Lhasa to Kashgar via Mt Kailash
|BETWEEN||Lhasa and Kashgar|
|COUNTRIES VISITED – 1||China (Tibet)|
|MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE||12|
|WHATS NOT INCLUDED||
For centuries Tibet remained the inaccessible goal of numerous intrepid, determined and hardy explorers. While Lhasa is no longer a secret city, it remains mystical, and the ancient route west along the top of the Himalayas to the desert oasis of Kashgar is hardly ever travelled beyond the sacred Mountain of Kailash – the source of four great holy rivers, and an opportunity for us to join local pilgrims in a stunning 3-day circumambulation. It is remote and wild with some fascinating sights and truly spectacular scenery. The long forbidden and desolate Aksai Chin, a corner of the high plateau annexed by China from India, almost without them noticing, has remained a political barrier for years. It is now traversable, and this land of ancient kingdoms where herds of wild ass (Kiang) roam and eagles soar high above the immense landscape is waiting to be explored.
Lhasa to Kashgar via Mt Kailash
Wild Frontier’s small group tours are unique, original itineraries offering truly authentic, off-the-beaten-track experiences. While Lhasa is no longer a secret city, it remains mystical, and the ancient route west along the top of the Himalayas to the desert oasis of Kashgar is hardly ever travelled beyond the sacred Mountain of Kailash – the source of four great holy rivers, and an opportunity for us to join local pilgrims in a stunning 3-day circumambulation.
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- The mystical city of Lhasa
- Everest base camp
- 3-day circumambulation of the Sacred Mountain of Kailash
- The lost Himalayan Kingdom of Guge Kashgar, ancient hub of the Silk Road
- Wild asses of the Tibetan Plateau
Day 1: Tour starts in Lhasa
Joining the tour in Lhasa (altitude 3600m/11800ft) we will meet our local Tibetan guide today and take it easy, allowing for acclimatisation. If you are already more accustomed to the thin air, you can take the rest of the day to wander through the fabulous market of Barkhor or surrounding sites. Kyichu Hotel or similar (D)
Day 2: Lhasa
Today we head out to Drepung. The monastery was founded in 1416 by Tsongkhapa’s foremost disciple, Jamyang Choje and named after the sacred abode of Shridhanyakataka. It is known that Tsongkhapa himself taught at the monastery. In the early years of the 16th century, Dalai Lama II took possession of the Ganden Phodrang, (south-western part of Drepung), which was later to become an important centre of political power in Tibet. During the time when Dalai Lama V assumed spiritual and temporal power in 1641, Drepung had over 10,000 monks, making it the largest monastery in the world. Later we’ll head on to The Norbulingka, or “Jewel Park” – the former summer palace of successive Dalai Lamas since 1755. The 40 hectare park is divided into three areas: the palaces, the opera grounds and former government buildings. After lunch we travel to the north-eastern suburbs of Lhasa to visit two more famous monasteries: Sera and Phabonkha. We reach Sera in time for the 3pm debates. Sera was founded in 1419 by Tsongkhapa’s disciple Jamchen Choje. The monastery is famous for its Tantric teaching and there are three major tantric colleges within it. Phabonkha lies to the west of Sera and was the preeminent meditation site during Songsten Gampo’s rule. It contains a plaque commemorating the first Tibetan script and it’s said that in the early days of the Buddhism, Tibet’s Original Seven Trial monks lived here for some time in the Tsechu Lhakhang Cave. The original structures at Pawangka may well predate the Jokhang. Kyichu Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
Capital of Tibet and traditionally the home of the Dalai Lama, the city is home to 257,400 people (2004 census estimate). Its altitude is 3,490m (11,450ft) and the air only contains 68% of the oxygen level found at sea level, that is, roughly 14.3% oxygen instead of the usual 21%. As the centre of Tibet’s economy, politics and culture, Lhasa literally means “place of the gods”, although ancient Tibetan documents and inscriptions demonstrate that the place was called Rasa, which means “goat’s place”, until the early 7th century.
Day 3: Lhasa
Today we have an early start as we head to the Potala Palace, the former residence of the current Dalai Lama who now lives in exile in Dharamsala, northern India. Later we’ll head to the cultural and spiritual part of the city – the Barkhor (Pilgrim Circuit), which surrounds the Jokhang temple. You will have time to have a wander around the centre of the city after our visit to the temple – the heart of the city for the local Tibetan people. Kyichu Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
The Palace was originally built by King Songsten Gampo in 637AD on Mount Marpori, although the present structure dates from 1645. In terms of global perception, it is this relic of Tibet’s past, present and future national aspirations. This 13-storeyed edifice was among the world’s tallest buildings prior to the advent of the 20th century skyscraper and the grandest building in Tibet. You will have time to explore the myriad of rooms and assembly halls. The Jokhang and Barkhor: The Jokhang is Tibet’s most sacred shrine, the focal point for a fascinating variety of pilgrims from the entire Tibetan plateau. The Newari queen of Songsten Gampo had the temple built in 767AD. From the roof there are some wonderful views of the market below and the Potala Palace in the middle distance over the roof-tops of Lhasa. The Barkhor is one of the three principal sacred circumambulation routes around Lhasa followed by pilgrims and traders alike and is packed with a busy bazaar.
Day 4: Lhasa – Shigatse
Today we drive south, about 100km to Yamdrok Yutso. This sacred lake lying at 4480m serves as a talisman, supporting the life-spirit of the Tibetan nation. It is said that should its waters run dry, Tibet will no longer be habitable. By far the largest lake in South Tibet (754 square km) the pincer-shaped Yamdrok Yutso has nine islands, one of which houses a monastery and a Padmasambhava stone footprint. As we approach the Lake from Lhasa we cross the Gampa La (4794m) from where there is a wonderful view of its turquoise water, with the mysterious Mount Donang Sangwari (5340m) on the peninsula beyond and the snow peaks of Nojin Gangzang (7191m) in the distance. The road descends to the northern lakeshore and thence to the fortress town of Gyantse. Here we visit the site of the kumbum – a unique example of Tibetan monastic architecture. We will then continue our journey to Shigatse. Manasarovar Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
The Tashilunpo Monastery: This Monastery is the seat of the Panchen Lamas, was founded in 1447 by Dalai Lama I: Gendun Drub. At its peak, this monastery housed 4,700 monks, and it has the appearance of a monastic city. You might like to walk the 3km pilgrimage circuit around the monastery, with views of the Dolmari ridge. The original structure was built over a sacred sky-burial site, the stone slab of which is still to be seen on the floor within. The building in the west part of the complex Jamkhang Chenmo houses the world’s largest gilded copper image, 26 metres in height. This massive Matreya Buddha, embodying loving kindness, contains 6700 steals of gold and 150 metric tons of copper and was constructed in WW1. At the centre of the monastery is a courtyard that was used as a theatre for religious dances. Just off the courtyard is the chanting hall. The reconstructed castle (dzong) of Shigatse, 2007: The imposing castle, Samdrubtse Dzong or “Shigatse Dzong”, was built in the C15th century, when it looked something like a smaller version of the Potala. At the instigation of the Chinese, in 1961 it was totally dismantled, rock by rock, by hundreds of Tibetans. It was previously the seat of the kings of Ü- Tsang and the capital of the province of Ü- Tsang or Tsang. Between 2005 and 2007, the building was reconstructed, using old photographs. It will become a museum on Tibetan culture. Shigatse was previously known as Samdruptse. In the 19th century the “Tashi” or Panchen Lama had temporal power over Tashilunpo Monastery and three small districts, though not over the town of Shigatse itself, which was administered by two Dzongpön (Prefects) appointed from Lhasa. Before Chinese invasion of Tibet, the Tibetan territory was divided into 53 prefecture districts called Dzongs. There were two Dzongpöns for every Dzong—a lama (Tse-dung) and a layman. They were entrusted with both civil and military powers and are equal in all respects, though subordinate to the generals and the Chinese Amban in military matters. However, there were only one or two Ambans representing the Chinese emperor residing in Lhasa, directing a little garrison, and their power installed since 1728, progressively declined to end-up as observer at the eve of their expulsion in 1912 by the 13th Dalai Lama. At the time of the Chinese occupation in 1952, Shigatse had a population of perhaps 12,000 people, making it the second largest city in Tibet.
Day 5: Shigatse - Shelkar
This morning we will visit Tashilunpo monastery before driving to Ngamring County, sometimes referred to as the gateway to Mt. Kailash and far-western Tibet. This is a dramatic barren area, which divides the Raga Tsangpo and the Brahmaputra River. The main road runs northwest from Lhatse, crossing the Brahmaputra via the Lhatse Chakzam Bridge or the Drapu ferry, to enter the county. It then passes through Gekha and Zangzang townships to re-join the river at Saga. The most important historical sites are located at Chung Riwoche and Zangzang Lhadrak. Qomalangma Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
Day 6: Shelkar – Everest Base Camp
This morning we leave the westbound route, heading south along the Friendship Highway to Mt. Everest Base Camp via Rongbuk. We head south over Lalung La (5050m) to arrive at Rongbuk. For 13 years after it was found to be the highest mountain in the world, Peak XV had no European name. In 1865, the then Surveyor General of India suggested that it be named after his predecessor, Sir George Everest, the man who was responsible for the remarkable Great Trigonometry Survey which ultimately determined the mountain’s height. This afternoon we’ll have time to make the walk (approx. 2 hours each way) up to base camp (EBC) to have a look around. There is a memorial mound of rocks here at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier, to the climbers who have died on the mountain. Also (weather permitting) there are some extraordinary views to be had of Everest’s north face and the nearby mountains of Pumori, Lhotse and Nuptse. Tented Guesthouse (B,L,D)
Everest Base Camp and Rongbuk
Everest, known as Chomolangma (or Qomolangma) in Tibetan, was first summited by the team of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953. Since then, the mountain has been summited nearly 4000 times. The top of Everest sits at 8848m/29,028ft. The base camp of Everest on the Tibet side sits at 5200m/ 17,060feet and sits in a sheltered spot at the foot of the Rongbuk glacier. The awe inspiring north face of the mountain dominates the head of the valley, rising an incredible and almost vertical three kilometres from the valley floor.
Day 7: Everest Base Camp - Rongphu
This morning we have the chance to walk back to Rongphu to take in the views of Everest once more (weather permitting) before taking a short tour of the monastery – the highest in the world. We then make the scenic cross-country drive through local pasture land to Old Tingri, where we stay the night. The town itself has, in recent decades, been rebuilt to accommodate a military camp, which lies to the south of the highway. There are memorable views of the entire Everest Range; if visibility is good we should be able to observe Everest, Lhotse and Cho Oyu. Snow Leopard Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
The Rongbuk monastery lies at 5,100m above sea level, the highest monastery in the world; it is only 200m lower than base camp. The monastery is now accessible by vehicle; previously, explorers had to walk for five weeks from Darjeeling, in the Indian foothills of the Himalaya. The journey to Rongbuk passes over La lung La (pass) from where there are magnificent views of Xishapangma, Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, and Gyachung Kang.
Day 8: Rongphu – Pekhutso Lake - Saga
We take the scenic southern route to Pekhutso Lake today, where we have the opportunity to take a walk around the lakeside to take in the splendour and tranquillity of the area. We then leave the environs of Everest and head north again to cross the Yarlung Tsangpo and re-join the westbound route towards Kailash. We spend the night in Saga, which is today a modern military town. Guesthouse (B,L,D)
Day 9: Saga - Manasarovar
Our route continues today largely along the broad valley of the Yarlung Tsangpo and we start to feel the remoteness of this part of the world. The horizons open up and the feeling of wilderness begins to grow.On the approach to Mt. Kailash lie the twin lakes of Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal, shaped respectively like the sun and moon, and which are said to have associations respectively with the forces of light and dark. Further south, just on the edge of the Tibetan plateau and near the Himalayas, is another snow-capped peak, Mount Nemo Nanyi, one of the highest inside Tibet. Its three peaks and ridges form a swastika, an ancient symbol of the universe’s infinity. Today we will take a wander along the shores of Lake Manasarover to appreciate the breath taking scenery. Local Guesthouse (B,L,D)
Day 10: Manasarovar Lake – Darchen
We start the day with a walk up to Chui Gompa, one of the resting places for Padmasambhava. Before heading to Darchen, the starting point for the kora. Before leaving the lake shore there is the opportunity of sampling the local hot springs. We will then head to Darchen, the starting point for the kora. Nambo Guesthouse or similar (B,L,D)
At 4,556m (14,948 ft) above sea level, Lake Manasarovar is one of the highest fresh-water lakes in the world. It has a circumference of 88 kilometres (55 miles); a depth of 90m (300ft) and its surface area is 320 square km (120 sq miles). Despite its size, the entire lake freezes over in winter and is connected to nearby Lake Rakshastal by the natural Ganga Chhu channel. In Hindu theology, Lake Manasarovar is the abode of purity, believed to cleanse the sins committed over a hundred lifetimes. One who touches the earth of Manasarovar is believed to go to the paradise of Brahma and drinking the water from the lake will ensure your passage to the heaven of Lord Shiva.
Days 11 - 12: Mount Kailash
A rare opportunity to undertake the Mt. Kailash circumambulation or Pilgrim’s ‘Kora’. This extraordinary mountain is regarded as the ‘heart of the world’, the ‘axis Mundi’, the centre of Asia, by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and followers of other spiritual traditions. Of all the special destinations for the traveller to reach, Mount Kailash (6700m) is surely one of the most sublime and sacred. Its geographical position as the watershed of South Asia is unique and it is this that gives it a cosmic geomantic power. From its slopes flow four great rivers in the four cardinal directions – the Indus north, the Brahmaputra east, the Karnali into the Ganges south, and the Sutlej west. The walk is 53km and rises to a maximum altitude of 5630m. Please see the “Mt Kailash Kora Trek” section for more details. Local Guesthouse x 2 nights (B,L,D)
Mount Kailash lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the Ganges River). It is considered a sacred place in five religions; Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Ayyavazhi and the Bön faith. In Hinduism, it is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva. There have been no recorded attempts to climb Mount Kailash; it is considered off limits to climbers in deference to Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The circumambulation is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddhists but counter clockwise by Jains and Bönpo. The path around the mountain is 52km (32 miles) long. Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Kailash should be made in a single day, which is no easy feat.
Mt Kailash Kora Trek Practicalities
The circumambulation or “kora” is usually completed in one long day of trekking by locals but we have allowed 3 days to enable us to go at a slower pace.
Day 1: Darchen (4675m) – Diraphuk Gompa (5210m). Approx 7-9hrs walking. 20km of relatively flat track along a valley.
Day 2: Over the Drolma Pass (5630m) to To Zutul Puk Gompa (4810m). Approx 10- 12 hrs walking. This is the toughest day of the trek. 18km starting with an uphill switch back climb and then a short but steep climb to the pass. This is followed by a rocky section down to the lake, a downhill stretch to the valley floor and the Gompa.
Day 3: Zutul Puk Gompa to Darchen Approx 6hrs walking. Approx 3-4 hrs. 14km along a valley floor and then climbing up to follow the edge of the gorge until reaching the flat path to Darchen.
Trek Fitness: This is a demanding high altitude trek, although you will have had plenty of time to acclimatise. All clients on the 2010 and 2013 trips completed the kora successfully. You should be in a good state of health and be fit, but of equal importance is that you have an open mind and a sense of adventure. The distances covered are not untenable, it is the altitude that makes it demanding. The kora is a tough part of a challenging trip but utterly worth the effort and will be memorable for years to come. If you choose not to participate in the Kailash kora you can stay in Darchen and wait for the group to return.
Day 13: Kailash – Tsadapuri Hot Spring
After completing the final stretch of our kora we return to Darchen for a celebratory lunch. We will then drive to Tsadapuri Hot Springs where we visit the monastery complex at Tsadapuri, which is a local pilgrimage site for Tibetans who have completed the Kailash kora. We can then enjoy the rejuvenating powers of a hot bath at the springs and spend the night close by in the local town of Menshi. Local Guesthouse (B,L,D)
Day 14: Tsadapuri - Zanda (Guge)
This morning we drive towards Toling and Tsaparang. We will see far down below in the valley floor the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Guge. From various vantage points on the descent into Toling there are some of the most spectacular views in Tibet. The vast sweep of the Himalayas is discernible, as the range turns northwest from Nepal and along the Indian border as far as Ladakh and Kashmir, spanning several hundred kilometres. One of the marvels of this vista is the awareness that you are apparently looking down on the Himalayas. We visit the monastery and stupa in Toling before heading on to the local village of Tsaparang, where we stay the night. Tsaparang Guesthouse or similar (B,L,D)
Day 15: In and around Zanda (Guge)
We spend a full day in Tsparang; the temples and religious buildings are among the most significant in far-west Tibet. They were constructed under the guidance of the great Tibetan translator Rinchen Zangpo (985-1055), around 1014-25, although some sources suggest an earlier date (996). During his lifetime he is said to have built 108 temples throughout far west Tibet and Ladakh, and although few still exist, those at Toling and Tsaparang are considered to be the finest repositories of the Guge style of Buddhist art. We will visit some of the smaller sites on foot and walk back to our accommodation in the afternoon to make the most of the extraordinary scenery. Tsaparang Guesthouse or similar (B,L,D)
Guge (at Tsada/Zanda)
Guge, an ancient kingdom in Western Tibet was centred in present-day Zanda County, in the Ngari Prefecture of Tibet. At various points in history after 10th century AD, the kingdom held sway over a vast area including southeastern Zanskar, Upper Kinnaur, and Spiti valley either by conquest or as tributaries. The ruins of Guge are located 1,200 miles (1,900km) westwards from Lhasa within the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, not far from Mount Kailash.
Day 16: Tsada/Zanda - Shiquanhe/Ali
The route from Tsada runs almost to the Indian border as we follow the upper most head waters of the Indus. Our shortcut to the main road takes us through further canyons and provides more stupendous views of this region. No longer can we follow this old silk route along the river into Indian Ladakh, where after a long journey between the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges it would finally arrive at Leh. The journey here to Ali is long but rewarding. This is the last stop before heading into the wilds of Western Tibet. Post Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
Day 17: Shiquanhe/Ali - Duoma
Named after the river that runs through it, Shiquanhe is a long and narrow town surrounded by Mt. Gangdise and Mt. Kunlun. It is the political, economic, cultural and communication centre in Nagari. Much of the town was built recently (it’s only 20 years old). After our journey past various salt lakes today, our overnight stop will be in a remote village. Local Guesthouse (B,L,D)
Day 18: Duoma - Da Hong Liu Tan
In this wilderness now our journey follows a plateau of over 5000m with views of the Kunlun mountains. Local Guesthouse (B,L,D)
Aksai Chin was historically part of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh until Ladakh was annexed from the rule of the local Namgyal dynasty by the Dogras and the princely state of Kashmir in the 19th century. One of the main causes of the Sino-Indian War of 1962 was India’s discovery of a road China had built through Aksai Chin, shown as Chinese on official Chinese maps. Though India had no military or other occupation of the area, from 1954 official Survey of India maps showed a definite boundary line awarding Aksai Chin to itself. Now, the China National Highway 219 – connecting Tibet and Xinjiang – passes through the middle of Aksai Chin, and though there are still no towns there is now a Military base and a few truck stops. Aksai Chin is currently administered by the People’s Republic of China as a part of Kargilik County in Kashgar Prefecture in the Xinjiang
Day 19: Da Hong Liu Tan - Yecheng
Leaving Da Hong Liu Tang this morning, we’ll spend the day driving to Yecheng through the valley of the Huoyan Shan (the Mountain of fire). Today we are travelling through an area of disputed territory between India and China so the likelihood is that we’ll see a large Chinese army presence en route. We continue our journey towards Yecheng, which will take us through a canyon of over 120km in length. Yecheng is the name of both the oasis and the town. The rich loess terraces of the oasis are watered by the Tiznaf River and several smaller streams. Zhejiang Hotel Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
Yecheng, also known as Chokkuka, is a city in Xinjiang, China. During the Han Dynasty it was known as Karghalik. During the Former Han period it was described as having 350 households, 4,000 people, and 1,000 men able to bear arms. While in the Later Han period it is recorded (in the Hou Hanshu – circa 125CE) as having 2,500 households, more than 10,000 people, and 3,000 men able to bear arms. The people were said to make an arrow poison from a local bush (probably a species of aconite). Yecheng is situated on the southern rim of the Taklamakan desert, and is the name of both the oasis and the town. The rich loess terraces of the oasis are watered by the Tiznaf River and several smaller streams. In earlier times it was important as the usual starting-point for caravans to India, through the Pamirs, via Tashkurghan, or through Ladakh by the Karakoram passes. Today there is a small town with a market, some shops and a bank.
Day 20: Yecheng - Kashgar
Kashgar is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents. Kashgar’s Old City is a traditional Islamic city, though much of it has sadly now been destroyed by the Chinese. The huge Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China, is located in the heart of the city. Yambu Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
Day 21: Kashgar
Today we’ll have a chance to experience the famous Yakshambe Bazaar, the Sunday Market. We will visit the animal market first, where we can spend the morning watching the locals trade everything from woodwork and ironware to sheep, donkeys, cattle, horses and camels, before progressing onto the covered bazaar, believed to be the biggest in Central Asia. The afternoon will be free for you to spend exploring further at your leisure. Yambu Hotel or similar (B,L,D)
During the heyday of the Silk Road, Kashgar was a sanctuary for travellers heading to or from the dangerous lands of the Taklamakan Desert, immediately to the east. It wasn’t just from China and Europe that the travellers came; Kashgar sits at a natural junction with the ancient trade routes through the Karakoram Mountains to India and the southern seas. From here, the traders also journeyed carrying fine cloth, cashmere, spices, jade, coral, pearls and Kashgar is a tale of two cities: that of the modern Han and the ancient Uyghur. Wide, tree-lined streets, bordered by modern stores, hotels and supermarkets are peopled by Han migrants from the east, but if you cut down the narrow alleyways that lead into the old town you’ll soon find yourself in an exclusively Uyghur world, so evocative of the heady days of the old Silk Road, echoing that of the Arabian Nights. Kashgar’s Old Quarter is a traditional Islamic City. Unfortunately, as of 2009, in the name of earthquake safety, the government began to demolish the majority of the old buildings replacing them with new, relocating most of the Old City’s 13,000 resident families. The plans have been widely criticized for destroying cultural history and eliminating Kashgar’s main tourist attraction, Mahmud alKashgari. Some highlights include the huge Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China, located in the heart of the city, the tomb of Abakh Khoja in Kashgar, considered the holiest Muslim site in Xinjiang. Built in the 17th century, the tiled mausoleum 5 km (3.1 mi) northeast of the city centre also contains the tombs of five generations of his family. Abakh was a powerful ruler, controlling Khotan, Yarkand, Korla, Kucha and Aksu as well as Kashgar. Among some Uyghur Muslims, he was considered a prophet, second only to Mohammed in importance.
Day 22: Kashgar
Tour ends after breakfast. (B)
Tour Dossier Notes
Climate – On the Tibetan plateau anything can happen weather-wise. Some days are scorching hot, the sun burning in the pure thin air, but it can also rain, although September is considered a good month for travel here. The route goes over a number of high passes where there might even be snow on the ground and the air can be extremely chilly (especially on the Kailash trek), so bring lots of layers, which can be put on and discarded as the temperature changes. Kashgar should be clear and warm at night and hot (early 30s) during the day.
Is this trip for me? – It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. The team at Diesel Adventures can provide the details and expertise you need to help you choose the right trip for you.
Airport transfers– Not included but can be arranged. If you’re booking flights yourself, then please let us know the details so that we can arrange the transfers.
Accommodation -As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this trip will be some tourist class hotels for the first few days of the trip, and last 3 days of the trip. The remainder of the nights will be accommodated in local guesthouses some of which are extremely basic. The rooms will be four to eight bedded with shared bathrooms which will not be en-suite. Washing facilities will be limited especially in Western Tibet although local bath houses can offer facilities for a wash in hot water at Lake Manasarover, and Tsadapuri.
Transport – On this tour we will use a coaster bus or minibus.
Guides – Full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides and drivers.
Meals – In most cases a “Full Board” Meal plan as detailed in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) with the majority of meals being taken in local restaurants where viable. Plus bottled drinking water as required
Entrance fees – Entrance fees are listed for those sites that we mention within the itinerary. If there are any other sites that you’d like to see, we can arrange if possible and these would be at your own expense.
Visas – We don’t arrange visas for our travellers, but if an invitation letter is necessary then can request for this to be arranged for you. If you need any advice with visas just give us a call, or alternatively a visa agency such as CIBT can assist.
Airport taxes – If there are any departure taxes to pay that are not included within the cost of your ticket, these are at your expense.
Please note that there is more detailed tour dossiers available specific to each departure date, contact our Sales team and we would be happy to send these to you