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

Trip Length
13 Days
Dartsedo (Kangding)- the historic gateway to Kham and Tibet; Litang- birthplace of the 7th Dalai Lama; the complicated landforms of the three river confluence; Highland-lakes and grassland; Ranwa Lake; Basumtso Lake; 3 days sightseeing in holy city-Lhasa
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This epic journey through Sichuan, across the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa, has attracted explorers and adventurers, pilgrims, traders, and even missionaries for hundreds of years. We have considerable experience of this route and know exactly what is required in terms of transportation, accommodation, and red tape, not to mention the fascinating sights along the way.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Chengdu-Kangding (Dartse)

Erlang ShanToday's Highlights:

Pass Erlang Mountain; Arrive Kangding (Dartse)


Depart from Chengdu, we will drive 150km in express way then we will drive in the green valley along the Qingyijiang River. Of course, the best always the hardest, we have to get over the first natural barriers-Erlang mountain, for the high altitude and bad road conditions, this mountain was called the first barriers between Sichuan and Tibet in the past. But now, with the opening of Erlangshan tunnel the natural barriers become the smooth way. When we get through the Erlang Mountain and pass by Luding. In the afternoon we will arrive at the world wide famous ancient city-Kangding.

Day 2 Sightseeing in Kangding

KangdingToday's Highlights:

Kangding Sightseeing


As far as we know, Kangding city is a very famous city all over the world. It used to be the most important market of Tea-horse trade in the past .The nomadic Tibetan come here to exchanges their animals or animal products with Chinese Han people . And the Erdaoqiao hot spring will rush away all the dust of our travel.

Day 3 Kangding-Litang

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Litang


Today we will drive to Litang. Litang gained reputation of the highest city in all over the world for its sea level of 4200meter .

Day 4 Litang-Batang

LitangToday's Highlights:

Pass Haizi Mountain; Drive to Batang


Depart from Litang we will get into the Haizi Mountains. It was called as Haizi Mountain but the road condition from east to the west is good. And you will get up to the summit without conscious of. And then we will go down to the Batang which is located in the bank of Jinshajiang River. Here produce many good fruit and they enjoined very high honor in east Tibet. It was said that the apple had been planted by a foreign preacher firstly. And the Christian churches here are still well protected now.

Day 5 Batang-Markham

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Markham


When we get over the Jinshajiang River, we will be in Tibetan Autonomous Administration District, and the Markham County is the first county we meet since we enter in Tibet.

Day 6 Markham-Paksho

Today's Highlights:

Pass Dongda Mountains; Drive to Paksho


From Markham to Paksho, we have to get over the Lancangjiang River first. And then the Dongda Mountains (6000meters), via Zuogong to Bangda, we will pass the high land grassland which is located in more than 4000 meters above sea level. Farewell to the grassland, via the famous ninety-nine bending and down to the Nujiang River, this day's trip will be full of challenge. We have to be accustomed to the temperature up and down and the altitude changes at the same time.

Day 7 Paksho-Pome

Ranwu LakeToday's Highlights:

Ranwu Lake; Drive to Pome


We will pass Ranwugou ditch, which is an enormous ice glacier. The car have to get through from the glaciers very carefully, it will give us the most exciting impetus but without danger. The Ranwu Lake is the famous high land glacier lake; there is dense forest near the bank accompanied with the clean and clear water in the lake. The shadow of the forest in the lake, the birds play and fly freely near the water. What a fairy land displayed in front of us.

The Pome county which located in the dense forest, will take our great attention. The famous Himalaya Mountain is located near this county, so we can easily see the Snow Mountains around the county. The most famous two are Nanjiabawa summit and Jialabei summit.

Day 8 Pome-Bayi

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Bayi Town


We will drive in the dense forest, and then we will get over one mountains which clad with snow and ice, we arrive another destination. Here lives the primeval Menba and Luoba nationality. Their ways of living are much similar with the Tibetans, but they still keep their primitive way of life and the dwellings. Nyingchi is the most attractive place in Tibet.

Day 9 Bayi-Basomtso Lake

Basomtso LakeToday's Highlights:

Basomtso Lake


Today we will drive to visit Basomtso Lake, it is said to be the copy of Switzerland: stiff peaks, snow mountains, Crystal Lake, green vegetation, island in the small lake.

Day 10 Basomtso-Lhasa

Today's Highlights:

Drive to Lhasa


Depart from Basomtso Lake, via the Mila Mountains to valley of Lhasa, the grand Potala palace present in the front of you, and you understand that you have entry into the sacred place, Lhasa.

Day 11 Sightseeing in Lhasa

Jokhang TempleToday's Highlights:

Potala Palace; Jokhang Temple


Potala Palace, is 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. Potala Palace is a place where you can appreciate the Tibetan culture, religion and art of architecture as well.

Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple to pray for their now and future. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Around the temple is the Barkhor Street, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet. We can have a visit after the Jokhang visit. Out there, we can visit a handcraft product store.

Day 12 Sightseeing in Lhasa

Sera MonasteryToday's Highlights:

Drepung Monastery; Sera Monastery


Morning time will be spent visiting Drepung monastery which is on the hillside west of Lhasa. Drepung is a Gelugpa monastery. To reach it, you have to climb up a small hill which will be a kind of interesting. Later, we will go 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 13 Leave Lhasa

Today's Highlights:

Tour ends; Transfer to the airport


We will transfer you to the airport to catch the flight to your next destination. Hope you have had a wonderful time in Tibet.

Tips for This Tour

1. 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)
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. Avoiding 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;

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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What Our Customers Say

"Amazing to see the Everest Base Camp. Lhasa and Shigatse are worthwhile to visit. The side trip of family visit is interesting. We appreciate the speed limitation in villages. Do not use the horn that much. Very well organised. Excellent guide made the difference. We'll recommend you to our friends."

Eric Dietvorst

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