This unique journey will take you into two of Asia's most remote areas: the northwestern Humla region of Nepal and the Ngari region of Tibet. Humla is home to the Bhotias whose traditional trading practices with Tibet have vanished elsewhere in Nepal. The Ngari region in far western Tibet is the destination of Buddhist, Hindu, Bon-po and Jain pilgrims traveling to the holy Manasarovar Lake and to Asia's most sacred mountain Kailesh (22,022'); to complete the kora around Kailesh is said to erase the sins of a lifetime. Four great rivers of Tibet, India and Nepal have their origins near Kailesh.
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, the Cabaret Diosa staff will greet you at the airport and get you settled into your hotel. You will have a full day to explore this bustling city before the flight to Nepalgunj on the southern border of Nepal. The following day, we will fly to Simikot (9,545'), the official headquarters of the Humla region where our trek begins. Over the next 5 days, we will trek along the traditional Nepali - Tibetan trade route, passing through forests, fields of buckwheat and mustard, walnut and apricot orchards and crossing impressive suspension bridges over the Humla Karnali River. We will cross the 15,022' Nara Lagna pass for our first views of the Tibetan plateau.
Once we have crossed the Tibetan border, we will walk into Shera where we will begin our drive along the Humla Karnali River to Taklakot (Chinese "Purang") at 12,890', enjoying its ancient world atmosphere. From Taklakot, we'll drive on to Lake Manasarovar (14,723'), and along the desolate plateau to Darchen, the starting point of our 3-day circuit of Kailesh. As we make our way around the mountain, we will pass the eerie Siwatshal cemetery, visit several remote monasteries, including Chuku Monastery, and share a cup of tea with hospitable nomads. We will cross the high Drolma Pass (18,486') on the second day of the circuit and see one of the highest lakes in the world, Thukpe Dzingbu, Lake of Compassion, considered holy to devotees. We will arrive back in Darchen for a rest before heading back to the tranquil waters of Manasarovar.
We will make our way to Lhasa via
Tashilhunpo Monastery in Tibet's second largest city Shigatse,
the monastery and ancient fortress at Gyantse and the turquoise
lake Yamdrok Tso. Upon arrival in Lhasa (11,972'), we'll explore the epicenter
of Tibetan culture, religion, and theology. We will tour the labyrinthine
halls of the Potala Palace (former winter
residence of the Dalai Lama), the Jokhang Monastery (the most revered
Tibetan Buddhist religious structure), the Tibetan Medical Center and
the largest monastic university in Tibet at Drepung. We will return by
a spectacular mountain flight over the Himalayan mountain chain to Kathmandu
where we'll have time for sightseeing and shopping. The market stalls
around Boudhanath, the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal, are an excellent
place to search for thangka paintings, prayer flags and souvenirs. We'll
gather for an entertaining cultural dinner on our last evening together
before your international flight home. An epic journey!
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