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19-Day Big Loop Tour around Ngari from Lhasa

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Explore the "unmanned zone" - a paradise of wild animals and birds
  • Admire the center of the world - Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar
  • Explore Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse and trace the historic footprints of Tibetan Buddhism

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Lhasa (Arrival) (3650m)

When you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel. Tourists may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Bhamaputra river (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa river on their way to Lhasa.

After arriving in Lhasa, you can take a rest and get acclimatized to high altitude. If you feel to go out, then you can go to the Potala Square, where you will enjoy the fountain with different colors and get amazing photos of the Potala and around.

Insider Tips:
For the new-comers of Tibet,  to get acclimatized to the high altitude in Tibet. Having a good sleep in your hotel is a good option.  Don not rush to visit attractions inside Lhasa city.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Lhasa.

tibet tour

tibet tour

Day2  Lhasa Sightseeing - Potala Palace and Johkang Temple, Barkhor Street(B)

Today's tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace which is the winter palace of the Dalai lama. It was put to use since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.

Then after lunch, tourists head to Jokhang temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve. Outside, you can see pilgrims making prostrating in front of Jokhang Temple. Around the temple is Barkhor street, where you can do kora (a religious circle of a building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals, and explore the old market.

Besides, We can taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house; The welcome dinner will also be arranged accordingly;

Optional:
With time permitting, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. You can upgrade your service to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD)

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Lhasa

potala palace

jokhang temple

Day3  Lhasa Tour - Drepung and Sera Monastery (B)

In the morning ,you are going to visit Drepung monastery which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. You can visit biggest monastery kitcheninside the monastery and enjoy Buddhist Sculpture Carving workshop near Drepung. 

In the Afternoon, Tourists will visit Sera Monastery which is another one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet. The hot attraction is the Monks debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon. In addition, you can tour  the Tibetan religious scripture printing house; inside the monastery, you can see three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Lhasa

sera monastery

drepung monastery

Day4  Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) : Yamdrok-tso, Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum(B)

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse .On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) .The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance you can have spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar, (7191m) the highest mountain near Lhasa .

Later, we will pass and enjoy the Korola Glacier on the roadside; At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang pray flag at Simila Mountain Pass; Then, we will arrive in Gyantse, historically Tibet's third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse).In Gyantse, we will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy the Far view of Gyangtse Fortress.

After one and a half driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse,  we may visit traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer). 

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Shigatse

yamdrok

gyantse dzong site

Day5  Shigatse (3900m) to Everest Base Camp(5200m): Tashilunpo Monastery, Gawula Pass, EBC(B)

In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Then, we’ll leave Shigatse after getting your Alien’s travel permit, and then drive to Lhatse, it is a small town where you can have lunch.

After that, we will pass Tsola Pass(4600M), and Gyatsola Pass(5248M). Shortly after we enter Mt. Everest National Nature Reserve, tourists can enjoy the panorama of Himalaya at Gawula Pass(5198m).Then we drive along the New zigzag road to Everest Base Camp(5200m). You can get closer to gazt at the Mt. Everest peak. The sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permits at the lodging area.

Accommodation:Stay overnight at Rongbuk monastery guest house.

shigatse tashilunpo monastery

mt everest

Day6  EBC to Saga(450km)
In the morning, we can enjoy the sunrise of Everest Peak at lodging area if weather permits; then As we head to saga, you can view of the worlds’14th highest peak Mt.Shishapangma (8012m), and  Turquoise Lake Peiku tso(4590m). If you are lucky enough, you are very likely to see wild animals like wild donkey, wild antelope etc.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in local guesthouse

shishapangma

shishapangma

Day7  Saga to Darchen via Lake Manasarovar(450km)
On the way to Darchen, you will have a chance to appreciate the stunning view of the Saga valley between Gangdise Range and Himayala Range. Meanwhile, the beautiful grassland and local's villages can also be seen. As we cross the Mayomla Pass(5112M), you can enjoy the spectacular vista of Mt. Naimonanyi(7694M).  Then we are supposed to pass by the holy Lake Manasarover and finally arrive at the southern foot of Mt.Kailash, the most holy mountain in Tibet. 

Accommodation:stay overnight in local guesthouse

lake manasarovar

lake manasarovar

Day8  Darchen-Drirapuk (driving 7km, trek13km)
In the morning, we are supposed to take eco-bus from Darchen to Sarshung valley. Then we will meet Yaks and porters at Sarshung village. (the cost of hiring yaks, horses, and porters are not included in the package) After that, we can begain the trek (Around 13km) from Sarshung to Drirapuk Monastery along the Lachu valley and rivers. You can enjoy the both west and north face of mountain Kailash today. Finally, we will visit Drirapuk Monastery

Accommodation:stay overnight in local guesthouse

drirapuk temple

drirapuk temple

Day9  Trek Day Two - Drirapuk to Dzultripuk (trek 18km)
Today, we will trek over  Dromala pass(5630m), the highest pass of the Kora. On the way you can have a rest in a teahouse. All the way, you can see locals Tibetans prostrating in the Kora path and beautiful Kadoe Lake when walk downhill. We may also visit Zutulpuk Monastery

Accommodation:Stay overnight in local guesthouse

mt kailash

mt kailash

Day10  Trek day three - Drirapuk to Darchen (7km trekking,driving 5km)

On the day three of the kora. you will trek 7km to Zongto where you can take bus to Darchen. Along the Kora, you can see piles of Mani Stones. We will end the Trek around noon, rest in the lodging place.

(Optional): Taking bath in Lake Manasarova and enjoy hot spring

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Darchen

mt kailash

mt kailash

Day11  Darchen to Tsada: Guge Kingdom and Torling Monastery
It is about an eight-hour driving from Darchen to zanda, though the distance is only about 243km. After several hours of zigzagging down and up fantastically eroded gorges and gullies, we enter wider Sutlej Valley and finally reach Zanda after crossing a bridge. Tsamda county is the current name for the region and was known as Guge kingdom. The capital of the county is located at Toling. Toling monastery, founded by Richen zangpo in the 10th century, was once Ngari's most important monastic complex. 
It was due to the influence of Richen Zangpo that Toling became the main religious centre of Guge kingdom after inviting the great Indian master ATISHA. The kings of Guge replaced the city as a political centre of power by establishing capital slightly closer to the Indo-Tibetan trade routes. But the monastery is still an important cultural heritage of Ngari.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Tsada.

guge kingdom ruins

guge kingdom ruins

Day12  Tsada--Shiquan River: Clay Forest, Xiangquan River Canyon
Today, we are expected to travel from Tsada to Shiquanhe town. The 200km’s scenic drive would be your lifetime experience. You will be able to see the stunning Clay Forest formed by crustal movement in Xiangquan River Canyon. Shiquanhe town is the capital city of Ngari prefecture as well as the last big town during the big loop tour of Ngari region. Later, Tourists can tour the Shiquanhe town and buy some supplies for the following travel. 

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Shiquanhe Town

pangongtso

pangongtso

Day13  Shiquan River--Pangong Tso --Shiquan River: Pangong Tso, Rutog Rock Painting
The focus of today’s tour will be the Pangong Tso Lake(4242m), or known as the “long-necked swan”. It is the world’s highest birds’ habitat. In the lake are over a dozen of islands and it is home to more than 20 kinds of wild birds, including Bar-headed goose, Brown-headed Gull, etc. 

On the way back to Shiquanhe Town, we will stop at Rutog County to visit the famous Rutog Rock Painting. The paintings involve the sun and moon, mountains, horses, cattle, antelopes, houses, and locals, vividly presenting the livelihood of ancient Tibetan nomads around Pangong Tso Lake. After that, we will head back to Shiquanhe Town. Tourists can buy some supplies for the following journey. 

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Shiquanhe Town

tibet tour

tibet tour

Day14  Shiquan River---Gerze: Changthang grassland,Tibetan Wildlife, Salt Lake
Starting from Shiquanhe Town, we will pass Gégyé and travel all the way to Gerze. Shortly after we venture into theChangthang grassland of Gégyé County, we will enjoy packs of wild Tibetan donkeysTibetan antelopes, and Tibetan gazelle, etc. Besides, a great number of nameless lakes, mountain passes, and snow-capped mountains make picturesque scenery. On the way, we can also see a big salt lake and trucks preparing to load supply from here. And finally finish the over 200km’s drive from the salt lake to Gerze. 

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Gerze

Day15  Gerze-Wanpo South Village: Wildlife, Zhari Namco Lake, Tangra Yumco Lake
As you enjoy the ride from Gerze to Wanpo South Village, you will have a rare chance to see a variety of rare wildlife that can only be seen in remote areas of western Tibet. Animals like Tibetan gazelle, marmot, and Black-necked cranewild donkey, etc. will keep you company in Northern Ngari where there is little human presence. 

After we pass Coqen County, tourists can see many colorful mountains, red, green, or yellow, largely due to the abundant mineral resources hidden inside these mountains. The road gets bumpier as we move from Coqen to Zhari Namco Lake. The lake is widely-known as the largest saline lake with the highest altitude in Ngari region and its favorable environment produces ibetan cashmere goats. 
In the afternoon, we will be arriving at Tangra Yumco Lake, which is the holiest lake in Bon religion. Many believe that its holiness is equal to that of Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova. It’s said that the color of the lake can change three times within a single day. Having finished visiting Tangra Yumco Lake, we would move to Wanpo South Village

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Wanpo South Village

Day16  Tour Wanpo South Village
Facing Tangra Yumco Lake and Dagoer Snow Mountain, Wanpo South Village (4500m) is a secluded and picturesque place with charming pastoral scene. The local villagers here are half-nomadic and half-farming. They cultivate barely, potatoes, Rapeseed and Bok Choy, etc. Such peaceful , harmonious and pastoral scene is extremely rare at such altitude. that’s why it’s called the “Wanpo Paradise”. Tourists can have a good rest in the village and explore this village. If you are interested, you may visit Dangchung Monastery in Wanpo North village. 

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Wanpo South Village

Day17  Wanpo South Village--Nima--Bangkog--Namtso Lake: Tibetan gazelles, Serling Tso, Namtso
Today, we will have an early star. After we leave Nima, and you will find yourselves travel in the world of Tibetan gazellesand finally we will reach Serling Tso around noon after passing numerous small lakes. Serling Tso is the second largest saline lake in northern Tibet, only next to Namtso Lake. In Tibetan, it is believed to be a “Demon Lake”. 

In the afternoon, we are about to continue our journey to Namtso Lake. We will move close-wise along the north bank of Serling Tso and you will see many Tibetan Antelopes and Tibetan gazelles grazing or playing at lakeside. Around 3 hours’ drive we will arrive at Tashi Island of Namtso. Here, you can enjoy the stunning view of Namtso and climb the Tashi Island to have a panoramic view of the biggest salt lake in Tibet. Never miss the chance to view the starry night at the bank of Namtso Lake. It will definitely be one of the highlights of this long journey.  

Accommodation:Stay overnight at Namtso

namtso

namtso

Day18  Namtso to Lhasa(220km)
In the morning, never miss the stunning sunrise view of the Namtso Lake. Then we will head back to Lhasa. As we pass the Yangpachen Hot Spring (Optional, 25USD, does not included in package)

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Lhasa

lhasa river

lhasa river

Day19  Depart from Lhasa
The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.

Accommodation:

lhasa airport

lhasa airport

What's Included

All necessary Tibet Travel Permit. (Including Tibet Entry Permit, Alien Travel Permit, Boarder Pass
Private professional English-Speaking local tour guide
Licensed Vehicle with experienced driver
Airport (or train)pick up and drop off
Accommodation listed in the itinerary
Breakfast provided by the hotel
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
A container of Oxygen for emergency use
All taxes, fees and handling charges
Lodging and meal allowance to the guide & driver
Reservation fee for visiting Potala Palace
2 bottles of drinking water per person per day
Meals not specified in the itinerary (All lunches & dinners)
All Entrance tickets to the sightseeing places
Flight/Trian tickets in and out of Tibet
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Any losses incurred from the force majeure factor like government control, natural disaster etc.
Tips to the guide & driver ( Tips is not required but expected)
Single room supplement

Additional Info

Alterations of Itineraries

The travel date, service items, itinerary and number of visitors, visitors’ ID information, etc. can be modified free of charge 30 days or more before the trip. If the visitor needs to make a second modification, an additional service fee of 5% of the deposit will be charged. Every time the content of the travel contract is modified, the company reserves the right to re-quote.

Cancellation Policy

Once the deposit is paid, your trip is confirmed. If you need to change or cancel your itinerary, please contact your travel consultant by email, phone, instant messenger, etc. There will be a charge for Cancellation or modification. The policy is as follows:

1. Notice of trip cancellation due to personal reasons before the trip starts
Cancellation 30 days or more before the trip starts, 10% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 29-15 days before the trip starts, 20% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 14-7 days before the trip starts, 30% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 6-2 days before the trip starts, 50% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation within 48 hours prior to the trip starts, no refund of your deposit.

2. Trip cancellation due to irresistible factors before the trip starts

If you have to cancel the itinerary due to irresistible reasons such as traffic, weather, politics, etc., the deposit will be fully refunded by the company (for loss related to air ticket/train ticket, please take reference of the first item).

Reviews

 Logen143
Travel Date:May 27, 2019

Amy local agent have done great job in arrange the 15days tour. She is always ready to answer any queries and keep checking on us during the trip. Our guide Ngawang local Tibet guy was excellent in guide and take care us individually to complete this tour without any problem.with his expertise manage guide us well and very accommodating for all our needs.

For first time traveler to TIbet, please clear all your doubts and explain well your expectations on food and accommodation so Amy will able arrange it accordingly. Overall it was pleasant trip.Thanks to Amy and Ngawang

 Elaine
Travel Date:Dec. 12th 2018

I cannot praise the Asia Odyssey Travel operation highly enough, from the applying of permit to the expertise of our guide. Everything was well arranged. Our guide, Puktso, was both personable and knowledgable, and yet was able to keep things moving. I will definitely go back to Tibet again!

 booyunhan
Travel Date:June 6, 2019

I had a wonderful 9 days trip in tibet. I enjoyed very aspect of this trip. Registration and organisation was very easy, and the driver was very kind and enthusiastic, so we weren't bored even during long distances. The food was great, and I especially enjoyed the purple sweet potato. The staff were polite and did their best to make us feel comfortable and listen to our needs.

I felt comfortable with everyone I met on this trip. I truly felt as if I had experienced and witnessed the lifestyle of Tibet, and I definitely recommend this place to other travelers. If the chance arises, I would like to go on this trip once again.

Thanks Amy, Tashi; he was a fantastic guide and my sweet driver; he made me laugh a lot. Oh, don't forget to bring a lot of headache tablet you might need a lot.

 changshu1999
Travel Date:August 11, 2019

The tour guide and diver are pretty kind and zealous! And all the stories the guide told are very attractive as well. Hope next time visiting there, they can entertain us again.

 A TripAdvisor China Member
Travel Date:January 3, 2019

Most beautiful place to go! Tour guide very funny and knowledgeable. Tour guide very good on taking picture. Suggest more site seeing and less temple. Suggest to eat hot pot every night. We reach the tallest point of 5248. Make sure not to fall to sleep. Make sure to take high altitude sickness bill and travel sickness bills before going. This trip is not for everyone, but for those whose are health and want to have some advantages. Make sure to bring flu and cold medicine with you since you can get sick very easily during winter. Very cold during the winter and make sure to bring enough cloths. Bring lotions, sun glasses and gloves. Make hot water every night in hotel and put it into the drink bottle to warm your bed. Best if you take the train to go in and plane to get out. But check the weather first, if snowing make sure to take the train. Once snowing, all plane will stop flying. Most beautiful place to go! Tour guide very funny and knowledgeable. Tour guide very good on taking picture. Suggest more site seeing and less temple. Suggest to eat hot pot every night. We reach the tallest point of 5248. Make sure not to fall to sleep. Make sure to take high altitude sickness bill and travel sickness bills before going. This trip is not for everyone, but for those whose are health and want to have some advantages. Make sure to bring flu and cold medicine with you since you can get sick very easily during winter. Very cold during the winter and make sure to bring enough cloths. Bring lotions, sun glasses and gloves. Make hot water every night in hotel and put it into the drink bottle to warm your bed. Best if you take the train to go in and plane to get out. But check the weather first, if snowing make sure to take the train. Once snowing, all plane will stop flying.

 Karin88888
Travel Date:May 30, 2019

We had a wonderful 8 days trip in Tibet with agency Odyssey travel’s organization and thanks too to our operator Amy’s help from begining to the end. Also, our guide she is an excellent guide, she is passionate and knowledgeable about Tibetan culture and religion, she taught us more than we thought. Thank you again Amy for your patience and all the follow-ups when I had questions even at night local time in China, it was great to have you as my tour operator. I feel very lucky to have accomplished my goal to the Mr. Everest, thanks for making this possible for us : )