Mount Kailash Travel & Yatra

Darchen, Base Camp of Kailash Kora and Trek

23 November 2021 last updated at 12:02 0 Comments

Sitting on the side of National Highway 219, Darchen (4650m-4690m), a small town at 10 kilometers south of Gang Rinpoche, is the base camp for sincere pilgrims to Kailash as well as the starting and ending point of Kailash Kora.

How to Get to Darchen, Kailash Trekking Camp

According to Tibet travel regulations, all the foreign friends to visit Tibet shall not travel alone but join in a tour which will take all the care of your all trivial things. And no matter where you start your Kailash tour from Lhasa, Xinjiang, Nepal, we, Tibettourism, can provide you with one-stop travel services, like Tibet flight/train ticket booking, airport/train pickup service, etc.

Darchen StreetDarchen Street

Darchen Kailash Weather Forecast

Most weather forecast apps/websites can only be as detailed as Pulan County, which actually refers to the weather in the Pulan Town of Pulan County. Lying in the Himalayas valley, Pulan County is 80 kilometers south of Darchen and has an elevation of only 3880 meters, which is 800 meters lower than Darchen. Its geographical environment and climate are quite different from those of Darchen. So if you want to check the weather in Darchen, you must pay attention to the forecast of Baga Township of Pulan County. In addition, the weather in Kailash Kora is usually more variable than that in Tachin.

Darchen Kailash Manasarovar Entrance Tickets

Mountain Kailash (Gang Rinpoche) and Manasarovar Lake (Mapang Yumco), two religious sacred sites with a long history, are operated by the Tibet Tourism Co., Ltd. which obtain long-term management rights and run them as "Ali Holy Mountain and Sacred Lake Scenic Spot". Except for Tibetans, other visitors need to purchase tickets (300 Yuan) to enter the Kailash Manasarovar area.

Darchen Hotels and Accommodation

The overall accommodation price of Darchen ranges from a bed of 30 Yuan/night to a standard room of 1,000 Yuan/night.

The cheapest is a simple hotel run by Tibetans. It mainly serves pilgrims from all over the Tibetan area. Each bed in a multi-person room is about 30 Yuan, and it is unavailable to take a bath. It is not recommended for the first-time visitors to Kailash to stay overnight for many guests would start their Kailash pilgrimage at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, which will interfere with your sleep.

Generally speaking, the price of a standard hotel room is about 200-300 Yuan in the off-season and 500-600 Yuan in the peak season. The price of a newer and better-conditioned hotel will be higher. Now Darchen has become a very important supply station on 219 National Highway. During the peak tourist season, a large number of tourists who do not trek to Kailash would also stay here overnight, resulting in tight accommodation. During the Golden Week Holidays, hotel prices can reach 1,000 Yuan or even higher, especially during National Day.

Insider Tips:

1. Due to the remote location and tight resources in the Kailash area, the accommodation conditions of Darchen hotels at the same price level will be significantly worse than those in Lhasa and Shigatse. You’d better be psychologically prepared to avoid a big gap with expectations.

2. Saga Dawa Festival (usually from the end of May to mid-June in the Gregorian calendar), July to August (summer holiday + Indian pilgrim pilgrimage season), and National Day Holidays are the peak season, and it is highly recommended to book your Darchen Kailash hotels in advance, especially during the National Holidays.

Darchen Himalaya HotelDarchen Himalaya Hotel

Darchen Restaurant and Food

The restaurants in the Darchen Kailash area are mainly opened by mainlanders, where you’ll have the chance to try some Sichuan cuisine, Northeastern meals, Hunan dishes, and Halal tastes. Of course, there are many large and small Tibetan restaurants scattered throughout the town, and some hotels also have restaurants providing meals for the guests.

Due to the remote location and poor climate, almost all materials in Darchen are shipped from other places, transportation costs and wastage rates are high, and overall prices are much more expensive than those in Lhasa.

Generally, at most Restaurants run by mainlanders, you would pay RMB 30 for fried vegetables, RMB 45 for meat dishes, and RMB 25 for donburi/noodles/dumplings.

One thing I want to remind you of is the Tibetan restaurants. Many people would think that there are only Tibetan noodles, butter tea, sweet tea. In fact, the eating habits of Tibetans are greatly influenced by Sichuanese. Many Tibetan restaurants offer simple Chinese dishes, such as donburi, home-style stir-fries, etc., and the taste is generally lighter than that of Sichuan restaurants. If you can’t stand the heavy spicy taste, you can try some dishes here. In addition, almost all Tibetan restaurants make curry rice, which contains beef and potatoes, and the taste is much lighter than the Indian version of curry. However, the pastry of Tibetan-style steamed buns and dumplings are much thicker than the mainland, you may not be accustomed to eating them.

Darchen Supermarkets and Shops

There are several supermarkets and small shops in Darchen, where you can buy some food and drinks (including high-calorie dry food such as chocolate), daily necessities, and emergency clothing and shoes. If you plan to hang prayer flags and Khatas in Kailash Kora, you’d better buy them in Darchen Tibetan Buddhist shops or grocery stores.

Devout pilgrims are worshippingDevout pilgrims are worshipping

Darchen Kailash Hospitals and Pharmacies

The new Baga Township Health Center is located at the southwest corner of the junction of Gela Road and Laqu Road. The environment of the new health center is good, and it can diagnose and treat common diseases, including oxygen inhalation, fluid infusion, etc. There is an outpatient clinic from Monday to Friday, opening in summer (May to September) 10:00 AM-1:00 PM, 4:30 PM-7:00 PM and winter (October to April of the following year) 10:30 AM-1:30 PM, 4:00 PM-6:30 PM.

The rest of the time, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays, only emergency services are available. During non-outpatient hours, you can call the doctor on duty on the day posted at the entrance of the hospital.

Common drugs, band-aids, and portable oxygen cylinders can also be bought in supermarkets. Read more about how to avoid altitude sickness in Kailash tour and trek.

Darchen Bank and Electronic Payment

Most hotels, restaurants, and shops in Darchen accept WeChat payment, while Alipay's popularity is slightly lower. There is an Agricultural Bank and ATM at the northeast corner of the junction of Gela Road and Laqu Road.

Darchen Water and Electricity Supply

Tachin has been connected to the National Grid in December 2020 and has a basically stable all-day power supply. Darchen's current water supply is mainly dependent on the locals pumping water from the nearby river and then transporting it back to their own water tanks.

Solar Panel to Supply PowerSolar Panel to Supply Power

Darchen Post Office

China Post is currently located in the Convenience Service Center on the left side of the gate of Shuangyong Road Township Government. The post office has EMS, express parcel, and ordinary parcel services, which can be sent to all parts of China. The express mail must be shipped to Pulan County before being sent out uniformly, which will take a little longer.

Darchen Kailsh Jet Lag

Mount Kailash is about 81 degrees east longitude and is more than 3,500 kilometers away from eastern China. There is actually a time difference of nearly 2.5 hours from the Beijing Time of the East Eight District at 120 degrees east longitude. As China implements a single time zone, during Kailash trekking season, the sunrise time in the Gang Rinpoche area is about 7:30 AM (May) to 8:30 AM (October) Beijing time, and the sunset is 9:30 PM (May) ~ 8:30 PM (October), noon is roughly 2:30 PM.

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