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13 Days Private Tour Chengdu – Yaan – Kangding – Tagong - Xinduqiao – Yajiang - Litang – Batang - Markam – Zuogong – Ranwu – Lulang - Linzhi – Basum Tso – Gandan - Lhasa
The first station is Chengdu, the capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Here we'll visit the Kuanzhai Xiangzi and drink tea in a typical old teahouse in the people's park, which is a direct way to experience the leisurely daily life of Chengdu.

Then we drive rental car along G318 Highway and the ancient tea-horse-road on “the roof of the world” from Chengdu, Sichuan to Lhasa, Tibet. Near Yaan visit the Bifengxia Panda Base, a paradise for giant pandas, with function of raising, breeding and rescuing giant pandas. Then we reach Kangding, the gateway to Tibetan area Kham.

In Tagong - at the Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si) and the nunnery Gyergo of Hepingfahui, and in Litang, we can feel strong impression of Khampa-Tibetan.

We drive through the Hengduanshan Mountain Range, overcome several high mountain passes and the famous 72-turn of Yela Shan, cross the Three Parallel Rivers Regions, which is consisted of Jinsha Jiang River, Nu Jiang River and Lancang Jiang River (Mekong).

In Linzhi (Nyingchi) Prefecture, “the Little Switzerland of Tibet”, amazing various sceneries accompany our driving: Ranwu Lake, Midui Glacier, Parlung Tsangpo, Lulang Village, Mount Namjabarwa, Niyang River, Basum Tso…

In Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, we have two days for the attractions: Potala, Jokhang, Norblinka and Sera. And from Parla Lupu Monastery we'll enjoy the magnificent view of Potala Palace. We could circle around the Tibetan holiest Monastery Jokhang with pilgrims, who come from all over Tibet and the Tibetan cultural areas of Kham-Amdo of the provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan. Many pious Tibetans measure the way on the Barkhor market with their body length.
Highlights
Rental Car Tour from Sichuan to Tibet on G318 Highway
DAY
1

Arrive in Chengdu

Enjoy Chengdu leisurely daily life, Kuanzhai Xiangzi, drink tea in People’s Park

Arrive in Chengdu, the capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Picked up by the local guide at airport and transferred to enjoy the leisure time in Kuanzhai Xiangzi. It consists 3 alleys: Kuan Alley, Zhai Alley, and Jing Alley. Experience the typically leisure lifestyle of Chengdu. After that, we will move to the People’s Park (Renmin Gongyuan). It hosts elegant mountains, broad lake, colorful flowers and flourish woods. Have a seat in the teahouse, enjoy your covered-bowl tea in the center of the city, and have a chat with your friends.

Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Kuanzhai Xiangzi
Kuanzhai Xiangzi
DAY
2

Chengdu

Completion of the administrative formalities for self drive with rental car

In the morning transfer to the hospital for a short physical examination, and get your temporary Chinese driving license.

Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Breakfast
Jinli
Jinli
DAY
3

Self drive Chengdu – Yaan – Kangding

Bifengxia Panda Base, ancient tea-horse-road, Kangding - gateway to Tibetan area Kham

In the morning pick up the car in the hotel and leave for Kangding. Across the Tunnel of Erlang Mountain, the mountain was traditionally the natural borders of Han Chinese villages and the Tibetan communities. On the way visit the Bifengxia Panda Base, it was established at the end of 2003, and has become a paradise for giant pandas, a national treasure, with the function of raising, breeding and rescuing giant pandas. It has over 20 giant pandas. At last arrive in Kangding, the capital of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the important juncture of Tibetan and Han People in history. Next you’ll drive on the zigzag road up to the mountain chain of Hengduanshan, which extends from the north to the south.

299 km
4 hours 25 minutes
Overnight at 4*Love Song Hotel (2560 m)
Breakfast
Pandas in Bifengxia
Pandas in Bifengxia
DAY
4

Self drive Kangding - Tagong - Xinduqiao – Yajiang

Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si), Gyergo Nunnery and the grand mani wall of Hepingfahui, Yala Mountain

Drive to Tagong to visit the Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si) of Sayka Sect, which is surrounded by three hills symbolizing three Budhisattvas. It is said that the blessing of a reserved Jowo Shakyamuni image left by Wencheng Princess in this monastery to the pilgrims resembles the Lhasa Jowo Shakyamuni image in Lhasa. Then visit the impressive Gyergo Nunnery and the grand mani wall of Hepingfahui. If the weather is good enough, you can see the mountain Zhara Lhatse (5.820 m, also call Jara or Yala). After that, cross over Zheduo Shan Pass (4298 m) to Xinduqiao, the “Paradise of Photographers”, a small town on the road juncture where the northern route of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu - Lhasa) and the southern route of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu - Lhasa) meet. When the weather is good, you can see the main peak of Gongga Mountain (7556 m, Minya Konka, “the King Peak of Sichuan”) from Xinduqiao. Keep driving southwards to Yajiang.

205 km
4 hours
Overnight at Yidu Hotel (2569 m)
Breakfast
Nunnery of Hepingfahui in Tagong
Nunnery of Hepingfahui in Tagong
DAY
5

Self drive Yajiang - Litang – Batang

Litang “world’s highland city

In the morning cross over the Pass Jianziwan (4658 m) to Litang (4014 m), the “world’s highland city", where is the hometown of 7th Dalai Lama. Upon arrival, you visit Changqing Monastery (also admits as Litang Si Monastery) in the western suburb. The Litang Monastery, developed by the 3.th Dalai Lama in the year 1580, today, it becomes the largest monastery of the Gelugpa in south Kham. Then drive to the city Batang.

300 km
5 hours 31 minutes
Overnight at Degalin Inn (2580 m)
Breakfast
Sisters Lake
Sisters Lake
DAY
6

Self drive Batang – Markam – Zuogong

Drive in the Three Parallel Rivers Regions, central area of Hengduanshan Mountain Range. Leave Sichuan and enter Tibet

Drive from Batang via Golden Sand River (Jinsha Jiang, upper reaches of the Yangtze) Bridge to Markam, the first city of Tibet on this overland journey. Jinsha Jiang is the boundary between Sichuan and Tibet. You drive now in the Three Parallel Rivers Regions, which is consisted of Jinsha Jiang River, Nu Jiang River and Lancang Jiang River (Mekong) originated from the Tanggula Mountain Range of Tibetan Plateau flow in parallel southward. On the way cross three mountain passes: Joba (3880 m), Lawu (4358 m) and Dongda (5080 m).

259 km
5 hours 40 minutes
Overnight at Ji’an Dongri Hotel (3000 m)
Breakfast
Jinsha River
Jinsha River
DAY
7

Self drive Zuogong – Bangda - Baxoi – Ranwu

Overcome 99-turn, stay be the beautiful Ranwu lake

Drive along upstream to Bangda, a town junction where Lhasa connects to the Chamdo-Kunming Highway. Keep drive across Yela Mountain (4,618 meters), then enter the famous 72-turn, it is the most tortuous road in Tibet. Afterwards drive to Ranwu Lake (Ngan Tso), a spectacularly crystal blue lake surrounded by snow peaks. As a part of Parlung Tsangpo River, Ranwu Lake is composed of Upper Ranwu Lake and Lower Ranwu Lake. And there is a large meadow between Upper Ranwu Lake and Lower Ranwu Lake. Parlung Tsangpo River originates from Laigu Glacier that is 40 km away from Ranwu Town. Walking along the Upper Ranwu Lake and Lower Ranwu Lake, you can enjoy the scenery of beautiful snow mountain and meadow, as well as village by the lake.

292 km
5 hours 32 minutes
Overnight at Ranwo International Self-Driving Camp (3200 m)
Breakfast
Winding Mountain Road
Winding Mountain Road
DAY
8

Self drive Ranwu – Midui – Bome - Lulang

Midui Glacier, Parlung Tsangpo, Lulang Town

Drive to Bomi along Ranwu valley. On the way, visit Midui Glacier which is consisted of beautiful Tibetan village, farm fields, snow mountains, glaciers, forests, lakes, etc. Midui Glacier is on the upstream of Midui River and melting glacier flows into Midui River and then into Parlung Tsangpo River. Midui Glacier is the most important marine glacier in Tibet and the lowest elevation glacier in China. The main peak of the glacier is 6800 meters above sea level and its snow line is only 4600 meters above sea level. From Ranwu to Bomi, about 100 km, is the most beautiful part of this overland tour. Driving along the Parlung Tsangpo River and enjoying the beautiful primitive landscape of snow mountains, forests and rivers. Drive down a few hundred meters then reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tongmai. Pass by Guxianghu Lake (2600 m) and Tongmai Bridge, through the Tongmai No. 1 Tunnel, finally reach Lulang Town. Leisurely walking in the natural oxygen bar - Lulang.

305 km
5 hours 36 minutes
Overnight at Lulang Zhujiang International Hotel (3700 m)
Breakfast
Palong Tsangpo
Palong Tsangpo
DAY
9

Self drive Lulang - Linzhi - Basum Tso

Overlook Gyala Pelri and Namjabarwa, Buchu monastery, Lamaling temple, Ancient Giant Cypress Forest, Niyang River, Basum Tso Lake

After breakfast, drive through picturesque Lulang Forest. When crossing Serkhyem La Pass (Seji La, 4,515 m) you will have spectacular views of Mount Gyala Pelri (7,150 m) and Mount Namchak Barwa (Namjabarwa, 7,782 m), when the weather is so fine. During downhill, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Niyang River valley and the panorama of Lingzhi. Before arrive in Linzhi (Nyingtri, 2900 m) visit the two neighboring monasteries: From the golden roof of the Buchu monastery to view the unique scenery of the Lamaling temple. After the visit of Ancient Giant Cypress Forest, drive along the Niyang River to the Basum Tso Lake, a holy lake of Nyingma school. More than 6000 m high snow-covered mountains’ reflection images make the lake very cinematic. It is no doubt that the main actor is Tsodzong Monastery on the Tashi Island. Hike on the island to visit Tsodzong Monastery. If you are interested, you can continue to walk by Basum Tso, enjoy the snow mountain and thick forest, and enter the Jieba Village that maintains pure Gongbo style. Basum Tso is located in Gongbo’gyamda County. The Tibetans who live in Gongbo’gyamda County are called “Gongbo people” by other Tibetan people. They have their own costume, special buildings, different festivals, and even different dialect. Visiting a family at Jieba Village, you will be treated warmly by them.

222 km
3 hours 29 minutes
Overnight at Himalaya Basum Tso Resort (3500 m)
Breakfast
Lulang Forest
Lulang Forest
DAY
10

Self drive Basum Tso – Gandan – Lhasa

Mi La Mountain Pass. Gandan Monastery. Welcome in Lhasa!

Drive over the impressive Mi La Mountain Pass (4865 m) to Lhasa (3650 m), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. On the way visit Gandan Monastery. It was built in 1409 by Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelugpa of Tibetan Buddhism. Gandan, Drepung and Sera are the three largest monasteries in Lhasa. And Gandan is the place where Tsongkapa passed away. Therefore, it has the highest reputation of all the monasteries of the Gelugpa. If you are interested, you can walk along the pilgrimage way to the left and right hillsides of Gandan Monastery to visit Tsongkhapa’s meditation cave and enjoy the panorama of Gandan Monastery and magnificent scenery of Lhasa River valley. In the evening return the rental car at the hotel.

363 km
6 hours 30 minutes
Overnight at 4*Snow Heaven International Grand Hotel (3650 m)
Breakfast
Gandan Monastery
Gandan Monastery
DAY
11

Lhasa

Potala Palace – landmark of Lhasa, Jokhang and Barkhor Street

In the morning visit Potala, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures altogether create a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon visit Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties.

Overnight at 4*Snow Heaven International Grand Hotel
Breakfast
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
DAY
12

Lhasa

Panoramic view over Potala, Norbulingka, Debate in Sera

In the morning visit Parla Lupu Cave Monastery, located on the slopes of Yaowang Mountain, was built in the 7th century. It is 22m high and from here you can have a wonderful panoramic view over Potala palace. Afterwards visit Norbulinka, the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. In the afternoon visit Sera Monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. It is also one of the six master monasteries of the Gelugpa. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. You have the opportunity to experience the famous monks' "Buddhism scriptures debates". Public religious debates are part of the education of monks.

Overnight at 4*Snow Heaven International Grand Hotel
Breakfast
Debate in Sera Monastery
Debate in Sera Monastery
DAY
13

Leave Tibet

Travel to next destination

Today transfer to airport or railway station, leave Tibet.
Breakfast
Barkhor Street
Barkhor Street
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This trip can also be tailor-made, please let us know your travel idea: travel date, duration, number of travelers, child (2 - 12 years old), baby (0 - 2 years old), other travel destinations, meals, accommodation category, boutique hotel, special interest ...

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With individual China Tibet travel, you can decide when, where and how you go on tour by yourself. What's more, you can choose the length of travel and whom you go with.

Information
Hotel, program and itinerary are subjected to change with prior notice.
We must point out that you counter a basic tourism infrastructure in this region. You stay overnight mostly at simple hotel/guesthouse. Long driving on bad roads and on high altitude and delays require good physical fitness, resilience and flexibility of the participants. Program and route changes due to unforeseen events are expressly reserved. If you desire the unknown and have an understanding of contingency, this is the right trip for you.
More Impressions
Gyergo Nunnery in Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Grand Mani Wall in Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Grand Mani Wall in Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Muya Golden Pagopda of Yala Mountain | Photo by Liu Bin
Prayer Wheels of Tagong Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Tagong Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Tagong Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Tagong Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Gyergo Nunnery in Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Sunset of Yala Mountain | Photo by Liu Bin
Litang Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Litang Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Nujiang River | Photo by Liu Bin
Markam | Photo by Liu Bin
Yela Pass | Photo by Liu Bin
Guxiang Lake in Bome | Photo by Liu Bin
Armour Mountain in Bome | Photo by Liu Bin
Armour Mountain in Bome | Photo by Liu Bin
Landscape of Bome | Photo by Liu Bin
Landscape of Bome | Photo by Liu Bin
Village in Baxoi | Photo by Liu Bin
Midui Glacier | Photo by Liu Bin
Ranwu Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Tongmai Village | Photo by Liu Bin
Lulang Village | Photo by Liu Bin
Lulang Village | Photo by Liu Bin
Linzhi | Photo by Liu Bin
Jokhang Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Potala Palace | Photo by Liu Bin
Norbulinka | Photo by Liu Bin