Known as the most beautiful and riskiest road in China, the G318 National Highway is a haunting route that every adventurous self-driving fan wants to try. From Chengdu to Lhasa, this 11-day Sichuan to Tibet overland tour will take you to explore the breathtaking landscapes of majestic gorges, rugged peaks, massive pastures, turbulent rivers, as well as lush forests and spectacular glaciers. It is an epic road trip covering around 2100 km in around 8 days. You will overcome the dramatic topographical change from the low basin to the roof of the world. After arriving in Lhasa, a 2-day sightseeing in this holy city will be a perfect ending of this tour.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1 Arrive in Chengdu
Welcome to Chengdu! Upon your arrival in Chengdu, your tour guide will hold a board with your name on it at the exit of the airport or railway station to welcome you. Then you will be transferred to your hotel in Chengdu.
The rest of the day is at leisure. You can enjoy a short walk at the Chunxi Road Pedestrian Street, Broad and Narrow Alley, Jin Li Ancient Street, etc. At around 7pm, the whole tour group, including Tibetan guide, will enjoy a welcome dinner (traditional Sichuan cuisine).
Stay overnight in Chengdu.
Day 2 Chengdu - Ya’an - Luding - Kangding - Xinduqiao Bridge (410km)
At around 7 am, we will set off from Chengdu to Xinduqiao by car. Travelling along the Dadu River, upper reaches of Yangtze River, we will pass Zheduo Mountain (4298m). From there, the scenery turns different. You will gaze at the exotic Tibetan villages, lush pastures, and grazing yaks, bobbling brooks and fluffy clouds over deep blue sky all the way. After winding roads, we will arrive in Xinduqiao Bridge, which is known as a “Paradise for Photography”.
Stay overnight in Xinduqiao.
Day 3 Xinduqiao - Yajiang - Litang - Haizishan Mountain - Batang (400km)
Waking up in soft and tender sunlight in the early morning, we are about to leave Xinduqiao. Traversing the picturesque bridge, tranquil local villages, exotic Tibetan houses, yellow poplar trees, we head westwards to the valley of Yalong River. En route, we will pass the famous Yajiang and finally arrive in Litang (4000m). Situated on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the city of Litang is natural grassland, dotted with grazing yaks, sheep, and nomad’s tents. In summer, blossoming flowers all over the fields form another gorgeous sight.
Besides, you can visit the Ke’er Monastery in Litang. A prestigious Gelugpa Monastery, the entire monastery is built along the mountain, with varied heights. Then, we will pass Haizishan Mountain (4700m) and finally reach Batang County.
Stay overnight in Batang.
Day 4 Batang - Jinsha River - Markam - Lawu Mountain - Dongda Mountain - Zogong (260km)
Today, we begin to enter the region of Tibet. Our tour vehicle will pass through three renowned rivers, namely Jinsha River, Lancang River and Nu River, all originating from the rivers of Tanggula Mountains. As the raging torrent pounds jagged mountains in deep valley, you can hear the roaring sound of nature. Undoubtedly, this part of the road is treacherous.
Keeping moving westwards, we will pass Lawu Mountain (4358m) and Dongda Mountain (5008m). Standing on the lofty mountain passes, you can take in the spectacular views of wandering Sichuan-Tibet highway and Lancang river crawing through mountain ranges. At night, we will arrive in Zogong.
Stay overnight in Zogong.
Day 5 Zogong - Bangda Grassland - Yela Mountain - Seventy-two Bends - Rakwa Tso (200km)
Today, we will continue our adventure to the next destination of Rakwa Tso. We will first pass Bangda Grassland, one of the most important pastures in Tibet. This place is quite enchanting, decorated with tender flows of river, boundless grass, flocks of yaks and horses, and nameless wild flowers and lushes.
After a short visit to Bangda Grassland, we will overcome the precipitous Yela Mountain (4839m), the most dangerous natural barrier on Hengduan Mountain Range. Then following the famous Seventy-two Bends, we will descend to the shore of Nu River. Keeping moving westwards, we will enter a world of snow-capped mountains, pristine forests and idyllic villages. The altitude change could reach 2500m from the mountain pass to the valley bottom, thus you can experience 4 seasons just in a single day. At night, we will reach Rakwa Tso.
Stay overnight at Rakwa Tso.
Day 6 Rakwa Tso - Midui Glacier - ParlungTsangpo - Bomi (250km)
Rakwa Tso is a typical seasonal glacial lake in Chamdo, serving as source of Parlung Tsangpo Lake. Stretching westwards for about 10 km, this narrow river slowly plunges into a huge canyon. The flickering light of Rakwa Tso shows incredible beauty, with the snow-capped peaks and primeval forests afar as the background.
Leaving the amazing Rakwa Tso behind, we will hit the road and traverse dense forest and turbulent Parlung Tsangpo, until reaching Bomi. On the way, you can visit the Midui Glacier, famed as the most beautiful glacier in China. It is also known as the only glacier with the lowest altitude in the world.
Stay overnight in Bomi.
Day 7 Bomi - Tongmai - Lulang Forest - Sejila Mountain - Nyingchi (230km)
Following the wide valley, we venture into the canyon of Parlung Tsangpo. The canyon and its surroundings form an earthly paradise, where you can see raging torrent, gushing waterfalls one after another. Then, we will head to the renowned Lulang Forest. Covering an area of 15 square kilometers on the plateau, this charming forest is full of vibrant shrubs, pine trees and spruces. At the foot of the mountain, the local Tibetans live besides the brooks. We can visit local Tibetan village, meet the locals and enjoy some local snacks there.
Standing at the viewing platform of Lulang, You will enjoy the stunning panorama views of Mt. NamchaBarwa(7782m). We will have a short stay at the Sejila Mountain Pass (4728m), where you can view the colorful leaves on the mountain in autumn. After that, we will move westwards to Nyinchi, the biggest city in eastern Tibet. If you come in spring, you will see beautiful peach flowers in full bloom at the foot of the forest.
Stay overnight in Nyingchi.
Day 8 Nyingchi - Lhasa (420km)
Today, we will take our final drive of this road trip. Following the Nyang River, we keep moving west to the final destination, Lhasa. On the way, we will see the different scenery, featuring idyllic pastoral scene along the valley. After passing Mila Pass (5013m), we will finally arrive in Lhasa valley. The magnificent Potala Palace standing on the Red Hill will appear in your sight. Upon arrival, we will check in hotel for a good rest.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
If time is enough, we will pay a visit to Basumtso, a beautiful small holy lake of Tibetan Buddhism. Entrance fee around 30 USD is not included in price quotation. Please pay on site by tourists.
Day 9 Lhasa Tour: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street (B, D)
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 Gampo'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 part of Tibet.
Finally, you’ll taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house and enjoy a welcome dinner at night.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
After finishing the sightseeing, if time allows, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. Besides, you can also choose to upgrade your tour to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD).
Day 10 Lhasa Tour: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery
Today, you will visit two of the three prestigious Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416, Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. Situated at the foot of Gambo Utse Mountain, Drepung was once home to more than 10000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving 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 highlight is the monk debate held in the courtyard at around 3-5 in the afternoon. Besides, you can also see the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha and the three sand Mandalas and then visit the Tibetan scripture printing house.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 11 Departure from Lhasa
The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you with boarding.
Prices of Chengdu to Lhasa Overland Tour
|Departures||Price Per Person||Single Room Supplement||For Booking|
|Apr 11 – Apr 21||US$ 1790||US$ 285||Request Booking|
|May 01 – May 11||US$ 1790||US$ 285||Request Booking|
|May 14 – May 23||US$ 1790||US$ 285||Request Booking|
|Jun 6 – Jun 16||US$ 1790||US$ 285||Request Booking|
|Jul 01 – Jul 11||US$ 1990||US$ 385||Request Booking|
|Aug 08 – Aug 18||US$ 1990||US$ 385||Request Booking|
|Sep 02 – Sep 12||US$ 1990||US$ 385||Request Booking|
|Sep 23 – Oct 03||US$ 2190||US$ 430||Request Booking|
|Oct 10 – Oct 20||US$ 1990||US$ 385||Request Booking|
Note: The prices above are just for your reference. The prices are based on your traveling time and the number of tourists in your group. Place contact us for the actual price according to your plan.
- Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
- 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
- Meals listed in itinerary
- Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
- Local Tibetan English-speaking guide
- Local tour transfer, comfortable tourist vehicle according to group size
- One shared big Oxygen tank in the car
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance
- Handy map of Tibet
- U sleep travel pillow and drinking water
- First aid kit
- Chinese visa
- International flight to and out of China
- Domestic train/flight to and out of Tibet. (We offer domestic train/flight ticket booking service, please contact our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
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