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Home > Tibet Self Drive Tour with Own Vehicle
24 Days Private Tour (Nepal) – Kyirong - Paiku Tso / Xixiabangma – Shegar - Rongbuk / Everest - Shegar - Lhatse - Shigatse - Gyantse - Yamdrok - Lhasa – Nam Tso - Naqu - Tuotuohe - Golmud - Koko Nor - Xining – Tongren – Xiahe – Linxia - Tianshui - Xi’an – Hancheng - Pingyao - Taiyuan - Datong - Beijing – Great Wall at Badaling - Ulangab - Erlianhaote - (Mongolia)
Highlights
Self Drive Tour from Nepal through China to Mongolia
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 of 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
Rongbuk Monastery and Mt. Everest
Rongbuk Monastery and 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 is 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
Nam Tso Lake
Nam Tso Lake
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

Qinghai-Tibet Highway
Qinghai-Tibet Highway
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 - Dulan - Chaka Salt Lake (3059m)

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Chaka Salt Lake

Drive to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and visit Chaka Salt Lake on the way.

478 km
4 hours 40 minutes
Overnight in Chaka
Chaka Salt Lake
Chaka Salt Lake
DAY
13

Chaka - Daotanghe - Koko Nor (3196m) - Xining (2295m) - Tongren

Koko Nor Lake, Sun-and-Moon mountain, Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si)

In the morning drive to Xining along the south bank of Koko Nor Lake and visit Koko Nor Lake. Located in the north-east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and surrounded by mountains with 3600 meters to 5000 meters high, Koko Nor Lake is 3260 meters above sea level and boasts an area of 4456 square kilometers. It is both the largest inland lake and the largest salt water lake in China. "Koko Nor" in Mongolian language means "blue sea” because of the lunar shape and the color of the lake. The area around the "blue pearl on the highlands" is an enchanting landscape with snow-capped mountains, numerous rivers and seemingly endless steppes. The scenery at Koko Nor Lake is usually fascinating and strange at the same time. In July and August, colorful rapeseed plantations bloom on the shores of Qinghai Lake. Continue to go over the Sun-Moon Mountain to Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si). The Sun-Moon Mountain actually belongs to the Qilian Mountain range and stretches 90 kilometers. In Chinese history, it was considered an important transportation hub from western areas to southwest areas in China. Visit the famous Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si) in Huangzhong County, about 26 km in the southwest of Xining. Founded in 1560, the monastery is one of the six grand monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Lamaistic "yellow hat sect", was born here. Kumbum Monastery has always been playing an important role to connect the Mongolian with the Lamaism. Today many Mongolian come to this place for worship. Then drive via Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, to Tongren. As an important junction on a side route on the ancient Silk Road, Xining has been a gathering and a traveling place for pilgrims, traders and armed forces for thousands of years, peoples and. Today, there are more than 30 nationalities in Xining, including Han, Hui, Tu, Tibetans, Mongols and Salar. The Hui Nationality is one of the Chinese Muslims. Arrive in Tongren in the evening.

453 km
5 hours 42 minutes
Overnight in Tongren
Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si)
Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si)
DAY
14

Tongren - Xiahe - Linxia

Longwu Monastery, Wutun Monastery, Rebgong Art, Labrang Monastery

Visit the Longwu (Rongwo) monastery and the Wutun monastery with the Tibetan Rebgong art in Tongren. The Rebgong art is concentrated in the Wutun village of Tongren County and is mixed of religious art and folk art. The local Tibetans are proud of the Longwu Monastery because it is 200 years older than the Kumbum Monastery in Huangzhong. At the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), it was built as a monastery of the Sakya School. The dynasty change from Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to Qing dynasty (1644-1911), it has been under the Gelukpa school. The Wutun Monastery of the Gelukpa School has also become the monastery of the Sakya school. Then drive to Xiahe, the capital of Gannan (2900 m) in the Tibetan Autonomous District of Gansu Province. In Xiahe visit Labrang Monastery, the most important religious centre on the northeast border of the Tibetan region. Created in 1710 and as one of the six grand monasteries in Tibetan area, the monastery has served for centuries to connect the Tibetan and Mongolian Lamaism. Then drive to Linxia.

211 km
3 hours 44 minutes
Overnight in Linxia
Labrang Monastery
Labrang Monastery
DAY
15

Linxia - Tianshui

Maijishan grottoes

Drive to Tianshui and you will visit the Maijishan Grotto, a pearl on the ancient Silk Road, one of the four known grottoes in China.

342 km
4 hours 9 minutes
Overnight in Tianshui
Maijishan Grottoes
Maijishan Grottoes
DAY
16

Tianshui - Xian

Drive along the Silk Road

Drive along the Silk Road to Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province.

340 km
5 hours 19 minutes
Overnight in Xian
Ancient City Wall of Xi'an
Ancient City Wall of Xi'an
DAY
17

Xian

The Eighth Wonder-Terracotta Army, Grand Wild-Goose Pagoda, the best-preserved Chinese city wall

Xian's main attraction is the famous Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China Qin Shihuang (reigned 221 - 210 BC). He managed to unit China for the first time. The guardians of his grave offer you one of the greatest insights into the world of ancient China. In the morning visit the Museum of Terracotta Warriors. An inside museum has been built over these pits, covering a floor space of 20,000 square meters and displaying 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors, 100 or so chariots, and 30,000 weapons-an assemblage famed as the Eighth World Wonder and a world cultural heritage site. Besides, visit Da Yan Ta (Big-Wild-Goose Pagoda) which was built by Emperor Li Zhi in 650 AD. Biking on the old city wall should not be missed. Built between 1374 and 1378, the city wall has a total length of 13.6 km and is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defense system in China.

Overnight in Xian
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
DAY
18

Xian - Hancheng

Hancheng old town, old residences in Dangjiacun village, ancestral temple of Simaqian

In the morning drive to Hancheng, an old town by the Yellow River (Huanghe). In the afternoon, stroll in Hancheng Ancient Town, and visit the old residences in Dangjiacun village and the ancestral temple of Simaqian.

220 km
3 hours 15 minutes
Overnight in Hancheng
Hancheng Old Town
Hancheng Old Town
DAY
19

Hancheng - Pingyao

Visit the old town of Pingyao

In the morning drive to Pingyao in Shanxi Province. Located at the northern catchment area of the middle course of the Yellow River and the eastern edge of the Loess Plateau, the old town of Pingyao is 1,349 meters above sea level. Just with about 30,000 people and an area of 2.25 sq km, it is a small city according to Chinese standards. But this small town has a long history with more than 2700 years. Pingyao was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1997. Today, Pingyao Ancient Town is like an open-air museum for urban planning and society from the Ming and Qing dynasties: here, the traditional courtyard houses (Siheyuan) with the gray roofs and the Han Chinese buildings in northern China are lined up by the commercial buildings, Temples and the building of the former district administration on the 4 main streets, 8 small alleys and 72 other streets. The principles of Chinese mythology, aesthetics and the Confucian concept of social order have been architecturally reflected by its shapes, structures, arrangement and colors. Sometimes, the museum seems to be in the imperial era of ancient China. Visit Pingyao Ancient Town and have a walk on the wall of the town in the morning.

295 km
4 hours 32 minutes
Overnight in Pingyao
Old Town Pingyao
Old Town Pingyao
DAY
20

Pingyao - Taiyuan - Datong

Hanging temple in Hunyuan

Drive via Taiyuan - the capital of Shanxi province to Datong. On the way visit the Xuankong Si (Hanging Temple) in Hunyuan. The Xuankong Temple clings to the Cuiping Mountain and is higher than the Golden Dragon Gorge. The excellent example represents Chinese imagination: the rear rock walls of 10 small rooms have been hollowed out to make room for the 80 statues that are made of bronze, iron, stone and clay. The individual parts of the building are connected by stairs, bridges and ladders and long beams that are anchored in the rock support the system.

479 km
6 hours 51 minutes
Overnight in Datong
Xuankong Si (Hanging Temple)
Xuankong Si (Hanging Temple)
DAY
21

Datong - Xuanhua - Beijing

Yungang Grottoes, Nine Dragon Wall

Visit Yungang Grottoes. Many works of art that can be seen in the Yungang Grottoes date from the period from AD 398 - 495. Built in the west of the center of Datong, the Huayan Monastery is one of the well-preserved religious buildings. As a Buddhist school, it was destroyed in 1122, and soon rebuilt. In the 15th century, it was divided into the Lower Monastery and the Upper Monastery. The eastward part is unusual and is an architectural peculiarity of Liao Dynasty (907-1125). There are18,000 volumes are kept in the main hall of library. Then visit the Nine Dragon Wall. In the afternoon drive to Beijing.

347 km
5 hours 16 minutes
Overnight in Beijing
Yungang Grottoes
Yungang Grottoes
DAY
22

Beijing

Imperial Palace, Tian'anmen Square, view of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park, Temple of Heaven

Stroll in the Tiananmen Square, which is probably the biggest one of its kind in the world. Then go to visit the Forbidden City (Gugong) - the emperor's palace, which was built between 1406 and 1420 with 9000 halls and rooms, containing many precious relics. Facing south and rising from a terrace, the largest palace in the world represents the supreme power and authority emperors enjoyed during the feudalistic dynasties, and exemplifies the elements of palace architecture. Then climb to the "coal hill" (Meishan) of Jingshan Park lined with pines and cypress, a beautiful park just opposite the north gate of the Imperial Palace, for a great view of the Forbidden City - a rectangular basic building with golden roofs in the center of Beijing. In the afternoon visit Tiantan, an imperial temple. Built in 1420 of the Ming Dynasty and expanded in the Qing Dynasty and covering an area of 273 hectares now, the grand temple served as the sacrificial place for the emperors of the Ming and Qing to worship the heaven, presenting gratitude for the harvest of this year and praying for another good harvest next year. It is the largest and most important of all imperial temples in China.

Overnight in Beijing
Forbidden City (Gugong)
Forbidden City (Gugong)
DAY
23

Beijing - Badaling - Ulanqab

Hike on the Great Wall at Badaling

Today drive to Ulanqab in Inner Mongolia. On the way walk 2 to 3 hours on the Great Wall at Badaling. Built in 1368 and restored in 1983, the local section of the Great Wall is particularly attractive: with its numerous watchtowers, the Great Wall extends along a ridge in a green and gently undulating landscape. The Great Wall was built to against steppe intruders who are warlike and come from the north. the Great Wall was continuously expanded and strengthened over time, including barracks, watchtowers and storage rooms, which look like a fortress.

352 km
5 hours 50 minutes
Overnight in Ulanqab
Great Wall
Great Wall
DAY
24

Ulanqab - Erlianhaote - Mongolia

Farewell to China

Early in the morning departure to the customs at Erlianhaote (also Ehrenhot), assistance for the exit formalities.

341 km
3 hours 40 minutes
Erenhot (Erlianhaote)
Erenhot (Erlianhaote)
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