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Kailash Mansarovar Tour

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Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China remains one of the most interesting, mystical and spiritual region of the world. Tibet is situated at an average elevation of 16,000 ft. above sea level. Opened to the outsiders recently, facilities for tourists are gradually improving. A trip to Tibet is not for the faint hearted persons because travelling can be hard, adventurous and often unpredictable, since the region has rugged and high elevated landscape. So for those with high altitude problems and those with a history of heart, lung or anemia problems should consult a doctor and inform the travel agent in Nepal before considering a visit.

Visitors should also understand before venturing into this t rip that Tibet was only opened to tourism since the mid-eighties.

A trip to Kailash Mansarovar is an intense spiritual experience. The Mount Kailash, along with the holy Mansarovar Lake, is the heart of spiritual Asia. The journey that starts with the buzzing city of Kathmandu heads on the spiritual path to Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake.

Tibet: General Information

Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China remains one of the most interesting, mystical and spiritual region of the world. Tibet is situated at an average elevation of 16,000 ft. above sea level. Opened to the outsiders recently, facilities for tourists are gradually improving. A trip to Tibet is not for the faint hearted persons because travelling can be hard, adventurous and often unpredictable, since the region has rugged and high elevated landscape. So for those with high altitude problems and those with a history of heart, lung or anemia problems should consult a doctor and inform the travel agent in Nepal before considering a visit.

Visitors should also understand before venturing into this t rip that Tibet was only opened to tourism since the mid-eighties.

When to visit Tibet?

Although the Tibetan climate is not as harsh as many people imagine, be prepared for sudden drops in temperature at night, particularly in western Tibet. The most pleasant time of the year is between May and early November, after which temperatures start to plummet. However, in May and June there is a wind factor to consider and dust storms are frequent. During July and August you may find roads temporarily washed out along the Friendship Highway to Nepal. These two months usually see around half of Tibet’s annual rainfall.

October is the best time to make a trip to the east Tibet. Lhasa and its surroundings do not get really cold until the end of November. Although winter is very cold, many restaurants are shut and snowfalls can sometimes make travel difficult, some travelers swear by these months.


March is a politically sensitive month (the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising and flight of the Dalai Lama from Tibet to India) and there is occasional tightening of restrictions on travelers heading into Tibet during March and beyond. It is worth trying to make your trip coincide with one of Tibet’s main festivals. Losar (New Year) is an excellent time to be in Lhasa. Saga Dawa (April or May) is also a good time to be in Lhasa or Mt. Kailash.


Temperature fluctuate dramatically between daytime and at night. Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, during daytime could have a temperature of around 10-25 degrees Celsius, while at night, it may go down to 0 degree or even below zero. It is advisable to bring appropriate clothing. For protection against cold, layered clothing is better than a few think ones, so choose your clothes accordingly. Clothes should preferably be made from natural materials, which allow the body to breathe better. You will be offending people if you walk around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. Shorts are not welcome and women are advised to wear skirts or loose trousers; men should not wear singlet. During visits to monasteries, Dzongs and religious institutions, one should not wear shorts and hats, caps and do not smoke.

Cottons and light woolens in summer and woolens and jackets the rest of the years and rain gear for the monsoons and comfortable shoes are advised.


Main Cities like Lhasa, Gyantse, Tsedang, Shigatse have relatively good hotels with at least a 2 star category. In smaller towns, the hotels are more basic. Further in villages, the accommodation is rudimentary.


Tourist hotels have a choice of Tibetan, Chinese and Continental food.


You will be accompanied by a Tibetan English speaking tour guide throughout your stay. Our tour guides are licensed and trained in programs conducted by the Tibetan Tourism Board. They have mountain guide training, including safety and fires aid instructions. They are well versed in local history and have local knowledge. The guides’ extensive experience and knowledge of western culture would make you feel at home.

Land transportation

We use 4-WD drive Japanese Toyato Jeep and luxury buses for the land transport within Tibet.


Although the system of give and take is always there is Tibetan tradition, tipping is not Mandatory. But if you would like to appreciate the services of your guides, drivers and other staff you may give them according to your will.


In Tibet, foreign currency cannot be used directly. Foreign currencies can be exchanged into local only in big cities either at the Bank of China or some large hotels. Passports are required to exchange currency.

Proposing a Toast and Tea


When you visit a Tibetan family, the host will propose a toast, usually barley wine. You should sip three times and then drink up. To entertain guest with tea is a daily etiquette in Tibet. The guest should wait until the host presents the tea to you, before hastily drinking.


Do not forget to add ‘la’ after saying hello to the Tibetan people to show respect. Make way to others. Try not to make any sounds while eating and drinking.

Tibetan Buddhism

Also known as the Lamaism, the Tibetan Buddhism was introduced in Tibet from the mainland China and India in the seventh century. The Tibetan Buddhism consists of four major sects, the Gelun Pa ect, the Nyingma Pa sect, the Sakya Pa sect and the Kagyu Pa sect.


Tibet is a photographer’s paradise. Attracted by fantastic snow-covered peaks in the morning sunlight, surging rivers in deep valleys, peaceful yaks grazing on the vast pasture, the culture of ancient festivals, the exotic ethnic customs and the unique religious life. Photographers are eager to rising their cameras to record Tibet themselves. There are some restrictions for photography, including, radio towers, military installations, inside Dzongs, Temples and monasteries, etc.

Travel permits & restrictions to Travel Tibet (Visa Procedures)

Tibet has three levels of bureaucracy: a visa to get into China, a Tibet Tourism Bureau permit to get into Tibet and an Alien Travel permit to travel to certain regions of Tibet. The current regulations state that all foreigners desiring to visit Tibet must be part of a group (though a group can be only a single person!).

You are not allowed to travel in Tibet, only with an individual Chinese Visa obtained in Kathmandu. (Your individual Chinese visa will get canceled once we apply for Chinese visa from Nepal. There is only one way to save your individual visa, by entering Tibet from mainland China, i.e., doing Lhasa to Kathmandu tour instead of Kathmandu to Lhasa tour).


Travelers must officially be part of a group with a guide who will help you dealing with the Chinese authorities at checkpoints en route. So traveling individually to Tibet is officially not allowed.

If you are traveling Tibet via Nepal, you must obtain the Chinese Visa which will only be issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. However, if you are planning to visit Tibet via mainland China, you need to get the Chinese visa from Chinese embassy in your home country. Chinese Embassy is opened only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Generally, Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu takes about 5 working days to issue tourist visa but by paying express fee, we can get the visa in one day.

If you would like to head out to mainland China after your Tibet travel, the group visa will allow you to enter but once you are in mainland China this visa will be replaced with an individual Chinese visa. Itinerary and the places to visit in Tibet must be stated clearly and finalized in advance, because while applying for a Chinese visa from Kathmandu, a copy of these information should be attached with the application. The visa is issued accordingly. According to the places mentioned in the itinerary, travel permit from the Tibet Tourism Bureau (Lhasa) is obtained. Rainbow Adventures will do this for you.


Tibet: Weather and Climate


Most of Tibet is a high altitude desert plateau over 4,000 m and many passes exceeding 5,000m. Days in summer (June to September) are warm, sunny and dry, from low to mid 20 degrees. But  temperatures drop quickly at night. Winter is not as cold as you might expect, still averaging around 7 degree Celsius during the day in January, but plunging to around -10 (minus 10) at night. The best time to visit depends on what part of Tibet you are going to. For most areas, May, June and October are the best months.

The coldest months are from December to February. It is not impossible to visit Tibet in winter. The low altitude valleys of Tibet see very little snow. Spring does not really get under way until April, though March can have warm sunny days.

Mt. Everest Region: Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt. Everest region. Due to the clear weather, you have good chance to observe Mt. Everest’s true face. From December to February, it is too cold to go to this region.

Mt. Kailash: Even without climate restrictions, this area is already inhospitable. Big rain and snow could make the journey worse. However, for those determined travelers, the appropriate time is May, June, July, September and October.

Eastern Tibet: Don’t go to this area in July or August. The rain could ruin the road and make terrible landslides. In the winter, the roads could be frozen.

Northern Tibet: With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourists. Summer is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet.

Tibet – Nature and Environment

The vast differences in altitudes and rainfall in Tibet creates ecosystem that vary from tropical cloud forests to high altitude deserts. The Tibetan plateau is the world’s highest ecosystem and one of the world’s last great untouched wilderness.

Currently about 20 percent of Tibet region of China is protected areas. Most of these reserves are in name only. There is little protection. Poaching of wildlife occurs.

In 2005, the Chinese government declared The Himalayas a Biodiversity Hot Spot.

Tibetan Culture

Tibetan culture developed under the influence of a number of factors. Tibet’s specific geographic and climatic conditions have encouraged reliance on pastoralist, as well as the development of a different cuisine influenced by surrounding regions. Contact with neighboring countries and cultures, including Nepal, India and Mongolia – have influenced the development of Tibetan culture. But the Himalayan region’s remoteness and inaccessibility have preserved distinctive local influences. Buddhism has exerted a particularly strong influence on Tibetan culture since its introduction in the 7th century. Art, literature, and music all contain elements of Buddhist religion, and Buddhism itself has adopted a unique form in Tibet, influenced by the Bon tradition and other local beliefs.



Bon was the indigenous religion of Tibet. Introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century gave Tibetan Buddhism much of its distinctive character.

Tibetan Buddhism combines the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic and Bon.


Tibetan New Year (February or March)

It is the greatest festival in Tibet. The time when peach blossoms, is considered as the starting of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027, the first day of the first month became fixed as the New Year. On the New Year’s day, families unite, auspicious dipper is offered and the auspicious words TashiDelek are greeted.

Butter Oil Lantern Festival (February or March)

It is held on the 15th of the lunar month. Huge yak butter sculptures are placed around Lhasa’s Barkhor circuit.

Saga Dawa festival (May or June)

It is the holiest in Tibet, which coincides with Buddha’s birth and Buddha’s enlightenment. Almost every person in Lhasa join in circumambulations round the city and spend their late afternoon picnicking at DzongyabLukhang park at the foot of Potala Palace.

Gyantse House Race and Archery (May or June)

Horse race and archery are generally popular in Tibet. Contests include horse race, archery and shooting on gallop following by a few days’ entertainment or picnicking. Ball games, track and field events, folk songs and dances barter trade are in addition to the above.

CnantangChanchen Horse Race festival (August)

There are many horse racing festivals in Tibet. Herdsmen, on their horsebacks, in colorful dresses, carrying tents and local products, pour into Nagqu. Soon they form a city of tents. Various exciting programs are held, such as horse racing, yak racing, archery, horsemanship and commodity fair.

Shoton festival (August)

It is one of the major festivals in Tibet, also known as the Tibetan Opera Festival. The founder of the Gelugpa, Tsongkhapa set the rule that Buddhists can cultivate themselves only indoors in summer, to avoid killing other creatures carelessly.

Bathing festival (September)

It is believed that at a time when the sacred planet Venus appears in the sky, the water in the river becomes purest that cures diseases. During its appearance for one week, usually the end of the seventh and beginning of the eighth lunar months, all the people in Tibet go into the river to wash away the grime of the previous year.


Kungbu Traditional festival (November or December)

People celebrate Tibetan New Year on 1st October. To memorize the past brave soldiers Kongpo, people present three sacrifices and stay up at night. Now it has become the Kongpo festive for entertainment like Kongpo dancing, horse race, archery and shooting.

Harvest festival

The farmers in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shangnan celebrate their harvest. During the festival, people enjoy horse racing, costume fashion show, songs and dance, archery, shooting and picnic.

Getting into Tibet

Traveling to the Roof of the World is no longer a dream. With their center in Lhasa, the road networks of Sichuan-Tibet Highway, Qinghai-Tibet Highway, Yunnan-Tibet Highway, Xinjian-Tibet Highway and Friendship Highway Nepal connect all the neighboring countries with each other. It has also become possible to reach Tibet by railway or airplane.

Dinning in Tibet

There are some decent restaurants and hotels in Tibet. The traditional Tibetan diet is largely limited to barley, meat and dairy products, with very few species of vegetables. By comparison, Chinese restaurants in village offer some excellent food. Some travelers find that Hui places are cleaner because of Halal food laws. They are easily identified with green flags and crescent moons on their signboards.

What to pack

Due to its unique geographic and climatic features, we have to pack many things before we leave for Tibet. However, it is impractical to take too much baggage, as it will weaken us on the plateau. What to pack then becomes an important issue (Please see our pack list).


Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Nyalam (3,700m) – 150 km

Starting early morning, we drive through Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel and reach Friendship Bridge (Nepal-China borders). From here we walk for about 10 minutes to cross the bridge and meet our Tibetan guide and land cruiser jeep divers. After the immigration and customs formalities at the Chinese check post here, our journey continues for another 35 km which can take almost 3 hours through the up-winding road to Nyalam with beautiful scenery. You will be transferred to the guest house in Nyalam (3,700m). The facilities of the guest house are very basic. Overnight stay in Nyalam.

Day 02: Rest for acclimatization in Nyalam

Today is free for acclimatization. We will be going for short trek which is in preparation for Kailash Parikrama. Overnight stay in Nyalam.

Day 03: Drive from Nyalam to New Dongba (4,600m)

In the morning we drive to Paryang, passing through many camps of yak herders. To the far south snow-capped mountain peaks have a spectacular scene, most of the time you will be driving on plains, hence a comfortable drive. Arrive in Paryang and enjoy hot tea. Overnight stay in New Dongba.

Day 04: New Dongba – Mansarovar 94,558m): 277 km: 7-8 hrs.

We have now the longest driving day. After driving till late afternoon, we can see the Holy Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. Holy Mt. Kailash, Mt. Gurula-Mandala, LakaRakshash are lying on its surrounding. The region is considered rich for gold and other mines, hot springs and hundreds of species of wild animals. Overnight stay in a guest house.

Day 05: Holy Mansaroval Parikrama

After a memorable morning bath and puja in the lake, we will start Holy Mansarovar Parikrama by land cruiser jeep. We will have packed lunch for the day. If time permits, we visit Chui Gompa in Tarchen. Tarchen is considered as a base comp for Holy Kailash Parikrama. During the suspicious pilgrimage. We will see pilgrims with hundreds of tents all around the way. Overnight stay in a guest house.

Day 06: Drive to Tarboche

Tarboche is the starting point of Kailash Parikrama. It is one of the exciting days walking along the beautiful rocky cliffs, waterfalls which will make you feeling the Great God Shiva is everywhere. On the way, face of Kailash Parbat will keep on appearing. The Parikrama takes almost 7 hours, though the route is only 7 kilometer. Overnight stay at a government guest house.

Day 07: Dirapuk – Zuthulpuk (4,760m) 18 km trek

Today you will be climbing Drolma-la (Dolma-La 18,600 ft) pass and then descend gradually to Zuthulpuk. Overnight stay at a government guest house.

Day 8: Zuthulpuk – Tarchen – Mansarovar – Dongba (end of Kailash Parikrama)

Moring is free to explore the caves, temples and shrine around Milarepa cave. after walking 3 hours, all the driving crew will be waiting for your arrival. But late afternoon you will be at your lodge in Dongbba. Overnight stay at a guest house.

Day 10: Drive from Dongba to Nyalam (376 km): 7-8 hrs.

Overnight stay at a guest house in Nyalam.

Day 11: Drive to Kathmandu

Leaving Nyalam behind. We pass the Bhote Koshi River and cross the Chinese-Nepali border and enter into Nepal. After a few hours’ drive we arrive in Kathmandu. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 12: Kathmandu departure or trip extensions by addition optional activities

Transfer from hotel to international airport to board onward journey flight. Or extend your trip by adding optional activities

Note: The above itinerary is the standard that we offer. It can be customized as per your needs and interests.


  1. All ground transportations by private vehicle including airport pick up & drop transfers
  2. Full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley inclusive of all word heritage entry fees, tour guide & private vehicle.
  3. Three night’s accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu.
  4. Transportation from and to Kathmandu to Kailash Mansarovar (Tibet)&Kathmandu by comfortable tourist vehicle.
  5. Best available guest houses / hotels with breakfast during the tour.
  6. All sightseeing, Temples & Monasteries fees for whole tour.
  7. Warm down jacket, sleeping bag and duffel bag if necessary (down jacket duffel bag and sleeping bag which need to be returned after your trip completion).
  8. Government licensed English speaking Tibetan guide for whole tour including his salary, food, accommodation and insurance.
  9. Yaks and Yak – man to carry baggage while in Kailash parikarma.
  10. Oxygen cylinders for Kailash parikarma (in case of emergency)
  11. All the necessary Tibet visa fees & travel permit.
  12. All necessary paper work for the trip.
  13. All taxes official expenses and tourist service charge.


  1. All meals in other than breakfast
  2. Travel insurance.
  3. Optional tours and activities.
  4. Nepal entry visa fee $ 40 for 30 days, easily can obtain upon your arrival at Tatopani border, required 2 copies of passport size photos
  5. Travel medical insurance
  6. Tips and gratuities for field staff and driver
  • Duration 12-Days

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Trip Facts

  • Accommodation : hotel in Kathmandu / Lhasa & best available guest house en-route to Kailash tour
  • Meals : breakfast only
  • Transportation : Private car/jeep /hiace
  • Country : Tibet
  • Trip Style : guided tour.
  • Start In : Kathmandu
  • End In : Kathmandu

Trip –at glance

Fitness Level: -strenuous.

Activities: – Overland tour

Destination: – Mansarovar lake, Mt.Kailash and Dolma La pass.

Max. Altitude:-5600m /18368 ft.

Group Size:-Min.1, max 16 people.



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