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21 Days Overland Tour from Tibet to Xinjiang

Trip Length
21 Days
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Namring - Saga - Paryang - Lake Manasarovar - Darchen (Kailash) - Drira Phuk monastery - Zutrul Phuk monastery - regain Darchen -Tsaparang - Gar - Domar - Hongliutan - Yecheng - Kashgar - Urumqi
Potala Palace and Jokhang Monastery; Shigatse and Tashilungpo Monastery; Mount Kailash; Lake Manasarovar and Rakshastal; GuGe Kingdom ruins
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Lhasa - Kashgar overland tour is one of the greatest Himalayas adventures. In nearly four weeks the group will have traveled almost the entire length of the Himalayas and Karakorum mountain ranges. On this route, there will be enough time for browsing in the bazaar of Kashgar, visiting some of the oldest monasteries in Tibet, and enjoying the magnificent view of West Tibet by crossing from the elevated desserts of the Changtang to the fearful Taklamakan (the Death Sea) with its charming oasis and friendly peoples.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Arrive at Lhasa for acclimatization

Today's Highlights:

Airport Pickup


Take the flight into Tibet. Local guide will meet you and transfer you to Lhasa. On the way, you can enjoy the heart-beating highland view along the Yarlong Tsangpo river (the longest river in Tibet).

Day 2 Sightseeing in Lhasa

NorbulinkaToday's Highlights:

Potala Palace; Jokhang Temple; Barchor 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 3 Sightseeing in Lhasa

Today'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. Rest time would be spent in Norbulinka, which is Dalai Lama's summer palace.

Day 4 Lhasa-Yamdrok-Gyantse

Today's Highlights:

Yamdroktso Lake; Gyantse


Today we will continue our journey to other places of Tibet. About hundred kilometers, you will appreciate the holy Lake of Yamdroktso Lake. Head to Gyantse, the historical city of Tibet.

Day 5 Gyantse-Shigatse

Tashilumpo MonasteryToday's Highlights:

Pelkhor Monastery; Tashilumpo Monastery; Local Market


We will visit the Pelkhor monastery for its famous Kumbum Stupa. Besides Pelkhor, we will also visit a Nunnery to watch the chanting.

Drive to Shigates to visit Pachen Lama's seat palce, the great Tashilhunpo monastery, a very big and complex monastery in Tibet, also the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking Lama in the Gelupa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and the best monastey in Sutras learning. Have a look at the Local Market.

Shigatse is the 2nd largest city in Tibet Autonomous Region, located at the convergence of two rivers: Yarlung Tsangpo, also known as Brahmaputra River and Nyang River.

Day 6 Shigates-Shegar

Sakya MonasteryToday's Highlights:

Sakya Monastery


Drive to Shegar, the new Tingring. En route to Sakya Township to visit Sakya Monastery. Walls in Sakya Monastery are thick, strong and painted in a special color created by mixing red, white and dark blue, each color having a religious significance. One wall is dedicated specifically to scripture, at 10 meters high, and 80 meters wide, it is made up of more than 40 thousand sutra books.

Day 7 Shegar-Everest Base Camp-Lhatse

Mt. EverestToday's Highlights:

Rongbuk Monastery; Mt Everest Base Camp


Drive to the highest monastery of the world, the Rongbuk monastery. Take carriage or hike to Mt. Everest Base Camp. You can appreciate the spectacular Himalayan and the highest mountain in the world-Mt. Everest. Head to Lhatse

Day 8 Lhatse-Saga

Today's Highlights:

Pelgutso Lake; Drive to Saga


Drive 10hrs around to Saga.The road follows south of the Pelgu-Tso, continues across the plain with stunning Himalayan views. The route then follows a narrow gorge before climbing to a pass and dropping steeply down to a ferry crossing over the Yarlung Tsangpo.

Day 9 Saga-Paryang-Zhongba-Lake Manasarovar

Lake ManasorovarToday's Highlights:

Lake Manasarovar


From Saga it is 145 km to Zhongba. The road is good and the trip can be completed in 4-5 hrs. There is also a small monastery at the western end of town on a hill. From Zhongba onwards the southern road deteriorates. There is also danger of vehicles getting stuck. But this section of the road has panoramic views of mountains on either side of the road.

Reach Manasarovar lake from Zhongba after another 5hrs. The fresh water lake is 4,588 meters high above sea level and covers an area of 330 square kilometers. The depth of the lake is 81.8 meters. The lake is situated between two snow-covered mountain ranges is extremely beautiful. It is an important part for the Tibetan pilgrims to orbit and take a bath in the lake.

Day 10 Manasorovar-Darchen

Today's Highlights:

Arrive Darchen; Prepare for Kora


In the morning walking and visiting by the lake. The small monastery Chiu Gompa standing on rock, offers a splendid view over the lake. In the afternoon take the jeep to Darchen (4.800 m). In Darchen there are only a few stones houses. Here we prepare for the Kailash orbiting.

Day 11 KAILASH CIRCUIT TREK / DIRAPHUK : (6 hrs) (Trek begins)

Mt. KalaishToday's Highlights:

Trekking to Diraphuk


This Kailash circuit covers 53 kms and can be done in 3 days. We head west in clockwise direction and after a few kilometers the trail climbs up to a cairn at 4730 m from where the southern face of Mt. Kailash comes to view. En route visit Tarboche where annual flagpole raising ceremony takes place during Saga Dawa.


Kalaish KoraToday's Highlights:

Trekking to Zutrulphuk


Today we cross Drolma la pass (5630 M) and Gauri Kund Lake (5608 m) where Hindus worship and immerse themselves in the icy waters of the lake.

Day 13 Trek back to DARCHEN-TIRDAPURI (Trek ends)

Today's Highlights:

Back to Darchen; Tirdapuri Monastery


The final end of the parikrama is an easy 2-3 hrs walk down to where the river emerges on to the Barga plain. We complete the 3 day circuit trek of Mt. Kailash and drive to Tirdapuri where there is a hot spring. Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash is not complete without visiting Tirdapuri for the Tibetan Buddhists.

Day 14 Tirthapuri -Tsaparang

Today's Highlights:

Toling Monastery


Northwest from Trithapuri, in the middle of the canyon erosion landscape of the Sutlej River, lie the impressive ruins of Toling and Tsaparang - flourishing centers of the former Kingdom Guge. Tsaparang disappeared in the middle of 17. Century; the Toling monastery, our today's goal was until the 1960's religious center. Fortunately, some buildings and temple remained.

Day 15 Tsaparang

Guge KingdomToday's Highlights:

Guge Kingdom


Early in the morning we drive to Tsaparang (10 km, 3.800 m), the oldest center of Guge Kingdom. A group of four temples surround the lower part of the fortress walls, one fifth of which lie above the remains of the city, the former Summer Palace of the kings.

Day 16 Tsaparang (Guge kingdom) - Gar

Road Condition between Tibet and Xinjiang from Kashgar to LhasaToday's Highlights:



Experience various landscape on the way to Shiquanhe (280 km), the capital of Ngari Prefecture in West Tibet a city at the confluence of Indus and Gar. Shiquanhe River the main source of the Indus, originates from the Kailash.

Day 17 Gar - Domar

Today's Highlights:



Drive northwards to Dorma. On the way we visit the Pangong-tso, a long and narrow lake, situated on the border of Indian and China. Fresh air with fantastic view.

Day 18 Domar - Hongliutan

A Tibetan Antelope between the Border of Tibet and XinjiangToday's Highlights:



Start driving early in the morning because the road becomes more difficult from Dorma. Soon after drive along a river valley we again stand on the land 5,000 to 5.300 m high. Now and then we have to try hard to deal with the rugged road resulted from the heavy trucks. Get across the Tialongtan La (about 5.000 m) and keep on driving 203 km in 7-8 hours to Dahongliutan.

Day 19 Hongliutan - Yecheng

Friendly Uighur People in Yecheng KashgarToday's Highlights:

Mazar, Yecheng


We will drive 253 km to Mazar. We are now on the Lingzi Thang Plains; the Kunlun mountain ranges are on the right and the Karakorum mountain range left. The road is very straight, and the landscape fantastic: out of the window scenery appears in brown and red alternatively; emerald small lakes shine under the sunlight. Soon after pass by Mazar we begin to cross the Kunlun mountains. The Chiragsaldi (4.960 m) is the last pass we have to cross on the way. Afterwards we drive downward along the Yecheng ravine to Xinjiang. Situated at the edge of the Taklamakan desert, Yecheng is a city with a pretty Bazar inhabited by Uigur and Han Chinese.

Day 20 Yecheng - Kashgar

Great Id Kha Mosque in KashgarToday's Highlights:

Kashgar Old Town, Sunday Market


Early in the morning we drive about 250 km to Kashgar (1.300 m), the largest oasis of China. The tar road runs at the edge of the Taklamakan desert. On the way enjoy the landscape of the Kunlun. In the afternoon we visit the Sunday Bazaar of Kashgar, one of the largest weekly markets of Asia.

Day 21 Air from Kashgar to Urumqi

Today's Highlights:

Air Kashgar to Urumqi 


Today, we will transfer you to the airport for the capital city of Xinjiang-Urumqi.

Tips for Xinjiang-Tibet Highway Tour

1. The conditions of hotel/guesthouse are rather poor, having a good tent for camping;
2. Bring enough food for three days if you don't have cook;
3. Don't bring too much luggage, an easy walk is necessary;
4. Don't move too fast when ascending, especially on day 2;
5. Start early every day and have more rests;
6. Drink lots of water before departure;
7. No alcohol;
8. Avoid catching cold and bring some medicine;
9. Most important is taking it easy;
10. Cold in night, bring enough clothes to keep warm;
11. Heavy sunshine in daytime, bring sunglasses and sunblock. If necessary, bring a walking stick.

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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"Fiona is a very nice person providing many professional advices for our travel to Tibet. We love all the places we visited in Tibet, especially Mt. Everest Base Camp. The only bad thing was the poor conditions of the public toilets. Tibet was amazing, and we didn't want to return home. We will use your travel services again for our Sichuan Jiuzhaigou tour."

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