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Home > Tibet Self Drive Tour with Own Vehicle
23 Days Private Tour (Mongolia) - Erlianhaote – Ulangab – Great Wall at Badaling – Beijing - Datong – Taiyuan – Pingyao – Hancheng - Xian – Tianshui – Linxia – Xiahe – Tongren - Xining – Koko Kor – Chaka - Golmud – Tuotuohe – Yanshiping - Naqu – Nam Tso – Lhasa - Yamdrok – Gyantse - Shigatse – Shegar – Rongbuk / Everest – Paiku Tso / Xixiabangma – Kyirong – (Nepal)
Highlights
Self Drive Tour from Inner Mongolia to Tibet
DAY
1

Entry at Erlianhaote

Welcome to China

Today drive from Mongolia with your own vehicle and drive through customs Erlianhaote (also Ehrenhot) to Inner Mongolia, China. After completing the formalities for entry, drive to the hotel.

Overnight in Erlianhaote
Erenhot (Erlianhaote)
Erenhot (Erlianhaote)
DAY
2

Erlianhaote - Ulangab

Formalities for self-drive in China

Further complete relevant formalities for self-driving in China. Then drive to Ulangab.

341 km
3 hours 40 minutes
Overnight in Ulangab
Self Driving Tour Team
Self Driving Tour Team
DAY
3

Ulangab - Badaling - Beijing

Hike on the Great Wall at Badaling

Drive to Beijing, and 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 Beijing
Great Wall
Great Wall
DAY
4

Beijing

Forbidden City (Gugong), Tiananmen Square, from Jingshan Park great view of the Forbidden City

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 at present covering an area of 273 hectares, 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
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
DAY
5

Beijing - Datong

Yungang Grottoes, Nine Dragon Wall

Drive to Datong in Shanxi Province and visit the 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. At the end visit the Nine Dragon Wall.

347 km
5 hours 16 minutes
Overnight in Datong
Yungang Grottoes
Yungang Grottoes
DAY
6

Datong - Taiyuan - Pingyao

Xuankong Temple in Hunyuan

Drive via Taiyuan - the capital of Shanxi Province to Pingyao. 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. Located at the northern catchment area of the middle reaches of the Yellow River and the eastern edge of the Loess Plateau, the old town of Pingyao lies in Shanxi Province in the northern China and is 1,349 meters above sea level. With just around 30,000 people and an area of 2.25 square kilometers, it is a small town according to Chinese standards. But this small town has a long history of over 2700 years.

479 km
6 hours 51 minutes
Overnight in Pingyao
Xuankong Si (Hanging Temple)
Xuankong Si (Hanging Temple)
DAY
7

Pingyao - Hancheng

Visit Pingyao Acient Town

Pingyao was listed in World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1997. Today, Pingyao Acient 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. In the afternoon drive to Hancheng, an old town by the Yellow River (Huanghe) in Shaanxi Province.

295 km
4 hours 32 minutes
Overnight in Hancheng
Pingyao Acient Town
Pingyao Acient Town
DAY
8

Hancheng - Xian

Hancheng Ancient Town, old residences in Dangjia Village, Simaqian Ancestral Temple

Morning stroll in Hancheng Ancient Town, and visit the old residences in Dangjiacun village and the ancestral temple of Simaqian. In the afternoon drive to Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province.

220 km
3 hours 15 minutes
Overnight in Xian
Ancient City Wall of Xi'an
Ancient City Wall of Xi'an
DAY
9

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
10

Xian - Tianshui

Drive along the Silk Road

Drive along the Silk Road to Tianshui in Gansu Province.

340 km
5 hours 19 minutes
Overnight in Tianshui
DAY
11

Tianshui - Linxia

Maijishan Grottoes

In the morning you will visit the Maijishan Grotto, a pearl on the ancient Silk Road, one of the four known grottoes in China. Afternoon drive to Linxia.

342 km
4 hours 9 minutes
Overnight in Linxia
Maijishan Grottoes
Maijishan Grottoes
DAY
12

Linxia – Xiahe – Tongren

Labrang Monastery. Longwu Monastery, Wutun Monastery, Tibetan Rebgong-Art in Tongren

Drive onto the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Firstly you reach Xiahe, the capital of the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (2900 m). In Xiahe, you 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 Tongren and 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.

211 km
3 hours 44 minutes
Overnight in Tongren
Labrang Monastery
Labrang Monastery
DAY
13

Tongren – Xining (2295 m) - Koko Nor (3196 m) - Chaka (3059 m)

Grand Dongguan Mosque, Kumbum Monastery, Sun-and-Moon Mountain, Koko Nor Lake

In the morning drive to Xining, the capital of province Qinghai. Then you will visit their Grand Dongguan Mosque, located directly on Dongguan Street in the old district of Xining. Originally built in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty, it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history, most recently in the 1910s. The architecture reflects the multicultural character of the city: a temple built in the Han-Chinese tradition combined with Islamic and Tibetan cultural features. The entire building covers a total area of 13,602 square meters. And the main building, the imposing prayer hall with around 1102 sqm offers seats for three thousand believers. Obviously, it cannot satisfy the numerous prayers - for the Friday prayer (Jum'a) almost ten thousand believers gather and transform the huge courtyard and the adjacent Dongguan Street to the prayer area, of course with the help of the local administration. In the Afternoon drive to Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er Si) of Gelukpa-sect, which was built in 1560 in Huangzhong county and also one of the six grand monasteries in Tibetan area. Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Lamaistic "yellow hat sect", was born here. As 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. Afterwards cross over Sun-and-Moon mountain (Ri Yue Shan) to Koko Nor Lake (Qinghai Hu). In 641 Wencheng princess of Tang Dynasty passed by this mountain where today a sun-pavilion and a moon-pavilion are built on the summit for people to have a break. The Sun-and-Moon mountain has always been an distinguish line between meadow and agriculture area. Walking by the Koko Nor Lake, the biggest salty lake in China. "Koko Nor" in Mongolian language means "blue sea” because of the lunar shape and the color of the lake. Then drive along the south bank of Koko Nor Lake to Chaka.

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

Chaka Salt Lake - Golmud (2808 m)

Visit Chaka Salt Lake

In the morning visit Chaka Salt Lake. Then drive to Golmud, an important station on the Qinghai-Tibet Road and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

478 km
4 hours 40 minutes
Overnight in Golmud
Chaka Salt Lake
Chaka Salt Lake
DAY
15

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
Qinghai-Tibet Highway
Qinghai-Tibet Highway
DAY
16

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
17

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
18

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
19

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
20

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
21

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
Everest (Qomolangma), Himalaya
Everest (Qomolangma), Himalaya
DAY
22

Rongbuk - Oldt Tingri - Paiku Tso - Kyirong

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 the Chinese border station Kyirong (Jilong). 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.

363 km
7 hours 1 minute
Overnight in Kyirong
Rongbuk Monastery
Rongbuk Monastery
DAY
23

Kyirong - Kathmandu

Farewell to China

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

187 km
4 hours 14 minutes
Kyirong
Kyirong
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