Limi Valley to Mt Kailash Trek

Limi Valley to Mt Kailash Trek

From US $ 4300 | 25 Days

Our once-in-a-lifetime journey to Kailash begins in the fabled district of Humla, located in the remote far western corner of Nepal. From here we begin our ten-day trek to the Tibetan border through the remote Limi Valley, a place classed by many as the modern day Shangri-la. Here the inhabitants are predominantly Bhotias, of Tibetan descent.

This wild, remote trek takes us deep within a region of truly unspoiled natural beauty; here a diverse culture exists where people, nature and an abundance of rare wildlife exist in harmony. The path we will follow is of the ancient Silk trade route, where old men with weathered, Central Asian faces, still to this day trade supported by their trains of mule, horse & sheep. Here the men sit smoking a hookah & the omen of Rajasthani descent adorn themselves in mirrors and silver coins, the Bhotias, in their turquoise, coral and amber necklaces.

In this swath of the Trans-Himalayan plateau, the mountain scenery is spectacular; the Saipal and Nalakankad range is never far away with its dominating presence over the nearby horizons. This is one of the few remaining places where the Tibetan culture stills exists in its pure form, a form untainted by the Chinese occupation which has otherwise affected much of Tibet.

The Kailash Kora, in the high plateaus of the Ngari region in western Tibet is one of the most spectacular short treks in the Himalaya, crossing the Dolma La (5,600 m) to erase the sins of a lifetime. Camping beneath the north face of Kailash, we complete the trek with a myriad of Tibetan & Indian pilgrims who have travelled through harsh conditions and over long distances to acquire merit for humanity.

 

Heading East across the Tibetan plateau over high passes we arrive at a truly aweinspiring place, the true gem of Tibet – Mt Everest. It truly is an awe-inspiring experience to stand beneath the mighty North Face of this the world’s highest mountain and one can’t help but be humbled by its dominating presence. Nowhere is the view of Mt Everest as spectacular as it is from right here.

From here our journey continues over highland passes, seeing some of the most stunning mountain vistas in the world before finally crossing the Himalayas to begin our descent down through the lush, green foothills and cultivated terraces of Nepal, back to the Kathmandu Valley.

Highlights:

  • Spectacular Limi Humla trek in the remote Western Nepal
  • Kailash Kora & Ngari in Western Tibet
  • Lake Manasarovar & Gompas
  • Jeep safari across Tibet
  • Everest North Face
  • Exotic Kathmandu

Detail Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Upon your arrival at Kathmandu we will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we can organize some exploring in the afternoon to introduce you to this amazing place and its unique ancient-modern mix. Tonight you will be staying at the Ti-se Guest House. This hotel is located just five minutes walk from the Boudha Stupa & in the evening there will be the option of guided sightseeing around a few selected, local monasteries. Accommodation: Ti-se Guest House: http://www.tiseguesthouse.com/

Day 2 - Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Patan

Day 2 - Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Patan After a hotel breakfast we will explore the must see sites of Kathmandu and its surroundings. The morning will be spent with a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square (the Old Royal Palace Complex) and the holy Buddhist Stoupa of Swoyambunath, (also referred to as ‘Monkey Temple’). In the afternoon we will explore the ancient city of Patan and visit the Tibetan Handicraft Centre. Meals: B Sleeping: Ti-se Guest House: http://www.tiseguesthouse.com/

Day 3 – Fly to Nepalgunj 150 m

A spectacular afternoon flight takes us to Mahendra Airport in Nepalgunj, the largest city in the steamy Terai, the border region of western Nepal and India. The drive to the hotel passes through this old village, a step back in time into the 'old' Nepal. We stay the night in an air-conditioned hotel, ensuring an early dinner as our wake up all will be early the following morning. Meals: B, D Sleeping: Guest House.

Day 4 – Fly to Simikot 2910m Trek to Dharapori 2270 m (4 hrs)

We take the early morning flight 218 km north to Simikot, the district headquarters of Humla, situated up on a ridge overlooking the Humla Karnali River. The flight is spectacular, cruising just over the tops of a mass of snow-covered peaks; here the landing is equally as exciting as our descent takes us over the cultivated, green fields that surround the landing-strip on the jutting plateau. If the flight is on time, we arrive before lunch and will be met by our friendly trek crew. Simikot is an atmospheric village, a mix of local Humla and Tibetan culture which provides endless & fascinating opportunity for exploring. You will feel the altitude, so take it easy today, making sure you drink plenty of water. After a Lunch and a few cups of freshly brewed tea/coffee, we hike through Simikot and north along the main trail, which eventually leads to Tibet. Cresting a small, cairn-topped ridge, we head past barley fields towards a forested ridge before descending past several small villages. From here we continue past Tuling, also known as Majgaon, a tightly packed Thakuri village. In this region the people are descendents of the desert tribes of Rajasthan who fled to Humla during the Mogul invasions of the 14th century. They still maintain many of their traditional customs, dress, and language; they also continue to worship Gods not even remembered today in Rajasthan. Another 45 minutes brings us to Dharapori Khola, with its walnut and apricot trees. Crossing the Dharapori (river), we climb to a perfectly situated location where we will set up camp for the night. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 5 – Trek to Kermi 2670 m (5 hrs)

Our lovely trail follows the meandering Karnali River as we pass shepherds herding sheep and goat in a timeless manner; here animals are loaded with local goods ready to trade at the border with Tibet. Another old tradition is the polyandry which is practiced throughout this valley; this tradition helps to keep the land/wealth within the family and is an effective method of family planning (as one wife shares many brothers). There are natural hot-springs located near our campsite at Kermi & plenty of time to enjoy them. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 6 – Trek to Lai Singh 3640 m (6 hrs)

After a delicious breakfast, we follow the lovely Sale Khola (khola and kosi means river in Nepali) through a wonderful, green valley, passing through pine forests and locals en route. It's a beautiful day of trekking where the meadows are blanketed with spring flowers. We pass by colourful rhododendron forests and the summer settlements of the nomadic people of this region. Tonight’s camp is once again at a site of pristine beauty. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 7 – Trek to Khyungar-4000 m (5 hrs)

Shadows sweep down into the Chongsa basin from the surrounding Pyramidal Mountains; these are believed to be the abode of evil spirits. We trek to the base camp for the Nyalu La which we cross tomorrow. Here the region turns rocky and more arid as we approach the pass and our campsite at Khyungar. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 8 – Trek to Talung (over Nyalu La)- 7 hrs

Pass day, so have a good breakfast for the gradual ascent up the Nyalu La pass, at about 5000 meters. If we’re lucky and the weather is clear it is here that we might be awarded our first glimpse of the sacred Mount Kailash and the snowy bulk of Gurla Mandata in the distance. We'll have a long descent to our campsite far down in the valley below, at Talung – the views experienced today will be both varied and spectacular. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 9 – Trek to Chekjur-Tashi Thang (Jang Village)- 6 hrs

Another spectacular trekking day and as we traverse this magical landscape we will be gifted with views of the old trade routes into Tibet. Our destination is Tashi Thang, where there are natural hot springs situated nearby. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 10 – Rest day and explore (Jang Village)

Today is a rest day so enjoy the opportunity of a good lie-in; after breakfast feel free to get out and do some exploring of the traditional village of Jang and the surrounding area. There is further opportunity to enjoy the natural phenomena of the hot springs. A laundry line will be set up for dirty clothes and we'll have a hot lunch in the dining tent. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 11 – Trek to Tilchu 3580m- 6 hrs

It's not a difficult walk today, first we explore Halji village. There is an important Tibetan Buddhist Gompa (reputed to be one of the oldest in all of Nepal), in this village and we will have time to explore. We then head along the well used trail, climbing a bit, towards Tilchu, where we set up camp for the night. Tilchu is a wonderfully scenic village located high above the Humla Karnali & with its own Gompa there will be lots to keep us busy. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 12 – Trek to Mane Peme 3800 m- 7 hrs

The trail becomes more dramatic as we climb high on narrow, cliff-side trails high above the river canyon below us. The views are tremendous and vast; this is a fantastic & scenically inspired day of trekking. Our destination for the day is Mane Peme, where we camp near ancient mane stones as they send out their Buddhist message into the mountains. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 13 - Trek Sher. Drive Taklakot (Purang) 3930m

Finally, after one last pass we head to Tibet. From the crest, we’ll be treated to a wonderful and extensive view of the Tibetan plateau, with the Humla Karnali and Sher gurgling far below us. After the pass we descend to Ranipauwa, we slip and slide down loose rock and then contour around a canyon back down to the Humla Karnali & Hilsa at 3720m. Just across the suspension bridge is a stone pillar that marks the Nepal – Tibet border. After the informal border crossing at Sher, we meet our Tibetan guide and Landcruisers starting our one and a half hour journey to Taklakot, where the Humli people of Humla come to barter or sell their herbs and wood for cash and salt. The road follows the Humla Karnali past Moto Gompa, an important 13th century Sakya gompa at Khojarnath and continues over a 4000m pass before heading through small Tibetan villages and onto Taklakot – tonight’s destination. Taklakot is called Purang by the Chinese and is a large trading center. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Purang Guest House

Day 14 - Drive to Thugo Monastery and Manasarovar Lake (4550m)

Today we drive for about 3 hours to the Toyo villages and after passing between the fearsome Rakshas Tal and sacred Lake Manasarovar, we will be awarded some stunning views of the sacred Mt Kailash. We will be heading towards the southern shore of Lake Manasarovar. In an hour we reach our camp sites at Thrugo Gomba, just south of Lake Manasarovar and directly north of Limi valley. The two lakes are linked by a channel called Ganga-chu. On rare occasions, water flows through this channel from Lake Manasarovar to Rakshas Tal; this is said to angur well for the Tibetan people. The two bodies of water are associated with the conjoined sun and moon, a powerful symbol of Tantric Buddhism. We set up camp right on the shores of this beautiful lake, Manasarovar for perhaps the ultimate Tibetan sunset. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 15 - Rest day & Explore Manasarovar Lake (4550m)

Today is our rest day before we head towards Mt Kailsh. Lake Manasarvoar is the highest freshwater lake in the world; it covers an area of 412 square kilometres and has a maximum depth of 70m. This stunning & sacred lake sits in a basin between Mt Kailash and Gurla Mandata. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 16 - Gosul Gomba & Chiu Gomba, drive to Darchen Base camp at Mt.Kailash (462 0 m)

After an early breakfast we trek around Manasarovar to Gosul Gomba (about 3 hours) before driving on to both Chiu Gomba and finally, Darchen. Darchen is considered as the base camp for the Holy Kailash Parikrama. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 17 - Trek to Dirphuk Gompa (4890m)

This morning we set off towards Mt Kailash for Tarboche, the base for the Saga Dawa festival and the starting point of our kora around Mt Kailash. Tarboche is marked by a tall flagpole adorned with thousands of multi-colored prayer flags and kata scarves strung out in radiating lines from the pole. This morning we meet our team of yaks and our Tibetan yak drivers who will escort us around the kora. From Tarboche we walk up the Lha Chu Valley through beautiful green meadows and streams with the West face of Mt Kailash towering above us. We follow the beautiful turquoise river which enters a narrow canyon with high, steep cliffs and spectacular waterfalls. As we continue up the valley, skirting right the north face of Kailash comes into view just before we reach the 13th century monastery at Dirapuk Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 18 – Trek to Khando Sanglam Camp 4800m (over the Drolma La)

We now leave the Lha Chu and enter the Drolma Chu Valley just as the sunrise turns the snow peaks gold and pink, heading up towards the 5,630 meter Drolma La. Although the altitude makes the trekking difficult, the masses of pilgrims performing their acts of devotion along the way are continuously intriguing. Those extremely devout pilgrims prostrate themselves the entire way around Mt Kailash, kneeling down and extending their bodies and hands in front of them in prayer (and marking the beginning of the next prostration). The trail is lined with sacred sites: butter, coin & flags decorate the way, rocks with footprints of saints, rocks to climb over, under or through, hillsides of discarded clothes as offerings and other significant sites. It's a tough climb to the prayer-flag festooned summit but it’s all worth it as from the top juniper incense burns and thousands of colorful prayer flags send prayers out into the surrounding valleys. We take the lead from the many pilgrims and stop for lunch on the descent from the high pass. Below us lies the Lake of Compassion, Thukpe Dzingbu, one of the highest lakes in the world. We will camp in the valley situated at the Eastern face of Mount Kailash at Khando Sanglam. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 19 – Trek to Darchen. Drive to Hor Chu (Lake Manasarovar) 4540m

Another couple of hours of bright early morning trekking takes us along a boulderfilled river to Zutul-puk Gompa (4790m), with Milarepa’s meditation cave and imprints of his hand, food and head prints. Afterwards, it’s an easy walk along some impressive gorges and around many mani stones and walls back to the Barka plains and the dusty Darchen where our jeeps await us. The kora is finished - we’ve erased our sins, endured extremely cold nights and mornings, crossed one of the highest passes in the world, met countless fellow pilgrims, sent prayers of peace out to the world. Congratulations! It's a 250 km drive through wild country from Lake Manasarovar to Ngari Phuntsom. We cross wide plains, shallow rivers and pass by a few local truck stops with makeshift tea houses. Passing the stunning Mayum-tso Lake, we climb to the Mayum La, where we are rewarded by a magnificent mountain panorama. The scenery along this section is some of the most beautiful of the entire journey. Good karma acquired all around, we pack up camp and drive along the beautiful bluffs to Ngari Phuntsom (4540m) where we camp near to the River. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 20 - Drive to Saga 4600m

From Ngari Phuntsom, we drive another 300km east cresting passes marked with prayer flags and cairns. The panoramas are simply divine with the high mountains bordering Nepal to our right and pebbly streams, small lakes & small Tibetan villages all around us. We traverse this amazing Tibetan landscape, crossing more high passes and here as if a mirage, the landscape gently transforms into a plateau of high-altitude desert sand dunes. There’s time to climb up to the wind-sculpted ridges and gaze over a bordering lake. We camp near Saga. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Full Service Camping

Day 21 - Drive to Rungbuk 5000m

Today after the final breakfast with our Nepali crew we bid them farewell as they make their return to Kathmandu. We make the 300km overland journey to the famed Rungbuk Monastery. En route we will see stunning views of Paiko-Tso & Shisapangma (8,027 m) as we continue driving across from Tingri to Rungbuk. Dza Rongbuk Gompa and its accompanying hermitage was first introduced to the world in the 1920’s through the accounts of the early British Mountaineering Teams. It is situated 15 kilometres below Everest’s Base Camp and was reconstructed after the Cultural Revolution in the 1960's. We stay overnight at the Rongbuk Gompa Guest House. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Rungbuk Gomba Guest House

Day 22: Morning Drive to Rungbuk explores E.B.C and drive to Zhangmu [2300 m] - Guest House

Today we have the opportunity to explore Everest Base Camp (which is actually quite dry and barren), the views here of Mt Everest are simply breath-taking, be prepared to feel Goosebumps as you gaze upon this majestic peak. It truly is an awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us. Nowhere is the view of Mt Everest as spectacular as it is from right here. Leaving Tingri, we cross another two high passes, the Lalung La [5124m] and the Shung La [5200m]. Once more we are rewarded with magnificent views of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar. From here we begin our descent from the arid Tibetan Plateau to Zhangmu on the Nepalese border, staying overnight at the Zhangmu Friendship Hotel. Meals: B, L, D Sleeping: Zhangmu Friendship Hotel.

Day 23: Drive to Kathmandu and Leisure

From Zhangmu we drive a few kilometers to the Friendship Bridge which spans the Bhote Koshi River and marks the Chinese - Nepalese border. Bidding farewell to Tibet, our Tibetan guide and driver, we walk to the Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari where we will be met by our Nepalese staff. After border formalities we head to the Last Resort for a lunchtime treat. A beautiful, secluded place where we experience a complete visual & sensual contrast to that encountered in Tibet. Here we can relax in an incredibly lush, vibrant and colourful canyon – a true representation of Nepal’s beauty. If you like we can arrange a stop over here & you can check out Nepal’s only bungee jumping facility, the world’s largest canyon swing and/or challenge yourself on the high ropes (all optional extras). Otherwise we head back to Kathmandu for a final dinner to celebrate the completion of our Tibetan adventures!

Day 24

Day at Leisure

Day 25

Fly Home

Note: The trekking itinerary and campsites may vary slightly depending on the trail conditions and the trekkers' acclimatization

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Trip Facts

  • Depature : Kathmandu
  • Duration : 25 Days
  • Grade : Strenuous
  • Max. Elevation : 4998m
  • Activity : Trekking Adventure
  • Best Season : May to September

Trip Map

Map1

Includes / Excludes

Price

4850 US $ per 2-3 Pax
4550 US $ per 4-7 Pax.
4300 US $ per 8-11 Pax.
Single supplementery: 420 US $

Includes

  • Hotel in Kathmandu
  • All permits & Monastery entrance fees in Tibet with Tibetan Guide
  • One highly experienced guide who speaks English, Nepali & Tibetan
  • One cook and kitchen support staff in Nepal & the same in Tibet for more then 3
  • Person Basis. (No Kitchen support for less then 3 pax.)
  • Mules or porters for luggage up to Nepal – China border
  • Yaks and Yak men for luggage whilst completing the Kailash parikrama
  • All meals during the treks
  • Sharing on a twin room basis with Dinner and breakfast in Nepalgunj
  • Guesthouses in Purang, Darchen and Nyalam/Zhangmu
  • All camping and cooking equipment
  • All camping Charges
  • Group Land cruiser with roof top luggage carrier only for 2 pax
  • Client Chinese visa fee
  • Airfare Kathmandu/Nepalgunj/Simikot
  • Nepal restricted area permit
  • All pick up and drop off services

Excludes

  • Insurance for Clients and Emergency Rescue
  • Tips for Nepali and Tibetan support staff
  • Personal beverages
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Domestic access baggage charge