Not as popular as the trips to Mount Everest or other famous destinations in Tibet, a tour to Nyingchi is always off the beaten path that would take you to the fairyland of Tibet.
Located at the eastern side of Tibet, Nyingchi is one of the popular destinations for nature lovers where you can see a quite different landscape from other parts in Tibet, such as the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon and Lulang forest. Because of the low altitude, Nyingchi is also a good starting point for a Tibet tour. While traveling from Nyingchi to Lhasa, you can get used to the plateau altitude gradually.
Recommended Nyingchi Tour Packages
We hand-picked the most classic trips to Nyingchi, which will take you to explore the real beauty of the ‘Switzerland in Tibet’. You can pick up your favorite itienary and aks for a quote online. Also, you can simply tell us your travel idea and create your own Nyingchi tour.
Hongkong - Chengdu - Leshan - Pomi - Ranwo - Basumtso - Lhasa -Namtso - Hongkong
Lhasa- Nyingchi - Tsedang- Shigatse- Lhasa
Add-on Extensions of Lhasa Tours
Tibet offers much to explore, so don’t stop your journey in Nyingchi! Just check the following destinations for more travel ideas to extend your Nyingchi tour to the vast western part of Tibet with us.
Know before Your Nyingchi Tour
1. Where is Nyingchi?
Lying in the far east of Tibet, the center of Nyingchi Prefecture-level City is around 380 kilometers from Lhasa, by road, or around 300 kilometers as the crow flies.
One of the two furthest eastern prefectures of Tibet, Nyingchi is bordered to the north by Chamdo Prefecture and to the northwest by Nagqu. To the southwest, lies Shannan Prefecture, also known as Lhoka, while to the west lies the capital of Lhasa.
Lying on the border with the disputed area of Arunachal Pradesh to the south, the eastern border of Nyingchi lies on the western edge of Sichuan Province.
One of the lowest areas of Tibet in terms of altitude, Nyingchi is a milder part of Tibet for climate, and is widely known as the “Swiss Alps of Tibet”.
A mountainous region, Nyingchi lies in the eastern end of the Himalayas, with the northern end of the Hengduan Mountains in the eastern end of the prefecture.
2. How to get the Alien’s Travel Permit for a Nyingchi Tour?
Due to the location at the eastern end of Tibet, in addition to Tibet Travel Permit, you need to apply for other travel documents, like the Alien’s Travel Permit.
The Tibet Travel Permit is required for all international tourists to the plateau region, and can only be obtained once you have booked a Tibet tour with a registered tour operator. The permit is also required in order to obtain the Alien’s Travel Permit, the second level permit that is required to travel to the “opened” areas of Tibet outside Lhasa.
Once your Tibet Travel Permit has been received, we will use it to obtain your Alien’s Travel Permit, and it will be obtained differently, depending on which way you are traveling to Nyingchi. If you are taking a flight from mainland China to Nyingchi directly, then the permit will be applied for on your behalf before your trip starts, as you will not be able to tour in Nyingchi without it.
If you are traveling to Nyingchi through Lhasa, then the Alien’s Travel Permit will be applied for once you reach the Tibetan capital. The permit is applied for in Lhasa by your guide and is done using your original passport and Tibet Travel Permit. The application process can only be done by a representative of a tour operator and takes around an hour to process.
3. How about the altitude in Nyingchi?
Nyingchi has an average altitude of around 3,100 meters, which means that there is a small risk of altitude sickness when traveling to the area.
However, the high average altitude is mainly due to the fact that the lowest altitude is around 900 meters and the highest is over 7,000 meters, which is the peak of Namche Barwa.
Without the mountains, Nyingchi has an average altitude of around 2,200 meters, which makes it a lot easier for travelers from low-altitude countries.
When traveling from Lhasa, if you are already acclimatized to the higher altitude, altitude sickness should be no problem in Nyingchi.
4. What is the Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival?
The Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival is one of the most stunning festivals in the world, which celebrates the rosy peach blossoms that cover most of the prefecture for around a month in early spring.
As March passes, the peach trees across the area come into bloom, covering the landscape with a vast sea of pink rosy blossoms. The blossoms last for around a month, and the festival season runs for the entire period, well into mid-April.
The festival is normally held at the beginning of spring, when the peach blossoms first come into bloom, usually around the middle of March.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nyingchi Tours
Q: How to get to Nyingchi?
Getting to Nyingchi can be done in several ways, by land, by flight, and by a combination of both, as well as using the trains for part of the journey.
Traveling by flight is the fastest way to get to Nyingchi, though there are no longer any direct flights from Lhasa to the Nyingchi Mainling Airport.
Get to Nyingch by Flight
Flights to Nyingchi run from Chengdu, Xi’an, Lanzhou, and Shenzhen, and run almost daily from all four airports. With flight times ranging from two to four hours, it is definitely the fastest way to get to the area, although getting a flight in the peak months from April to October may be a problem.
Nyingchi is a popular tourist destination from mainland China, and the flights are often booked up very quickly, which can make it difficult to get a flight on your required dates.
Flights to Nyingchi from mainland China range from US$ 128 from Chengdu to around US$ 327 from Shenzhen, and prices can drop a little in the low season.
Get to Nyingchi by Land
If you are not able to get a flight, then you have two other options, by road from Sichuan or by train or flight to Lhasa and by road from the Tibetan capital.
The route from Sichuan Province runs along the famous G318 National Highway, which runs from Shanghai to Zhangmu in western Tibet. The section from Chengdu to Lhasa is known as the Sichuan Tibet Highway, and is a popular route for travelers that are driving or taking the public bus to Nyingchi.
However, this option is not often available for international tourists.
Taking a flight or Tibet train to Lhasa, and then taking the new Lhasa-Nyingchi High-Grade Highway is one of the best options for getting to Nyingchi, especially for international travelers.
Flights and trains run from mainland China daily (depending on your departure location), and each option has its own merits. Flights are faster, but often cost a little more, while the trains are cheaper (usually), but take a lot longer, from 22 to 55 hours depending on where you depart from.
Once in Lhasa, there is the new Lhasa-Nyingchi Expressway, which has cut down the travel time to Nyingchi from Lhasa to as little as five hours. A trip that previously took as long as eight hours to drive. The new highway has a faster road surface, and straighter route, which makes it a much better option for getting to the low-lying Nyingchi Prefecture.
>> See more about how to get to Nyingchi from Lhasa
Get to Nyingchi by Train
The future is bright, and for Nyingchi, it is getting brighter, with the construction of the new Sichuan-Tibet Railway, which will connect Lhasa to Chengdu, and pass right through the center of Nyingchi. The railway is still under construction, and is expected to open within the next few years, with the section from Lhasa to Nyingchi being the first to be opened, sometime in 2020. Once completed, this section of the tracks will make travel to Nyingchi from Lhasa much faster, and will make travel from Chengdu to Nyingchi a possibility, even for international travelers. The railway will also make it quicker to get to Lhasa from Chengdu, a trip that currently takes around 36 hours, reduced to less than a single day.
Q: Highlights of Nyingchi Tours
Located at an average altitude of around 3,100 meters, Nyingchi is known as the “Swiss Alps of Tibet” due to its vast alpine landscape, which is reminiscent of the famous European mountain range.
The humid climate and seasonal weather make the scenery lush and green for almost the entire year, from the stunning peach and azalea blossoms of spring that cover the entire area to the sea of meadow flowers in late summer and the autumn colors of the leaves.
A mountainous area, Nyingchi is filled with alpine mountains that make for one of the most stunning mountain vistas in the world, and the area is well known for its snow mountains, which are capped with pristine white snow the whole year round.
The winter landscape is like a fairytale winter wonderland, with the stunning view of the famous Mount Namche Barwa, sitting at the entrance to the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, the world’s largest canyon.
Besides the mountaineers, there are also lakes worth visiting, such as the popular Basum-tso Lake and Ranwu Lake, the largest lake in Eastern Tibet.
Located in Gongbo’gyamda County, Basum-tso Lake is like an emerald falling into the valley, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and forests. Not only a popular tourist site in Nyingchi, Basum-tso Lake is also a holy lake for local Tibetan. There is a small Temple of Tibetan Bhuddhism Nyingma Sect in the centre island in the lake, where you can learn more about the local religion.
Next to the G318 National Road (also the Sichuan-Tibet Highway), Ranwu Lake is famous for its tranquil and colorful water. The lake is crystal clear and the scenery of the lakeshore is different, which brings rich color to the lake.
In general, wherever you go in Nyingchi, you will be met with some of the world’s most amazing views, and stunning scenery.
Local Tibetan Culture
While it is a part of Tibet, the culture of Nyingchi is a little different than that of the rest of the plateau. In contrast to the stark landscape of much to the Tibetan plateau, Nyingchi is a land of verdant forests and meadows, with lush river valleys. This has prompted a slightly different culture from the rest of Tibet, and has had a greater influence from the Han Chinese culture of Sichuan Province than anywhere else.
Small villages abound in the area, and many of them have been cut off from the rest of the world for even longer than the rest of Tibet. Until recently, there were many parts of the area that had no roads into them, the last one to have a road being Medog County.
The Tibetan culture of Nyingchi is closer to the ancient Tibetan culture of the plateau, and many of the villages live in much the same way as their ancestors did. Modern technology is only recently coming to Nyingchi’s more remote areas, and the people are traditional Tibetan Buddhists, with many of the ancient values.
Q: When is the best time to visit Nyingchi?
As the area of Nyingchi is lower in altitude than the rest of Tibet, it is a place that can be visited throughout the year, even in the depths of winter.
However, there are certain times to avoid, and the main one is the summer months. Summer in Nyingchi, which runs from late June to mid-September, is the rainy monsoon season, and it can be a very wet time for tourists in Nyingchi in the summer months. The monsoon in the east of Tibet is harder than in the central and western areas, thanks to its lower altitude and less of the shadow effect of the Himalayas blocking the southwest monsoon.
Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit the area, as the weather is warm to mild, and there is little to no rain. Spring is the time of the peach blossoms and new growth, and is one of the best times to visit, as the area is awash with fresh spring blooms and meadow flowers.
Autumn is a great time to be there too, as the area is still lush and verdant after the rainy season, and as the season progresses, the leaves on the many deciduous forests start to turn red and brown and gold, and fall to the ground carpeting the area with a multitude of colors. Temperatures in the spring and autumn are pleasant, and warm enough, though it can get chilly at night.
However, it rarely gets even close to freezing, even at night, so a light sweater is all that is needed most of the time.
Winter is not as cold in Nyingchi as it is in the rest of Tibet, and it is no mistake that the area is known as the “Swiss Alps of Tibet”. The climate is akin to the European mountain range, and the winters are much milder than in the rest of Tibet. Temperatures do get down below freezing at night, especially in the depths of winter in February, but daytimes are pleasant and comfortable, and ideal for that winter wonderland tour.
Q: Where to live in Nyingchi?
Tourists usually live in Bayi Town for Nyingchi Tours
The seat of the Bayi District of Nyingchi, formerly Nyingchi County, and is the most popular place for tourists to stay in Nyingchi, as it has more hotels and guesthouses than anywhere else in the prefecture.
Lying more than 400 kilometers from Lhasa, it is the ideal place to make your center of travel, and a base from which to explore the stunning views and attractions of Nyingchi.
The General Living Condition of Local Hotels in Nyingchi
Generally, Nyingchi des not have the luxury hotels that you can find in Lhasa, and on average, most of the hotels you will find will be of the 3-star class. However, the hotels are usually clean and comfortable, with air-conditioning and heating for those cold winter nights.
There are a few four-star hotels in the area, such as the Nyingchi Impression Hotel and the Nyingchi Shangbala Hotel, where you can get a little more luxury than in the regular 3-star hotels, but you will be paying more for the services than in a four-star hotel in Lhasa due to the location. There are also plenty of places to get good food, from the best of Tibetan and Sichuan dishes to the simplest of western foods for those that are not adventurous with their eating.