnight here.

Stay overnight in Guesthouse, Dorm Bed

Today is the most challenging day of the trekking, you’ll climb over the highest pass of the Kailash Kora, the Dromala pass(5630m). After a short rest at the top, we will climb down into the long valley and stop for lunch at the Shabjay Dakpo nomadic tent. On the way, you can have a rest in a teahouse. Then you will continue to the Zultulpuk, built by two important religious figures, Milarepa and Naro Bonchung. At last, you will visit Zutulpuk Monastery. You will find the footprint and handprint of Milarepa inside the cave. 

Stay overnight in Guesthouse, Dorm Bed

It's an easy day of the trek. You'll trek 9km to complete the Kora then take the eco bus back to Darchen. According to Buddhism theory, doing a kora around a holy mountain for one circle can get rid of the sins and miseries for the whole life. Only after going through lots of hardships, you can feel the happiness and gratification brought by kora.

Your driver will be waiting for you at Darchen. After lunch, you will drive 65km to Tirthapuri Monastery, which is regarded as the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in western Tibet, also known as the collar of Mt. Kailash. According to folklore, doing kora around Mt. Kailash without circumambulating Tirthapuri Monastery is hard to achieve great virtue. This monastery is famous for Guru Rinpoche’s footprint and hot springs. After visiting the monastery, you will have hot springs bathing here.

Then transfer to Moincer for the night.

Tirthapuri Hot Springs
Tirthapuri Hot Springs

In the morning, we will drive 4 hours to the Guge Kingdom(Tsaparang) via Zanda. After entering Zanda, you may feel like getting into a earth forest world beyond the earth.

The ruins of the Guge Kingdom located on the bank of earthen in Langchen Tsangpo Valley, 18km west of Zanda. It covers an area of about 180,000 square meters. The building is divided into the upper, middle and lower floors, which are the palace, temple and residence in turn, with a large number of cultural relics left. In the evening, the setting sun shines on the castle. Under the blue sky, the ancient golden castle and the earthen mountains are integrated into one. Its mysterious historical background makes the majestic architecture even more shocking.

Later, return to Zanda for accommodation by a half-hour drive.

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.

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.

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.

The scenery from Gedye to Gertse
Gegye to Gertse

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.

Scenery along the way
Gertse to Tsochen

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.

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".

Stay overnight in Shigatse

In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchen Lama - Tashilhunpo 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 to enjoy the views of the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley.

Stay overnight in 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.

Tour Price and Service

From US$4020 p/p

Based on 3-star hotels for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies according to travel season, number of people and level of accommodation.


  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit 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;
  • Breakfasts provided by hotels;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Shuttle Bus fee get to and back from Kailash kora;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Sleeping bags;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.


  • Yaks & herders during 3-Day Mt Kailash Kora;
  • Shuttle Bus fee at Lake Manasarovar: USD 43/person;
  • 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 the gratuity 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 --- 4.4%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by Fran***

I am writing to you from Turin, Italy. I am interested in booking a trip to Tibet with you for next summer, together with my boyfriend Federico. We are both 35 years old and we love mountain landscapes and culture. We are also passionate about trekking and we have already done similar holidays in Peru and Bolivia.
We have some specific requests and questions for our trip, and we would appreciate your help and advice. Here are the details:
• we have a maximum of 22 or 23 days of vacation, from the day we leave Italy to the day we return
• we would like to depart between July 25th and August 5th, depending on the availability of flights and tours
• we want to include the 3-day trek of Mount Kailash in our itinerary
• we would prefer a private tour, but we are also open to joining a small group, if there is a significant difference in price
• we need your assistance in organizing everything, including the visa and the flights, because we are have not understood if we can fly directly to Lhasa or if we need to transit through another city
• we would like to have a detailed breakdown of the hours of travel and the hotels included in the tour, so that we can plan accordingly and have a comfortable and enjoyable experience

We are looking forward to hearing from you and to discovering the beauty and the spirituality of Tibet with you.
Thank you very much for your attention and your service.

Answered by Jennie

Dear Fran****,

We can arrange the Mt.Kailash trek tour for you. I will answer your questions one by one.

1. There are direct flights from Italy(Milan/Rome) to China(Shanghai/Beijing). You can first fly from Italy to Beijing/Shanghai then to Lhasa.

2. Italy tourists can have a tour in China without a visa for 14 days next year. We can help you apply for the permit along with your passports. 

2. Here below are my suggested itineraries according to your schedule & preference. If you agree, I will quote you. If not, I will tweak it until your satisfaction.

(1) Option 1: 20 Days Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Tour. For this tour, we don't have a group because seldom tourists choose this itinerary. For 2 pax, the cost of this private tour is high.

(2) Option 2: According to your preference, I suggest a similar Mt.Kailash tour to Kathmandu and then have a short tour in Nepal. After the tour, you can fly from Kathmandu to Italy. I suggest you consider our 12-day Lhasa Mt Everest & Mt Kailash Kathmandu Group Tour to save the cost. We already have a confirmed group departure on 8 August.

Asked by Avin***

I am looking for a private trip for Mt.Kailash and Manasarovar trip. It should include Trek to Inner Part of Mt.Kailash. KIndly let me know. I am really interested.

Answered by Jennie

Dear Avin****,

We can arrange a 20-day Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Tour for you on 29 April. 

For the inner trek, usually, our tourists can consult with the guide to take them to touch the Kailash(the feet of the Lord). About 2-3 hours distance. This is not a part of the package and depends on the guide’s decision. 

The cost of the 29-day tour for 1 pax will be high, or would you consider another similar short itinerary? Here are the 2 recommended itineraries.

Option Ⅰ: 20 Days Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Tour

Option Ⅱ: 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt.Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Tour

Asked by Prat***

I am interested in the trip. Is there any option in Sept? I am an American and I have an OCI card

Answered by Jennie

Dear Prat***,

Thank you for sending us an inquiry! 

We can arrange the 20-day Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Private Tour for you in September. Please kindly note, it will take 20 working days to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit along with your passport and China Visa. 

Asked by Uma.***

Which season is good to travel Kailash. Mansarover

Answered by Catherine

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have a Kailash tour. We can arrange a Kailash tour for you starting and ending in Kathmandu. From April to October is all ok to travel to Kailash, and the best season is May, June, September, and October.  Here is the itinerary, 01    Arrive Kathmandu  02    Trip preparation and half-day Kathmandu pilgrimage sightseeing 03    Drive from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi 04    Drive from Syabrubesi to Gyirong 05    Drive from Kyrung to Saga 06    Drive from Saga to Mansarovar and Puja 07    Drive from Mansarovar to Darchen 08    Witness Saga Dawa Festival and trek to Dirapuk 09    Holy Trek to Zuthulpuk 10    Holy Trek to Darchen& drive to New Dong Pa/Saga 11    Drive from New Dongpa/Saga to Gyirong 12    Drive from Kyrung to Kathmandu 13    Puja at Pashupatinath Temple and departure

Asked by Char***

I am planning to do as much trekking as possible. I am getting the train from Shanghai hopefully on either the 20th or 21st. I am an individual traveller, but would like to go as part of a group if possible. My budget is from £1500-2000

Answered by Catherine

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to do as much trekking as possible. Trekking tour is usually a private tour. Considering your interests and budget, I recommend 9 Days Ganden to Samye Tibet Trekking Tour and 12 Days Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trekking Tour for you. Please check if it meets your need. May I know which month you would like to come? Here is the itinerary of 9 days Ganden to Samye Tibet Trekking Tour,

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What Our Customers Say
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