Mount Kailash Travel Tips
Mount Kailash travel tips provide information for Mount Kailash tours, such as useful numbers, Mount Kailash weather and climate, the best time to visit Mount Kailash, preparation for Mount Kailash trekking, what to eat during Mount Kailash trekking, Mount Kailash accommodation and permits needed for Mount Kailash pilgrimage, etc.
- Fire: 119
- Police: 110
- Ambulance: 120
- Weather Broadcast: 121
- Area code of Ngari: 0897
- Consumer Complaint: 12315
- Local Phone Number Inquiries: 114
- Tourist complaint Center: 0891-6833476
- Long-distance Phone Number Inquiries: 113
Read More: Useful Numbers for Travelers in Tibet
Climate and Weather of Mount Kailash
Like most areas of Tibet, the Mount Kailash have a large temperature difference between daytime and night. The climate is mild and pleasant from May to August. The average temperature in Summer is around 15℃, which is ideal for outdoor activities, such as going for kora and visiting nearby temples. Heavy rainfall from July to August makes it harder to pass through the rugged path in this area. From September to November, rainfall is less and the average temperature drops to 10℃. December to April in the following year has the coldest days in the whole year. Winter temperatures range from 5℃ to minus 15℃, and the surrounding areas of Mount Kailash are often covered by snow and ice, making it dangerous to get there. During these periods, sharp temperature reduction often occurs.
Best Time to Visit Mount Kailash
Among the four seasons, the best time and season to visit Mt. Kailash is spring and autumn (Feb – May and late Sep – Nov), which are the main trekking months with fairly stable weather conditions and good visibility.
Late February to early May are popular months for trekking, with the weather warmer and flowers in bloom on the side of the road. Longer days with more sunlight coincide warming temperatures, less precipitation and good visibility, all of which provides tourists with great chances for trekking. Besides, another great time for visiting Mt. Kailash is from October to Early November, when the sky is clear, air is fresh and temperatures are comfortable. The Mt. Kailash has been washed clean by the monsoon rains, and looks particularly lush and verdant.
In addition to a good weather condition, the festival is also a factor that attract tourists to visit Mt. Kailash. Every year from May to June, pilgrims from all over Tibet and Asia come to Tibet to celebrate Saga Dawa Festival, which is one of the most solemn and important religious festivals in Tibet. On that day, tourists can join the pilgrims to erase their sin of a lifetime. Our 14 Days Tibet-Nepal Overland Tour with Saga Dawa Festival and Mount Kailash is recommended to you for the festival.
Travel Tips Based on Mount Kailash Weather
1. From April to October, warm clothes are always advised because snowy weather is maybe just around the next pass especially when trek over the arduous Drolma-la Pass at the height of 5640 meters. Down coat must be used in April, May, September and October.
2. You’ d better not visit it from the 3rd week of October till the beginning of April, cause the weather is really cold and the trails might be blocked by snow.
3. If you’re going to a Mt Kailash tour in June and September, better book your tour at least 1 month in advance, because the very large Indian pilgrims groups always book out the entire hotels on their way to Mt Kailash.
How to Get to Mount Kailash
Currently Ngari Prefecture can only be reached by driving and flight. There is no railway constructed yet. Travelers can take flights to Ngari from Lhasa or Urumqi and Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, then drive to Darchen to start the trek. The most chosen way is to take Lhasa as first arrival as it has flights from Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shangri-La and other places, as well as trains from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangzhou to Lhasa. No matter which route you take to Lhasa, whether by plane from Kathmandu or by train or plane from mainland of China, you will need a few days to acclimatize to the altitude in Tibet. In order to better adapt to the altitude of the plateau, tourists usually stay in Lhasa for two days, visit the scenic spots there first, then set out for Mount Kailash.
Read more about Mount Kailash Transportation
Accommodation for Mount Kailash Trek
Hotels and Hostels
Most of the travelers choose to stay at Darchen Town at the foot of the Mountain Kailash, it is also the starting and ending point of the Mount Kailash Trekking. The best hotel in Darchen Town is Himalaya Kailash Hotel which is likely a 3-star standard hotel, but it's quite expensive compared with other basic hotels and guesthouses. If budget is not a problem for you, this is a good choice as it provides 24 hours electricity, WIFI and hot water with breakfast included.
You’d better remember that electricity of hostels from 9 p.m. – 12 p.m., which is produced by their own generators. If you want to recharge your cameras or mobile phones, you should pay attention to this schedule. You just pay 50 RMB per person for a bed of the average quality. But it could rise up to 200 RMB in peak seasons.
Guest Houses in Monasteries and Nomads’ Tents
There are three Tibetan monasteries along the trek – Chuku Monastery, Dirapuk Monastery to Zutulpuk Monastery. The houses are in or near the monasteries, constructed by stones and earth. Singleroom is not available. There are multiple beds rooms with 3 beds, 5 beds, 8 beds. Dirapuk Monastery has a newly built guest house offering better rooms and amenities. Don’t expect the private bathroom as well as a shower. The quilts are thin and not very clean. So you’d better bring a sleeping bag or warm nightclothes.
Camping is always the favorite option for trekkers. There are several camping sites along the trek. The nights are very cold near Mount Kailash. And there might be snow and rain. So you have to bring firm, thick and nightclothes tent, also a warm sleeping bag. You can bring the camping gears from your home or rent at Lhasa.
Read more about Mount Kailash Accommodation
What to Eat during Mount Kailash Trekking
There are some restaurants in Darchen Town, offering local Tibetan food, Sichuan cuisine and some other Chinese food. Before you start or finish the trek, you can have good meals there. You may see yurts along the trekking path. You can rest in the yurts. They provide traditional Tibetan dishes, like buttered tea, instant noodles and beverages.
The monasteries along the trekking route also provide Tibetan food for meals that you buy there, such as noodles, soups, broth, and tsampa, so it is a good idea to bring plenty of food of your own if you are not into Tibetan cuisine. Snack pots and instant meals can be useful, as you can heat water over a fire to cook them, which can also provide warmth in the evenings.
Fruits, nuts, chocolates, biscuits, fried meats, and other high energy and high protein foods should be brought along, so you can replenish the energy lost when trekking quickly and easily. Daily fruit intakes when trekking is essential for the energy and immunity it can provide.
Read more about Mount Kailash Dining
Things to Do at Mount Kailash
- Mount Kailash Trekking Kora: One of the most popular attractions of Mount Kailash is the 52-kilometer Kora route around the mountain. The route is popular among Tibetans and tourists, and it attracts tens of thousands of people to experience in Ngari of western Tibet. There are actually two Kora routes around Mount Kailash, inner route and outer route. The outer route is a common route for tourists and pilgrims, because it surrounds the whole mountain in a large circle, beginning and ending in the village of Darchen. Although the outer kora route around the mountain has been a difficult road, the inner kora route is even more difficult to walk. You may also join our Mount Kailash Pilgrimage Tours to do Kailash kora.
- Lake Manasarovar: Covering more than 400 square kilometers of waters, Lake Manasarovar is the world’s highest freshwater lake. with 4587 meters above sea level and the water depth of 77 meters. It is located between the main peaks of the Gangdise Mountains-Mount Kailash and Namunani Peak of Himalayas, in Burang County of Tibet. Manasarovar means “undefeated, victorious” in Tibetan Language, known as “Holy Lake.” It is revered a sacred place in four religions: Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar Tour is recommended to you.
- Saga Dawa Festival: April of the Tibetan Calendar is the time to celebrate Saga Dawa Festival in order to commemorate Sakyamuni, who is the founder of Buddhism. Tens of thousands of pilgrims spare no effort to walk around the holy lakes and mountains like Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. Join in a Saga Dawa Festival Tour to have a site watch of the grand and sacred festival and better understand the local culture.
What to Pack for Mount Kailash Trekking
Basic warm, comfortable and firm clothing are required. A pair of strong, well-fitting boots is necessary. We will offer tent, stove, cooking utensil and other necessary equipment for trekking and camping. The private gears and equipment, such as sleeping bag is suggested to bring on your own. Check following packing list:
- A large backpack and a smaller one. The smaller one can be used for daily activities and be put into the large backpack when necessary;
- A waist bag to put important documents and property.
- It's advisable to dress in layers that can be easily added or removed as temperatures vary greatly within a day in Tibet;
- A windbreaker is advisable at any time of year;
- A pair firmed, water-proof, warm-keeping and well-fitting trekking shoes;
- Waterproof clothing and raingear;
- A down jacket (better with hat) together with other warm-keeping clothing is necessary.
- High SPF sunscreen cream, sun block, skin cream and lip balm to against intense sunlight and dry weather;
- Sunglasses and sunhat can protect you effectively from being exposed to the scorching sunlight;
- A pair firmed, water-proof, warm-keeping and well-fitting trekking shoes.
- Medicine to prevent and lessen High Altitude Sickness, such as Diamox;
- Medicine for cold, headache, stomachache, diarrhea, nausea, insect bite, etc. such as Aspirin, Diphenoxylate, and Prochlorperazine;
- Band-aids or other wound dressings;
- Nasal ointment and throat lozenges if you are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions;
- A water bottle;
- A solar flashlight;
- Sleeping bag;
Other Travel Tips for Mount Kailash Trekking
Permits Needed for Mount Kailash Trekking
Before you go to Lhasa in China, you need to arrange your travel with the travel agency and let them help you get relevant permits.
- Tibet Travel Permit: For foreign tourists to Tibet, it is necessary to hold a Tibet Travel Permit issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. This permit is applied by your travel agency. You need Tibet Travel Permit to board a flight or train, and it is always needed when you are travelling in Tibet.
- Alien's Travel Permit: Foreigners can travel to the unopened areas in Tibet with an Alien's travel permit issued by the Local public security bureau.
- Border Pass: Another necessary permit is a border pass, which you need if you plan to go to any area near the Nepal border, such as Mount Everest and Mount Kailash, or to leave Tibet to enter Nepal.
- Military Permit: Finally, to enter Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, visitors must also obtain military permit to travel to certain areas of the military exclusion zone in Ngari.
It should be noted that only travel agency can apply the necessary permits for foreign tourists, and the Tibet Tourism Bureau does not accept individual applications for the Tibet Travel Permit.
How to Avoid Altitude Sickness during Mount Kailash Pilgrimage/Trekking
How to avoid altitude sickness is one of the most important things to know while taking a Tibet tour, no matter which area you go in Tibet plateau. The kora around Mt. Kailash reaches heights of more than 5,000 meters above sea level, and the highest point, at Dolma-la Pass is a whopping 5,630 meters, which makes it a hard trek for even the most experienced trekkers. Altitude sickness can become a problem at these heights, and one should be aware of the main symptoms of altitude sickness, and know what to do in case of emergency.
Firstly, you will need a few days to acclimatize to the altitude in Tibet. In order to better adapt to the altitude of the plateau, tourists usually stay in Lhasa for two days, visit the scenic spots there first, then set out for Mount Kailash.
If you start to feel sick during the trek, or start to feel dizziness, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, or a general feeling of illness, inform your tour guide immediately and stop. Continuing may make the symptoms worse, and severe altitude sickness can be potentially fatal. You should descend immediately to a lower altitude, and rest. Oxygen is a help with altitude sickness, and if you have medication such as Diamox, if okayed by your doctor, you can take it to help treat the symptoms.
Important Tips for Mount Kailash Pilgrimage
Some extra tips for Mt. Kailash pilgrimage are offered here for your reference.
- Respect the local customs. Do not destroy the prayer flags along the road and do not use your finger to point at the sacred Mt Kailash.
- If unfortunately, the high altitude sickness happens to you, please consider stopping walking.
- You can leave things at the hotel before you hike. To relieve the burden on shoulder, you can hire yaks or horses to do the heavy work.
- Use a dedicated rubbish bag and minimize packaging materials. And please take away every piece of your rubbish including toilet paper, sanitary napkins, and tampons.
Mount Kailash is located in the north of Burang County, the southwest of Tibet. The postal code of Burang County is 859500. Here below are several post offices and expresses in Burang County.
- China Post Office(Burang County Branch)中国邮政普兰县邮政局
Address: Provincial Road, Burang County, Ngari阿里地区普兰县207省道
- China Post Office(Baga Township Branch)中国邮政普兰县巴嘎乡邮政局
Address: Baga Township, Burang County, Ngari阿里地区普兰县巴嘎乡
- Cainiao Yizhan菜鸟驿站
Address: Bilin North Road, Burang County, Ngari(Near People's Government of Burang County)阿里地区普兰县比林北路(普兰镇人民政府附近)
Here are mainly several banks in Burang County.
- Agricultural Bank of China(Burang County Branch)中国农业银行普兰县支行
Address: No.23, Gonggar Road, Burang County, Ngari阿里地区普兰县贡嘎路23号
- Agricultural Bank of China中国农业银行
Address: Baga Township, Burang County, Baga Township阿里地区普兰县巴嘎乡
- Agricultural Bank of China中国农业银行
Address: Huoer Township, Burang County, Baga Township阿里地区普兰县霍尔乡
Hospitals and drugstores are available in Burang County in case of emergency.
- Gangdise Branch of Ngari Tibetan Medicine Hospital阿里地区藏医院冈底斯分院
Address: Burang County, Ngari阿里地区普兰县
- Burang County Health Service Center普兰县卫生服务中心
Address: Burang County, Ngari阿里地区普兰县
- People's Hospital of Ngari Prefecture阿里地区人民医院
Address: No.10, Beijing South Road, Gar County, Ngari阿里地区噶尔县北京南路10号
- Pingjia Pharmacy 百姓平价大药房
Address: No.51, Wenhua Road, Gar County, Ngari阿里地区噶尔县文化路51号
- Ngari Travel Tips
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- How to Get to Mount Kailash from Lhasa
- How to Get Tibet Travel Permit, Successful Application Tips
- Best Time to Visit Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar in Tibet
- How to Plan Tibet Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar Tour from Lhasa