Short tour to Mount Kailash

  • Visit Mount Kailash with a safe and well-paced 12 days overland itinerary
  • Enough time to naturally acclimatize to high altitude
  • Complete the Kailash pilgrimage with an experienced Tibetan guide
  • Affordable group tour options
Tourists jumping for a photo when traveling in Tibet

“I travelled with Wonders of Tibet on the 15 Days Mount Kailash Pilgrimage Tour. Every member of the team that I met delivers high standards of service as mentioned by other clients in their reviews.”

Review on TripAdvisor
Group tour visiting Mount Kailash in August 2023

“The trip was enjoyable and interesting. It was a pilgrimage for me. I met with many interesting characters along the way. All of us in the group were above 70 years old. The journey was based on trust.”

Review on TripAdvisor
Red and white stupa and view on Mount Kailash

“I joined Wonders of Tibet for a 15-day Mt. Kailash tour in August 2023 and am very impressed with the high standard of organization. Very clear and prompt communication long before our arrival in Tibet and well designed itinerary to ensure we are fully acclimatised”

Review on TripAdvisor
trekkers on the Kailash kora


  • All necessary Travel Permits to travel in Tibet
  • All accommodations are based on double occupancy in hotels, dorm rooms in guesthouses
  • All entrance fees, tickets to the attraction sites, and monasteries outlined in the itinerary
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Ground transportation in a clean and comfortable vehicle
  • English-speaking Tibetan guide
  • Breakfast when staying in hotels in Lhasa and Shigatse
  • First Aid Kit
  • Oxygen supply




You arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or the train station. The airport is 62 km/ 39 miles away from the city, and it takes approximately one hour to get to the hotel from there. On the way to Lhasa, you will enjoy beautiful views of the mountains. The train station is located in Lhasa, and you will only need a short transfer to the hotel.

Depending on the time of your arrival, you might have some free time to spend in Lhasa. Our guides will be happy to advise you on what you can do with your time in Lhasa. After you check in at the hotel, you are welcome to explore the city, visit nearby temples, go shopping, try delicious Tibetan food in one of the local restaurants, or just take a rest.

Walking around Barkhor Street can be an excellent choice for your first day in Lhasa. You will join crowds of pilgrims, local Tibetans, and monks circumambulating the Jokhang Temple.

Most importantly, on your first day in Tibet, be sure to relax, enjoy your day, and allow some time for acclimatizing.

This tour visits the two most important religious sites in Tibet.

The Potala Palace was the seat of the Dalai Lamas since the 17th century. We will then go inside and spend approximately 1.5 – 2 hours from the entrance gate to the exit. While there, you will see many of its most famous artifacts.

There will be free time for lunch after visiting the Potala Palace.

Time permitting, you can walk around the Potala Palace and join many of the local Tibetans.

Next, we will walk towards the Jokhang Temple. It was built in the 7th century to display the Jowo Shakyamuni Statue – the statue of the 12-year-old Buddha before his enlightenment. The statue was created at the time when the historical Buddha lived. It is elaborately decorated with gold, jewels, and precious stones.

After visiting the temple, we recommend taking a walk around Barkhor Street.

Today we will travel on some of the most beautiful roads in Tibet on our drive to Shigatse. Be prepared to take photos of the breathtaking views as we go up to the highest point of the day – Kamba La Pass (almost 4,800 meters / 15,750 ft).

Our next stop will be at Yamdrok Lake. It is one of the holy lakes in Tibet, and it is famous for its turquoise-colored water. After that, we will head towards Gyantse. On the way there, we will make a stop to see the spectacular glaciers.

In Gyantse, we will visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum – the biggest stupa in Tibet. Finally, we will reach Shigatse late in the evening and stay there overnight.

On the way to Saga, We will make a stop at Langtso Lake with beautiful views, and drive through a couple of different passes above 4600m.  

We arrive at Saga in the evening to have dinner and check into the hotel.

On the way to Manasarovar Lake, you will see stunning views of the Saga Valley between the Gangdise Range and the Himalayan Range. We will also stop at the desert area filled with sand dunes (an unexpected change of landscape!). As we cross the Mayumla Pass (5112M), you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Naimonanyi (7694M).

In the evening we will pass the Manasarovar Lake. After we pass the lake, we will drive to Darchen to stay there overnight. Darchen is located by the Southern foot of Mount Kailash and it is the starting point of our trek around the holy mountain.

We are staying at the guesthouse overnight. In Darchen, you can hire a horse to help you on the trek (for an additional fee).

We will start our trek very early in the morning. We will be walking around the Kailash in a clockwise direction. From Darchen we will head west towards the area with the main prayer poll and the sky burial place. It is the area where Tibetans celebrate the Saga Dawa Festival, commemorating the day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death.

Later we will reach the first tea shop on the trek where we will stop for lunch.

In the afternoon, we will continue to the Dira Puk Monastery and stop there for the night (at a guesthouse). From the guesthouse, you will get a spectacular view of the north face of Kailash Mountain.

On the second day, we will start the trek very early to go through the highest pass. First, we will walk to the tea house to have breakfast and prepare for crossing the pass. After we are done eating, we will start ascending the pass. The Dolma La Pass is 5,630 meters/ 18,600 ft. high.

Once you reach it, you can see the stunning views of the mountains and the lakes below. There are many colorful prayer flags that people hang there to spread their prayers with every gust of wind.

On the way down, we will cross the river and continue to the next tea shop for lunch and a short break. After that, we will walk to the Zutiulpuk Monastery where we will be staying overnight (in a guesthouse).

Today will be our shortest and easiest day. We will be walking through a gorgeous valley following the mountain river. Throughout the day we will see the east side of Mt. Kailash. After completing the pilgrimage circuit, we will drive towards Manasarovar Lake.

At Manasarovar Lake, you can relax on the lakeshore enjoying the serene view or take a short stroll. Alternatively, you can visit a hot spring (approximately 10 min walk). The hot spring provides bathtubs and clean facilities. The hot spring fee is not included in the tour cost. 

We are staying at the guesthouse overnight. The guesthouse has dormitory rooms.

Today we will be driving from our guesthouse to Saga. We will make some stops along the way to take photos. We will be staying the night at the hotel in Saga.

We will drive back from Saga to Shigatse, with a scenic stop by the Langtso Lake. We will be staying in a hotel in Shigatse.

In the morning we will visit Tashilumpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lamas. This monastery was founded by the first Dalai Lama, and it is one of the most important monasteries in Tibet. You can take photos in some of the chapels for an additional fee.

We will take the Friendship Highway on the way back to Lhasa. It is the most direct route and usually takes around six hours to reach the capital. We will make several stops on the way to enjoy the views of the Brahmaputra River. In the afternoon, you might have some free time to prepare for your departure the next day.

Please prepare in advance for your departure. It takes approximately one hour to drive to the airport and around thirty minutes to reach the train station. We will arrive at the airport three hours before your departure flight if you are traveling to Nepal and two hours before any domestic flight.


Mount Kailash Pilgrimage Trek Route

First Day: 20 km/ 12.4 miles. Ascent 335 meters.
Highlights: South and West sides of Kailash, Tarboche flagpole and stupa, Dira Phuk monastery

Second Day: 22 km/ 13.6 miles. Ascent 730 meters. Descent 850 meters.
Highlights: North and East side of Kailash, Drolma La Pass (5,640 m), Buddha footprint

Third Day: 14 km/ 8.7 miles. Descent 215 meters.
Highlights: South side of Kailash, Zutul Phuk


We start this tour to Kailash in Lhasa at an elevation of 3,650 meters. At this altitude, some travelers can experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness. We spend the first two days in Lhasa to acclimatize and continue the journey to higher areas. Along the way, we will be traveling through various high passes.

By the time we reach Mount Kailash, most travelers will acclimatize to trek around it. The highest point of the trek is 5,640 meters. We reach this high pass on the second day of trekking. If you want additional help while trekking, you can hire porters, horses, or yaks in Darchen before the departure.

Please, consult your doctor about traveling to high-altitude areas if you have any concerns. Your physician might prescribe some medication if it is needed. Always tell your guide if you experience symptoms of altitude sickness. All our guides are trained to respond and we always have an oxygen supply if you need it.

More information on how to deal with altitude sickness: 7 Tips for Altitude Sickness Prevention




Traveler taking photos of Mount Kailash in Tibet


Kailash region in Tibet is located at an average altitude of over 4,500 meters / 14,750ft and can be a lot colder than lower altitude areas.

In summer, daytime temperatures average 10°C / 51°F on average, reaching 14°C / 57°F on the warmest days. Even in summer nights are quite cold with temperatures around +2°C / 36°F on average.

Minivan by the Yamdrok Lake in Tibet


For our group tours, we use a variety of cars depending on group size and weather conditions. On some days, we will be driving long hours and we are trying to arrange the most comfortable car for your journey.

Here you will find photos and descriptions of cars:

Minivan by the Yamdrok Lake in Tibet


  • Passport valid for at least 6 months
  • When traveling through China: Chinese visa for most travelers who are not visa-exempt (see details and visa application instructions in the “Chinese visa” resource linked below).
  • When traveling through Nepal: a Chinese group visa is issued in the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu for travelers from Nepal (see details and visa application instructions in the “Chinese Group visa” resource linked below).
    Please, note, that this visa is currently issued only for groups of 4 people or more.
  • Tibet travel permits: we apply for all necessary permits for you in Tibet

Minivan by the Yamdrok Lake in Tibet


It is best to start planning your trip in advance. Most travelers will need to apply for a Chinese visa first. After that, we need to apply for all necessary permits in Tibet, and it usually takes about 15 days to receive them.
That means, processing all these documents can take about one month. That’s why it is best to plan your tour no later than 30 days before the tour starting date unless you already have a Chinese visa or hold a passport that allows visa-free travel.

We ask for a 10% deposit to secure your tour with us. This deposit is fully refundable up to 30 days before the tour starting date, minus any possible payment transfer charges from the bank or other services. If you cancel your tour with less than 30 days’ notice, the cancelation fee is 10% of the tour cost that we use to cover all expenses of arranging your tour.


Canyon of Sutlej river in Ngari, Western Tibet


A private tour takes you from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet to the most Western part of the country. This tour includes 3 days of trekking around Mount Kailash and visiting the Western part of Tibet. Ngari, the distant Western province is famous for its clay forest geopark, Tibetan Buddhism studies centers – Thorling, Tsaparang, and meditation caves in the mountains.

Tibetan pilgrim on Saga Dawa Festival at Mount Kailash


This special tour takes you to the sacred Mount Kailash during the biggest festival of the year. Saga Dawa Festival celebrated the day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from all around Tibet, India, and the world. You will see the greatest diversity of Tibetan national dress as people wear their best clothes for the festival.


All you need to know to get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Information about required documents, ways to travel, the best season, what to wear and pack, how to prepare physically, and what to expect on your journey.




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