Mt. Khawakarpo Kora ˇ§C The outer circle (22 days)


At the center of this journey is a 14-day Kora around the snow-capped peak of Mt. Khawakarpo (6,740 m), revered throughout the Tibetan realm as far east as Ladakh in India.

Detailed Itinerary with descriptions

Day 1-3, Kunming, Gyalthang, Jol (Dechen)      

We gather in Kunming and explore the „city of eternal spring?ˇă. The next day we take the morning flight to Gyalthang. Our first day in the Tibetan highlands begins in traditional manner by paying respects to Ganden Sumtsenling, the main monastery in Gyalthang.

Day 4, Dechen-trailhead, Lamtsa 1900 m-Lungdre 2480 m

Today we drive along to the trailhead about 2 and half hours at Lamtsa along the bank of the Mekong.  We begin the trek crossing a bridge to visit the sacred stupa in Dreshing Thang 1950 m by the Mekong where traditionally pilgrims believe the key to Khawakarpo pilgrimage is hidden. Overnight at Lungdre village, camp or homestay, 2.5 hrs drive and 4.5 hrs trek

Day 5, Lungdre 2480 m-Lungnak 3300 m

Continue trek along the tributaries and streams of the Mekong which make up the watershed region. Trek thru Chushag 2900 m, where we head west and then ascend to Asel Gyalam 3100 m. We will trek thru some of the most untouched and pristine alpine forests and get an opportunity to meet with Tibetan pilgrims travelling from every corner of Tibet, camp at Lungnak 7 hrs trek

Day 6, Lungnak 3300 m-Dokhela base 3500 m

Before we take on the Dokarla pass, we trek thru Langshi Thang 3340 m and Mendrel Thang or Mandala Plains. Beautiful streams of the Mekong, and wooded mountains. camp and 5-6 hrs trek

Day 7, Dokhela base 3500 mˇ§CTsasokthang 3630 m

Today, we climb one of the highest and most challenging passes of this trek. The area after the pass is a botanical paradise in summer and many botanists have been here come to sample rare flowers and plants. Camp, 6-7 hrs trek

Day 8, Tsasokthang 3630 m-Chunathang 2460 m

On this day we first pass thru Trangche 3440 m and then climb a medium high pass Lho Oesel where one can view the majestic Khawakarpo then thru Lho Du-be. camp Trekking thru about 7 hrs

Day 9, Chunathang 2460 m-Aben 2290m

Trekking in a westerly direction for 7-8 hrs thru Shingkhang la pass 3740 m before we reach the village of Aben, with the Khawakarpo still in view. We come across a rocky terrain where we come across miniature stone piles created by pilgrims resembling Sangdo Pelri considered the palace of the Padmasambhava. We are now closing in on the Salween. camp and 8 hrs trek

Day 10, Aben 2290 mˇ§CChudrol Hotsprings 1770 m

We then reach the hots-springs near Chudrol also called Khandroma Tsokshong which has become a watering hole for the thousands of pilgrims who come to Khawakarpo. The trek is a pleasant walk and we get to see many new things. Camp, 6 hrs trek

Day 11, Chudrol 1770 mˇ§C Zinak 2300 m

Trekking along the Salween passing thru Drana we reach Zinak village where a Mani Temple draws many pilgrims. We overnight at the temple and get a chance to meet, chat, and sing with fellow pilgrims and villagers. Homestay and 7/8 hrs trek.

Day 12, Zinak 2300 m-Gebu 2340m

Today, we depart from the Salween westwards towards the Mekong north thru Thangthoe la pass at 3552 m, then thru Radha 2320 m. Camp or home stay at village 7-8 hrs trek. If we have a day to spare, one option would be an extra rest day at Gebu !

Day 13, Gebu 2340 m-Thakor Chonyi 4100 m

Another difficult and steep pass where we climb the Thakor Chonyi pass 4100 m and then camp at a lower altitude on a plateau where we get a breathtaking view of the mountains and valleys particularly at sunset and dawn.

Day 14, Thakor Chonyi-Gaptsa Chukha 3090m

We then continue trek and have to climb the Gabtsa la 4300 m and then arrive at the village of Gabtsa Chukha, by the Tsa Yuchu, where we camp and mingle with pilgrims congregating at the Mani Temple. we camping here, 6/7 hrs trek

Day 15, Gabtsa Chukha 3090-Mechog Panggang 4200 m

We then trek through the village of Ladho, where we have lunch. a major stop for the pilgrims and the Khampa caravans of the past. Beautiful picturesque Tibetan villages. After lunch we continue to Mechok Panggang 4200 m at the foot of Shola. Camp and 7 hrs trek

Day 16, Mechok Panggang 4200-Shola 4815 m-Duglung Thang 4250 m-Chuzom 3460m

We then tread along the notorious Shola pass 4815 m, which sometimes blocked caravans of old for months during snowbound winters. For pilgrims, it is believed, crossing Shola is a major victory to rid oneself of all the mental and emotional baggage. We then descend to Duglung Thang 4250 m and then reach Chuzom 3460 m, where we camp near a tributary of the Mekong. Camp, 7-8 hrs trek

Day 17, Chuzom 3460-Menri Shoe 2060 m

This is our last day of trekking. We first meet up with the Mekong near Shachu ka and then continue to Menri Shoe where we are picked-up by our vehicle and driven to Dechen (4 and half hrs trek, 3 hrs drive), Hotel in Dechen.

Day 18, Jol (Dechen)-Gyalthang drive

On our drive back we visit the Dzong-style monastery of Dondupling Monastery and the Tibetan artisan of wood carvers in the village of Gonjo by the Yangtze. If we arrive early, we have a few hours to go to the marekt in Gyalthang. For those interested in Tibetan medicine we can organise a tour of the Hospital of Traditional Tibetan Medicine. 5-6 hrs drive, Hotel

Day 19, Gyalthang sightseeing

Day 20, Gyalthang-Lijiang drive

This morning we board the plane to Lijiang, home of the Naxi people. We spend the day strolling through the ancient city with its old narrow cobbled streets and the traditional market. In the evening we attend the famous Naxi Music Performance. 4.5 hrs, hotel

Day 21,  Lijiang Sightseeing

Day 22,  Lijiang / Kunming / Fly home

The best time for this trek is from May to Octo