Spiritual Adventure to Tibet
A 3 week Adventure of Kathmandu and Tibet in the Footsteps of a Yogi
May | June 2020
This Trip of a Lifetime begins in Kathmandu.
Our intimate group will gather in Kathmandu Nepal. During the first couple of days, we will explore some local sites and culture before flying over the Himalayan Mountains to the city of Lhasa in Tibet. From here, we join our private Tibetan tour guide who will lead us for the next 2 weeks of our adventure.
The Tibetan leg begins with an exploration of Lhasa as we allow time to adjust to the altitude change, before heading out into the wilderness towards Mt Kailash. During our time in Tibet, we will do a 3 day trek around Mt Kailash, enjoy quiet contemplation at Lake Manasarovar and visit many beautiful monasteries and other sacred sites.
Another highlight will be visiting the Everest Base Camp located in the Rongbuk Valley. This will be our highest point above sea level before we head towards the Nepal-Tibetan Border to cross the ‘Friendship Bridge’ back into Nepal.
The return road trip to Kathmandu, through the beautiful Langtang National Park and small Nepalese villages with stunning scenery, will add another amazing experience to our memories.
We then have a couple more days sight-seeing, or shopping, in Kathmandu before we say our good-byes.
Standing tall at 22,000 feet
Known to be the home of Lord Shiva, Mt Kailash is one of the world’s most revered holy places. A peak in the Kailash Range, Mount Kailash is a part of the Transhimalaya in Tibet. Due to its high altitude, remote location and extreme winters, only a few thousand pilgrims are able to do the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra every year.
A Mount Kailash Yatra
We will honour the ancient tradition of Pilgrims by completing a Yatra -
- Parikrama (walk around clockwise) of Mount Kailash and
- take a dip in the holy waters of Mansarovar Lake
Said to relieve pilgrims of any karma and bring freedom, this is a holy journey made by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, as well as many Western Pilgrims annually during the summer time when the snows are melted.
featuring Kathmandu, Lhasa, Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar & Everest Base Camp
- 24th May: Arrive in Kathmandu
- 30th May: Fly to Lhasa in Tibet over the Himalayas
- 31st May: 14 Day - Kailash to Kyirong Border Tour
- 13th June: Back to Kathmandu via road
- 15th June: Fly home or onward bound
Day 1: ARRIVAL in KATHMANDU - airport pick up to our centrally located 4-star hotel. Relax and meet the group.
Day 2-6: EXPLORING KATHMANDU - Intention setting for the group + yoga & meditations
Day 7: TIBET (1/14) GUIDED TOUR BEGINS WITH TRANSFER to LHASA
A short flight to Tibet with a panoramic view of the snowy Himalayan ranges and beautiful scenery along the route. Our group will be greeted by our Tibetan guide and driver to transfer to our hotel in Lhasa city. From the airport to Lhasa it is approx 60km and will take less than an hour through the recently built highway. We will check into the hotel and relax overnight.
Day 8: TIBET (2/14) EXPLORE LHASA
Attractions - Jokhang Temple, the bustling Bakhor Street and Sera Monastery
Today is the your first day on the high plateau and some may have little headache as we adjust to the altitude. We will enjoy an easy visit to Jokhang Temple in the center of the Old Lhasa city. Jokhang Temple is one of the most sacred temples in all over Tibet and it is always bustling with local pilgrims.
After that we have time to walk around the Bakhor street which is the one of the most devotional circuit as well as the crowded central market of Lhasa. During the old days it was the most famous local market but it's now changed to a tourist gift shopping center.
A visit to the Sera Monastery, built in the fifteenth century by the Jamchen Choji Sakya Yeshi (who is disciple of Tsongka pa). There's a few different monastic colleges in Sera home to several hundred monks from different part of Tibet, the famous Buddhist philosophical debates among the monks are happening every day in the afternoon except Sunday. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 9: TIBET (3/14) LHASA
Attractions - Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery
Today we will visit the famous Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. It was first built by 33rd King Songtsen Gangpo in 7th century and later in 17th century rebuilt by 5th Dalai Lama. Since then it is home to the Dalai Lama and his government. Walking the long steps are quite challenging but it is worthwhile to leave your footprints in the spiritual palace of God of Compassion, which was listed in the world heritage in 1994.
And in the afternoon, we will visit the Drepung Monastery, once the world’s largest monastery that housed for more than 10,000 monks. It was the residence of the Dalai Lama prior to the Potala Palace. There's a lot of thrilling things to see by walking through various narrow and twisted lanes that the monks apartments are located on. We will continue to acclimatize and spend another night in Lhasa.
Day 10: TIBET (4/14) LHASA (3600m) – GYANTSE (3900m) – SHIGATSE(3900m), 350 km
Attractions - Yamdrok Lake, Mt.Nyechen Kangsar Glacier, Gyantse Kubum Stupa and Pelkhor Choede Monastery
We start heading south west, through the zigzag road climb up the Kampa la pass (4700m). From there you will be amazed by the breathtaking glimpse of the holy Yamdrok lake with its turquoise color and snowcapped Mt.Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, before continuing on along the lake for a few km’s. Lunch stop at Nagar tse. The rest of the day will be spent enjoying the many magnificent valleys and exquisite Tibetan villages that we pass through - en route we will stop at Karo la (5150m) to see the holy mount Nyenchen Kangsar glacier.
Arrival at Gyantse, we visit Kumbum stupa and Palkhor Choede monastery. This magnificent multi-door structure is the largest stupa in Tibet. It is not only well known for its architecture but also its old sculptures and paintings that line its inner walls. We complete the day with a late afternoon drive to Shigatse which is only 90km. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 11: TIBET (5/14) SHIGATSE (3900m) – LHATSE (4200m), 150km
Attractions - Tashi lhunpo Monastery and Sakya Monastery
Today we will visit Tashi Lhunpo monastery in morning. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in the western part of Tibet, which has more than 600 years of history. It is a different experience walking with local pilgrims through temples and twisted lanes within the old buildings on the campus.
We then drive to Lhatse for the night. En-route we will drive off the main road to Sakya monastery which is located in a small village. This area and monastery has a different architectural design and colour.
Day 12: TIBET (6/14) LHATSE (4200m) – SAGA (4500m), 340km - Today we head straight to Saga through a long valley of Brahmaputra tributary. Compared to the last few years, the road condition is much better as it is recently reconstructed and paved. Overnight at Saga.
Day 13: TIBET (7/14) SAGA – DARCHEN (5000m), 520km
Attractions - Lake Manasarovar and Mt Kailash
Today the thrilling journey across the dry and vast plain with stunning views of great Himalaya in the south and Trans-Himalayan in the north, the moonscape plain of the region is home for sparse lone nomads whose lifestyle remains close to what it has been for centuries, and numbers of plateau wild lives. Different natural landscapes like sand dunes and picturesque mountain views are not only the great beauty of the day but also the holy lakes and mountains. We will reach Manasarovar Lake (victorious lake) in the late afternoon, which is one of the holiest lakes in Tibet and every year it receives hundreds of hundreds of pilgrims from all corner of Tibetan plateau, India and Russia.
The lake is surrounded by several prominent peaks like Gurla Mandata (7760m). It's a further drive to Darchen which is the starting point of the Mt Kailash (7762m) trekking, so you will also have great view of Kailash from the front. Darchen is a small nomadic village and now adays the increasing number of guesthouses and restaurants make it more commercial.
On our arrival you have plenty of time to explore around the town and prepare for the trekking. You can also hiking around the hills to get physically ready for the trekking. In the afternoon, your guide will arrange others trekking necessities like porters and yaks for your luggage transportation. You can find different restaurants according to your taste or your guide will help you to find some better ones. Overnight at Darchen.
Day 14: TIBET (8/14) KAILASH TREK DAY (1) TO DIRAPUK, 20km *** WITH THE FULL MOON ***
Attractions - the views on the both side of the valley that you are going to trek.
Today our trekking starts from Darchen and traces the small trail in the clockwise circuit around the peak of Mt Kailash, with an average altitude of 4700m. We will encounter numbers of local Buddhist pilgrims doing along the way and several Bon believers in the anti-clockwise direction. After about 4 hours, we will reach Tamdin (4780m) where nomadic tents serve simple lunch and boiled water. From there, it is only 4km to Dirakpuk monastery but between this stretches we have some of the best scenery of the entire kora.
Dirakpuk, rebuilt in 1985, is located on the north side of the Lha-chu River facing to the north face of the Mt. Kailash. Dirakpuk name originally comes from a word Dira that means "female yak horn" and Puk meaning "cave". In a mythical story it is said a female yak opened the cave. Overnight at Dirapuk guesthouse.
Day 15: TIBET (9/14) KAILASH TREK DAY (2) TO ZULTUL PUK (4790m) 18km
Attractions - cross the Dikpala (5000m) and Dormala (5600m)
The most challenging part of the trek where we cross two passes - though not too steep, the altitude make it more tiring and slow. After we cross Dikpala (5000m) & Dormala (5600m), the passes are marked by many prayer flags and cairns. We will have a special meditation time here, on the back side of the Mt. Kailash with a great view of the holy peak.
We will then climb down into the long valley and stop lunch at the Shabjay Dakpo nomadic tent for lunch. Zuktul puk monastery (4790m) also hails a miracle cave that is built by two religious figures Milarepa and Naro Bonchung. There is even a footprint and handprint of Milarepa inside the cave. Overnight at Zultul Puk.
Day 16: TIBET (10/14) TREK DAY (3) & DRIVE TO LAKE MANASAROVAR (12km trekking and 80km drive)
Attractions - close view of the Manasarovar Lake and Thuktso Lake
An easy day of trekking to complete the circuit. Our driver will pick us up from Tashi Do (which is also called Dzongsar). We drive to the holy Lake Manasarovar and overnight at guesthouses near the lake. This will again be a perfect meditation-reflection place.
Day 17: TIBET (11/14) BACK to SAGA - Today we will trace the road back to Saga for the night.
Day 18: TIBET (12/14) SAGA – EBC (5150m)
Attractions - Rongbuk Monastery and Mt. Everest Base Camp
Today we drive straight to EBC beside the Pekutso Lake. There are great views of Mt Shishapama and other peaks of the mighty Himalayas. Continuing towards the south-east, from Old Tingri with the spectacular Himalayan Ranges and its mighty peaks beyond 8000m, Mt.Makalu (8463m), Mt.Lotse (8516m), Mt.Everest (8844m) and Mt.Cho Oyu (8201m).
We leave the main road to the Everest Base Camp located in the Rongbuk Valley. Rongbuk is the highest monastery in the world and it consist both monks and nuns. The afternoon provides an option to do a short trek from the tent guesthouses community to E.B.C. This takes approx 2 hours (6 km), or you can choose to take the dedicated minibus instead. We will stay in a local tent guesthouse.
Day 19: TIBET (13/14) RONGBUK (5000m) – OLD TINGRI (4390m) – KYIRONG (1800m)
Attractions - Thongla Pass, Mt. Shishapama, Peikutso Lake
As we awake the next morning, a striking view of luminous peaks is highlighted by the sun and it’s goodbye to this landscape. We drive south to Nepal and traverse the beautiful scenery of Thongla pass. The Peikutso lake with impressive views of the Mt Shishapama, gradually descend into Kyirong valley will also be enjoyed.
Our destination is Tibet's border town Kyirong which has just opened its border for travelers (the previous Zhangmu border was closed after the extensive Nepal earthquakes in April 2015). We will overnight in Kyirong.
Day 20: TIBET (14/14) KYIRONG (2300m) – SABRUBESI – KATHMANDU
Attractions - Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge, Nepalese villages and Langtang National Park
Today we drive to the Friendship Bridge and our guide will ensure a smooth transition through China customs, before it's time to say our farewells to our Tibetan guide as the bridge crossing is our return to Nepal. This will be an adventurous and probably bumpy 130 km drive (from 6 - 10hrs depending on conditions) from the border to Kathmandu city along the Peace Highway. We will be passing through typical Nepalese villages and the famously picturesque Langtang National Park. This road trip will definitely be one that creates a few memorable moments!
Day 21-22: KATHMANDU The Home Stretch - We will relax now in 4-5 star accommodation close to places of interest and enjoy our last few days together with some opportunity to enjoy the markets (anyone up for last minute shopping!), holy places, delicious restaurants as well as to share our experiences and process the journey. Our time together finishes with a special evening Dinner and Dance Ceremony, before our departure home or on to more adventures.
There are so many things to do in Kathmandu!
Some of the experiences we may have as a group, or you may choose to explore on your own during our free choice time:
- Thamel Markets
- Local Women's Handicrafts
- Local Yoga Studio
- SASANE - Sisterhood of Survivors
- Nepal Cooking School
- Garden of Dreams
- Pashupatinath Temple
- The Crematoria
- Swayambhunath Monkey Temple
- Boudhanath Stupa
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
As with any trip, there are demands on our bodies that we need to be aware of. Even if it's just sitting in a bus for hours!
For our adventure
- a medium level of fitness is needed - we are walking around Kailash, which is approx 50kms over 3 days to circumnavigate. This is flat but rocky terrain.
- the main awareness needs to be with the altitude change, hence why we allow a number of days for acclimatization throughout the trip as we change levels.
Sheralee had a long career in nursing prior to becoming a holistic wellness coach specializing in the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda, yoga, meditation and essential oils. Sheralee has facilitated wellness retreats in Australia.
An adventurer herself, Sheralee hails from Bundaberg Australia and is so looking forward to guiding this phenomenal trip which we are sure will become one your treasured memories this lifetime.
A musician, writer, yoga, mindfulness teacher and yoga therapist with 35 years experience, Soraya has traveled extensively facilitating groups in India, Europe and Australia. One of Soraya's long time dreams, she is very excited to be sharing this significant journey with you.
When at home in Australia, Soraya loves nurturing her garden at her property with husband Terry Oldfield in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
A GURU TRAVEL AGENT
Chris Prouting (MTA Travel) M:+61488040455
Chris is a gun of a travel planner. He's one of those who lives and breaths his work - which means he's provides such a wonderful service for us!
Chris is up on all the details of our adventure so if you want a recommendation, I'd suggest giving him a chance to prove his one of the best in the business!!
Freecall : 1300 365 688 Ext 730 (BH Mon-Sat) | Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Web : www.mtatravel.com.au/cprouting