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12 Days Overland Tour from Yunnan to Tibet plus Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike

Trip Length
12 Days
Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La-Deqin-Yanjing-Zuogong-Ranwu-Bomi-Bayi-Lhasa
Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike, Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, Mount Meili, Yanjing, Ranwu Lake, Namchak Borwa Peak, Lamaling Monastery, Draksum Tso Lake, Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, Sera Debating


The overland tour into Tibet through is without a doubt one of the most spectacular on the earth. Yunnan-Tibet Highway is one of the wonderful ways to approach Tibet. From lovely Lijiang a road heads up to the Tibetan towns and monasteries of Zhongdian and Deqin, from where 112km to Yanjing. From here it's 111km to Markham, where the road joins the Sichuan southern route.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 01 Lijiang-Halfway

Today's highlights:

Pick you up at Lijiang, Transfer to Qiaotou Town, Trek to Halfway


In the morning pick you up at your hotel in Lijiang to leave for Qiaotou Town. 5 hours trek from Qiaotou to Halfway, stay overnight in Halfway Guesthouse.

Day 02 Halfway-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangrila

Tiger Leaping GorgeToday's highlights:

Trek to Mid Tiger Leaping Gorge, Transfer to Shangri-La


Trek from Halfway to Middle of the Gorge for 3 hrs around, you can appreaciate the Tiger Leaping Stones there. The driver and guide will be waiting for you at Tina's house at Middle of the Gorge. You will be picked up there, then transfer to Shangrila. On the way you can have a general view of the Gorge and overlook the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Hapa Snow Mountain and the ancient hydraulic project.

Day 03 Shangri-la to Deqin

Today's highlights:

Ganden Sumtseling Gompa


Visit Ganden Sumtseling Monastery and Dongzhulin Lamasery. Stay overnight in Deqin.

Day 04 Deqin to Yanjing

Mount MeiliToday's highlights:

Mount Meili, Salt Fields in Yanjing, Only Catholic Church in Tibet


Travel along the north of Mekong River valley into Tibet. Along the way, we may be able to see the peaks of Kawagebo mountain range on a good day. Mt. Meili (6,740 m/22,113 ft), which straddles the border of Yunnan and Tibet, is the highest peak in the province. Have a hike at Mt. Meili. Once into Tibet, our first stop will be in the town of Yanjing, which was once the main source of salt for half of the Kham Tibetan area, which ranged from northwestern Sichuan down into Yunnan. We will visit to the salt fields and visit the only one catholic church in Tibet. followed by a stop at the hot springs, where each of us could pick our own natural hot bath overlooking the Mekong. Certainly the best way to relax our body for the adventure ahead!

Day 05 Yanjing to Zuogong

Road from Yunnan to TibetToday's highlights:

Cross high passes


We cross two high passes in this section of the drive, one at around 3,900 m(12,795 ft), the other at 5,008 m(16,430 ft). Driving past local Tibetan houses scattered round the feet of snow-capped peaks, the expressions on innocent Tibetan girls would make you realize that you are one of the first foreign visitors to this isolated region.

Day 06 Zuogong to Ranwu

Ranwu LakeToday's highlights:

Nu River, Ranwu Lake


We will drive along the deep valleys of the Nu River (the Salween River), which is a long and tough journey, but our destination, the Ranwu Lake, a spectacularly crystal blue lake cupped by snow peaks.

Day 07 Rawok(Ranwu) to Bomi

Today's highlights:

Bomi Forest


We will wander along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog (2,743 m/8999 ft), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountainsides. We will go down several hundred meters in altitude as we reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tang-me where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet.

Day 08 Bomi to Bayi

Namjiabawa PeakToday's highlights:

Overlook Namjiabawa Peak


Waking up to the birds' singing, you will have an unobstructed view of the majestic NamJiabawa peak. After a long 9 hours drive, we will arrive in Bayi, the largest Tibetan town we will have reached at this point.

Day 09 Bayi to Lhasa

Today's highlights;

Lamaling Monastery, Draksumtso (Basomtso Lake)


First we will drive 30 kms to visit the Lamaling monastery which an important monastery in Nyingtri. And then drive to Basomtso lake. The crystal clear water of the Basomtso Lake will seem like an oasis to you-another place you would be reluctant to leave. Head to Lhasa.

Day 10 Sightseeing in Lhasa

Jokhang TempleToday's highlights:

Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Barkhor Street


Today, you will visit the highest palace in the world-Potala Palace which is the Dalai Lama's winter palace. It locates on the red hill, a good viewing point in Lhasa.

In the afternoon, we go to the renowned Jokhang Temple which will provide you one of your first sights of devout Tibetans. In the temple you will see the glistening Sakyamuni statue which is considered as Tibetan Buddhism's rarity.

After then, stroll around the bustling Barkhor Street.

Day 11 Lhasa-Yamdrok Yumtso-Lhasa

Famous Makyeame Bar at Barkhor StreetToday's highlights:

Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, Sera Monastery


About hundred kilometers, you will appreciate the holy Lake of Yamdrok Yumtso Lake.The sacred lake of Yamdrok Yutso is revered as a talisman, supporting the life-spirit of Tibet. It is said that should its waters dry, Tibet will no longer be habitable.

Back to Lhasa before 3:00 p.m to visit the Sera monastery where lively lama debating will be seen (except Sundays). This is very interesting. Many lamas sitting or standing in the yard debate a certain topic their teacher has given.

Day 12 Bid farewell to Lhasa

Today's highlights:

Airport/train station transfer


Transfer to Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Railway Station to take flight or train out of Lhasa.

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What Our Customers Say

"We found our guide just perfect. We feel enlightened by all the information provided by Dorjee who made sure everything went well, and that our trip was unforgettable. Both the drivers are very helpful, and always in a good mood."

Bill Mann

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