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Kailash Saga Dawa Festival
SAVE UP TO $150 on this tour

Journey overland to Tibet and cross the "roof of the world" to Kailash – Asia's most sacred mountain – in time for the amazing Saga Dawa Festival. You'll embark on a demanding multi-day trek around the holy mountain, which is said to bring good luck to whomever completes it, then join pilgrims and celebrate the renewal of the Tarboche flagpole. Explore Lhasa and experience unparalleled vistas of Mt Everest at its base camp. Full of cultural treasures, remarkable Buddhist monasteries, and the colourful markets of Kathmandu, this adventure truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ACSF/126281
  • Starts: Beijing, China
  • Finishes: Kathmandu, Nepal
You will Visit
  • Beijing
  • Kathmandu

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Beijing

Arrive at any time.
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Beijing

Visit the Great Wall of China with time in the late afternoon to explore Beijing.
Set out early for the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Spend the day wandering from tower to tower along this magnificent feat of construction.

Opt to see a Shaolin Monk Kung Fu Show, the Beijing Opera, or the Beijing Acrobats.

03

Day 3: Beijing/Lhasa

Take a guided tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square before boarding the Trans-Tibetan Railway to Lhasa.
Enjoy learning about Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City before using some free time to explore more of the capital.

In the evening, depart on a 48-hour train journey to Lhasa. Enjoy watching the scenery completely change as you climb onto the Tibetan Plateau.

04

Day 4: Beijing/Lhasa

Take a guided tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square before boarding the Trans-Tibetan Railway to Lhasa.
Enjoy learning about Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City before using some free time to explore more of the capital.

In the evening, depart on a 48-hour train journey to Lhasa. Enjoy watching the scenery completely change as you climb onto the Tibetan Plateau.

05

Day 5: Lhasa

Arrive in Lhasa in the evening. Take an orientation walk around Barkhor Square and start acclimatizing to the altitude.

06

Day 6: Lhasa

Over three days, explore all Lhasa and the surrounding areas have to offer. Visit Barkhor Square, the Jokhang Temple, the Potala Palace, and either Sera or Drepung Monastery. With free time, opt to visit the local markets or find a teahouse to spend a few hours relaxing.

07

Day 7: Lhasa

Over three days, explore all Lhasa and the surrounding areas have to offer. Visit Barkhor Square, the Jokhang Temple, the Potala Palace, and either Sera or Drepung Monastery. With free time, opt to visit the local markets or find a teahouse to spend a few hours relaxing.

08

Day 8: Lhasa

Over three days, explore all Lhasa and the surrounding areas have to offer. Visit Barkhor Square, the Jokhang Temple, the Potala Palace, and either Sera or Drepung Monastery. With free time, opt to visit the local markets or find a teahouse to spend a few hours relaxing.

09

Day 9: Lhasa/Gyantse

Drive to Gyantse along the beautiful Yamdrok Tso lake.
The drive to Gyantse is a spectacular one, crossing three passes over 5,000m (16,404 ft) and skirting the shores of the beautiful turquoise lake, Yamdrok Tso.

10

Day 10: Gyantse/Sakya

Visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum, and Sakya Gompa.
Sakya is the base of the once politically powerful Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its huge fortified walls are testament to the turbulent past of the region.

There is time in the late afternoon or early morning to explore the monastery and the ruins of north Sakya across the river.

11

Day 11: Sakya/Rongbuk

Travel to Rongbuk Monastery, the highest in the world.

12

Day 12: Rongbuk/Saga

Hike to Everest Base Camp in the morning. Later, make the scenic journey to Saga.

13

Day 13: Saga/Tarchan

Take another travel day to reach Darchen, home base for the Kora Trek. Follow the road across grasslands for the first spectacular view of Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.

14

Day 14: Tarchan/Kailas Range

Begin the kora from Darchen. Staying in basic guesthouses, the full kora takes 2.5 days to complete. The experience and scenery are well worth the effort.

15

Day 15: Kailas Range

Continue on the kora for the toughest stretch of the hike.

16

Day 16: Kailas Range

After completing the kora, relax in Chiu Gompa for the evening.

17

Day 17: Kailas Range/Saga

Experience the Saga Dawa Festival. Over 1,000 years old, this festival celebrates the day Lord Buddha Sakyamuni was born, achieved enlightenment, and passed away. Afterwards, drive south across the grasslands to Saga.
Stop in Saga for the evening and reflect on the magical experience you've had before continuing on.

18

Day 18: Saga/Xigazê

Travel from Saga to Shigatse.

19

Day 19: Xigazê/Lhasa

Visit Tashilumpo in the morning. Later, head back to Lhasa.

20

Day 20: Lhasa/Kathmandu

Transfer to the airport and fly to Kathmandu, Nepal. Enjoy some free time to get to know the city.

21

Day 21: Kathmandu

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Local Living: Rongbuk Monastery Visit and Stay, Rongpu Si
    • Great Wall entrance
    • Forbidden City tour
    • Trans-Tibetan railway
    • Kumbum visit
    • Potala Palace visit
    • Jokhang Temple visit
    • Sera Monastery visit
    • Yamdrok Tso visit
    • Tashilunpo Monastery visit
    • Sakya Monastery visit
    • Pelkhor Chode Monastery visit
    • Kailash kora
    • Lake Manasarovar visit
    • Saga Dawa festival experience
    • Everest Base Camp visit
    • Border crossing support
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), very basic guesthouses (7 nts, possibly multi-share), sleeper train (2 nts)
    • 4 breakfasts
    Transport
    • Train, plane, private bus, 4x4, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Witness pilgrims replace the Tarboche flagpole
  • Hike the ancient Kailash kora
  • Visit spectacular palaces and incredible monuments
  • Arrive at Everest Base Camp