Situated in the far Ngari Prefecture in the Tibetan Plateau, a trip to Kailash Manasarovar can be a little expensive due to the long distance and time required to reach there. Nevertheless, prudent planning can significantly reduce expenses, making the journey more affordable for budget travelers.
The overall cost of a Kailash Manasarovar tour depends on the route you take, the time of year, your accommodations, and the other attractions you will visit while on the way. Focusing on the details that are important to you is a good way to manage costs while still ensuring you have the best travel experience. To help your planning, here's a detailed cost breakdown for a Kailash Manasarovar tour in 2024.
Transportation Fees of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra/Tour: The Largest Part of the Cost
Tibet is a remote region, and Mount Kailash is remote even by local standards. Getting there is the most significant part of the cost of a Mount Kailash Tour.
Mount Kailash lies far away from Lhasa and needs obvious costs of transportation.
The first step is getting to Lhasa. Taking the train is the least expensive way to get to Tibet and also pass through breathtaking scenery along the engineering-marvel Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Major cities in mainland China, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chengdu, are easily accessible by flight and serve as gateway cities for Lhasa by train. Alternatively, you can fly to Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, and take the shortest train route to Lhasa.
Flying to Lhasa is the fastest way to get there. Flights are available from many cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, and Chengdu. The only international flight to Lhasa is from Kathmandu, Nepal. It only takes around 90 minutes, and you can see stunning views of Mount Everest as the plane flies over the Himalayas.
The second step is taking a road trip to Mount Kailash. Lying far from Lhasa, the transportation costs to get to Mount Kailash include the cost of the vehicle, the driver, and the gasoline used to get there. The small village of Darchen is where one can get closest to this mountain by overland. At the southern foot of the mountain, around 1,207 kilometers from Lhasa, it can take up to 4 days to travel there by car. This includes time to stop along the way to view other popular attractions on the tour.
Travel Permits Cost for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra/Tour: We Handle All Tibet Documents
One of the main factors to consider are the documents you are required to have in order to travel to Mount Kailash. You first need to have a Chinese Entry Visa, which you can obtain from the nearest Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in your home or resident country. The cost of the visa does vary depending on the country you are from, and the website of the Chinese Embassy in your own country has a full and updated list of the cost of the visa for different nationalities.
Then you need to get the Tibet Travel Permit to enter Tibet. For visiting Mount Kailash, Alien’s travel Permit, Foreign affairs permit, Military Permit are furthered required. However, while there are a number of permits required for Mount Kailash tour, when you book your tour through us, we make all the arrangements for you free of charge. This means the only travel documents you will need to pay for are your passport and visa. If you already have a valid passport, then your visa is your only documentary expense.
All international tourists to Tibet need a Tibet Travel Permit.
Attraction Entry Fees for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra/Tour: Depending on Your Travel Route
While all attractions in Tibet have entrance fees, these are normally included as part of the total cost of the tour and can vary depending on the tour package and what route you take to Mount Kailash.
If your route to Mount Kailash starts in Lhasa, tours include visiting the main attractions in the city while you take some time to acclimate to the high elevation. Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Sera Monastery are among the places to visit in Lhasa. From there, the route to Mount Kailash can include visiting Gyantse and Shigatse and even spending overnight at Everest Base Camp.
Our Tibet small group tour covers the admission fees.
Starting from Kathmandu, Nepal, will include seeing the sites in the beautiful Gyirong Valley, the Ngari Plateau, and other Tibetan attractions depending on your route.
All our tour packages cover the admission tickets for all the attractions listed in the itinerary. When booking, you can decide how much of Tibet you want to experience on your trip and choose accordingly.
Accommodation Cost for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra/Tour: Ranging from Luxury to Budget
You can choose your accommodations for the tour based on your budget and preferences.
In Lhasa and Shigatse, you will have a wide range of hotels, from basic budget accommodation to luxurious five-star hotels. We have recommendations at each price range, so you'll always stay somewhere that's clean, safe, and comfortable.
Hotels in Lhasa range from the luxury to the budget.
However, once you leave the major cities, the accommodation becomes a lot more basic. EBC is one example of this, where you can only choose from two types of basic accommodation, monastery guesthouse or tent guesthouse.
While trekking around Mount Kailash, the only accommodations available are the monastery guest houses, or you can choose to camp on their campgrounds. The monastery guesthouses are dorm-style accommodations made to serve tourists to the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra.
Dining Cost for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra/Tour: Slightly Expensive but Acceptable
Your dining costs depend on where you decide to eat while on the tour. Most hotels have breakfast included in the hotel cost, but out in the remote areas, complimentary breakfasts are not really a thing. Food costs in Tibet are a little more expensive than in mainland China due to the cost of transporting the major ingredients onto the plateau.
However, meals are still relatively cheap compared to meals in most Western countries, and you can eat well for a small amount. If you are not a fan of Chinese and Tibetan cuisine, you may want to buy some packet and dried foods to bring with you.
Tips for the Guide and Driver: Courtesy and the Amount Depend on You
While it is not compulsory to tip the guide and driver for your tour, it is a common practice, and many tourists to Tibet give tips for the excellent service they receive from their guide and driver throughout their tours.
Once again, there is no set amount that you are required to give for tips to the guide and driver, and you can tip as much or as little as you want. You should base your tipping amount on how well you were looked after during the tour and the level of service you received from your guide and driver for the entire tour.
Porters or Yaks for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra/Tour: Recommended for the 3-day Trek
Hiring porters and yaks for the trek around Mount Kailash is not compulsory, but if you are not fully fit or want to be able to trek without carrying a heavy pack, then these options are available in Darchen when you arrive. Usually, your guide will arrange the yaks and porters for you and let you know the cost, which you will need to pay outside the main cost of the tour at the time of hiring. Porters and yaks are not included in the overall tour cost, so you need to consider all the options before asking your guide to hire them.
Horse or yak is helpful for the tough trek around Mount Kailash.
Tips for Budget Your Kailash Manasarovar Yatra/Tour Cost: Joining Our Small Group Tour!
If you are traveling on a budget, there are ways that you can cut down the overall cost of a tour to Tibet to visit and trek around Mount Kailash. With the trip across the plateau being a long and expensive tour, finding ways to cut down on the overall cost is not as hard as you might think. And there are also other ways to reduce the tour cost, such as removing all the extraneous expenses such as yaks and porters for the trek and carrying a much lighter pack to manage the trek better.
Another way to reduce the cost of a tour to Mount Kailash is to join one of our amazing small group tours. Private tours of the plateau are expensive, but to help you save on the high costs, we offer the 15-day Mount Kailash small group tour, which you can join in order to save money on paying for a full tour by yourself. You will have a pre-arranged itinerary and a pre-set departure date, and you will join other like-minded travelers who are planning the same trip as you at the same time.
Join in a Mount Kailash Group tour to save on your total cost.
Joining a small group tour can help you save as much as fifty percent of the overall cost of the tour, as all members of the party share the costs of certain aspects. The shared costs include the cost of the guide, driver, and private vehicle, and you can also save by sharing a room with another party member to remove the single occupancy supplement that all hotels charge.
Besides, one of the best ways to save on a tour to Mount Kailash in western Tibet is to travel in the low season. Tibet's high-cost peak season is in the summer months, from June to early September. At this time, the cost of the tour and all the other expenses is much higher. While there is not much chance of getting to Mount Kailash and taking on the arduous trek in the depths of winter, it is still possible to take on the trek around the sacred mountain in the early and late part of the shoulder seasons. The shoulder seasons in Tibetan tourism are in the spring and autumn, from April to May, and October to late November.
The lower cost of the tours in these low-volume periods of Tibetan tourism can help make the trip more affordable. And while you may not be going to Mount Kailash at the best time of the year for tourism in Tibet, traveling there in early April or late autumn is only a little chillier than in the peak period. Bring a couple of warm sweaters and a good jacket, and you will be fine for trekking around the mount in the cooler part of the year. As these periods are less popular with tourists, prices for some parts of the tour are cheaper, from the actual tour cost itself to the cost of hotels and accommodation and the fees for entrance to the major attractions in Tibet.
A tour to Mount Kailash in western Tibet need not be an expensive trip that you cannot afford, and with our money-saving options for travelers to Tibet, we can help you make that dream of a lifetime trip to the world's most sacred mountain finally a reality and a dream come true.