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Home > Tibet Self Drive Tour with Own Vehicle
21 Days Private Tour (Nepal) – Kyirong - Paiku Tso / Xixiabangma – Shegar - Rongbuk / Everest - Shegar - Lhatse - Shigatse - Gyantse - Yamdrok - Lhasa – Nam Tso - Naqu - Tuotuohe – Golmud - Dunhuang – Hami – Turfan – Korla – Kucha – Khotan – Yecheng - Kashgar – Irkeshtam - (Kyrghyzstan)
Highlights
Self Drive Tour over Tibet and along the Silk Road through China to Kyrgyzstan
DAY
1

Kathmandu - Kyirong

Welcome to Tibet, China

Today drive from Nepal through customs Kyirong to Tibet, China with your own vehicle. After completing the formalities for entry, drive to the hotel.

Overnight in Kyirong
Kyirong
Kyirong
DAY
2

Kyirong - Paiku Tso / Xixiabangma - Shegar

Paiku Tso Lake, view Xixiabangma

Today, there is a long drive on the program. Drive via Peiku Tso Lake to Shegar (New Tingri). 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.

333km
5 hours 53 minutes
Overnight in Shegar
Mt. Xixiabangma
Mt. Xixiabangma
DAY
3

Shegar - Rongbuk / Everest - Shegar

Rongbuk Monastery, Admiring Everest, Sunrise over Qomolangma (Everest)

Today you will get up early to see the unforgettable sunrise over Qomolangma (Everest). Then drive 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 is 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). In the afternoon return to Shegar.

223 km
5 hours 19 minutes
Overnight in Shegar
Mt. Everest
Mt. Everest
DAY
4

Shegar - Shigatse

Tashilunpo Monastery

Drive to the second largest city in Tibet - Shigatse and visit the Tashilunpo Monastery, "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.

237 km
3 hours 57 minutes
Overnight in Shigatse
Tashilunpo Monastery
Tashilunpo Monastery
DAY
5

Shigatse

Formalities for self drive in China

In Shigatse, handle your temporary number plate and temporary driver's license. If there are enough time, have a travel in Shigatse city and the free market.

Overnight in Shigatse
Pilgrims in Tashilunpo Monastery
Pilgrims in Tashilunpo Monastery
DAY
6

Shigatse - Gyantse - Yamdrok - Lhasa

Pelkor Monastery, Kumbum Stupa, Yamdrok Lake

In the morning after the first 2 hours drive you will arrive in Gyantse and visit its Pelkor Chode Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both of them built in the 15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse. Afterwards leave Gyantse along the lake Yamdrok to Lhasa (3650m), the capital of Tibet. The holy lake of Yamdrok Yumtso (4441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. Enjoy amazing views at the Kamba La pass both to the lake Yamdrok and snowy Peaks Nojin Gangzang and Jangzang Lhomo.

356 km
6 hours 41 minutes
Overnight in Lhasa
Distant View of Palkhor Monastery
Distant View of Palkhor Monastery
DAY
7

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
8

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
9

Lhasa - Tsurpu - Nam Tso

Nam Tso, Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain

Today you will drive over Damxung and the Lhachen La Pass (5190 m) to Nam, 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). The nomads live on Nam Tso Lake in the vast Changthang Plain (Qiangtang). With 4718 meters above sea level, Nam Tso is the highest lake in the world. The Nam Tso is one of the three sacred lakes in Tibet and is an important sanctuary for the Tibetans. 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. If the weather is well, experience the unforgettable sunrise over the Nam Tso and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain.

250 km
5 hours 40 minutes
Overnight in Nam Tso Village
Tsurpu Monastery
Tsurpu Monastery
DAY
10

Nam Tso - Damxung - Naqu - Yanshiping (4700m)

Qinghai-Tibet Highway, wild landscapes

Drive on the Qinghai-Tibet Highway via Naqu to Yanshiping in Qinghai province, on the way mastering the Tanggula Pass with 5231 meters high.

419 km
7 hours 29 minutes
Overnight in Yanshiping
Nam Tso Lake
Nam Tso Lake
DAY
11

Yanshiping - Tuotuohe - Kunlun Pass (4767m) - Golmud (2808m)

Qinghai-Tibet Highway, wild landscapes

Driving on the Qinghai-Tibet Road to Golmud, an important station, 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 "white-lipped deer" 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 Golmud
Qinghai-Tibet Highway
Qinghai-Tibet Highway
DAY
12

Golmud - Dunhuang

Cha’erhan Salt Lake. Leaving the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Drive to Dunhuang and visit Cha’erhan Salt Lake on the way. And then, you will leave the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau along the old and modern Silk Road.

554 km
7 hours 7 minutes
Overnight in Dunhuang
Salt Lake
Salt Lake
DAY
13

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 is 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
14

Dunhuang - Liuyuan - Hami

Tomb of the Hami king

Drive to Hami and visit the tomb of the Hami king on the way.

492 km
5 hours 22 minutes
Overnight in Hami
Way to Hami
Way to Hami
DAY
15

Hami - Turfan

Thousand-Bouddha 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 Turpan 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 Turfan
Populus Euphratica
Populus Euphratica
DAY
16

Turfan - Korla

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

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. Then drive to Korla and you will visit the Boston Lake with sand dunes on the way.

369 km
5 hours 13 minutes
Overnight in Korla
Emin Minaret (Sugong Pagoda)
Emin Minaret (Sugong Pagoda)
DAY
17

Korla - Kucha

Subashi Old Town, Thousand-Bouddha Caves of Beziklik

Drive to the oasis city of Kucha and visit Thousand-Bouddha Caves of Kizil and Subashi Old Town

453 km
7 hours 21 minutes
Overnight in Kucha
Ruins of Subashi Old Town
Ruins of Subashi Old Town
DAY
18

Kucha - Alar - Khotan

Go through the Taklamakan Desert

Drive through the Taklamakan Desert to Khotan (Hetian) in South Xinjiang.

654 km
8 hours 27 minutes
Overnight in Khotan
South Xinjiang
South Xinjiang
DAY
19

Khotan - Yecheng - Kashgar

Departure along Silk Road

Drive along the southern silk road to Kashgar, the old oasis town.

503 km
6 hours 9 minutes
Overnight in Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar
DAY
20

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 Uyghurs 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 Kah Mosque
Id Kah Mosque
DAY
21

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
Tailor-make this tour

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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More Impressions
Barkhor Street | Photo by Liu Bin
Jokhang Temple | Photo by Liu Bin
Nam Tso | Photo by Liu Bin
Crescent Spring Pool | Photo by Liu Bin
Flaming Mountains | Photo by Liu Bin
At Beziklik | Photo by Liu Bin
Turfan Valley of Vineyards | Photo by Liu Bin
Tianshan Landscape | Photo by Liu Bin
Tianshan Landscape | Photo by Liu Bin
Shop in Kashgar | Photo by Liu Bin
Local Resturant in Kashgar | Photo by Liu Bin
Danxia Landscape between Kucha and Aksu | Photo by Liu Bin