Home > Tibet Overland Tour
17 Days Private Tour Chengdu – Wolong – Siguniang Shan – Danba - Tagong - Xinduqiao – Yajiang - Litang – Daocheng – Shangri-La Town - Yading - Shangri-La Town – Qingde - Xiangcheng – Derong – Benzilan - Dechen - Feilai Si / Meili Xueshan and Mingyong Glacier - Markam – Zuogong – Baxoi – Ranwu – Bome – 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 take off and drive on “the roof of the world” from Chengdu, Sichuan to Lhasa, Tibet.

First, we visit the Panda Base in Wolong, about 100 pandas live here, it is the largest breeding center for giant pandas, integrating scientific research, feeding, breeding, reproduction, wildness training, etc. Then pass by the Siguniangshan (Four Sisters Mountain) - known as “the Oriental Alps” and “the Queen Peak in Sichuan”, and reach Danba, the most beautiful village of China.

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).

A highlight of this grand overland tour is 2 days walking and sightseeing in the beautiful Yading Nature Reserve, home of three sacred mountains - Chenresig (Xiannairi, Avalokitesvara, 6032m), Jambeyang (Yangmaiyong, Manjusri, 5958m), and Chanadorje (Xianuoduoji, Vajrapani, 5958m).

The next highlight is Meili Snow Mountain (6740 m, Kawakarpo), the highest peak in Yunnan Province.

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, Norbulinka 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.
Overland Tour from Sichuan via Yunnan to Tibet

Arrive in Chengdu

Home town of panda. Kuanzhai Xiangzi, drink tea in People’s Park

Arrive in Chengdu, capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Pick up and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon stroll in the beautiful old block of Chengdu - Wide Alley and Narrow Alley (Kuan Xiangzi and Zhai Xiangzi), they are the relics of the Manchurian garrison since 1718 and consist of 3 parallel lanes with the old classical houses, which are unique in southern China just like the northern Chinese architectural style presented by Hutong. After a careful renovation in June 2008, the pubs, teahouses, restaurants and guesthouses concentrate here, and in no time at all, it becomes the "lobby of leisure capital Chengdu". A walk here gives you a first impression of the "city of loafers". Then visit the People’s Park in the city center, have a seat in an old teahouse, enjoy your covered-bowl tea in a comfortable environment with bamboo chair and bamboo table, the tea culture of Chengdu is well known throughout China.

Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel

Chengdu - Dujiangyan - Wolong - Siguniang Shan Town

Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Panda in Wolong, Sunset of Mt. Siguniangshan

In the morning we drive to Dujiangyan to visit the Irrigation System, which was built around 250 BC by Li Bin, a governor of Shu Prefecture in Qin State. The great project still works well today after more than two thousand year’s function, which not only puts an end of the water disaster to the local people but also makes Chengdu Plain “the land of abundance”. While visiting the water conservation work, you may find that the methods of harnessing the river the ancient people used are so simple but useful. In 2000, Dujiangyan became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then drive to Wolong National Nature Reserve. 52 km long from east to west and 62 km wide from south to north, the whole area is 200,000 hm². It is one of the China earliest natural reverses, which is rated the preservation zones network of “mankind and living beings” by the Organization of Education, Science and Culture of United Nations (UNESCO). The virgin forest, second bush forest and bamboo groves are very green. There are over 4,000 kinds of high-level plants, 24 kinds of them are valuable plants, such as Gongtong (Chinese dove tree), red China fir, Lianxiang and so on. There are more than 450 kinds of vertebras, 45 kinds of them are rated national focal preserved animals, such as giant panda, golden monkeys, antelopes, white-mouth deer etc. The natural beautiful scene is quiet and secluded. Visit the Shenshuping Panda Base in Wolong, about 50 pandas live here, it is the largest breeding center for giant pandas, integrating scientific research, feeding, breeding, reproduction, wildness training, etc. Then drive through the Balang Shan tunnel. If the weather is good, we can enjoy the great panoramic view of Mt. Siguniang at Maobiliang at sunset.

200 km
4 hours
Overnight at Yunshang Hotel

Siguniang Shan Town – Danba

Sunrise of Mt. Siguniang, Shuangqiao Valley, Wori Tusi Manor, Tibetan village Jiaju

If the weather is good, you’ll get early to enjoy the great panoramic view of Mt. Siguniang (Four Sisters Mountain) at Maobiliang at sunrise. The Siguniang Shan Mountain (also Four Sisters Mountain, Four Girls Mountain, Four Maidens Mountain) has four over 5000 m peaks, legend has it that each peak represents a girl of the 4 sisters. The highest peak, Yaomei Feng, the youngest girl and at 6250 m, is also known as the “queen of Sichuan's peaks”. Soft hiking in the Shuangqiao Valley (Double-bridge Valley) of the Siguniang Shan Mountain, the scenery is concentrated and charming. Afterwards drive to visit Wori Tusi Manor, the former official residence of the local Tusi, a kind of imperial kingship leader. After that drive to visit Tibetan village Jiaju, the most beautiful village of China. In Danba, the local people are called Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetans. Walking and visit in the Jiaju village. There are more than one hundred buildings with the same architectural style, a complete and unique character of Jiarong Tibetan residences. Under the blue sky, the Tibetan residences decorated in red, white and black are strewed at random but also in school from the bottom to the middle slope of the valley.

110 km
2 hours 26 minutes
Overnight at Mantuoluo Hotel

Danba - Bamei - Tagong - Yajiang

Tagong Si, Gyergo Nunnery, Grand mani wall of Hepingfahui

In the morning drive to Yajiang via Bamei and Tagong, take the view of Huiyuan Monastery from the distance in Bamei, then go to visit 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. From the hillside next to the Muya Golden Pagoda, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Zhara Lhatse (5.820 m, also Jara or Yala), when the weather is good, the scenery at sunset is especially spectacular.

210 km
4 hours 36 minute
Overnight at Yidu Hotel

Yajiang - Litang - Daocheng – Shangri-La Town

Litang monastery

Today drive to Litang, visit Litang monastery lying in the western suburbs of the city. The monastery was originally under the control of the Bon religion but converted into a Gelug Sect monastery in 1580 in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) by the third Dalai Lama. Keep drive over Mt. Haizi and pass by Daocheng to Shangri-La Town, where the highlight of this journey is - Yading nature reserve, home of three sacred Tibetan mountains - Chenresig (Xiannairi, Avalokitesvara, 6032m), Jambeyang (Yangmaiyong, Manjusri, 5958m), and Chanadorje (Xianuoduoji, Vajrapani, 5958m). The scenery here easily rivals that of national parks of the west such as Yellowstone and Yosemite in terms of spectacular, pristine mountain scenery.

355 km
6 hours 12 minutes
Overnight at Holiday Inn Express Daocheng Yading

Shangri-La Town - Yading - Shangri-La Town

Walking to the three holy mountains in Yading Nature Reserve

Full day explore the natural beauty of Yading. Drive 30km to Longlongba – the entrance of Yading Nature Reserve. Start trekking tour to Chonggu Monastery and next proceed to Xiannairi Mountain with a mystery Dumu Lake at its mountain foot. Then trek to Luorong Cattle Farm, which is located among Yangmaiyong, Xianuoduoji and Xiannairi Mountains. Finally, back to Longlongba and drive back to hotel.

69 km
1 hour 45 minutes
Overnight at Holiday Inn Express Daocheng Yading

Shangri-La Town – Qingde - Xiangcheng - Derong

Traditional Tibetan white houses of Xiangcheng

Drive via Qingde Town and Xiangcheng to Derong, enjoy the beautiful landscapes on the route and take photos of the traditional Tibetan white houses nearby Xiangcheng.

273 km
5 hours 25 minutes
Overnight at Dawang Hotel

Derong – Benzilan - Dechen – Feilai Si

Farewell to Sichuan and welcome in Yunnan. The first bend of Jinsha Jiang River, Benzilan Village, Dong Trubling Monastery.

Drive through the Hengduan Range along the Jinsha Jiang (upper reaches of Yangtze) into Yunnan Province. Have a break in the beautiful small town Benzilan, enjoy the panoramic view of the “first bend of Jinsha Jiang (Golden Sand River)”. Before reach Dechen visit the Dong Trubling Monastery. Finally, reach Feilaisi. If the weather is well, you can enjoy the panoramic view of sunset of Meili Snow Mountain.

186 km
3 hours 30 minutes
Overnight at Paradise View Hotel at Feilaisi (3400 m)

Feilai Si – Mingyong Glacier - Feilaisi

Meili Snow Mountain, hiking to Mingyong Glacier

The word "Meili" is transliteration of Dechen Tibetan “mainri”, meaning “herbal medicine mountain”, which is named for its rich variety of valuable medicinal materials. With an altitude of 6740 m, Kawakarpo is the main peak of Meili Snow Mountain, and the highest peak in Yunnan Province. “Kawakarpo” is in Tibetan “the white snow mountain”. The Lancang River and the Nujiang River flow from the foot of the mountain to the east and west sides. The warm and humid air on the river valley meets the cold air, which makes the climate unpredictable. Local Tibetans call it "the god of snow mountains". Today’s aim is the Meili Snow Mountain and its Mingyong Glacier. Get up early. If the weather is well, you can enjoy the glorious panoramic view of sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain. At this time, Kawakarpo Peak looks like covered in gold when the sun rises in the east, just like James Hilton wrote in "Lost Horizon". Then drive to Mingyong Glacier. First, hike about 8 Kilometers from the scenic area gate (2230 m) at the mountain foot through forests to Prince Temple (Taizi Miao, 2720 m). The Kawakarpo Peak and the magnificent Mingyong Glacier that is winding down the mountain are standing in behind of the Prince Temple and are occurring to your eyes. Continue walking up about 2.5 kilometers, you will reach Lotus Temple (Lianhua Si, 3100 m) and glacier observation platform (3000 m) where you have a wonderful and close view of Kawakarpo Peak and glacier landscape. Finally drive back to Feilai Si.

Overnight at Paradise View Hotel at Feilaisi (3400 m)

Dechen – Markam – Zuogong

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

Drive to Markam, the first city of Tibet on this overland journey, where the Sichuan-Tibet Highway and Yunnan-Tibet Highway meet. 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).

378 km
8 hours
Overnight at Ji’an Dongri Hotel (3000 m)

Zuogong – Bangda - Baxoi – Ranwu

Overcome 72-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 Ranwu International Self-Driving Camp (3200 m)

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)

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)

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.

363 km
6 hours 30 minutes
Overnight at 4*Snow Heaven International Grand Hotel (3650 m)


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


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

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Today transfer to airport or railway station, leave Tibet.
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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.

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 hotels/guesthouses. Long journeys 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
Panda in Wolong | Photo by Liu Bin
Siguniang Shan | Photo by Liu Bin
Jiaju Village in Danba | Photo by Liu Bin
Jiaju Village in Danba | Photo by Liu Bin
Gyergo Nunnery Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Gyergo Nunnery Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Yala Mountain from Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Xianairi Tara Lake Yading | Photo by Liu Bin
Yangmaiyong Yading | Photo by Liu Bin
Yangmaiyong Yading | Photo by Liu Bin
Luorong Pasture Xialuodaoji | Photo by Liu Bin
Milk Lake Yading | Photo by Liu Bin
Landscape of Baxoi | Photo by Liu Bin
Ranwu Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Lulang Village | Photo by Liu Bin
Potala Palace | Photo by Liu Bin
Jokhang Temple | Photo by Liu Bin
Barkhor Street | Photo by Liu Bin
Village in Xiangcheng
Sunrise of Meili Xueshan