18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa

Golmud - Kunlun Mountain - Wudaoliang - Tuotuo River - Amdo - Nagqu - Namtso - Yangpachen - Lhasa

From USD p.p

Despite the high altitude, this cycling adventure provides you with the essence scenery of Qinghai-Tibet Highway as well as the breathtaking attractions inaccessible to Tibet-train riders. Departing from Golmud, you will pedal uphill and climb over Kunlun Mountain Pass at 4767m. When riding around the desolate Kekexili Nature Reserve, you might be delighted into screaming by the rare animal leaping and skipping lively on it. You can also stopover at the top point, Tanggula Mountain Pass (5231m) to enjoy a panoramic view and appreciate the splendid sunrise at Tuotuo River.

Besides immersing yourself into the boundless Qiangtang Grassland in Amdo and Nagchu, you can cycle or take a car ride to the holy Namtso Lake and stay overnight there. After taking a comfortable bath at Yampachen Hot Spring, you will feel energetic and eager to jump on your bike to continue cycling to the holy Lhasa.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1-3 Golmud - Kunlun Mountains Pass (160km)

Start your cycling adventure today! Out of Golmud, you will ride south on G109 Qinghai-Tibet Highway. On the way, you will pass through Kunlun Mountain Gate with the left pillar of the gate reading "God of Mountains" while the right one "Kunlun Range". You can also see Tibet trains running along the legendary Qinghai-Tibet Railway. After passing by Nachitai County and Xidatan, you will have clear view of Yuzhu Peak if weather permits.

Then, you will arrive at the first high-pass, Kunlun Mountain Pass at 4768m. Road in this part is asphalt paved but with many slopes. Considering the altitude change and dramatic weather on Tibetan Plateau, you can spend 3-4 days to cover this section.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 4-5 Kunlun Mountains Pass - WudaoLiang (109km)

You can spend one-two days on this section. Besides the snow-capped mountains, you may see wild animals like Tibetan antelopes, wild donkeys, wild yaks leaping and skipping along the way. You will also pass by Kekexili National Nature Reserve and Suonandajie Protection Station before arriving at Wudaoniang. Have a good rest in the comfortable hotels in Wudaoliang and prepare yourself for the following cycling.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 6 Wudaoliang - Tuoduo River (150km)

You will pass by Fenghou Moutain Pass (5010m) before arriving at Tuotuo River, the source of the Yangtze River.

This cycling route is challenging due to the high altitude and awful weather, so you are suggested to have good rest, drink more water and keep warm during the trip.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 7 Tuotuo River - Yanshiping (91km)

Get up early to appreciate the breath-taking sunrise at Tuotuo River. Even though you may have seen sunrise for several times along the way, the splendid sunrise at Tuotuo River and the glimmering river water will not let you down. 

Get back on your bike and continue the cycling trip, you will pass by the huge North Gate of Tibet on the way to Yanshiping.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 8 Yanshiping - Tanggula Mountain Pass (100km)

Today you will conquer the highest point of Qinghai-Tibet Highway, the Tangula Mountain Pass at 5231m. Standing at the pass, you can have great views of stretching snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and rivers twisting on Tibetan plateau. You will stay overnight in Toudaoban.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 9 Toudaoban - Amdo (70km)

The scenery is getting more and more beautiful along the way. The blue sky, snow-capped mountains, and green grassland together depict a picture of heaven and empower you to carry on pedaling.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 10-11 Amdo - Nagqu (138 km)

Today you will pedal across the beautiful Qingtang Prairie and see herds of sheep and yaks gazing leisurely there. Your destination today is Nagqu, an important town in Northern Tibet with famous international horse racing festival.

Stay overnight in Nagqu.

Day 12-13 Nagqu - Namtso Lake (146 km)

You can cycle to Namtso Lake or take the jeep if you hope to have a day trip there. On the way, you will climb over the La Chen La Pass at 5190m and see snow-capped mountains, boundless grassland, herds of sheep and yaks, nomad tents before reaching Namtso Lake. The turquoise Namtso Lake is the largest saline lake in Tibet and one of the three holy lake in Tibet.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 14 Namtso - Yangpachen (90km)

In the morning, you can trek along the lakeshore towards Tashi dor Island, where you can explore the meditation caves. Then we will cycle back to Yangpachen to have a relaxing time in the hot spring.

Stay overnight at Yangpachen.

Day 15 Yangpachen to Lhasa (75km)

Today, we will return to Lhasa from Yangpachen along the same way we came.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 16 Lhasa sightseeing - Potola Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street

Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the world culture heritage. You can explore its audience halls, the jeweled and golden burial chortens (stupa tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.

Then tourists will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple, built during Songtsen Ganpo's reign by Princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty, 647 A.D. Here you can observe sincere pilgrims making prostration in front of Jokhang Temple. While entering inside the temple, you can see the holiest statue of Buddha. Around the monastery is the famous Barkhor Street, where you can do the kora with pilgrims and locals. And then we’ll go to explore the old market and you may have chance to see the traditional jewelry trading between people from different parts of Tibet.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 17 Lhasa sightseeing - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka Park

Today, you will visit two important monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Drepung Monastery, the largest monastery in Tibet, was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. Situated at the foot of Gebeiwoze Mountain, it was once home to more than 10,000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving Workshop near Drepung.

After having lunch, you’ll continue to visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most interesting thing is to see monks debating in the courtyard at around 3-5 pm in the afternoon. Besides, you can also see the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha and the three sand Mandalas and then visit the Tibetan religious text printing house.

You will also pay a visit to Norbulingka Park, the summer palace of Dalai Lama as well as the largest man made garden in Tibet. Built by the 7th Dalai Lama and served both as administrative centre and religious centre, Norbulingka Park, is a unique representation of Tibetan palace architecture.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 18 Departure from Lhasa (B)

The driver will take you to airport or train station.

Service end.

Service Inclusion

  1. Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
  2. All lodging listed in the itinerary. If you travel individually, you will need to share one room with another tourist. If you prefer to stay in one room by yourself, you will have to pay the single room supplement
  3. Meals listed in itinerary
  4. Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
  5. Local Tibetan English-speaking guide
  6. Local tour transfer, comfortable tourist vehicle according to group size
  7. Tourist accident/casualty insurance
  8. First aid kit

Service Exclusion

  1. Chinese visa
  2. International flight to and out of China
  3. Domestic train/flight not listed in the itinerary. (We offer domestic train/flight ticket booking service, please contact our travel experts for the details.)
  4. Meals not specified in the itinerary
  5. Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver
  6. Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.

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