For centuries Lake Manasarovar has been considered sacred lake by followers of Buddhism and Hinduism. All the pilgrims of these two sects take bathing in the lake as the happiest thing in their life because they believe the water here can cleanse 'five poisons' in people's spirit (greed, anger, silliness, idleness and envy). Meanwhile, it can also wash off the dirt from their skin. Mt. Kailash is one of the ten most beautiful mountains in China according to Chinese National Geography. Actually, Mt. Kailash is considered a divine mountain universally by people from all over the world. Its shape is very much like the pyramids in Egypt with four nearly symmetrical sides. Although Mt. Kailash is not the highest peak in this region, its glistening snow-covered top makes it the most eye catching one. There are altogether five temples around this sacred mountain. Many wide-spread legends shroud these temples with mystery. Many carvings, statues and murals can still be found here, but some of them have been destroyed over the years.
Mt. Kailash is usually wreathed by white clouds. Therefore the locals think if someone can clearly view the peak, he or she will be very lucky. For hundreds of years, Mt. Kailash has been an alluring mountain to pilgrims and explorers. However no one has reached its top till only just recently. Lake Manasarovar and Mt. Kailash's irresistible charm attract visitors from all over the world in an endless. They open their arms to welcome you!
Getting to Mt. Kailash:
If you come to Mt. Kailash from the south, the only choice for you is to look for passing cars or other vehicles to take you there, if you are lucky enough. If you come from the north, the main choice is to take one of the many trucks headed to Shiquanhe. The whole journey will take you about a day and a half. The charge varies from CNY 50 to CNY 80.
Accommodation: South of Mt. Kailash there is a small village called Darchen. This is a great place for visitors to refresh themselves. Gongdise Guesthouse is the best accomodation in this village. The traffic to this guesthouse is convenient for the highroad stretches to the distance in front of it and guests can enjoy hot water all day long. Gangdise Guesthouse has its own generator, and electricity will be cut off at 12:00 pm.
Shenshan (Holy Mountain) Rest House is right next to the Gangdise guest house. It also has its own generator to provide electricity at night.
Dining: In the east side of Darchen village is a place very much like a small bazaar. Here, you'll find many tents and vendors. Some sell instant noodles, biscuits and other daily necessities. Some sell nothing at all! Several small restaurants can be found in this village. In the east gate of Gangdise Guesthouse there is Lhasa restaurant. In fact it is a tent restaurant. The dishes here taste good.
Admission Fee: CNY 50
Getting to Manasarovar Lake:
Manasarova Lake is near Mt. Kailash, so starting from Mt. Kailash is the most convenient way. You can rent a jeep to get there. Otherwise the only thing you can do is to expect passing cars in Darchen or Bagar checkpoint. The price varies from CNY 30 to CNY 70.
Accommodation: A small village near the lake has a small hostel owned by two Tibetans. To stay here, expect to pay CNY 20 per person.
Tips: You must hold border passport when coming to visit Mt. Kailash for there are a great many settled and non-settled checkpoints. And, as always, take litter bags with you in order to protect the natural environment.