Overland Tour from Sichuan to Tibet on G318 Highway
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💎 Why we love it ?
On this 12 days trip, Experience the leisurely daily life of Chengdu, Visit Bifengxia Panda Base, Meet Khampa-Tibetan in Tagong and Litang, Various landscapes: mountains, glacier, lakes, rivers, gorges, forests, grasslands, monasteries, Road travel along the G318 Highway from Sichuan to Tibet, Driving tour on “the roof of the world” from Chengdu to Lhasa, Beautiful Southeast Tibet: 72-turn, Ranwu Lake, Midui Glacier, Parlung Tsangpo, Lulang Village, Mount Namjabarwa, Linzhi, Basum Tso Potala Palace, Jokhang Monastery, Norbulinka, debate in Sera Monastery, and enjoy Panoramic view over Potala Palace from Parla Lupu Cave Monastery.
🏁 Tour Itinerary: Overland Tour from Sichuan to Tibet on G318 Highway
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu
Enjoy Chengdu leisurely daily life, Kuanzhai Xiangzi, drink tea in People’s Park
Arrive in Chengdu, the capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Picked up by the local guide at the airport and transferred to enjoy the leisure time in Kuanzhai Xiangzi. It consists of 3 alleys: Kuan Alley, Zhai Alley, and Jing Alley. Experience the typical leisure lifestyle of Chengdu. After that, we will move to the People’s Park (Renmin Gongyuan). It hosts elegant mountains, a broad lake, colorful flowers, and flourishes woods. Have a seat in the teahouse, enjoy your covered-bowl tea in the center of the city, and have a chat with your friends.
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Day 2: Chengdu – Yaan – Kangding (B)
Bifengxia Panda Base, ancient tea-horse-road, Kangding – gateway to Tibetan area Kham
Leave in the morning for Kangding. Across the Tunnel of Erlang Mountain, the mountain was traditionally the natural borders of Han Chinese villages and the Tibetan communities. On the way visit the Bifengxia Panda Base, which was established at the end of 2003, and has become a paradise for giant pandas, a national treasure, with the function of raising, breeding, and rescuing giant pandas. It has over 20 giant pandas. At last arriving in Kangding, the capital of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the important juncture of Tibetan and Han People in history. Next, you’ll drive on the zigzag road up to the mountain chain of Hengduanshan, which extends from the north to the south.
4 hours 25 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Love Song Hotel (2560 m)
Day 3: Kangding – Tagong – Xinduqiao – Yajiang (B)
Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si), Gyergo Nunnery and the grand mani wall of Hepingfahui, Yala Mountain
Drive to Tagong to visit the Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si) of Sayka Sect, which is surrounded by three hills symbolizing three Bodhisattvas. 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. If the weather is good enough, you can see the mountain Zhara Lhatse (5.820 m, also call Jara or Yala). After that, cross over Zheduo Shan Pass (4298 m) to Xinduqiao, the “Paradise of Photographers”, a small town on the road juncture where the northern route of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu – Lhasa) and the southern route of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu – Lhasa) meet. When the weather is good, you can see the main peak of Gongga Mountain (7556 m, Minya Konka, “the King Peak of Sichuan”) from Xinduqiao. Keep driving southwards to Yajiang.
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at Yidu Hotel (2569 m)
Day 4: Yajiang – Litang – Batang (B)
Litang “world’s highland city”, Litang Monastery, the central area of Hengduanshan Mountain Range
In the morning cross over the Pass Jianziwan (4658 m) to Litang (4014 m), the “world’s highland city”, where is the hometown of the 7th Dalai Lama. Upon arrival, you visit Changqing Monastery (also admits as Litang Si Monastery) in the western suburb. The Litang Monastery, developed by the 3rd Dalai Lama in the year 1580, today, it becomes the largest monastery of the Gelugpa in south Kham. Then drive to the city Batang.
5 hours 31 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at Degalin Inn (2580 m)
Day 5: Batang – Markam – Zuogong (B)
Drive in the Three Parallel Rivers Regions, the central area of Hengduanshan Mountain Range. Leave Sichuan and enter Tibet
Drive from Batang via Golden Sand River (Jinsha Jiang, upper reaches of the Yangtze) Bridge to Markam, the first city of Tibet on this overland journey. Jinsha Jiang is the boundary between Sichuan and Tibet. 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).
5 hours 40 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at Ji’an Dongri Hotel (3000 m)
Day 6: Zuogong – Bangda – Baxoi – Ranwu (B)
Overcome 72-turn, stay be the beautiful Ranwu lake
Drive along with 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. Afterward 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 mountains and meadows, as well as the village by the lake.
5 hours 32 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at Ranwu International Self-Driving Camp (3200 m)
Day 7: Ranwu – Midui – Bome – Lulang (B)
Midui Glacier, Parlung Tsangpo, Lulang Town
Drive to Bomi along Ranwu valley. On the way, visit Midui Glacier which is consisted of a beautiful Tibetan village, farm fields, snow mountains, glaciers, forests, lakes, etc. Midui Glacier is upstream of Midui River and the 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.
5 hours 36 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at Lulang Zhujiang International Hotel (3700 m)
Day 8: Lulang – Linzhi – Basum Tso (B)
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 the Niyang River valley and the panorama of Lingzhi. Before arriving 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 to 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 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.
3 hours 29 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at Himalaya Basum Tso Resort (3500 m)
Day 9: Basum Tso – Gandan – Lhasa (B)
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 the magnificent scenery of the Lhasa River valley.
6 hours 30 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Snow Heaven International Grand Hotel (3650 m)
Day 10: Lhasa (B)
Potala Palace – a 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 Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of pilgrims come for worship every day. 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.
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Snow Heaven International Grand Hotel
Day 11: Lhasa (B)
Panoramic view over Potala, Norbulingka, Debate in Sera
In the morning visit Parla Lupu Cave Monastery, located on the slopes of Yaowang Mountain, which was built in the 7th century. It is 22m high and from here you can have a wonderful panoramic view over Potala palace. Afterward 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 roses 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.
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Snow Heaven International Grand Hotel
Day12: Leave Tibet (B)
Travel to next destination
Today transfer to the airport or railway station, leave Tibet.
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