22 Days Self-drive from Kyrgyzstan to Nepal via Xinjiang, Qinghai and Tibet

22 Days Self-drive from Kyrgyzstan to Nepal via Xinjiang, Qinghai and Tibet
Apr - OctBest Time
MediumTour Pace
5248mMax Altitude
Physical Demands
Kyrgyzstan / Xijiang / Qinghai / Tibet / Nepal
This 22 days self-driving tour takes you to see the western part of China. These cities are overwhelmed by great beauty of the snow mountains, vast prairie, desert as well as colorful folk culture. You will drive through part of the ancient Silk Road and the wild Qinghai-Tibet plateau to the roof of the world.
DAY BY DAY SUMMARY
D1: Kyrgyzstan border / Kashgar
D2-5: Kashgar / Khotan / Kucha
D6-9: Kucha-Dunhuang
D10-11: Dunhuang / Golmud
D12-13: Goldmud / Tuotuohe / Naqu
D14-15: Naqu / Namtso Lake / Lhasa
D16-17: Lhasa Sightseeing
D18-19: Lhasa / Gyantse / Shigatse
D20-22: Shigatse / EBC / Gyirong border
Itinerary Details
Includes & Excludes
Tour FAQs
Itinerary Details

Day 01 Kyrgyzstan border / Irkeshtam / Kashgar, 234km, 5hrs

After finishing the immigration formality in the border, our local staff will meet you and help you to get the temporary driver’s license and the vehicle’s license plate.

Day 02 Kashgar

One more day for all the procedure of vehicle registration. In the afternoon, our staff will drive you to the custom authorized warehouse to pick up your vehicle.

Day 03 Kashgar Sightseeing

Today we have a Kashgar city tour. Kashgar is a significant city on the ancient Silk Road. Firstly, we start from the Live Stock Market (only run on Sunday) abundant with horses, cows, sheep, camel, mules etc. After that, we head to the Grand Id Kah Mosque which is the greatest mosque in Xinjiang. The architectural style of the mosque is Islamic with a gate tower, a quad, a doctrine-teaching hall, and a large Hall of Prayer. Our tour continues to The Apak Khoja Mausoleum, which was original built in 1640 as the habitat after death of Yusef Khoja, a sainted teacher of the Quran at the time. The mausoleum is characterized with four minarets and a large dome with a height of 26 meters. Some part is covered in a green-glazed tile mixed with various other designs.

Day 04 Kashgar / Khotan, 504km, 9hrs

Drive along the well paved national road No. 315 through the Taklimakan desert to Khotan. You might need to prepare a dust mask.

Day 05 Khotan / Kucha, 655km, 9hrs

We still drive through the desert today. Be prepared with some snacks and drinks since it is a long day before we can reach Kucha.

Day 06 Kucha / Korla, 300km, 4hrs

Drive 21km northeast of Kucha county, we come to the Subash Ancient City which was once a Buddhist temple constructed during the Wei and Jin Dynasties. This ancient city was parted as two portions by the Kucha River on. Among the ruins, you can find Qiuci epigraphs and Buddhist murals. After that, we head for Korla.

Day 07 Korla / Turfan, 391km, 6hrs

Our destination today is Turfan. On the way, we will stop for a visit to the Bosten Lake, the largest lake in Xinjiang and the biggest inland freshwater lakes in China. There are beautiful reeds and lotus ponds. In April to October, you can also see many ducks, wild geese and egrets. Upon arrival in Turfan, we visit the Emin Minaret (Sugong Ta). This Islamic architecture was built in Qing Dynasty.

Day 08 Turfan / Balikun, 419km, 9hrs

This morning we will visit the Ancient City of Gaochang.It was constructed as the fort town in the first century B.C. and later it became a very important city on the Silk Road. Now, here are only ruins of the city standing in the isolated Gobi Desert. After we drive up to the Flaming Mountain. It is the hottest place in China with the highest temperature around 47.8 °C and surface temperature over 70 °C in summer. We continue to see the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, the most valuable Bhuddha Cave in Turfan. Although most parts of the cave are destroyed during the religious conflict but we can still, we can still find the glorious past. Overnight in Balikun.

Day 09 Balikun / Hami / Dunhuang, 551km, 9hrs

This morning we visit the Balikun Grassland, the second largest prairie in Xinjiang. Later, drive to Hami and have a short city tour, then head for Dunhuang. Back in antient times, Dunhuang was the trade center between China and its western neighbors. Now it is a city full of tourists’ sites.

Day 10 Dunhuang Sightseeing

Our Dunhuang tour starts from Mogao Grottoes, the largest and best-preserved Buddhism art treasure house in China. The most prominent feature is numerous delicate murals and statues. The next visit is to the Echoing-Sand Mountain (Mingsha Shan). It names so because there are charming voice when you slid down from the dune. Nearby is the Crescent Lake, a transparently clear lake shaped like the crescent moon. If you are interested, it is wonderful experience to rent a camel and ride around to enjoy the beauty of the land.

Day 11 Dunhuang / Charhan Saline Lake / Golmud, 534km, 8hrs

We leave for Golmud today. On the way, we will stop for the Charhan Saline Lake, the biggest saline lake in China. It is less famous than the Chaka Salt Lake but more natural and beautiful.

Day 12 Golmud / Kunlun Pass / Tuotuohe, 420km, 8hrs

From today, we enter the highland area. The altitude rises to 4768km at Kunlun Pass. Tonight we stay at Tuotuohe, the last town of Qinghai Province before we enter Tibet.

Day 13 Tuotuohe / Naqu, 350km, 7hrs

Driving through the Tanggula mountain pass(5231m), we enter Tibet Autonomous Region. Along the way, enjoy the great beauty of the snow mountains, turquoise lakes and vast prairie.

Day 14 Naqu / Namtso Lake, 300km, 7hrs

We drive forward to the Namtso Lake, the largest lake in Tibet and the highest saltwater lake in the whole world. It is also known as “heavenly lake” in Tibet religion.

Day 15 Namtso Lake / Lhasa, 250km, 5hrs

Get up early and view the sun rise of the holy lake. It will be wonderful to see the sun peeking over the horizon from the lake. Stroll along the lakeshore and get a peace far from the city. Then drive to Lhasa, we can enjoy the Yampachen hot-spring on the way. Encompassed by snow-capped mountains, it is the world's highest hot spring.

Day 16 Lhasa Sightseeing

Our Lhasa tour starts from Lhasa's cardinal landmark-Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels. In the afternoon, we will drop a visit of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.

Day 17 Lhasa Sightseeing

About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung Monastery, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains. Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, Later after lunch, witness the Buddhist doctrines debating session at Sera Monastery. With golden roofs and whitewashed walls, this fifteenth-century monastery is one of the six great Gelukpa sect academies in Tibet.

Day 18 Lhasa / Yamdrok Lake / Gyantse, 270km, 5hrs

Morning drive up to Kampala pass [4794m], you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, the turquoise Lake Yamdrok Tso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, the unforgettable vista of pincer-shaped turquoise water of the lake and amazing spectacle of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar glacier from Karo la pass are the wonders of the day. Far in the distance you’ll spot the towering massif Mt. Nojin Kangtsang [7191m], and the staggering Karo-la Glacier [5045m]. Then drive to Gyantse, we will visit the Pelkhor Monastery and the famous stupa - Gyantse Kumbum, one of the most stunning architectural wonders in Tibet.

Day 19 Gyantse / Shigatse, 90km, 2hrs

Before we head towards Shigatse, we visit the immemorial feudal serf manor -Pala Manor. Upon arrival in Shigatse, we have an exploration to the Tashilunpo Monastery and the spectacular tombs of Panchen Lamas in Shigatse. Followed by a visit to the New Palace of Panchen, famous as the summer palace of the tenth Panchen Lama (1938-1989).

Day 20 Shigatse / EBC, 350km, 6hrs

After a good rest in the hotel, we head to Everest Base Camp. If the weather is good, on the top of the Gyalpo-la pass you can see 4 of the highest mountains over 8000 meters (Mt. Everest; Mt. Makalu; Mt. Lotse; Mt. Cho Oyu) in the world at the same time, what a great picture. Before reaching EBC, we will firstly see the Rongbuk Monastery that is the highest monastery in the world. Then, drive to the tents area for the tourists, stay overnight there or just stay at Rongbuk Guesthouse depends on the weather (dorm bed, share room with other tourists).

Day 21 EBC / Gyirong, 329km, 8hrs

In the morning, if weather is good, you can choose to wake up early to appreciate the stunning sunrise of Mt. Everest. After breakfast, going to visit the Everest Base Camp. Later, we will drive forward to Gyirong Town. You will pass by Peikutso Lake and enjoy the breathtaking views of the snow-capped Shishapangma. Overnight at Gyirong Town.

Day 22 Gyirong to Nepal border, tour ends (it takes about 9 hours to get to Kathmandu)

Today, we see you off from the Gyirong Town to the port. Our guide will assist you to clear the China Customs and you will cross the border and check in Nepal side on your own. There are about 130km from Gyirong to Kathmandu city which takes about 9 hours by local jeeps at the Nepalese border. All our services in Tibet end at Chinese border of Gyirong.

Includes & Excludes
What’s included in this tour package?
Government paper works: tourism bureau, transportation, police, custom, etc.
The temporal driving license and driving plate of the car in China (We only provide one free temporal driving license, and there will be $75 / person fee for extra driving license.)
Twin-sharing / double room hotel in cities; guesthouse at remote areas
Good English-speaking guide
All entrance fees of sightseeing places mentioned in itinerary except the optionals
Vehicle Insurance of the accident
All necessary travel permits
Government tax
What’s excluded in this tour package?
Chinese Visa fee
Vehicle: can be your own car or you can rent in China
Oil, vehicle maintenance, toll gate fees, parking fees
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Personal expenses: laundry, drinks, etc.
Tips for guide and driver
Tour FAQs

※What is a Private Tour?

A Private Tour Package means you will have your own private guide, driver, and vehicle for your own disposal. You don't have to share the vehicle with others even if you are a single traveler. You would have full attention of your guide and driver. Our professional guide would love to share local culture, knowledge and stories.

Your private guide would also help you make an easier, comfortable, flexible and enjoyable tour. You can stop on the road to get a rest or take pictures during the drive. You have the flexibility of changing the visiting order of attractions or extending the visiting time at some tourist sites.

We will arrange the private airport or train station pick-up and see-off for you. Upon your arrival, you can find our guide waiting at the pick-up area, holding a name sign, welcome you with a warm smile. You will be transferred to hotel.

When traveling with your family or friends, a private tour would be your first choice.

※Accommodation Choices

For private tour, we can arrange hotels according to your requirements. There are options of budget guesthouse, 3 star hotel, 4 star hotel, high-end luxury hotel or bouquet heritage hotel. If you have your own preferred hotel, just let us know, we will help you with the booking, everything would be arranged as per your interests.

※Meal Choices

Our tour packages generally include breakfasts. Meanwhile, lunches and dinners are optional to be arranged either by yourself or by us.

It’s easy to find nice restaurants in China, and you could also ask for suggestions from your guide. They always know where you can find something tasty.

The price would be different according to different food:

1. If you choose noodles, around RMB 15-30 per person.

2. If you like some fast food like KFC, around RMB 25-40 per person.

3. If you prefer some food at a decent restaurant, around RMB 70-150 per person.

Interested tour options: 22 Days Self-drive from Kyrgyzstan to Nepal via Xinjiang, Qinghai and Tibet
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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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Tibet lies in the north-east of the Himalayas. It is special not only for the spectacular nature scenery, also the unique local customs. For a lot of people, Tibet is remote and inaccessible. But once you are here, you would know it’s a magical place, it is alien to common experiences. The beauty of Tibet is impossible to describe in words. Stop trying to define it, come and immerse yourself in it.
Potala Palace Potala Palace
Mt. Everest Mt. Everest
Yamdrok Lake Yamdrok Lake
Sera Monastery Sera Monastery
Namtso Lake Namtso Lake
Mt. Kailash Mt. Kailash

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...