22 Days Self-drive or Motorcycle Tour from Xinjiang to Tibet

22 Days  Self-drive or Motorcycle Tour from Xinjiang to Tibet
Apr - OctBest Time
MediumTour Pace
5248mMax Altitude
Physical Demands
Kyrgyzstan / Xinjiang / Tibet / Nepal
You will explore the spectacular landscape and ethnic culture of northwestern China by driving through Xinjiang and Tibet. The world’s highest highway will lead you drive across Kunlun Mountain, Kalakorum Mountain, Gangdise Mountain, and Himalaya Mountain range at the average elevation above 4500km. You can enjoy the exotic customs and magnificent scene of wildlife by taking this extraordinary overland adventure.
DAY BY DAY SUMMARY
D1: Kyrgyzstan / Kashgar
D2-3: Kashgar Sightseeing
D4-7: Kashgar / Shiquanhe
D8-11: Shiquanhe / Tsochen
D12-14: Tsochen / Damxung
D15: Damxung / Lhasa
D16-17: Lhasa Sightseeing
D18-19: Lhasa / Shigatse
D20: Shigatse / EBC
D21-22: EBC / Gyirong border
Itinerary Details
Includes & Excludes
Tour FAQs
Itinerary Details

Day 01 Kyrgyzstan border-Irkeshtam or Tourgart -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.

Irkeshtam border
Irkeshtam border
Irkeshtam border to Kashgar
Irkeshtam border to Kashgar

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.

Kashgar Old City
Kashgar Old City
Kashgar Old City
Kashgar Old City

Day 03 Kashgar

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.

Live Stock Market
Live Stock Market
Apak Khoja Mausoleum
Apak Khoja Mausoleum

Day 04 Kashgar-Yecheng, 250km, 2.5hrs

Today we will drive to Yecheng, a county in Kashgar district, adjacent to the Taklimakan Desert. It is said centuries ago Yecheng is an important spot for venders traveling through to Europe for selling jewels and oriental spices. The Xinjiang Tibet Highway starts from Yecheng. Have a good rest today and prepare for the long drive next day.

The start point of Xinjiang-Tibet Highway
The start point of Xinjiang-Tibet Highway
Taklimakan Desert
Taklimakan Desert

Day 05 Yecheng-Dahongliutan, 489km, 8hrs

It is a great challenge today. The average altitude in Yecheng is around 1700m but today you will drive across Kudi Pass, Mazha Pass and Heiqia Pass of Kunlun Mountain Ranges with an altitude of 3150m, 4969m and 4909m not to mention the numerous sharp turns and steep slopes. On the other hand, it is awesome to enjoy the vast mountains, deserts and adore the lofty K2, so-called “savage mountain” from afar. Drive forward to Dahongliutan and stay overnight.

On the way to Kudi Pass
On the way to Kudi Pass
Mazha Pass
Mazha Pass

Day 06 Dahongliutan-Duoma, 345km, 6hrs

For the whole day, we drive on the plateau with an altitude of more than 5000m, through Jieshan Daban(5280m) - the boundary between Xinjiang and Tibet, then pass the highest Hongtu Pass(5380m) on Xinjiang Tibet Highway. On the way, you might see some precious wild animals such as Tibetan wild donkey, Mongolian Gazelle etc. Stay overnight in Duoma, the first down after entering Tibet district.

Hongtu Pass
Hongtu Pass
Hongtu Pass
Hongtu Pass

Day 07 Duoma-Shiquanhe, 228km, 4hrs

This day we will firstly drive to Pangong Tso. It is a lake with two third in Tibet China and other one third in India. It is breathtaking to see the transparent water and shadows of snowcapped mountains on the lake. It is the breeding ground for kinds of birds including the bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks. If you come in summer, you can see many birds here. We forward to Shiquanhe, the capital of Ngari prefecture. In this little town, there is not so much to see but it is a good place to rest, cleanup and have a good meal after the long journey. It is also the transport base to visit the other places within the prefecture as well as getting to Lhasa.

Pangong Tso
Pangong Tso
Shiquanhe
Shiquanhe

Day 08 Shiquanhe-Zhada, 200km, 4hrs

Today we will visit the two remaining sites of the ancient Guge KingdomTholing Monastery, the 11th-century Buddhist monastery, back then the region's most influential lamasery; and Tsaparang, the old capital of Guge. Although in ruins, we can have a glimpse of the vanished age from the statuary and dozens of well-preserved murals in the splendid West Tibetan style. Stay overnight in Zhada.

Tholing Monastery
Tholing Monastery
Guge Kingdom
Guge Kingdom

Day 09 Zhada-Darchen, 235km, 4.5hrs

Drive to Darchen where is the start point of the Mt. Kailash Kora. Mt. Kailash is one of the world’s most sacred places both on geography and mythology. As for height, it can not surpass the Everest but what makes Kailash outstanding is the Pyramid shaped summit with four steep faces matching the cardinal points of the compass. For the four religions of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Tibetan Bön religion, Mt. Kailash is the spiritual epicenter. If you like to do the Kora, another three days will be needed.

Darchen
Darchen
Mt. Kailash
Mt. Kailash

Day 10 Darchen / Rinchen Shubtso, 285km, 5hrs

Starting today we will drive the north route to Lhasa. We can see numerous crystal-clear lakes dotted on the vast Qiangtang Grassland where people still keep the original life style. Firstly, we come to the Rinchen Shubtso, a salt lake made of the melted snow from the northern foot of the Gangdise Mountain. There will be nobody to share the beauty with you but the wild animals. Be careful not to bump into one while driving.

Rinchen Shubtso
Rinchen Shubtso
Rinchen Shubtso
Rinchen Shubtso

Day 11 Rinchen Shubtso / Tsochen, 240km, 4hrs

Drive on the Qiangtang Grassland and enjoy the tranquility of the nature. We drive through several lakes and come to Tsochen, might be the most wonderful town on the northern route. You will find many nomads in their colorful costumes made of sheepskin. We drive 55km for a visit to the Tsari Nam-tso, another undeveloped aquamarine salt lake on the northern route.

On the way to Tsochen
On the way to Tsochen
Qiangtang Grassland
Qiangtang Grassland

Day 12 Tsochen / Wenbu Village, 255km, 5hrs

Come through the region sprinkled with small lakes and come to Wenbu Village where you will visit the Dangqiong Tso Lake renowned as one of the most beautiful 10 lakes in Tibet and Xiangxiong Kingdom Ruins which was once a thriving Kingdom before the establishment of the Tubo Kingdom.

Dangqiong Tso
Dangqiong Tso
Xiangxiong Kingdom  Ruins
Xiangxiong Kingdom Ruins

Day 13 Wenbu Village / Baingoin County, 445km, 8hrs

We drive through Serling Tso wetland area today. Located in the south of Changtang Plateau with an average elevation of 4,700 meters, Serling Tso wetland is listed into the catalogue of world-wide important wetland. It is the main habitat for fishes, amphibians and reptiles, birds and mammals as well as the ideal and main breeding ground for black-necked cranes. Stay overnight in Baingoin Country.

Serling Tso
Serling Tso
Serling Tso
Serling Tso

Day 14 Baingoin County / Namtso Lake / Damxung, 280km, 5.5hrs

Drive to Namtso Lake, one of the three renowned holy lakes in Tibet. Situated in the middle north part of Tibet, about 250km north of Lhasa city, Namtso is the second largest lake in Tibet and the third largest saltwater lake in China. The rectangular-shaped lake is 4718 meters above sea level. The sunset of the lake in good weather is extra bonus. After that drive to Damxung.

Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake

Day 15 Damxung / Lhasa, 250km, 5hrs

Head 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. Upon arrival in Lhasa, have a good rest and prepare for the next days’ exploration.

Yampachen Hot-spring
Yampachen Hot-spring
Yampachen Hot-spring
Yampachen Hot-spring

Day 16 Lhasa

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. 

Potala Palace
Potala Palace
Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple

Day 17 Lhasa

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.

Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Sera Monastery
Sera Monastery

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.

Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake
Kumbum Stupa 
Kumbum Stupa 

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 Tashilhunpo 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).

Pala Manor
Pala Manor
Tashilhunpo Monastery
Tashilhunpo Monastery

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 Monasterythat 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).

Rongbuk Monastery
Rongbuk Monastery
Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp

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 byPeikutso Lake and enjoy the breathtaking views of the snow-capped Shishapangma. Overnight at Gyirong Town.

Peiku Tso
Peiku Tso
Gyirong Valley
Gyirong Valley

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 or Motorcycle Tour from Xinjiang to 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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Hot Scenic Spots

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 Ms. Elena Maria Valisi From Ms. Elena Maria Valisi
GTT-V-3371, 10-09-2019

I highly recommend this agency. I travelled with other 2 couples who booked through different agencies and they paid a lot more to have less assistance, same hotels/tour/guide/car, less flexibility and no travel insurance included.

From Mr. Severin Wechsler From Mr. Severin Wechsler
GTT-V-3233, 22-08-2019

Wir sind sehr zufrieden mit der individuellen Tour welche wir mit "Go to Tibet Tours" zusammenstellen konnten (8-Tagestou; Peking und Lhasa). Der Trip hat uns sehr gefallen, alles lief wie geplannt. Die Tourguides (Forrest und Kielsang) waren sehr hilfesbereit und kompetent...