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11-Day Sichuan Tibet Overland Tour via G318

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Begin your adventure with a quick look at Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province;
  • Explore rural Sichuan Province and the upper reaches of the famous Yangtze River with its tranquil Tibetan villages, lush pastures, grazing yaks and spectacular blue skies;
  • Visit the spectacular Ke’er Monastery, built precariously along a mountain ridge;
  • Cross over into Tibet from Sichuan through a wonderous mountain pass into Nyingchi, the largest city in eastern Tibet;

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Arrival in Chengdu
Welcome to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan! Upon your arrival at the Chengdu airport or train station, your local tour guide will meet you to take you to your private car to transfer to your hotel and help you check in. You will have the rest of the day free to rest and relax in your hotel, or you can begin to explore the local area on your own. You might consider a stroll along the Chunxiu Pedestrian Street, the Broad and Narrow Alleyway, Jinli Ancient Street or if you arrive early enough you can visit the Wenshu Temple.

Accommodation:Overnight in Chengdu

Day2  Depart Chengdu – Ya’an – Luding – Kangding – Xinduqiao Bridge
Today’s travel distance: 410 kilometers / 255 miles

We will get an early start this morning with a 7 a.m. departure from Chengdu to Xinguqiao Bridge. Following along the course of the Dadu River, which is one of the upper tributaries of the Yangtze River, will be able to see the imposing Zheduo Mountain (elevation 4298 meters / 14,101 feet). As we pass by the mountain, the scenery changes as we begin to encounter small Tibetan-style villages, fertile pastures filled with yaks grazing under amazingly blue skies. Following along the winding roads, we will reach Xinduqiao Bridge, which is sometimes referred to as a “Paradise for Photography”. Verdant green fields, azure skies, snow-capped mountains and traditional Tibetan housing make this a wonderful place to take those Instagram-worthy pictures. We will spend the night here so you will have plenty of time to capture the magnificent scenery with your phone or camera.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Day3  Depart Xinduqiao – Yajiang – Litang – Haizi Mountain – Batang
Today’s travel distance: 400 kilometers / 249 miles

We will get an early start again this morning, traveling through some of the most beautiful scenery in all of China as we head west towards the Yalong River Valley. We will pass through Yajiang, a small city in western Sichuan Province located in a steep valley. Traveling on, we will reach Litang at an elevation of 4014 meters (13,169 feet). Still in western Sichuan, Litang is located on the Qinghai – Tibet Plateau. Litang is surrounded by natural grasslands covered with yaks, sheeps and the tents of nomads that take care of the animals. Here we will visit the Ke’er Monastery, a Gelugpa sect, Tibetan Buddhist monastery that sits picturesquely along a mountain ridge. From there we will travel on westward, passing by Haizi Mountain (elevation 4700 meters / 15,420 feet) as we reach today’s destination of Batang County.

Accommodation:Overnight in Batang

Day4  Depart Batang – Jinsha River – Markam – Lawu Mountain – Dongda Mountain – Zuogong
Today’s travel distance: 260 kilometers / 162 miles

As we cross over into Tibet from Sichuan, we will pass over three of China’s most famous rivers, the Jinsha, Lancang (upper Mekong) and Nu River, all of which originate in the Tanggula Mountains of Tibet. These roaring rivers have gouged deep valleys over millions of years, creating some beautiful scenery in the area. As we continue on to the west through eastern Tibet, we will pass by Lawu Mountain (4358 meters / 14,298 feet) and Dongda Mountain (5008 meters / 16,430 feet). Traveling through these high mountain passes will provide us with some spectacular views along the Sichuan – Tibet Highway as we reach today’s destination of Zuogong.

Accommodation:Overnight in Zuogong

Day5  Depart Zuogong – Bangda Grassland – Yela Mountain – Seventy-Two Bends – Rakwa Tso
Today’s travel distance: 200 kilometers (124 miles)

After departing from Zuogong we will visit the Bangda Grassland, a scenic wild expanse of grassland criss-crossed with rivers and dotted with horses, yaks, beautiful wildflowers and lush grass. From there we will head on to Yela Mountain Pass (4839 meters / 15,876 feet), a precipitous pass through the Hengduan Mountain Range. Yela Mountain itself stands at an imposing 5820 meters (19,094 feet) and it is a popular destination for Tibetan mountain trekkers. From there we will descend from the mountain along the Seventy-Two Bends, a famous stretch of zigzagging road named for the seventy-two curves in the road as it winds down the mountain.

Continuing on to the west, we will pass through snow-capped mountains, pristine forests and idyllic villages, sometimes experiencing all 4 seasons in a single day due to the changes in altitude. This evening we will reach Rakwa Tso where we will spend the night.

Accommodation:Overnight in Rakwa Tso

Day6  Rakwa Tso – Midui Glacier – Parlung Tsangpo – Bomi
Today’s travel distance: 250 kilometers / 155 miles

Rakwa Tso, also known as Rawu Tso or Ranwu Lake, is a beautiful glacial lake in Baxoi County, Tibet. Formed by a landslide dam, this lake is incredibly beautiful as it is surrounded by snowy mountain peaks and pristine forests. After some time here for enjoying its unique beauty, we will travel on to the Midui Glacier, the lowest altitude glacier in the world and ranked as one of the most beautiful glaciers in all of China.

Along the way to our destination of Bomi, we will be traveling alongside the Parlung Tsangpo River, so there will be continuously beautiful scenery all along the way. Once we reach Bomi, we will check into our accommodations for the night.

Accommodation:Overnight in Bomi

Day7  Depart Bomi – Tongmai – Lulang Forest – Sejila Mountain Pass – Nyingchi
Today’s travel distance: 230 kilometers / 143 miles

This morning we will depart from Bomi and travel through the wide valleys and canyons of the Parlung Tsangpo River. Raging river flows and numerous waterfalls can be seen along the way as we pass through Tongmai to reach the stunning alpine scenery of the Lulang Forest. Here we will visit a local Tibetan village to meet some of the local people and enjoy some local snack foods. From the plateau of the Lulang Forest we can have a fantastic view of one of the tallest mountains in the world - Mt. Namcha Barwa (7782 meters / 25531 feet). From there we will pass through the Sejila Mountain Pass (elevation 4728 meters / 15,512 feet) on our way to Nyingchi, eastern Tibet’s largest city that is famed for its peach blossoms in spring. After reaching Nyingchi, we will check into our local accommodations for the night.

Accommodation:Overnight in Nyingchi

Day8  Depart Nyingchi – Mila Mountain Pass – Lhasa
Today’s travel distance: 420 kilometers / 261 miles

This morning we will embark on the final drive of our long road trip. With better roads, we will be able to travel a longer distance today. Following alongside the Nyang River, the largest tributary river to the Yarlung Tsangpo River, we will have the opportunity to observe the beautiful scenery of rural Tibet along the way. We will reach the Mila Mountain Pass, which at an elevation of 5013 meters (16,447 feet) is the highest point of the Lhasa – Nyingchi Highway. From there we will descend into the Lhasa Valley, with the Potala Palace atop the Red Hill greeting us as we arrive into Lhasa. Upon arriving in Lhasa, we will check into our local hotel for the night.

Optional side trip today: Basum Tso

If time allows, we can visit Basum Tso, a small lake that is holy in Tibetan Buddhism. This green water lake has been called the most beautiful lake in Tibet. The entrance cost is a bit steep though at US$30 and this entrance fee is payable at the lake entrance.

Accommodation:Ovenright in Lhasa

Day9  Lhasa – Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
We will begin your exploration of Lhasa today with a visit to a world-famous landmark - the Potala Palace, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the world. Climb up to the palace along zig-zagging stone paths alongside the white and red walls to the top of the palace where you can gain a greater appreciation of the exotic Tibetan-style buildings as well as for a great view of Lhasa's entire urban area. After admiring the sweeping outside views, explore the inner spaces of the Potala Palace to find the stately chapels and learn more about the fascinating history of this special place.

From one historic landmark to another, your next stop will be at the Jokhang Temple, considered as the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Every day thousands of pilgrims come from all over Tibet and other places to the temple to worship the Buddha. The Jokhang Temple is also known as the "House of Buddha" because it houses the precious Jowo Rinpoche, a life-sized (1.5 meter/5 feet) image of the Sakyamuni at the age of 12.

The last stop for today's Lhasa exploration is Barkhor Street, the wide, circular street that surrounds the Jokhang Temple. Local residents enjoy walking on the street, completing several circuits around the temple as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many small shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handicrafts.

After your visit to the Jokhang Temple, we will take you back to your hotel for the evening.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Day10  Lhasa - Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery
This morning we will visit the beautiful Norbulingka Palace and Park, the location of the former summer palace of the Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until 1959. It features the famous Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai Lamas built in the grandiose style of traditional Tibetan architecture.

After visiting the palaces and park at Norbulingka, we will travel around 5 kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit the Drepung Monastery, the largest monastery in Tibet. The word "drepung" in Tibetan language means "prosperity". Since its establishment in 1416, Drepung Monastery has served as one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. During its prime, more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders studied at this monastery, including the Dalai Lamas. Accordingly, Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”.

In the afternoon, we will escort you on to another famous monastery in Lhasa - the Sera Monastery. Sera Monastery is famous for its spectacular “Buddhist Debates”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the various Buddhist doctrines with exaggerated gestures, which is thought to be helpful in facilitating a better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the "Buddhist Debates", we will take you back to your hotel with the rest of the day and evening to relax or explore on your own.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Day11  Departure from Lhasa
Today you will have free time until we meet you in the lobby of your hotel to transfer you to the Lhasa airport or train station for your departing flight or train.

Today's Tips:

1) Please take care to pack all of your belongings, particularly the small things that are easy to forget about, such as phone and camera chargers, power adapters, mobile phones, wallets, etc.

2) If your flight or train is in the afternoon, please be sure to check out of your hotel room by 12 p.m.

Accommodation:None

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

 jersey90104
Travel Date:June 26, 2019

We had a unique travel experience in Tibet specailly the landscapes we saw and local people we met.

Both of our tour guide and driver were excellent, our guide had a vast knowledge about the areas that we visited and also had extensive knowledge with the culture and history of Tibet. All the way, he made sure that we were comfortable with all aspects of the day. The place that he set for each day was appropriate for our abilities, because the tour schedule allowed for a slower start and initial days in Lhasa to adjust to the altitude. Also, the schedule did not put too much into one day. Once we departed from Lhasa and went to the higher altitudes, we did not have any problems with the heights because we were acclimated already, so a good schedule arrangment is very crucial for first-time tourists to Tibet. Our driver was very polite and accommodating person too, he always picked up us from the hotel on time every day and drove in a very safe manner and made us feel comfortable during the trip, he was a very nice man.

Additionally, I never forget the blue sky and white cloud in Tibet, everywhere is so gorgeous that could rarely see in big cities, we love it so much and hoped to stay there longer time. But only one point I want to tell here, the 3 star standard hotel in Tibet actaully is not really equal to 3 star standard hotel I ever stayed in domestic big cities of China, so choose 4 star hotel is suggested, I think it would be much more comfortable stay in the trip. Overall, the Tibet tour was excellent, here I much thanks to our travel agency Odyseey and consultant Amy for everything you did for us for the trip, thank you!!

 Nepal890
Travel Date:May 16, 2019

Anfangs April 2019 flog ich von Zürich-Chengdu nach Xining Dort blieb ich 2 Nächte ( anklimatisieren) und nahm nachher den Abendzug nach Lhasa. Etwas skeptisch betr. Sauberkeit! Alles war tadellos und die Abteils 1. Klasse (unbedingt) sehr sauber. Nach 20 Std. Fahrt sah es dann anders aus! Mein Tipp gilt für die ganze Tibetreise, viel trinken (pro 1000m Höhe.1 Liter) kein Alkohol, kein Stress, Diamox und Nasenspray. Ich hatte die ganze Zeit überhaupt kein Problem ( der Körper signalisiert es frühzeitig)

In Lhasa begann meine Overlandtour, die Gruppe bestand aus 2 Personen! Super! Die ganze Reise war wunderschön, alles gut organisiert. Ein Dankeschön geht an Asia Odyssey travel, besonders an Claire, meine Betreuerin ( die sehr gut deutsch sprich)t und an den Guide Pingzhuo, ein ganz toller, lieber Kerl!

Ich kann die Tour in jeder Beziehung nur empfehlen!

 philcori
Travel Date:May 29, 2019

Wonderful moments in Tibet thanks to Odyssey Travel. It was all so well organized thanks to Amy who had been so professional and supportive.

The beauty of landscapes and people in Tibet were simply mesmerizing. Our guide and driver were amazing companions for this travel. The Kora of Mount Khalash was the highlight of this wonderful journey. I learned a lot about the culture of Tibet.

Thank you Odissey!

Philippe cori

 Shanghaipitt
Travel Date:November 8, 2019

Just wanted to say I and my partner Jane had a fantastic trip of a lifetime and can’t thank all the team enough! Amy you did a great job! Everything went perfect loved the ancient Hotel and Tibetan people were so so nice to us. Train journey was a pleasure and 2 days past like 2 hours.

Would have loved more days in Tibet.

 GeminiTraveller24
Travel Date:August 5, 2019

My best friend and I were looking forward to taking the train ride from Xining to Lhasa. Unfortunately, until the day we landed in Chengdu, our tour operator (different from Asia Odyssey) was unable to purchase the tickets for us. I contacted Danny after Googling and he was extremely helpful. Within 3 hours of contact, he had our train tickets. They were delivered to our hotel the next day before we left for Xining, and until we boarded the train, he was in contact with us to ensure that everything went smoothly. Thanks to Danny, we got to experience this once in a lifetime journey! Highly recommended for excellent and fast response! Thanks, Danny!

 DaisyPurple
Travel Date:September 18, 2019

We booked the tour with Asia Odyssey after surveying few tour companies as it’s the cheapest among those with excellent reviews. Amy was the agent that contacted us and keep updating of our Tibet visa applications and train tickets arrangement. She is really helpful. She even came to our hotel in Chengdu in order to pass the physical train ticket to us despite we were staying nearby airport, yet she did not ask for any tips or car fare from us. Upon arriving at Lhasa, Amy still cared for us if we have any altitude sickness. She provided all the information we needed to know and get us into contact with the tour guide in Lhasa as well. The tour is superb. We viewed the Mount Everest from far during sunset and sun rise. It’s a lifetime experience never to be missed. Also, the tour guide 大海哥 is very responsible and fun, he make our hectic journey a full of fun, yet with lots of information regarding the history of Lhasa, Monasteries, Potala Palace and many more...The driver is steady, his driving skill is superb The journey to EBC is super winding yet no one had any car sickness Upon leaving Lhasa, Amy still followed up with us and we thank her well.