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13 Days Overland Tour from Sichuan to Tibet (North Route)

Trip Length
13 Days
Route
Chengdu-Wolong-Danba-Bamei-Garze-Dege-Chamdo-Riwoche-Dengchen-Sok Dzong-Naqu-Namtso Lake-Lhasa
Attractions
Visit Panda in Wolong; Highland-lakes and grassland; Folkway of Qiang-Minority, Khampa- and Gyarong-Tibetan; 1000 year old block houses and beautiful Tibetan village in Danba; Beautiful landscapes of Nam Tso Lake; Three days tour in the holy city-Lhasa.
Tour Map
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Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Chengdu - Wolong - Danba

Panda in WolongToday's Highlights:

Wolong Panda Base; Pass Siguniang Mountain; Arrive Danba

Details:

In the morning leave for Danba. We'll cross the Wolong Giant Panda Natural Reserve, where about 50 giant pandas are bred in a semi-natural environment. After lunch at Wolong, cross the foggy Balang Mountain (4,523 meters) and pass by the Siguniang Shan Mountain (four-girls mountain, highest peak 6250 m), late in the afternoon we reach Danba (1900 meters).

Day 2 Danba - Bamei

Bamei GrasslandToday's Highlights:

Suopo Block Tower; Drive to Bamei

Details:

The local people are called Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetans. Danba has long been acclaimed as the Kingdom of Thousands of Ancient Blockhouses. Visit the ancient block towers in Suopo.

In the afternoon drive to Bamei. Pass by Donggu Scenery Spot (the Natural Bonsai Valley), which is situated at the Donggu Village 21 kilometers to the southwest of Danba County. In the valley, the clear Yak River flows through and numerous varieties of plants are well preserved and the lush and damp forests make it hard to view the sky. Many lakes and hot-water pools at the bottom of the valley create a world of steam. Reach Bamei in the late afternoon.

Day 3 Bamei - Kasa Lake - Garze

Today's Highlights:

Kasa Lake; Garze Monastery

Details:

Drive to Garze, the real cultural and religious center for the Tibetans living in Sichuan. In Tibetan "Garze" means "white and beauty", named after the famous temple in the county. On the way have a rest by the Kasa Lake. Upon arrival, visit Garze monastery of yellow sect (Gelug).

Day 4 Garze - Yilhun Lhatso - Dege

Xinlu Hai LakeToday's Highlights:

Manigange; Xinlu Hai Lake; Dege Printing House

Details:

In the morning pass by Manigango to visit Xinlu Hai Lake (Yilhun Lhatso). Located at the foot of Chola Mountain in Dege County, Xinlu Hai Lake Scenic Spot is 98 kilometers from Garze County and 100 kilometers from Dege County.

In the afternoon we visit the Dege Printing House which has always been well reputed as the "Cultural Treasury at the Foot of the Snow Mountain." As the national leading protected entity of cultural relics, it is the biggest printing house in Tibetan area.

Day 5 Dege - Chamdo

Today's Highlights:

Pass Jinsha River Bridge; Cross Four Pass to arrive Chamdo

Details:

Drive across the Jinsha River (upper reaches of Yangtze) Bridge connecting Sichuan and Tibet heading for Chamdo. We will cross over no less than four passes: Khargang La (4,352 m), Lashi La (4,450 m), Jape La (4,680 m), and Tama La (4,511 m), with clutters of prayer flags waving in the wind on the peaks and friendly nomads waving at us from the grasslands.

Straddling the Mekong river, Chamdo (3200 m) was the former capital of Kham in East-Tibetan area and has a rich history as one of the earliest centers of the Tibetan plateau and home of Kalden Jampaling.

Day 6 Chamdo - Riwoche Jeep 105 km

Today's Highlights:

Jampaling Monastery; Drive to Riwoche

Details:

In the morning visit Galden Jampaling monastery. In the afternoon drive over the Zholpel La pass (4688 m) to Riwoche (3810 m).

Day 7 Riwoche - Dengchen Jeep 185 km

Tengchen MonasteryToday's Highlights:

Tengchen Monatery; Ritro Lhakhang

Details:

Drive on very bad road to Dengchen. Dengchen is the center of the Boen-Religion, which is a primitive religion based on ancient witchcraft and the worship to god and ghost, and was spread through the whole Tibet before the Buddhism was introduced into Tibetan area. Here visit two monasteries: Tengchen and Ritro Lhakhang.

Day 8 Dengchen - Bachen - Sok Dzong Jeep 255 km

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Sok Dzong

Details:

After master Tsuri La Pass (4200 m) and Shel La Pass (4750 m) we arrive at Bachen, the "big Yak hair tents". Continue to drive 30 km we reach Sok Dzong.

Day 9 Sok Dzong - Naqu Jeep 230 km

NaquToday's Highlights:

Sok Tsanden Gompa; Drive to Naqu

Details:

Drive to the Sok Tsanden Zhol village, and visit the monastery of Nyimpa sect - Sok Tsanden Gompa. After that cross over two passes and reach the city of Shakchuka. Still just 100 km and two other passes have to be mastered before arrive at the today's destination Naqu. The northern route of Sichuan - Tibet Highway (Chengdu - Lhasa) and the Qinghai-Tibet Highway (Golmud - Lhasa) meet in Naqu.

Day 10 Naqu - Nam Tso Lake - Lhasa Jeep 480 km

Namtso LakeToday's Highlights:

Namtso Lake; Nyenchentangla; Drive to Lhasa

Details:

Drive on the vast Qiangtang Grassland for Nam Tso. Cross the 5,150 m Lhachen La Pass and reach the Namtso or Tengri Nor along the newly paved way and set up camp at Tashi Dorie peninsula. It is said the holy lake and the holy mountain Nyenchentangla are a couple of lovers, who altogether guard the vast pasture and cattle. In the afternoon drive to Lhasa (3650 m), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region

Day 11 Lhasa Sightseeing

Barkhor StreetToday's Highlights:

Potala Palace; Jokhang Temple; Barkhor Street

Details:

We start from Lhasa's cardinal landmark- Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels

In the afternoon, we will drop a visit of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.

Day 12 Lhasa Sightseeing

Drepung MonasteryToday's Highlights:

Drepung Monastery; Sera Monastery

Details:

About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains.

Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.

Day 13 Leave Lhasa

Today's Highlights:

Tour ends; Transfer to your next destination

Details:

Today, we will transfer you to the airport or the train station, to your next destination. Hope you had a wonderful time in Tibet.

Tips for This Tour

Do not be afraid of the AMS. This route starts from Chengdu of Sichuan basin, then heading west to higher altitude. Although there are several passes beyond 4000m, there will be no problem due to the short passing time; (More about the AMS)

The restaurants along the way can provide simple Chinese and Tibetan food, but you'd better bring some solid food;

The best travel season for this route is May, June, September and October. Avoiding taking this route in July and August, landslide may occur during the rainy season;

The driving hour will be long for this tour, and most of visiting will be stay in the vehicle;

You'd better not go outside of the hotel in the night in the small towns or villages, for the sake of security.

Your Control on This Tour

Are you interested in this tour? Want to customize your unique trip? Send us an online enquiry and you will receive your personal travel advisor's reply within 12 hours.

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