Trek Western Tibet (ZS-KAM-22)
Trek the sacred sites of western Tibet and a remote corner of Nepal. An incredible overland journey and trek, an experience you will not soon forget. High passes topped with colorful prayer flags, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, nomad herders and stunningly clear rivers make the drive west memorable.
Sacred to Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Bonpo as the earthly manifestation of Mount Meru, a pilgrimage circuit of the mountain is one of the most effective means of acquiring merit in this life. Add a circumambulation of the sacred Lake Manasarovar nearby for an incredible pilgrim experience.
Crossing the border it is a lovely 4-day trek through villages and barley fields to Simikot in far northwestern Nepal.
Where are you going?
Days 1-2 : Flying into Kathmandu is an unforgettable experience with the Himalaya spread out before you. You will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel. In the morning of day 2 a half-day city tour will introduce you to some of the highlights of Kathmandu.
Days 3-4: A long day as we dive, complete border formalities at Kodari and Zhangmu. It is then a steep and spectacular drive up the gorge and on to the Tibetan Plateau. Expect to feel the effects of altitude as we ascend.
We spend a day at Nyalam to help with acclimatization; they are many short walks possible in the area for those feeling up to it.
Days 5-7 : Long, yet spectacular days as we head west. Even along the road settlements are few as we cross vast, open valleys and prayer flag topped passes. Depending on the season there may be families of nomadic dropka moving their herds of sheep, yaks, goats and horses across the plateau.
Days 8-9 : The 53-kilometer kora of Mount Kailash is one of the most sacred of pilgrimage circuits in the world. Kailash (Kang Rinpoche in Tibetan) is the earthly manifestation of Mount Meru and is sacred to Buddhists, Hindus, Bonpo and Jains – the entire route is lined with prostration points, places to check you sin-level, drink or immerse yourself in sacred waters, make offerings and hang prayer flags. The high point, both physically and spiritually is the Drolma Pass (5636m) on the second day.
Day 10 : It is a short walk to Darchen before heading to Chiu Gompa on the shores of Lake Manasarovar to soak in the hot springs.
Days 11-14 : According to both Hindu and Buddhist cosmology the four great rivers (Brahmaputra, Sutlej, Indus and Ganges) have their source in Lake Manasarovar. Actually only the Sutlej does, but the sources of the other three are close by.
It is an incredibly beautiful lake, usually cobalt blue, though can turn into an angry, churning black during storms. For most of the way the kora route follows the lake shore. Most of the monasteries around Manasarovar belong to the Kagyu tradition, the exception being Trugo, which is Gelukpa and an important place for ritual bathing.
Day 15 : Drive to Purang, an important trading center, divided by the Karnali River, which flows through the town.
Days 16-19 : Completing border formalities it is a 4-day trek, mostly downhill, to Simikot. Stone housed villages are surrounded by orchards and fields – at higher elevations millet, barley, buckwheat and potatoes, as you descend wheat and rice appear along with walnut and apricot orchards.
Day 20-21 : Fly Simokot to Nepalgunj for the onward connection to Kathmandu. Simikot-Nepalgunj flights are often delayed or cancelled so it is advisable to allow at least one extra day in Kathmandu before your international flight.
Day 22 : Depart