13 Days Sichuan-Tibet Overland Tour (South Route)

13 Days Sichuan-Tibet Overland Tour (South Route)
Apr - OctBest Time
MediumTour Pace
4700mMax Altitude
Physical Demands
Chengdu / Kangding / Litang / Markham / Nyingchi / Lhasa
The Sichuan-Tibet highway is the first road connecting Chengdu, Sichuan and Lhasa, Tibet. It's one of the most difficult projects in the history of Chinese road construction. For thousands of years, the economic and cultural communication hub of all ethnic groups in southwestern China was between the mountains of Hengduan Mountain and the Tibet plateau, the highest and most dangerous traffic post road in the world - The Ancient Tea Horse Road.
DAY BY DAY SUMMARY
D1: Arrive in Chengdu
D2-D4: Chengdu / Kangding
D5-D6: Kangding / Litang / Markham
D6-D8: Markham / Bome / Bayi
D8-D10: Bayi / Lhasa
D11-D12: Lhasa Sightseeing
D13: Tour Ends
Itinerary Details
Includes & Excludes
Tour FAQs
Itinerary Details

Day 1 Arrive in Chengdu

You’ll meet your guide at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and then check in hotel. Have a good rest today. If you have time for the city sightseeing, have a leisure visit to Broad and Narrow Alley and Jin Li Ancient Street, or enjoy a Sichuan Opera show would be a wise choice.

Day 2 Chengdu / Kangding [2560m], 320km, 5.5hrs drive

Kangding is 330km away from Chengdu in Ganzi, you can enjoy the fantastic scenery along the way. Usually it takes about 6-7 hours to arrive in Kangding. Because of the long drive and high altitude (up and down), some people might feel a bit dizzy or headache. We will pass Erlangshan Tunnel, the road condition is much better now comparing with before. The Erlang Mountain used to be the first natural barrier between Sichuan and Tibet.

Erlangshan Tunnel
Erlangshan Tunnel
Luding Bridge
Luding Bridge

Day 3 Sightseeing in Kangding

Kangding city was the most important market of Tea-horse trade and Tibetan & Han culture exchange center in the past. The famous Minya Konka is located in Kangding, the highest mountain in the Kham region at 7556 meters. In the scenic area, there are more than ten plateau lakes, including Mugecuo. And the Erdaoqiao hot spring will rush away all the exhaustion of our travel.

Minya Konka
Minya Konka
Mugecuo
Mugecuo

Day 4 Kangding / Litang [4000m], 270km, 6hrs drive

Today we will drive to Litang, 285km away from Kangding. The average altitude in Litang is 4133m. It is famous for its flat and vast grassland, that’s why the name of “Litang” in Tibetan language means the bronze mirror. Drive along the National highway G318, sheep and cows grazing on the fields makes the beautiful scenery vivid and ease.

View along the way
View along the way
View along the way
View along the way

Day 5 Litang / Markham [3950m], 275km, 6hrs drive

Today we will drive pass the Haizi Mountains. Haizi means lake in Tibetan. There are hundreds of Haizi scattered in this area. The change of the altitude also means the change of the scenery. Take your time to immerse into the atmosphere, the stunning snow-capped mountains and white clouds reflect in the lakes. Markham lies in the intersection of Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet, the good location made Markham the first stop of the Ancient Tea-horse Road to Tibet. When we get over the Jinshajiang River, we will be in Tibetan Autonomous Region, and the Markham County is the first county we meet since we enter in Tibet. Today we stay overnight in Markham County.

Haizi Mountains
Haizi Mountains
Jinshajiang River
Jinshajiang River

Day 6 Markham / Pasho [3280m], 360km,8hrs drive

The itinerary from Markham to Pasho today could be a highlight. Driver over Lancangjiang River and down to Nujiang River. We are going to pass the famous landmark “ninety-nine bending”, which is called “devil section” of the road. Take a look at the highest peak of the road, you would be amazed by the precipitous but magnificent landscape. The trip will be full of challenge also unforgettable. We will view the awesome scenery, and have to be accustomed to the sudden turn and altitude changes at the same time.

View along the way
View along the way
ninety-nine bending
ninety-nine bending

Day 7 Pasho / Bome [2720m], 220km, 5hrs drive

We will pass Ranwugou ditch, which is an enormous ice glacier. Pay a visit to Rawok Lake, a famous high land glacier lake. It lies in the southwest of Chamdo, formed by the blocking of rivers, the main one being Parlongzangbu, by debris from landsides, glaciers, and natural walls. This eventually caused water to pull into this area, creating Ranwu Lake. It is a long skinny lake, 20km in length and depending on the season only 1-5km in width. The beautiful quite lake with the dense forest and snow-mountain reflect in it. Stay overnight in Bome.

Rawok Lake
Rawok Lake
Bome Peach Blossom
Bome Peach Blossom

Day 8 Bome / Bayi [2900m], 230km, 5hrs drive

By the side of the enchanting Niyang River, it is a branch of Yarlung Zangbo River, here lives the primeval Menba and Luoba nationality in Bayi Town, Nyingchi. Bayi town is an important timber and wool producing town. Once we arrive at Bayi Town, we are only 450km east of Lhasa city. The low altitude and mild climate made Nyingchi the only place to grow rice and delicious fruit. The famous Namjag Barwa Mountain (7782m) is also here.

Bayi Town
Bayi Town
Mt. Namcha Barwa Mountain
Mt. Namcha Barwa

Day 9 Bayi / Basumtso Lake, 130km, 3.5hrs drive

Today we will drive to visit Basomtso Lake, which is surrounded by the old-growth forest. The jade lake Basumtso is also called as Cuogao Lake in Tibetan, meaning the turquoise water. It’s also the holy lake of Nyingma Section (Red hat religion of Tibetan Buddhism). A sacred Nyingma temple sited in a small island in the central lake for the pilgrims to worship to the Buddha, There is a famous son-sending cave, which said had received blessing from Padma Sambhava, people come here to pray to the Buddha for a child.

Basumtso Lake
Basumtso Lake
Basumtso Lake
Basumtso Lake

Day 10 Basumtso / Lhasa [3600m], 360km, 8hrs drive

Farewell to the “Switzerland view of Tibet” surrounded by snow-capped peaks and natural forest, today we depart from Basumtso Lake, via the Mila Mountains to valley of Lhasa, will also be a pleasant full day of natural vision feast. And finally we are going to arrive the holy city Lhasa, which literally means "place of the gods".

Mila Pass
Mila Pass
Mila Mountains
Mila Mountains

Day 11 Sightseeing in Lhasa

Visit the world famous Potala Palace, The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley. It is a structure of massive portions. Believe me, your first sight of the Potala would be an awe-inspiring moment. Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple to pray for their now and future. Both Potala Palace and Jokhang temple located in the center of the city near the Barkhor Street, the oldest street in Tibet. Take your time to walk around the Barkhor Street and explore the food court or handicraft stores.

Potala Palace
Potala Palace
Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple

Day 12 Sightseeing in Lhasa

Today we are visiting another two famous monasteries in Lhasa city. The Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery. Drepung is a Gelugpa Monastery located on the hillside west of Lhasa. Visiting Drepung Monastery feels like doing a little hike, you can see the city view from the hillside. Later, we will go to visit the Sera monastery, the monastery is located on the northern outskirts of Lhasa, where lively lama debating session will be seen (except Sundays).

Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Sera Monastery
Sera Monastery

Day 13 Departure

Transfer you to the airport or train station according to your transportation schedule. If you still have some left before the see-off transfer, take a walk around the Barkhor Street or see the Potala Palace from outside one more time, do some shopping for souvenirs like Tibetan handcrafts or jewelry. Thank you for traveling with us and welcome to come back again.

Includes & Excludes
What’s included in this tour package?
Transport: Private jeep or MPV with driver
Airport / train pick-up in Chengdu and drop-off in Lhasa
Twin-sharing / double room accommodation in city; guesthouse in remote areas
Excellent English-speaking guide
All entrance fees of sightseeing places mentioned in itinerary
All necessary Tibet permits
Government tax
What’s excluded in this tour package?
Chinese Visa fee
Tips for the guide and driver
Flight or train tickets into Chengdu and out of Lhasa
Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone calls, etc
Tour FAQs
Interested tour options: 13 Days Sichuan-Tibet Overland Tour (South Route)
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Entry city before Tibet Beijing Shanghai Xi'an Chengdu Chongqing Guangzhou Xining Kunming Zhongdian Kathmandu Others
Exit city after Tibet Beijing Shanghai Xi'an Chengdu Chongqing Guangzhou Xining Kunming Zhongdian Kathmandu Others
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Client Feedback

From Mr. Vikrant Bhushan From Mr. Vikrant Bhushan
GTT-D-2984, 07-11-2018

We had a wonderful trip to Lhasa, EBC and Namtso lake. Thanks for arranging the trip. Tashi, Tenzin and Lopsung have been very helpful, attentive to our needs and supportive.

From Mr. Tony Maw From Mr. Tony Maw
GTT-V-2799, 17-07-2018

What can my wife and I say, it was beyond all our expectations. Firstly your expert knowledge aided us in our decision-making. The hotel in Lhasa was centrally located with so many shops, restaurants...