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Tour to Eastern Tibet and Garze Kham Sichuan

Trip Length
14 Days
Lhasa-BasumTso-Bayi Nyingchi-Pomi-Pashu-Markham-Litang-Garze-Manigango-Dege-Chamdo-Tengchen-Sok-Nagchu-Namtso-Lhasa


Garze, Kham is a Tibetan land apart from the rest of Tibet to tour. Its climate, geography, flora and isolation all make it a unique, almost magical atmosphere for travel. Traditional life seems less disturbed here than in central Tibet. The stone village and vertical prayer flags resemble those in Bhutan and the unusually shaped chortens (stupa) seem more at home in Mustang. The scenery often resembles more the Swiss Alps or Rocky Mountains than the high Tibetan plateau.

Tour Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1: Lhasa to Basum-Tso (3540 m)

Basumtso LakeToday's Highlights:

Basumtso Lake;


This beautiful alpine lake, also known as Basum-tso and Basong Cuo, is a long day's ride from Lhasa and a 41km detour off the Sichuan-Tibet High way. Apart from the sheer beauty of the lake and its surrounding 6000m-plus peaks, the site has strong connections to Gesar of Ling, the semimythical ruler of eastern Tibet, and Guru Rinpoche, the Indian sage, both of whom are said to have resided at the lake. Many pilgrimage sites are connected to the place as well.

Day 2: Basum-Tso to Bayi (2990 m)

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Bayi Town


Bayi is a large Han Chinese military town of minor interest, except perhaps as a base from which to visit the surrounding sights or restock your supplies. 'Bayi' in Chinese means '1 August', the founding date of the PLA. It is 125km from Basum-Tso.

Day 3: Bayi to Pomi (3000 m)

PomiToday's Highlights:

Drive to Pomi


Formerly known as Tramo, this small country capital has well-stocked shops and several hotels and restaurants, making it a logical place to spend the night. In clear weather the surrounding scenery is strpendous.

Day 4: Pomi to Pashu

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Pashu; Neru Monastery and Dola Monastery visiting


Pashu (Chinese: Basu), fromerly known as pema (Baima), is a pleasant town that makes for a good overnight stop. Explore around Pasho visit Neru Monastery & Dola Monastery.

Day 5: Pashu to Markham

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Markham


Markham, traditionally known as Garthog Dozong, is where the PSB commonly catches permitless hitchhikers from Sichuan and Yunnan. At Markham the road spilts. The southern branch runs 112km over a pass to Yanjing (salt well) and the border with Yunnan, continuing on the Deqin. Yanjing used to be Tibet's major source of salt, once an essential commodity in these parts.

DAY 6: Markham to Litang (4680m)

LitangToday's Highlights:

Drive to Litang


Surrounded by snowcapped peaks and resting on open grassland, Litang is a pleasant and friendly place to hang out for a couple of days. A horce-racing festival from 1 to 7 August sees the town swells with Tibetan visitors.

DAY 7: Litang to Garze (3400m)

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Garze


The noisy market town of Ganzi (also spelled Kandze and Garze) sits in a valley at 3400m, surrounded by the sleeping giants of the Trola (Chola) range, and is a natural place to break the Trip. The gergeous surrounding countryside is peppered with Tibetan villages and resrgent monasteries.

Day 8: Garze to Manigango

ManigangeToday's Highlights:

Maniganga; Yihun La-tso Lake


The road winds through deep gorges and preety Tibetan villages before ascending to the wild and craggy scenery of the 4916m Trola(Chola) Mt. in the east of Derge. From the pass, the road descends to the crossroads of Manigango. Yilhun La-tso, a stunning, holy alpine lake bordered by chortens and dozens of rock carvings is about 13km before reaching Manigango.The lake is backed by the huge glaciers of 6018m Trola peak and it's possible to walk 1~2hrs up the left side of the lakeshore for glacier views.

Day 9: Manigango to Derge (4000m)

DergeToday's Highlights:

Drive to Derge


Resting in a valley between the Tibetan border and the Trola range to the east, Derge forms the cultural heartland of Kham. While the Chinese influence is evident and growing ripidly in the town, the old town and surrounding villages are very much Tibetan. There are many historically important monasteries in the valleys south of Derge, namely at pelpung (chinese: Babang), Dzongsar, pewar (Baiya), Kathok and pelyul (Baiyu).

Day 10: Derge to Chamdo (3600m)

ChamdoToday's Highlights:

Drive to Chamdo; Jampaling Monastery


Chamdo, located at the river junction of the Aza-chu and the Ngon-chu, is a surprisingly pleasant town. It is dominated by the hilltop Jampaling Monastery, below which huddle the Tibetan old town and the Chinese new town. Over 1000km from Lhasa and 1250km from Chengdu, the town is the major transport, administrative and trade centre of the Kham region.

Day 11: Chamdo to Tengchen (4200m)

Tengchen MonasteryToday's Highlights:

Drive to Tengchen; Tengchen Monastery


Tengchen (Chinese: Dingqing) is an unremarkable but reasonably pleasant two-street town. Both Tengchen and the surrounding rigion of Khyungpo are strong centres of the Bon religion. The main reason to stop here is to visit Tengchen Monastery, on a hillside 4km west of town. This interesting Bon monastery is actually made up of two separate institutions.

Day 12: Tengchen to Sok DZONG (sOK cOUNTY)

Sok Tsaden MonasteryToday's Highlights:

Sok Tsaden Monastery


Sok's claim to fame is the impressive sok Tsaden Monastery, set on an outcrop in the northwestern suburbs. The monastery, founded by the Mongol leader Gushri Khan, brings to mind a miniature potala. The road from Tingdhen swings north and starts to climb up to the stunning shel-la (4830m), the highest and most dramatic pass along the northern route. The road continues past the village of Gubengda, Gyaruptang and Wengdaka and then climbs yet again to the 4500m Chak-la.

Day 13: Sok DZong to Nagchu (4500m)

NagchuToday's Highlights:

Drive to Nagchu


Nagchu (Chinese: Nagqu) is one of the highest, coldest and most windswept towns in Tibet. Perched on the edge of the Changtang (northern plateau), it is a dismal town of mud and concrete, but is still an important pit stop on the road between Qinghai and Tibet. It's a literally breathtaking place: Oxygen levels here are only 60% of those at sea level, so be prepared for headach.

DAY 14: Nagchu to Lhasa

Today's Highlights:

Back to Lhasa


Drive back to Lhasa. You can take flight to Chengdu, Beijing or Shanghai.

Travel Tips for the Tour to Eastern Tibet & Garze Kham Sichuan 

1. Pass several mountains which are above 4,000 meters. For those who suffered from high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and heart disease, is not suitable. Drink more water, and no acute activities; (More about the AMS)
2. The restaurants along the way can provide simple Chinese and Tibetan food, but you'd better bring some solid food;
3. The best travel season for this route is May, June, September and October. Try to avoid taking this route in July and August, landslide may occur during the rainy season;
4. The driving hour will be long for this tour, and most of visiting will be stay in the vehicle;
5. You'd better not go outside of the hotel in the night in the small towns or villages, for the sake of security.

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What Our Customers Say

"We have travelled the world and we have experienced many tours, but Henry's dedication and attention to detail was excellent and unmatched. Our driver was always alert and quick to respond to dangerous driving conditions. All the sceneries along the tour were wonderful especially the Yading National Park."

Mohan Bhasker

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