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Tibet Guge Kingdom Itinerary - July 2006

Here is our itinerary with altitude (from Lonely Planet), distance (using Landcruiser Odometer), time, and weather.

July 10 Campsite 43km after Paryang (4550m) to Sangsha (4560m)

323km - 11 hours. Cloudy, heavy rain, 15-20C.

We drove over the Mayun La (5216m) and finally come to what should be our first view of Mount Tibet Guge and Lake Manasarovar. Alas, Tibet Guge was in the clouds. We then had lunch near Darchen and waited for the truck.

And then the rains came. We had initially planned to start the Tibet Guge Kora today, but the weather was so bad we decided to go to the Guge Kingdom first and do the Tibet Guge Kora on the way back. So, we continued driving, passing Moincer (4420m), before arriving at the the army base at Sangsha (4560m), where we spent the night.

July 11 Sangsha (4560m) to Tholing (Zanda) (3650m)

122km - 6 hours. Rain, cloudy, rain, 15-25C.

Sangsha (4560m) – Tholing (Zanda) (3650m). A beautiful trip through colourful hills and the eroded canyons of the Sutlej.

July 12 Tholing (Zanda) temples / Tsaparang temples

42km. Partly sunny, 20-27C. An absolutely gorgeous day.

We started the day visiting the Tholing monastery, thankful for the fact that at least one of the buildings wasn't destroyed by the Chinese. Although no photographs were allowed inside, I've copied some photos from books. We then walked around the eroded cliffs of the Sutlej, admiring the 108 chortens and looking for tsa-tsas.

After lunch, we drove the 20km to Tsaparang and wondered at the Kingdom that once populated this hill. The temples are partially intact, with the best Buddhist art I have seen. Although no photographs were allowed inside, I've copied some photos from books.

July 13 Tholing (Zanda) (3650m) to Tirthapuri (4345m)

187km - 11 hours. Partly sunny, light rain, sunny, 20-25C.

Tholing (Zanda) (3650m) – Sangsha (4560m) – Moincer (4420m) – Tirthapuri (4345m). Four hour delay in Moincer to fix Landcruiser engine.