Tibet Tour by local Tour operator and agency in Lhasa
15 Days Kailash Pilgrimage Group Tour
Based on 359 Reviews
This is a comprehensive Tibet group tour, designed specifically for travelers who long for a deep connection with the rich history and exotic landscape of Tibet. The tour traverses more than 3600 km on the grand Tibetan plateau and covers three regions of utmost importance in Tibet: Lhasa, Mt. Kailash and Mt. Everest. With personalized and quality service from us, the 15 Days Kailash EBC Group Tour will certainly give you the time of your life!
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
After arriving in Lhasa and acclimatization, you will spend two days exploring this beautiful city. Situated at an altitude of 3490 m, it is undoubtedly the cultural center of Tibet and offers world class attractions for its guests. You will visit the iconic Potala Place, the revered Jokhang Temple and the bustling Barkhor Streets. You can also observe Tibetan monks debate at Sera Monastery, and enjoy the garden of Dalai Lama’s summer palace Norbulingka. Once city sightseeing comes to an end, you will venture into the great mountain ranges outside Lhasa. The stunning holy lake of Yamdrok-Tso, Karola Glacier and Pelkor Chode Monastery await you on the way to Shigatse. Once in Shigatse, you will visit two more high status Tibetan Buddhist venues: Tashilhunpo Monastery and Sakya Monastery.
You will then travel vast distance to enter Ngari area of western Tibet. On your way, you can take in as many views as you want of wild animals, sand dunes, nomadic people and snow-capped mountains. The next destinations, Lake Manasarovar and Mt. Kailash, give you an especially unique spiritual journey. The two holy sites are considered the center of the world by Buddhism, Bon, Hinduism and Jainism, and see huge influx of pilgrims every year from all over the world. The worshippers believe that drinking lake water and finishing the pilgrimage trek circling Mt. Kailash will rid them of all the sins. Whether you believe in this profound connotation or not, you will follow the footsteps of the faithful and experience the once in a lifetime three-day 52 km trek.
- English-speaking local Tibetan guide
- Transport by shared tour van or coach with driver
- Lhasa accommodation according to the price options (twin share room basis)
- Single room supplement applies during hotel in Lhasa and Shigatse if there are individual travelers who cannot find the other same sex traveler to share the room, single room supplement
- One night tent/dorm bed accommodation near base camp (dormitory basis-without breakfast)
- All entrance tickets
- Oxygen cylinder in the car
- Bottled mineral water (two bottles per person a day, 500 ml/bottle)
- Travel agency’s liability insurance
- Welcome dinner in local restaurant when group members meet in Lhasa
- Service fee regarding arrangements of planning, handling, operational and communication.
- All Tibet Travel Permits (The duration of your entire time in Tibet covered)
- Flight or train to and from Tibet
- Chinese visa
- Meals not specified
- Personal expenses (laundry, photography fees, souvenirs etc)
- Tips to the driver and guide
- Shuttle service between hotels and Airport/Train Station
Arrive in Lhasa
Our Tibetan guide and driver will greet you at Lhasa Railway or Lhasa Gongkar Airport with a big smile and present a white hada to welcome you in Tibetan style. Transfer to hotel in downtown Lhasa. You will have the rest of the day to yourself. A light stroll at Potala Square is recommended, but pray not to exhaust yourself for the first day’s well rest helps tremendously with high altitude acclimatization in Tibet highland.
Lhasa sightseeing: Summer Palace Norbulingka, Sera Monastery
We start the day by visiting Norbulingka, the summer palace of Dalai Lamas, a palace with its surrounding garden. The most dramatic and popular area inside Norbulingka called the Lake Palace. Norbulingka hosts celebrations of several Tibetan festivals where local people gather here to sing, dance and perform Tibetan opera. After lunch we will visit Sera Monastery. The highlights of our visit include touring the main architectural structures of the monastery and watching a monk-debating session in the main courtyard. Inside the halls, you can find delicate religious objects and decorations such as scriptures in gold powder, colorful statues, and narrative murals. During the debate session, you will see hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups striking different poses as a way to engage in religious topics.
Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Streets
We visit the single most iconic architecture in Tibet, Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of Dalai Lama. You will see both the public offices and residential quarters of Dalai Lama, as well as a massive collection of artworks and religious treasure, including stupas of past Dalai Lamas and a statue of Tsongkhapa. After lunch, we will head to Jokhang Temple, the most important and sacred temple in Tibet. The architecture of the temple displays influences from Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese design. Numerous famous Buddhist teachers had also conducted teaching there. Today, it houses a variety of Buddhist scriptures and objects. Surrounding the temple are Barkhor Streets, a busy and lively area for dining, shopping and entertainment. You will also encounter many local Tibetans performing pilgrimages and ritualistic prostrations.
A welcome group meal of Tibetan cuisine will be arranged tonight to welcome you in Tibet.
Lhasa -Yamdrok -Karola - Gyantse -Shigatse (360 km)
Attractions: Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chode Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum
Our adventure into the grand Tibetan plateau starts today! We head west towards the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse. On our way, we cross Kampala Pass (4797 m) and then Karola Pass (5050 m). We will first encounter the stunning holy lake of Yamdrok-Tso and then Karola Glacier only steps off the main road. We will visit Pelkhor Chode Monastery in Gyantse that houses the most important Tibetan paintings in its Gyantse Kumbum Stupa, and the outlook of Gyantse Dzong/Fortress that overlooks the Nyang-chu Valley. We will finally reach Shigatse before dinner. Sun sets very late in Tibet, so you will have plenty of time to explore Shigatse town on your own.
Shigatse-Everest Base Camp(340 km)
We arrive below the stunning north face of Mt. Everest (8844.43 m), the highest mountain on earth. To have the closest view, you can trek 4km or take the local environment tour vehicle to the final milestone. We pay a visit to the nearby Rongbuk Monastery, also the highest monastery in the world. Overnight at Everest Base Camp guesthouse.
Everest Base Camp-Saga (330 km)
We drive west to the direction of Mt. Kailash. We will pass Mt. Shishapangma and discover the turquoise water of Lake Peikutso. Overnight at Saga Hotel or similar.
We will enter the nomadic regions of Tibet’s far west today. We will appreciate the Tibetan landscapes during this long drive journey. We follow Yarlung Tsampo River west until we reach Darchen just below Mt. Kailash. For the rest of the day we will get ready for our upcoming 3-day trek. Overnight at Himalaya Kailash Hotel or similar.
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 1: Darchen – Dira-Puk Monastery 20 km, 5-6 hours
We begin the Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage in the clockwise direction. 4km into the path, we reach the height of 4790m and the first prostration point that marks the first views of Mt. Kailash’s southern façade. The next important landmark is Tarboche flagpole (4750m), where the main rituals of Saga Dawa Full Moon Festival takes place here every year. You can pay a visit to the nearby Chorten Kangnyi and Sky-Burial Site of the 84 Mahasiddhas. Coming up next is Chuku Monastery (4820m), where you can find a revered marble statue inside. After some break time when you can take in more views, we will head towards the second prostration point, where you see prayers flags and views of the west side of Mt Kailash. The second Buddha footprint is a short distance ahead. There are several trails to reach our destination of the day: Dira-Puk Monastery (5080m). It faces the north side of Mt. Kailash and provides viewpoints for peaks in other direction. Overnight at guesthouse near Dira-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 2: Dira-Puk Monastery - Zuthul-Puk Monastery 18 km, 6-8 hours
We continue the main Kora path towards the east. We pass through Kangkyam Glacier and Jarok Donkhang (5210m) meadowland. A short distance above is Shivatsal (5330m). Pilgrims go through a symbolic death here and are reborn at Drolma-la (5630m), which is half an hour away. After some rest and refreshments, we soon arrive at lake Gauri Kund. We gradually descent to the grand valley of Lha-chu and begin a long journey in the grassland. The day concludes at Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Overnight at guesthouse near Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 3: Zuthul-Puk Monastery- Lake Manasarovar 14 km, 3-4 hours
We follow the river and then climbs the Gold & Red Cliffs. Pilgrims search for holy stones on these cliff walls. We will see prayer flags across the river, and Lake Rakshas Tal in the far distance. After reaching the fourth prostration point, the final walk back to Darchen is quite easy. We then drive to holy lake Manasarovar. Overnight at guesthouse near Lake Manasarovar. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Full day of landscape driving. Return to Saga from Lake Manasarovar. Overnight at Saga Hotel or similar.
Full day of landscape driving. Overnight at local guesthouse.
We visit Sakya Monastery today, a Sakyapa Sect monastery with a unique Mongolian architectural style. We then arrive at New Tingri only 100km from the Everest and rest. Overnight at Shigatse Gesar Hotel or similar.
We will visit Tashilhunpo Monastery in the morning and explore the local market. Afterwards, we head our way back to Lhasa and spend the rest of day relaxing in the capital city. Overnight at Tashi Nota Hotel or similar.
You will enjoy your last moments in Tibet. Our guide and driver will then pick you up and transfer you to the airport or train station. We hope you have gathered precious memory of your time in Tibet, and we wish you the best on your future adventure.
Monks debate is characteristic of Sera Monastery
Tibet stunning adventure by Tibet local guide service team
Welcome to Visit Tibet with expert local guide
Shigatse Gesar Hotel is a 4 star Tibetan style hotel in downtown Shigatse. The hotel is close to major shopping center, transportation hubs and banks in Shigatse. It is also only 1km away from the great Tashilhunpho Monastery. The hotel has 120 beautiful rooms with advanced amenities such as flat-screen TV, 24-hour hote water, broadband internet, air conditioning, etc. The hotel also boasts wonderful facilities such as business center, sauna room, teahouse, banquet hall, etc. The restaurant provides a variety of cuisines to guests.
Staying in comfortable and deluxe Hotels in Lhasa can definitely add more value to your Tibet Trip! Therefore, we present you with two best hotels at the foot of Mt. Kailash — Himalaya Kailash Hotel & Himalaya Purang Hotel. Check out the Kailash and west Tibet accommodation listed below!
Enjoy Your Stay at the Best Hotel at the Foot of Mt. Kailash
Once you step into this scared spiritual land, you’ve gained the chance to be closely in touch with Tibetan culture and natural wildness. So, after the sightseeing and adventure in the daytime, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay and good rest in Kailash and west Tibet accommodation at night.
However, West Tibet is far away from our ordinary people and it’s lost in Internet. You cannot find ways to book accommodation in far west Tibet such as in Saga, Mt. Kailash, Ali, etc. Due to our many-year tour operation experience in Tibet, we can directly collect the local tourism resources and offer you the best deals.
Human-friendly Service and Modern Facility
Due to its unique location, it appeals to lots of foreign travellers who plan a pilgrimage tour towards Mt. Kailash. In general, those two hotels will leave guests an impressive memory with its high-quality service and well-equipped facilities. Himalaya Kailash Hotel & Himalaya Purang Hotel are the best two of Kailash and west Tibet accommodation. You can go through each one at the links below and make a decision under your circumstance.
How can I get my Tibet Travel Permit?
It is critical to book your Tibet tour with a local travel agency like “Tibet local Guide travel service” for smooth travel permit application. Photo copy of your passport and the China visa copies are required for applying Tibet permits.
Please note that you will have to show the original permit in hand while asking for boarding pass and security checking in for flight to Lhasa or Copy of it while boarding the Train to Lhasa. However, Chongqing, Xi’an and Lanzhou railway station may also check original permits.
We will send it to your hotel in your flight departure city in China. While in urgent cases, we can send our permits delivery person to drop it to you at any China domestic airport if you just have few hours transit flight stop.
We do not send your Tibet permits to your home country, because permits come out regularly only 1 week to 2 weeks prior to your arrival date, and Tibet post companies have no efficiencies for handling international package delivery, so it is not trustworthy and not reliable to send your permits to your home county.
For more details of Tibet travel permits, you can email to email@example.com for instant Tibet local policy update.
What are the differences between travelling to Tibet from Nepal and entering Tibet from other Parts of China?
Foreign travelers have only two possible ways of getting to Tibet, one is from Nepal to Tibet by air or overland, while the other is from mainland city in China by train, air or car. Here below are the major differences.
- If you travel to Tibet from other provinces of China, you will need a valid China visa which allows you to travel, work or study in China, with this visa you can come to Tibet (but journalist, diplomats, public government service people, military persons and reporters, etc. must travel via Chinese government specified authorities, in most cases, these people are not allowed in), any Tibet travel agencies here in Tibet do not organize tours for those people whose jobs are listed as above. And the regular China visa categories are “L” tour visa, “Z” or “M” “Q” visa etc.
- Foreign travelers from a few countries such as Singapore and Japan may not need a China visa for specific period of time, in this case, these travelers can get Tibet entry permits without China visa. But please be noted that, you need to double check with your local china consulate to assure how long you can travel in China without a visa.
- Once you can travel in China legally, you can also get Tibet entry permits from local Tibet travel agency like us easily.
- To apply travel permits for foreign travelers entering Tibet from a city in China, none-restricted occupation travelers need to provide valid passport, valid China visa at least 2-3 weeks prior to arrival date to Tibet, and different travel destination in Tibet may require you to provide these documents even 30-40 days prior to arrival date because of many more complicated permits application process. These destinations are Kailash, North-loop-the Grand of Tibet, east Tibet bordering Kham (Sichuan province).
- Foreign travelers entering Tibet from mainland China can choose flight, train or overland driving. All the trains to Tibet will go through Xi’ning, Qinghai province, while the popular driving route is from Chengdu and Shangri-La or Kashgar or Xi’ning. The most picturesque driving adventure is between Tibet and Sichuan or Yunnan.
- If you enter Tibet from Nepal, you can go only by air from Kathmandu to Lhasa or by overland driving via Gyirong port or Purang (Taklakot) border, these are the only open borders between Nepal and Tibet. Currently the Indian-Tibet Sino border is not open for public.
- All foreign travelers from Nepal to Tibet must have 3 working days in Kathmandu to wait for the “Tibet Group Visa” prior to departure date for Tibet. This A4 size Tibet group visa (actually it is a china visa) document paper can only be issued through a registered travel agency in Kathmandu, but the important point is: any registered travel agency in Nepal has to obtain an official visa invitation letter photo copy issued from Tibet tourism Bureau here in Lhasa. To get this visa letter, a local Tibet travel agency like us can apply together with the Tibet permits around 2-5 weeks before visitor’s arrival in Tibet. So, travelers only need to bear in mind that, they do not apply any visa or permits by themselves, they just need to provide passport photo copies to Tibet based agency like us and we will handle all the rest.
- There is no train between Nepal and Tibet however. Kathmandu-Lhasa airfare is more expensive than via Chengdu, Chongqing, or Xi’an city in most cases.
- The overland driving between Kathmandu to Tibet border Gyirong is time consuming. The overall short distance may take around 10-15 hours especially in rainy seasons of July and August.
- No matter you enter Tibet from Nepal or mainland China, valid China visa (or Tibet group visa from Nepal) and Tibet permits are mandatory. And different permits are for different travel itineraries and specified schedule.
- When you fly from a city in China to Lhasa, original permits will be needed, however, if you fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, you only need Tibet group visa for flight checking in(our Tibetan tour guide will take original permits to pick you up)
What documents do I have to send to you to secure all necessary Tibet Travel permits?
A short document list as below:
- Photocopies of valid passports data page for all travelers.
- Photocopies of valid China visa.
- Working certificate or student Id card copies if you do not hold “L” China visa but Z or F type of China visa.
- Marriage certificate or relatives’ statement with signature if you hold Q category China visa.
While booking your Tibet tour, we would like you to send us the copy of your Passport and China Visa for every member of the group. The copy of passport should be the same one you will be using to get your Chinese visa. If you renew your passports, but the China via is on the expired passport, please provide both passports photo copies.
If your visa is not the “L” category, i.e., tour category china visa, you will need to provide us the additional supporting document such as student certificates, resident and Work Permit and so on.
Please provide passport copies at least 2-4 weeks before arrival date. For Tibet tour without Kailash, eastern Tibet, North-loop Grand Tibet, we can accept urgent tour booking 2 weeks before your arrival date, but if your trip covers the places mentioned here, you’d better send us your passport photo copies 4 weeks to 5 weeks in advance at least, most of our Kailash travelers provide us passport copies half year in advance. And they can provide China visa copies 1 month in advance.
If you travel to Tibet from Nepal, we will only need your valid passport copies. Yet, we will have to apply for the Chinese Group Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Nepal.
Can I apply for Tibet Travel permit or Tibet group visa by ourselves?Definitely No, you cannot apply for Tibet travel permit or Tibet group visa directly. Tibet Travel Permit is only issued by Tibet Tourism Administration in Lhasa, together with other Chinese authorities such as military office, and foreign affairs office, national security office, public security bureau, etc. Therefore, an only local registered travel agency based in Lhasa can help you apply for it. Hence it is impossible for you to apply permits by yourself, and you will have to book your Tibet tour directly or indirectly with a local travel agency in Lhasa.
What is the Tibet travel documents list so I can check before coming?
During your traveling in Tibet, the three main primary documents are passports, China visa (or Tibet group visa) and Tibet entry permits. Different tour destination will need further document such as military permits, foreign affairs border passing permit, alien’s travel permits,
- Valid Passports.
- Valid China visa (for entering from China);
- Tibet group visa (for entering from Nepal);
- Tibet entry travel permits for all Tibet tours;
- Alien’s travel permits for trip covering Everest. Tsetang (Samye monastery), Kailash and north-loop Grand Tibet, eastern Tibet such as Draksumtso lake;
- Foreign affairs permit (policy keeps changing on this section)
- Border defense passing allowance permit (trip between Nepal and Tibet)
- Military permits.
Can a foreigner travel Tibet without travel permit?
Definitely No. it is not possible to travel to and in Tibet without a Tibet travel permit. No international travelers can visit in Tibet autonomous region of China without Tibet travel permit. It is mandatory for all the foreign nationals to get this permit prior to your arrival in Tibet. Only a local Tibet travel agency here in Tibet can help you make this document in Lhasa.
At all the entry and exit point to Tibet, the authority people will check the permit, passport, and Visa.
Can I have a few days as my own free time in Lhasa without hiring a guide?
Definitely Yes. it is possible but your activity is very limited. You can have some days free time in Lhasa to walk around, and do your shopping, try some local food, drink tea, coffee, and spend your leisure time, etc., BUT never enter a tourist attraction if without a tour guide. Furthermore, you cannot leave Lhasa for any other places in Tibet individually, especially when there is no tour guide and a licensed tour vehicle. You cannot extend further since there are many permits and identity checking points for exiting Lhasa.
How can I apply for a Chinese visa from my home country?
You can apply it through the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country. Tibet local guide travel service team strongly recommend applying it without mentioning about your travel plan to Tibet. Your application might get rejected as Tibet is a sensitive region of China. We helped many foreign travelers providing China tour itinerary references together with their own flights booking references, hotel booking references, etc., they can normally get China visa without any hassles.
If you do mention your trip covers Tibet, we will have to apply and send the Chinese Visa Invitation from Tibet Tourism Bureau office here in Lhasa. For this, you will need to go to the Chinese Embassy, not the consulate to apply China visa. The Visa invitation will only address to Embassy, not to the consulate. So, we suggest you try to avoid complicated and time-consuming process but choose the simplified and workable process. However, China visa application is beyond our Tibet travel agency, and policy keeps changing due to many factors such as political climate, international relationship, etc., please consult with your local visa agent for more information.
For your reference, the Visa invitation letter can be only applied after Tibet permits application approval. Therefore, you will have to book the tour with us and send us the Passport copies to start making the permit at least 2-3 months beforehand. Please remember, we can never complete the Permit process without the copy of your China visa. So, you will have to email your passport copies to us as soon as you get it.
For what kind of Tibet tour do I need additional permits?
Technically Tibet entry permit is enough to go if you are only visiting the Lhasa Prefecture. If you are visiting other prefectures in Tibet, you will need the additional permit depending on the region you will be visiting.
The military permit is required if you are traveling to Mount Kailash, traveling overland from and to Xinjiang and traveling overland to and from Yunnan and Sichuan.
Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) is needed if you are visiting from Lhasa to other prefectures in Tibet. Therefore, Mount Kailash in Ngari prefecture, Mount Everest in Shigatse prefecture, Samye Monastery in Lhoka prefecture and Nyingchi prefecture.
Additionally, there is another permit called Borders Permit. You will require it if you are traveling to any border region and arriving from Nepal to Tibet by flight.
But you will not need to worry about it all. Experienced Tibet travel agency in Lhasa will know which permits are required as per the tour itinerary.
How long does it take to apply our Tibet travel permit?
The duration of the Tibet travel permit application process varies from 2 weeks to 4 weeks prior to your arrival date. The authorities do not accept very early permits application submission. Sometimes those people in authority slow down the process without prior notice and all agents have to wait. As professional and experienced Tibet local travel agency and tour operator, “Tibet Local Guide travel service” team always suggest foreign travelers book Lhasa tour at least 3 weeks before arrival date, and book Kailash tours or other restricted regional tours at least 4-6 weeks prior to arrival date. To submit permits application for any Tibet tours around 4 weeks in advance can ensure on time application. If you have urgent booking, please talk with our consultants and see if it is doable or not, and urgent handling cost may occur. Every year, we did help some travelers for last minute Tibet tour booking.
Do I need multiple entry China visa to continue with china tour after Tibet?
Definitely No, Tibet is a part of China, called TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region of China) , single entry China visa or the Tibet group visa can allow your China tour after Tibet. BUT, please remember that, if you hold Tibet group visa (entering Tibet from Nepal) but want to travel to China after Tibet, you will need to hold individual pieces of the group visa to travel individually in China by yourself; while if you travel with the name listed group members together, all people can hold one “Group visa paper documents) since all are travelling together. Otherwise you will get issues when checking in hotel in China. Since 2019, most hotels in China need passengers to have face scanning and ID and or passports registry to check in a hotel room. Most travel agencies in Tibet do not know this, especially many agencies out of Tibet do not have this kind of experiences.
Do you provide Tibet Permit only service?
No, we don’t sell Tibet Permit service only since it is illegal. No agent is allowed to sell the Tibet Travel Permit. Even though on the permits itself, it says free and no commission fee, the permits application process and responsibility of managing foreign traveler’s travel in Tibet is strictly regulated. Tibet permits application is locally and lawful per the China local rules in Tibet for foreign travelers to ensure Tibet long run development, we have to obey the local rules and respect local policy regulations. So do not just book a permit only service, as local experienced Tibet travel agency, we can organize your trip with your maximum free time in Lhasa, meanwhile, not requesting you to hire a guide all the time. This is good for LHASA tours, if your trip covers places out of Lhasa, you will need to book tour including guide, driver and car at least.
Furthermore, we are only allowed to apply the permit when we provide Tibet tour service, which includes professional tour guide, tourist licensed vehicle with a driver and/or hotel accommodation.
All Tibet travel permits application is submitted by local registered travel agencies here in Lhasa, Tibet. No matter the agency is Han Chinese registered or Tibetan registered, if there is legal tourism license, permits can be applied. However, an agency like “Tibet Local Guide Travel Service” official name is Tibet Norpel Lin Travel service has many years experiences with focus on serving only foreign travelers, we can provide hassles free permits and quality Tibet tour services. It is one-stop shop Tibet tour solution with better local prices.
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