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Travel Tips

There is no hot summer in Ngari. The average temperature in summer is 9 to 22 C, with 27.6 C as the highest on record. The annual duration of sunshine is as long as 3,417 hrs. Although the winter is very sunny, it is still extremely cold (the lowest temperature on record is -44.6 C) and arid, rendering travel in winter less pleasant. With an annual average rainfall volume of 74 to164mm (2.9 to 6.5 inches), Ngari is the driest region of Tibet. This is especially true of the town of Shiquanhe and Purang County, where the volume of monthly average rainfall is no more than 30mm (1.2 inches). Rainy days, which often occur from July to the early September, inevitably make transportation more troublesome.

The best time for a travel to Ngari is from May to the early July or from September to October. With no bother from rain and harsh weather, Ngari is invigorating and irresistibly attractive. However, although in August the temperature in the day may exceed 20 C, at night it may plummet to below zero. Sun block, sun glasses as well as warm clothing are necessary, especially for a journey to the areas with an altitude exceeding 5,000m (16,404 ft).

 Circumambulations around Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar

The village of Darchen, at the foot of Mt. Kailash, is where the circumambulation around Mt. Kailash starts and ends. Generally it takes 3 days to accomplish one circumambulation around Mt. Kailash, 57km (35 miles) in total. Circumambulations around Lake Manasarovar can be started from a small lakeside village, 30km (19 miles) southeast of the village of Darchen. One circumambulation around the lake, which is 60km (37 miles) in circumference, needs four to five days.

Dining and Lodging
Hostels, rest houses and restaurants can be found in the village of Darchen and the lakeside village. Temples along the route provide basic lodging facilities as well. However, for during the peak season and to allow for unexpected situations, tents and sleeping bags are worthy of consideration. Moreover, since dining in restaurants is somewhat unrealistic on the circumambulation, the purchase of supplies of instant food, water, chocolate and sausages in Shiquanhe or Purang County beforehand is a necessity. Do keep to a slow pace and never eat your fill as this will help to save energy and ease the effects of mountain sickness .

Do not carry all your belongings to worship the Sacred Mountain and the Holy Lake. It is indeed unnecessary. Pack as little as possible, otherwise you will be too exhausted to enjoy the scenery. Porters, who assemble near hostels and rest houses in the village of Darchen and the lakeside village, can be of great help and the usual charge is CNY 50-60 per day.

In addition to flashlights, matches, anti-cold electuaries and down coats, litter bags should not be overlooked.

Last but not least, learning about the myths, legends and the climate of Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova before your expedition will make your visit more interesting and fruitful.

Banks, Post Offices and Telecom
In most towns and counties of Ngari you will find the Agricultural Bank of China and a post office as well as a telecom office. Internet cafes have mushroomed at the town of Shiquanhe in the recent years, but the charges are much higher than those in Lhasa and inland places.

Regional Code
Zip Code
Gar/the Town of Shiquanhe

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