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Home > Tibet Self Drive Tour with Own Vehicle
27 Days Private Tour (Kirgistan) – Irkeshtam – Kashgar – Khotan – Turfan – Dunhuang – Golmud - Naqu – Nam Tso – Lhasa – Yamdrok – Gyantse – Shigatse – Rongbuk / Everest – Paiku Tso / Xixiabangma – Saga – Manasarovar – Kailash – Tsada – Shiquanhe – Domar – Hongliutan – Mazar – Kashgar – Irkeshtam – (Kyrghyzstan)
Highlights
Self Drive Tour - Great Panorama of Silk Road and Tibet
DAY
1

Irkeshtam - Kashgar

Welcome to China

Today, after going through customs Irkeshtam in Kyrgyzstan,you will reach China with driving your own vehicle. Complete the relevant formalities for entry. Further drive to Kashgar.

234 km
3 hours 33 minutes
Overnight in Kashgar
Way to Kashgar
Way to Kashgar
DAY
2

Kashgar

Handle relevant formalities for self drive in China

Complete relevant formalities for self-drive in China today.

Overnight in Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar
DAY
3

Kashgar

Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar, Id Gagh Mosque, the Akba Khojia Mausoleum

In the morning, stroll in Old Town and visit the Sunday-bazaar where many Uygurs do business. The Sunday bazaar of the Uyghurs living here, is one of the largest and most colorful in Central Asia, and is also one of the highlights of the trip. In the afternoon visit the Id Kah Mosque and the Tomb of Abakh Hoja where the "Nice smelling concubine", a Uygur national heroine, is buried.

Overnight in Kashgar
Id Gagh Mosque
Id Gagh Mosque
DAY
4

Kashgar - Yecheng - Khotan

Departure along silk road

Drive along the southern silk road to Khotan (Hetian) in southern Xinjiang.

503 km
6 hours 9 minutes
Overnight in Khotan
South Xinjiang
South Xinjiang
DAY
5

Khotan - Alar - Kucha

Go through the Taklamakan Desert

Drive through the Taklamakan Desert to the oasis city Kucha.

654 km
8 hours 27 minutes
Overnight in Kucha
Populus Euphratica
Populus Euphratica
DAY
6

Kucha - Korla

Thousand-Buddha Caves of Kizil, Subashi Old Town

Visit Thousand-Buddha Caves of Kizil and Subashi Old Town. Then drive to Korla.

453 km
7 hours 21 minutes
Overnight in Korla
Way to Korla
Way to Korla
DAY
7

Korla - Turpan

Boston Lake, Valley of Vineyards, Karze - underground irrigation system, Emin Minaret

Drive to Turpan, an oasis town. On the way you visit the Boston Lake with sand dunes. Turpan, the exotic “Land of fruits and melons”, is 154 meters below sea level and separates the northern and southern routes of the Silk Road. The graperies in Turpan have been benefited from the underground ditch-net. Then drive to Valley of Vineyards where you can enjoy the delicious seedless grapes and get to know the Karze channel system, the underground irrigation system. The Emin Minaret Tower (Sugong Pagoda) is one of the most beautiful buildings and is also a part of the program.

369 km
5 hours 13 minutes
Overnight in Turpan
Turfan
Turfan
DAY
8

Turpan - Hami

Thousand-Buddha Caves of Beziklik, Flaming Mountains, Ruins of Gaochang

In the morning visit the Thousand-Bouddha Caves of Beziklik that is located in the Blazing Mountain. Then go to Flaming Mountains that is the most famous attraction in Turpan. It is located in the northern margin of Turfpn Basin, the northern section of the ancient Silk Road, and it is mainly composed of the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary red sand, conglomerate and mudstone of the Mesozoic. The locals call it "Kyzyl Taga", which means "Red Mountain". Afterwards visit ruins of Gaochang, an ancient city of more than 2000 years old.

451 km
5 hours 43 minutes
Overnight in Hami
Ruins of Gaochang
Ruins of Gaochang
DAY
9

Hami - Liuyuan - Dunhuang

Tomb of the Hami King

Drive to Dunhuang and detour to the tomb of the Hami King on the way.

492 km
5 hours 22 minutes
Overnight in Dunhuang
Way to Dunhuang
Way to Dunhuang
DAY
10

Dunhuang

Mogao Grottos – the treasure of Buddhism and Grotto Art, Singing Sand Dunes, Crescent Spring Pool

In the morning visit Mogao Grottos, which is one of the greatest examples of Buddhist art, and symbol of East-West cultural exchange. The Mogao Caves, more than many other places, shows how important the Silk Road was for the spreading of Buddhism to the west. Throughout history, numerous monks on the pilgrimage digged hundreds of caves in the mountain to erect and worship Buddha statues. In the afternoon walk through the Singing Sand Dunes (Ming Sha Shan) to the beautiful Crescent Spring Pool (Yue Ya Quan). If there are enough time, you can climb a sand hill nearby with 200-meter-high.

Overnight in Dunhuang
Crescent Spring Pool (Yue Ya Quan)
Crescent Spring Pool (Yue Ya Quan)
DAY
11

Dunhuang - Golmud (2808 m)

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Cha’erhan Salt Lake

Drive onto the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and visit Cha’erhan Salt Lake on the way. Accommodate in Golmud, an important station on the Qinghai-Tibet Road and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

554 km
7 hours 7 minutes
Overnight in Golmud
Cha’erhan Salt Lake
Cha’erhan Salt Lake
DAY
12

Golmud - Kunlun Pass (4767 m) - Tuotuoheyan (4533m) - Yanshiping (4700m)

Qinghai-Tibet Highway, wild landscapes

Driving on the Qinghai-Tibet Road and you will look a grandiose and seemingly endless landscape gallery with snow-covered mountains, countless rivers and gorges, high mountain lakes and endless steppes. You will see herds of yaks, sheep, horses, wild animals and birds. If you are lucky, you will see the herds of Tibetan antelope that mostly live in the steppes of the Qinghai-Tibet Highlands with an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 meters.

507 km
9 hours
Overnight in Yanshiping
Yak on Qinghai-Tibet Highway
Yak on Qinghai-Tibet Highway
DAY
13

Yanshiping - Tanggula Pass (5231 m) - Naqu (4507 m) - Dangxiong - Nam Tso (4718 m)

Qinghai-Tibet Highway, wild landscapes

Drive on the Qinghai-Tibet Road. Drive from the Tanggula Pass with 5231 meters high, and gou over the Lhachen La Pass (5190 m) to Nam Tso. The nomads live in the vast Changtang (Qiangtang) Plain.

419 km
7 hours 29 minutes
Overnight in Nam Tso Village
Nam Tso Lake
Nam Tso Lake
DAY
14

Nam Tso - Dangxiong - Tsurpu - Lhasa (3650 m)

Sunrise from Nam Tso and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain in good weather. Tsurpu Monastery

Today you will get up early to experience the unforgettable sunrise over the Nam Tso and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain. Hike on the Tashi Peninsula and walk with a circle around the sacred mountain, the cliffs of which have been eroded in recent centuries. You have the opportunity to visit the people who live in the tent woven from yak hair. Drive via Lhachen La and Damxung to Lhasa and visit Tsurpu Monastery (4300 m) on the way. Located in the 60 km northwest of Lhasa on the upper reaches of the Tsurpu River, Tsurpu Monastery is the main monastery of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsurpu was established in 1189 by Duesum Khyenpa, a pupil of Gampopa and the first Karmapa. He introduced the principle of reincarnation to Tibet. Besides, he told his disciples that he would reincarnate and he pointed out the location of the second Karmapas reborn. In contrast to Yellow Caps (Gelug), the Karmapa Kagye are regarded as the Black Hat. If time is available, hike on the pilgrim's way around the monastery (about 1 hour).

250 km
5 hours 40 minutes
Overnight in Lhasa
Tsurpu Monastery
Tsurpu Monastery
DAY
15

Lhasa

Potala Palace – landmark of Lhasa, Jokhang and Barkhor Street

Visit Potala in the morning and visit Jokhang in the afternoon. Potala was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later was 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. Built in 647 and as the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet, Jokhang Monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers, attracts thousands of pilgrims coming for worship everyday. Have a walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties.

Overnight in Lhasa (3650 m)
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
DAY
16

Lhasa

Panoramic view over Potala, Norbulingka, Debate in Sera

In the morning, you will visit the Parla Lupu Grotto Monastery. Located on the slope of the Yaowang Mountain and built in the 7th century, it is 22 meters high and offers a wonderful view of Potala Palace. Then visit Norbulingka, a 40-hectare jewel park, was built in the mid-18th century and considered as the summer residence for the Dalai Lamas. In the afternoon, you drive to the Sera Monastery. Sera Monastery, a wild rose courtyard, is also one of the six master monasteries of the Gelug Sect. You have the opportunity to experience the lama debates. Public religious debates are part of the education for the monks.

Overnight in Lhasa (3650 m)
Debate in Sera Monastery
Debate in Sera Monastery
DAY
17

Lhasa - Yamdrok - Gyantse - Shigatse

Karo La Pass and Glacier, holy lake Yamdrok, Palkhor with Pagoda Kumbum

Look forward to a breathtaking mountain world! Today you drive over several passes to Gyantse (260 km). At the highest point of the journey (Karo La Pass at 5,010 m), the glacier of Noejin Kangsa (7,223 m) is within your grasp. On the way, take photos for Yamdrok, the third largest sacred lake in Tibet. When you arrive in Gyantse, you can visit the Palkhor Monastery with the impressive step pagoda of Kumbum. Then continue to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet.

356 km
6 hours 41 minutes
Overnight in Shigatse
Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake
DAY
18

Shigatse - Shegar - Rongbuk / Everest

Tashilunpo Monastery, Rongbuk Monastery, sunset on Qomolangma (Everest)

In the morning visit Tashilunpo, "Mountain of Happiness". Tashilunpo Monastery is also one of the six master monasteries of the Gelug Sect. Shigatse is the seat of the Pantschen Lama. The largest gilded statue of Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, can be found in the monastery in China. Then drive to Shegar. After going through the Yalung La (4,520 m) and Gyathso La (5,220 m) passes, continue to the Rongbuk Monastery (5,154 m). Here the Qomolangma’s steep of the north side makes a profound impression on you. On the way take photos at Pang La (5150 m) where the view is magnificent: from left to right are Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse and Cho Oyu. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, Rongbuk is the largest monastery in this region. If the weather is well, you can admire the magnificent sunset on Qomolangma (Everest).

334 km
6 hours 6 minutes
Overnight at Rongbuk Monastery
Tashilunpo Monastery
Tashilunpo Monastery
DAY
19

Rongbuk - Old Tingri - Paiku Tso - Saga

Sunrise over Qomolangma (Everest), Paiku Tso

Today you will get up early to see the unforgettable sunrise over Qomolangma (Everest). Then drive via Paiku Tso and Xixiabangma Mountain to Saga. With 300 square kilometers, Paiku-Tso is the largest lake in Shigatse Prefecture. Located between three mountains, it is rich in fish and various wild animals, such as wild horses, wild donkeys and yellow ducks etc.

473 km
11 hours
Overnight in Saga
Everest (Qomolangma), Himalaya
Everest (Qomolangma), Himalaya
DAY
20

Saga – Paryang – Manasarovar Lake

Kiangs (wild ass) and antelopes, Manasarovar lake

Continue along the south route and enjoy beautiful views while visibility is clear. During the south route the Himalayas rising gradually in the north, and the mountains stand side by side. Sometimes, especially on the last stretch of road, kiangs (wild ass) and antelopes can be seen. Drive to Manasarovar lake. Overnight near the Chiu Gompa on the north side of Manasarovar Lake (4588 m).

450 km
7 hours
Overnight by Manasarovar Lake
Manasarovar Lake
Manasarovar Lake
DAY
21

Manasarovar Lake – Darchen - Tsada

Manasarovar Lake, Tirthapuri Meditation Cave Padmasambhavas

Manasarovar Lake is 330 square kilometers, 81.8 meters deep. The lake is nestled between two snow-capped mountain ranges. The area is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Tibet. For Hindus, Manasarovar is a sacred lake. Therefore, walking around the lake and washing and purifying themselves with the lake became the most important goal of the pilgrims. Short hike and visit at Manasarovar lake. Enjoy the views of the eight monasteries on the shores of the northern Kailash and Manasarovar Lake. Then continue in about 1 hour to Darchen (4,800 m, starting point of the Kailash Circumnavigation). The village of Darchen only consists of a few stone houses, which are located about 6 km north of the main road. Easily hike at the foot of holy mountain Kailash. Continue to Tsada, on the way visit Tirthapuri. Tirthapuri is the most important place of pilgrimage in western Tibet, because here is the meditation cave of Padmasambhava and his companion Yeshe Tsogyel. The place is also known for its hot springs.

272 km
5 hours 22 minutes
Overnight in Tsada
Holy Mountain Kailash
Holy Mountain Kailash
DAY
22

Tsada – Shiquanhe

Tsaparang, the monastery Toling, earth forest in Tsada

In the morning drive about an hour to Tsaparang (about 10 km, 3,800 m), the oldest center of the kingdom of Guge. Four temples around the lower fortress walls, the fifth is located above the city, in the remains of the former summer palace of the kings. Various motifs adorn the coffered lattice ceilings and carved beams of the temples. Partly well-preserved murals with numerous details decorate the walls. Lama Anagarika Govinda calls these works of art "prayers and meditations in color and form, Every stroke is carefully completed". Then visit the Toling Monastery. Drive to Shiquanhe (4300 m), capital of the Ngari district with 20 years of history. The area Ngari is called as "roof on the roof of the world". On the way Admiring Tsada Earth Forest. Walking in the quiet valley of the Tsada forest, you feel like you are in the ruins of a huge old city, and can see a wild and imposing picture.

192 km
3 hours 42 minutes
Overnight in Shiquanhe
Ruins of Guge Kingdom
Ruins of Guge Kingdom
DAY
23

Shiquanhe – Pangong Tso – Dorma

Bangong Tso Lake

Drive to Domar, the Ngari district of Tibet. On such a high altitude you could suffer from serious illness. On the way walk by Bangong Tso Lake. In the middle of the lake there is a bird island, in summer days many gulls from the Mediterranean come here. The Fantastic thing is, in the same Bangong Tso, fresh water is in the Tibetan part, but salt water is in the part of Kashmir.

228 km
3 hours 43 minutes
Overnight in Dorma
West Tibet
West Tibet
DAY
24

Dorma – Dahongliuta

Crossing from the 5406 m Jieshan Pass

Cross the 5406 m Jieshan Pass to Dahongliutan.

342Km
5 hours 43 minutes
Overnight in Dahongliuta
Karakoram Highway
Karakoram Highway
DAY
25

Dahongliutan – Mazar

Heika pass, city of Mazar, view from Qogir mountain

Via the Heika Pass you will arrive in Mazar, in the Karakorum area. While on the Heika Pass you can admire the magnificent view from the Qogir mountain.

245 km
4 hours 42 minutes
Overnight in Mazar
Heika Daban (Heika Pass)
Heika Daban (Heika Pass)
DAY
26

Mazar - Yecheng - Kashgar

The Mazar and Kudi passes, knife city Yecheng

Crossing the two passes Mazar and Kudi, you will reach the city of Yecheng. On the Mazar Pass, you have a beautiful view of the Qogir mountain. The route over the Kudi Pass is the most difficult on all journeys, and you will drive on mountain road in the form of "S". Yecheng is an important station for climbing the 8611 m Qogir Mountain. From Yecheng you walk 6 days to the 3924 m base camp. Continuation through Gobi to Kashgar.

513 km
10 hours 53 minutes
Overnight in Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar
DAY
27

Kashgar - Irkeshtam – Kyrgyzstan

Farewell to China

Drive to the customs at Irkeshtam, assistance for the exit formalities.

234 km
3 hours 33 minutes
Way to Irkeshtam
Way to Irkeshtam
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