This trek follows the old trade route between the great Buddhist centres of Shalu and Nartang, marking a glorious chapter in Tibetan history. The trail and passes are not particularyly high and the trailheads are easily accessible from Shigatse.
|Day||Route||Attractions & Activities|
|1||Arrival in Lhasa||Pick you up from Lhasa Gonngar Airport|
|2||Lhasa City||Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|3||Lhasa Suburb||Norbulingka, Sera Monastery|
|4||Lhasa - Gyantse - Shalu||Yamdroktso Lake, Pelkor Chöde Monastery, Shalu Monastery|
|5||Shalu to Nartang Trek①: Shalu - Upper Lungsang||Ri-puk Hermitage|
|6||Shalu to Nartang Trek②: Upper Lungsang - Ngor||Ngor Monastery|
|7||Shalu to Nartang Trek③: Ngor - Nartang; Drive Nartang - Shigatse;||Nartang Monastery|
|8||Shigatse - Lhasa||Tashilhunpo Monastery|
|9||Departure from Lhasa by Flight/Train||Send off to airport/railway station|
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.
(6hrs/ 19km/ 420m ascent/ 240m descent)
From Shalu Monastery(3980m) walk the motorable road south up the valley. 30mins from Shalu you will pass by and visit the Ri-puk Hermitage.
1hr or so from Shalu, the road forks: take the south fork. In the south of the road, a conical-shaped hill and a village called Phunup at its base can be made out. Gradually the trail climbs to a small white ridge. As you approach you will see a line of white cairns marking its summit(4030m). Look for the trail that ascends to the cairns, a 1hr walk from the fork in the road. From the ridge’s summit, Phunup village is to the south and the Showa-la is to the west. The trail descends gradually to enter the stream bed coming from the Showa-la, 30mins from the cairns. The climb up to the pass and descent on the other side is through some heavily eroded, waterless ravines and slopes. Bring plenty of drinking water. From the stream bed the trail soon climbs back up the right side of the valley only to drop back in and out of the stream bed in quick succession.
From the Showa-la(4170m), the second pass, the Char-la, can be seen in the range of the hills west of an intervening valley. The easy-to-go trail descends from the pass along the south side of a ravine. In 1hr you will reach the valley floor. Cross over the sandy north-south valley, intersecting a road.
The valley watercourse is dry except during summer flash floods. West of it is a poplar and willow copse, the only bit of shade in the area. From the copse, you enter a side valley, continuing in a westerly direction towards the Char-la. In a few minutes you reach the village of Manitinge, on the southern margin of the valley, and pick up the main cart track going up the valley. The track passes through the village of Siphu and, 1hr from the copse, crosses to the south side of the valley. You can glimpse the Char-la from here, which for most of the trek is hidden behind folds in the mountains.
In 30mins you will reach Lower Lungsang(4060m), a few minutes later Upper Lungsang, of where you will camp for the night.
- Ri-puk Hermitage
From Upper Lungsang the trail cuts across the valley floor, gradually making its way back to the northern side of the valley. It is at least 3hrs from Upper Lungsang to the Char-la. The terrain becomes more rugged and a gorge forms below the trail. There is a sidestream and small reservoir 45mins above Upper Lungsang. From the reservoir, the trail descends back to the stream bed but quickly exits the opposite side of the valley.
Look for a series of switchbacks on the southern side of the gorge and then follow them up. a further 15mins on, the trail crosses a gully and then another gulley in 15 more mins. The final leg to the pass is pretty much cross-country over a steep slope of raw expanse of rock. From the second gully, the Char-la can be reached in 45mins of steep uphill walking.
From the Cha-la(4550m), mountain ranges stretch to the west across the horizon and Ngor Monastery is visible directly below. Ngor is a 45mins steep descent from the pass. Sakya master Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo founded Ngor Monastery in 1429, giving rise to the Ngorpa suborder, a distinctive school of Buddhist thought. Only a portion of the monastery has been rebuilt, but what has is pleasing to behold.
- Ngor Monastery
(6hrs/ 19km/ 410m descent)
From Ngor, a road runs down the valley that is now suitable for all types of vehicles. 15mins from Ngor is the sizable village of Pero. 90mins from Ngor the valley and road bend to the north. 30mins further, there is a copse at the edge of the flood plain.
The road now swings to the west side of the wide alluvial valley and 30mins past the copse is the village of Dzong Lugari(3910m). The trail to Nartang Monastery, splits from the road on the northern outskirts of Dzong Lugari and heads north. From Dzong Lugari, it’s at least a 2hr trek across a broad valley to Nartang.
Your driver will be waiting for you at Nartang after you sightseeing the monastery to transfer you to Shigatse.
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.
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.
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