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This pass cannot be assigned to any particular town of city. It is usually driving through when going from Lhasa to Gyantse or Shigatse. What is unique about this pass is that you can see a hanging Glacier from Nyichenkangsang, a 7190 meter mountain. The pass is a an elevation of 5065 meters. It is an impressive sight.
However, it is the only pass I've seen where you have to pay to take pictures of a mountain. Not even Mt. Everest you have to pay to take a picture of the mountain. If you stop at the pass, as many do, and want to take a picture it will cost 50rmb. My guide knew enough to stop just before the pass and still have a great view of the glacier and I didn't have to pay. Be sure to tell your guide. I'm not sure most knew this because there were plenty of guided tours stopped at the pass paying to take a picture.
Updated Jun 19, 2013
Tibet is a paradise of trekking enthusiasts. Trekking tour in Tibet gives you the chance to enjoy the amazing natural beauty and explore the history and culture of Tibet.
Mt. Kailash trekking is the best one. Tourists planning a trekking tour to Ngari are highly advised to make a good preparation before the trip since the trekking tours might be very hard. To ensure the safety of the trekking, you have to find a local tour operator to organize the trekking.
The local guide and driver would help you to deal with all related matters during the trekking tour. Regarding the tourists' safety, they would rent a yak to carry your necessities.
Highlights of Mt. Kailash Trekking Tour
Mt. Kailash is the pilgrimage center of Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism and the ancient Bon. It was considered as the King of Holy Mountains. A lot of pilgrims would come here for circumambulation every year.
Lake Manasarovar, also called Mapam Yumtso is regarded as the sacred lake by Buddhism, Bon and Hinduism followers. It is noted for its amazing natural landscapes. Mapam Yumtso has a perimeter of about 90 kilometers. It would take four days to circle the lake clockwise. Circle around the lake, tourists making a Tibet private tour could not only enjoy the beautiful landscapes of lake and mountains, but also communicate with the pilgrims on the way.
Written Jul 18, 2012
Address: Mt. Everest, Ngari
We are a group of 2 Americans who were planning a trip to Mt. Kailash, entering Tibet through Lhasa (from Kathmandu). Our trip is for a total duration of 18 days and has been organized by Tibet Highland Expedition fairly inexpensively. SInce the rules were changed recently we are looking for 3 more US passport holders who would like to do a similar itinerary with us.
Itinerary is as follows:
Day Date Day Place Activity Kms Time Destination Place Overnight hotel
Sat 2-Jun 1 Kathmandu - Lhasa Flight Arrive during day in Lhasa - acclimatise 63 1 Lhasa Kyichu Hotel
Sun 3-Jun 2 Lhasa Potala Palace, Tibet Museum, Jokang Temple Lhasa Kyichu Hotel
Mon 4-Jun 3 Lhasa Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery Lhasa Kyichu Hotel
Tue 5-Jun 4 Lhasa- Gyantse Yamdrok lake, Pelkor Chode, Gyantse Kumbum 260 5 Gyantse Jianzhang Hotel
Wed 6-Jun 5 Gyantse - Shigatse Shalu Gompa, Tashilumpo Monastery 90 2 Shigatse Tashi Chuta Hotel
Thu 7-Jun 6 Shigatse - Sakya Sakya Monastery 150 3 Sakya Manasarovar Sakya Hotel
Fri 8-Jun 7 Sakya - Saga Driving 350 9 Saga Saga Hotel
Sat 9-Jun 8 Saga - Tirthapuri - Menshi Hot springs, Guge kingdom Menshi
Sun 10-Jun 9 Guge Kingdom Tholing, Tsaparang, Tholing
Mon 11-Jun 10 Dungkar & Piyang Cave temples Dungkar and Piyang Tholing
Tue 12-Jun 11 Kailash Kora 1 Trek day 1 Darchen to Dira-puk Monastery 20 7 Dira-puk Monastery Hotel or guesthouse
Wed 13-Jun 12 Kailash Kora 2 Trek day 2 to Dzutul-puk Monastery 15 10 Dzutul-puk Monastery Hotel or guesthouse
Thu 14-Jun 13 Kailash Kora 3 Trek day 3 to Darchen 14 6 Darchen Hotel or guesthouse
Fri 15-Jun 14 Lake Manasarovar Spend day at lake 60 1.5 Lake Manasarovar Manasarovar Hotel
Sat 16-Jun 15 Manasarovar - Saga Paryang 480 8 Saga Saga Hotel
Sun 17-Jun 16 Saga - Rongbuk/EBC Peiku-tso lake, Rongbuk Monastery Everest Base Camp Yak Hair Tent
Mon 18-Jun 17 EBC - Zhangmu Sunrise from Rongphu, local bus to EBC Zhangmu Caiyun Hotel
Tue 19-June 18 Zhangmu - Kathmandu Driving 140 5 Kathmandu
Please contact me if anyone is interested for more details.
Written May 22, 2012
There are really only three ways to see Mt Everest. One of these involves trekking in Nepal, the other requires a flight from Kathmandu and the third way is the one we chose, driving in from Lhasa, TIbet. It's not a short trip, and takes several days (with terrible roads, but beautiful scenery).
There are some shots I took while at EBC
Written Feb 25, 2012
In the Gelugpa and Sakya traditions, monastery lamas are required to take part in the debates to further their study of Buddhism and progress to more advanced concepts. For this purpose, debates - both training and actual ones - are held on almost daily basis at the monasteries - some of which the visitors can witness.
The debates are usually an hour to two hours long, and monks - splitting themselves into groups of usually 3 to 6 people (although we've seen larger groups) - will debate different points of the Buddhist teachings. One monk - the 'debate leader' - illustrates the theory and then gets everybody involved into the discussion. Words are most often supplemented by clapping of hands, or sometimes even physical pushing for an answer!
The most famous monastery that allows you to see the debate is the Sera monastery (usually from 3pm in the afternoons, Monday to Friday). We've also seen smaller debates at the Sakya monastery.
Written Dec 11, 2011
Sakya Monastery is the main religious centre of the Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, which dominated the religious life of the country before the rise of the Gelugpa school.
Just off the main Friendship Highway leading to Tingri, but very much on the tourist trail. It's about 125km away from Shigatse, and is usually visited on the Shigatse to Tingri leg of the trip to either Everest Base Camp or Kathmandu.
In More Detail
Originally built in the 13th century with the help of the Mongols (hence different architecture to temples in Lhasa and Shigatse itself), the monastery has been rebuilt several times, most notablly in the 16th century and after the Cultural Revolution when, like most of the religious Tibetan buildings, it has been destroyed. Lhakang Chempo is the only properly ancient building, with the rest being reconstructions
The highlight of the monastery is undoubtedly the library, described by the British pundit (i.e., spy) Sarat Chandra Das (over 80,000 scrolls have been preserved)
Yes, for a fee (except in the library, but I did not know that)
Written Oct 25, 2011
Karo La is one of the mountain passes (ca. 4950m high) you drive through following the Tibet's main tourist circuit, the loop from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp (or the road to Kathmandu) - you visit it on your first leg of travelling from Lhasa to Gyantse.
Festooned with prayer flags, the pass is pretty much at the foot of the Karo La (or KharoLa, as it's spelled on the sign) glacier. The pass is also an important historical location, being the site of one of the highest-altitude battles fought by the British army against the Tibetans during Francis Younghusband's expedition to Lhasa in 1914.
As with all stops en route, there are some basic toilet facilities and souvenir stalls. You can also take pictures of people in national costumes (kids and women, usually) for a small fee.
Written Oct 6, 2011
The old expedition base camp at the foot of Mt. Everest at the altitude of 5,200m - offering some of the best views of the great mountain (provided the weather cooperates!). This is not where the current expeditions set up main operations, though - that one is more commonly known as the ABC, or Advance Base Camp. The base camp (which you can look over from a small hill festooned with prayer flags) is where the bulk of the load is kept.
EBC is commonly visited as part of a Land Cruiser trip from Lhasa (either a loop or going on to Nepalese border), although you can trek from either Rongbuk monastery or lower down. If you are in a Land Cruiser, you will have to switch to a government-run bus to reach the EBC from a collection of tents that is a makeshift base camp hotel.
Things to keep in mind
- In choosing to make the trip, you're very much relying on the weather - we saw only the North Col for most of the time, and only got 2-3 glimpses of the mountain higher up and its top
- 5,200m is high, so without proper acclimatisation (or if you're particularly prone to it) you may experience AMS (acute mountain sickness) symptoms. If you do - as you're only on a short trip - you can buy oxygen at the base camp
- You can not proceed past the sign barring the road past the hill ('tourists cease step') - that leads to the base camp and further up the mountain. Heavy fines (not to mention unpleasant conversations with Chinese authorities) await if you do.
Updated Oct 3, 2011
Tibet is has scores of pilgrimage routes, or koras, which circle around the sacred locations - lakes, mountains, monasteries. There are even special guidebooks detailing the routes, as well as giving practical advice to the pilgrims. It is believed that circumambulation of certain locations is particularly recommended for given purposes, for example, a circuit around Mt. Kailash offers the possibility of release from the cycle of rebirths within 3 lifetimes, while others give the chance of becoming a Buddha or a better rebirth in general
Things to keep in mind
- For a Buddhist shrine or a sacred location, follow the clock-wise route, keeping the location to your right at all times. Only if you're circumambulating a Bon shrine should the circumambulation be done anti-clockwise
- Koras at certain times of day or year are considered more auspicious (e.g., at sundawn or sunset)
Koras I've done:
- The Potala kora, around the Dalai Lama's winter palace in Lhasa
- The Barkhor kora, around Tibet's holiest shrine, the Jokhang temple
- The Drepung kora, where we've done a smaller circle inside a monastery
- The Tashilhunpo kora, in Shigatse, offering some of the bext views of the city
- The Sakya kora, inside the main monastery of the Sakyapa order
Koras I'd love to do: Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar
Written Oct 2, 2011
Shigatse is Tibet's second largest city, and is home to one of Gelugpa's largest and most important monasteries - the Tashilhunpo (which was also the seat of the Panchen Lama). The city is part of Tibet's most popular tourist route, Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and/or Nepal.
What to See
The Tashilhunpo monastery is the major highlight, together with its kora which offers excellent views of the city. The dzong is another notable building, although little remains to be seen inside.
- The Tashilhunpo monastery, one of the best preserved in Tibet with richly decorated chapels (and fewer tourists than in the main monasteries around Lhasa)
- The Tashilhunpo monastery kora, with its views of the city
Written Sep 30, 2011
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