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16-Day Tibet to Xinjiang Overland Trip

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Experience the breathtaking views along the Xinjiang-Tibet highway
  • Explore Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse and trace the historic footprints of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Features a pilgrimage excursion to the holy mountain Mt. Kailash

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Arrival – Lhasa (3650m)
Arrive by flight or train to Lhasa. Upon arrival in the Lhasa Gongar airport or the Lhasa train station, you will be met by your tour guide and driven to Lhasa downtown. Then have a rest in Lhasa to acclimatize the high altitude.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Lhasa

tibet tour

tibet tour

Day2  Lhasa Sightseeing - Potala Palace and Johkang Temple
In the morning, you will go to the most splendid museum, the Potala Palace, and explore the grandest chapels of its kind and see the jeweled burial chorten of past Dalai Lamas as well as statuary, frescoes and paintings.
Later visit the Jokhang Temple, which is considered as the most sacred temple in Tibet, and draws tremendous number of pilgrims from all over Tibet each year for it houses a magnificent image of Sakyamuni at 12 years old.
Then stroll around Barkhor is a well-known pilgrimage circuit that encircles the Jokhang, and the Barkhor street itself also serves as the biggest bazaar in Lhasa, where you can find some handicrafts, ambers, jewelry, Tibetan clothes, ect.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Lhasa

sera monastery

drepung monastery

Day3  Lhasa sightseeing-Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery
Today, you will explore Tibet's two greatest monasteries, Drepung and Sera which once housed about 10,000 monks. Drepung monastery is situated at the foothill of a mountain and was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. The monastery is divided into two different colleges that are Drepung loselling and Drepung Gomang college. The Ganden podrang was famous among them as it is the government centre during fifth Dalai lama and later was moved to the famous Potala palace during fifth Dalai lama. In the afternoon tourists explore the Sera monastery which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The whole monastery is divided into two colleges and there are Sera 'jhe' and Sera 'may' respectively. Among them 'Tsokhang chenmo' where the monks from all the colleges assemble and pray together there. You can also see monks debating there in the courtyard at around 6-7:30 in the afternoon section. Note: if you don't feel tired, you can try kora(circling around religious sites) Drepung and Sera monastery. Your tour guide and driver will drop you back to your hotel.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Lhasa

sera monastery

drepung monastery

Day4  Move forward to Shigatse via Yamdro-tso lake and Shigatse
The first day we drive westwards to Mt. Kailash via Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet. On the way to Shigatse, we will pass kangpa-la with 4700m. From the top of the pass in clear weather, we can see the Yamdrotso lake in fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Just a few kilometers driving through the shore of lake Yamdroktso lake reches Nangartse county and is the largest town on the lake side. Then we drive from yamdrok-tso to Gyantse city, and you have to cross the 4960m karo-la with its awesome roadside views of the Nanchan- Kangtsang glacier. In Gyantse city, you will explore the Kubum Monastery which is the town's foremost attraction. The 35m-high chorten(stupa) with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome, is awe-inspiring. Finally drive back to Shigatse.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Shigatse

yamdrok

yamdrok

Day5  Drive to Saga County (450km)
We can take western Tibet road from Shigatse to Saga. Through it is quite a long driving, and the newly paved road can help us drive faster and safer.

Accommodation:Overnight at Saga County

shishapangma

lake zabuye

Day6  Move from Saga to Lake Manasarovar(500km)
Then you are moving towards the Drongpa County, the region around the sources of Brahmaputra River, which is about 167km from the sagar town. Then you will reach the main road with a couple of basic guest houses, restaurants and a small monastery called "old Drongpa". Around the monastery you can see a pile of yak heads which is carved with "sutras" and "mantras" like "OM MA NI PAD MEY HUM" which is mantra of god of compassion. And new Drongpa is a small town with a couple of shops, hotels and restaurant is about 25km apart from the old drongpa. Then head towards the Baryang with 4750m above sea level. Drive to Lake Manasarovar.

Accommodation:Camp by the lake

lake manasarovar

lake manasarovar

Day7  Tour Manasarovar Lake, then to Darchen to prepare your trekking (30km)
You can relax around the lake shore and experience the natural beauty of the lake. In the summer, flocks of swans will gather on the lake, bringing grace and life to the area. You can also see so many Tibetans and Hindus praying and religious circling around the lake shore for the whole day. You can see snow-capped mountains on the background and hundreds of swans gathering on the lake will attract hundreds of thousand tourists world-wide.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Tarchen

lake manasarovar

lake manasarovar

Day8  Trek day one (Outer circuit), Darchen to Drirapuk 11km
Traditionally, a pilgrim undertakes 52 km trekking circuit around mount kailash commencing at darchen(4574m) and crossing the Dolma-la pass on the second day of the three day walk. Darchen is the starting point and ending for the general circuit of the sacred mount. A few kilometers after leaving Darchen, there is a valley called "sarshung" where porters are waiting for their clients. They will help the client to take belongings on yaks and horses. After two hours, you came upon a grassy plain populated by nomads. There you can refresh yourself in nomadic tent by drinking some soft drinks there. There will be another two hours at least before reaching Drirapuk(4920m). You need to camp or can rest in monastery's guest house made from cement with better facilities than others in Drirapuk. At the opposite side of Drirapuk, there you can see small monastery with its guest house little bit cleaner than others.

Accommodation:Overnight at local guest house

drirapuk temple

drirapuk temple

Day9  Trek day two, Drirapuk to Dzultripuk 22km
Day two: The second day is the hardest and most tough circuit with the Dolma-la pass, which lies 6.4km ahead but 762m above Drirapuk. The peak of Dolma-la pass is about 5630m above sea level, so it is better to set off early in the morning as the sunshine lights ridges above. After taking a rest on the peak of Dolma-la pass, you will descend to Lhachu valley via staircase, which takes about one hour from the pass. From here there is another four-hour trekking to today's final destination with no shelters in between. It is better to walk on the right side of the river and finally reach Dzultripuk(miracle cave of milarepa). Tourists are advised to get there before other groups’ arrival because the number of rooms available is so limited there in Dzultripuk. Take a good rest in the guest room and prepare for next morning's departure.

Accommodation:Overnight at local guest house

kailash

kailash

Day10  Trek day three- Dzultripuk to Darchen-11km
The tour guide will arrange you to visit the caves, the temple and shrines that have been built around Milarepa's cave. The walk back to Darchen is easy and the exit from the valley can be reached within three hours. At the ending point of the valley, the driver will come to pick you and take you back to Darchen.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Darchen

kailash

kailash

Day11  Darchen to Zanda, visit Guge Kingdom and Torling Monastery
It is about an eight-hour drive from Darchen to Zanda, though the distance is only about 243km from Darchen. After several hours of zigzagging down and up fantastically eroded gorges and gullies, we enter wider Sutlej Valley and after crossing a bridge, finally reaches Zanda. Tsamda County is the current name for the region and is known as Guge kingdom. And the county capital 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 the important cultural heritage of Ngari.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Zanda

Day12  Zanda to Pangong-tso Lake, 395km driving
Experience various landscapes on the way to Ali, the capital of Ngari prefecture which provides an excellent place for meditation. Indus river drives from mount Kailash and flows through this region and finally towards into Pakistan. It is a modern city with central administration, business and shopping district. Then we continue to Pangongtso Lake where you can visit the mysterious lake pangongtso of which the one part of lake is inside Tibetan area and other part is situated inside Indian Territory.

Accommodation:Camp by the Lake Shore

zhada

zhada

Day13  Pangong-tso - Dorma - Dahongliutan, 433km driving, Tialongtan-la pass more than 5000m
The road condition is very bad as we move far towards north and on the way to Dolma, the road condition becomes more difficult after leaving dolma. Soon we will reach a pass called Tialongtan-la pass with more than 5000m above the sea level. After than its still 7-8 hours way to reach Dahongliutan.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Guest House

pangongtso

pangongtso

Day14  Day 14-15: Dahongliutan to Yecheng, 499km, Kunlun and Karakorum mountain range
You need to drive 499km to reach Yechen from Dahongliutan, but the journey duration depends upon the climate and road condition. Then you will enjoy beautiful Kunlun mountain ranges on the right side, and the Karakorum mountain range on the left side (more close to Indian border). The trip soon begins as we pass by Mazar across the Kunlun mountain range. The chiragsaldi is the last pass that you need to cross and steep down towards the Yecheng ravine to Xingjiang. Yecheng is situated at the edge of the Taklamakan , a city with a pretty Bazaar inhabitated by Uigur and Han Chinese.

Accommodation:Spend overnight in hotel

Day15  Dahongliutan to Yecheng, 499km, Kunlun and Karakorum mountain range
You need to drive 499km to reach Yechen from Dahongliutan, but the journey duration depends upon the climate and road condition. Then you will enjoy beautiful Kunlun mountain ranges on the right side, and the Karakorum mountain range on the left side (more close to Indian border). The trip soon begins as we pass by Mazar across the Kunlun mountain range. The chiragsaldi is the last pass that you need to cross and steep down towards the Yecheng ravine to Xingjiang. Yecheng is situated at the edge of the Taklamakan , a city with a pretty Bazaar inhabitated by Uigur and Han Chinese.

Accommodation:Spend overnight in hotel

Day16  Yechen to karshgar, visit the edge of Taklamakan Desert
Kashgar is about 250km from the Yecheng and is the largest oasis in the whole China. The road condition is very smooth with black tar road that runs through the edge of Taklamakan desert. The scenery is very excellent with grey-black rocks and sand dunes composing the major features of the landscape of Taklamakan. The most interesting thing is that you should not miss the Sunday market, one of the largest weekly markets of Asia, as you reach there on Sunday. Especially in the morning you can see the highway, crowded with full-load donkey trucks carrying vegetable, fruits vendors, children and women.

Accommodation:

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

 Sharu
Travel Date:May 11th 2018

From the airport pickup time to the train station drop of, we enjoyed a five star service. I was welcome in a Tibetan way with Hada and Tibetan greetings, and our guide was careful with my itinerary and flight schedule, very thoughtful.

 beno v
Travel Date:June 30, 2019

I had an amazing, memorable trip with Amy/Odyssey: 9 days incl. Lhasa, EBC and Namtso Lake. Amy's service was excellent. From our first contact until after the trip all communication and organisation was very fast, clear and exhaustive. Our guide, Sun, made the whole trip even better. He is a really great, funny and laidback guy, proud Tibetan with very good knowledge of all relevant topics. Take into account that the pronounciation of English by Tibetan people/guides is of a different level than that of native speakers, and when you listen a bit more active than you normally do everything will be clear. The hotels were of a higher standard then expected which was really nice to start and finish the day. I recommend Amy/Odyssey to anyone planning a trip to Tibet! I will definitely go again with them on my next Tibet trip. June was a great time for weather and Tibetan festivities which made trip even more special.

 Getshulma
Travel Date:April 05th 2018

I was fully in love with Tibet. Truly unique. breathtaking, wonderful and yet once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was hoping I could stay longer to see the ancient city, Yamdrok Lake is the most beautiful lake I have ever saw.We managed to see as much as we can. Thanks to Claire who was very helpful to organize everything.

 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.

 Mary C
Travel Date:July 6, 2019

We worked with Shirley to build an itinerary of cycling through Tibet to EBC. She was incredibly helpful and responsive. She designed a trip that met our requests and exceeded our expectations. She worked with our tour members who would be traveling from North America and China to make sure we were all set with plenty of time to get visas and permits.

Our trip was 10 days in Tibet, with a rest and sightseeing day in Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple). Our amazing guide Phuntsok handled travel, permit, and hotel logistics with expertise and flexibility. He was a 5-star guide in every way- making sure we had everything we wanted and needed, giving cultural + historical context to the sights we saw, and having lots of fun with us.

We had 2 drivers (the van and a truck for our bikes) who were both very helpful, friendly, and good company.

We were worried it would get into rain season while we were there - instead we had beautiful, sunny days 9.5 out of our 10 days.

Thank you to all at Tibet Odyssey Tours for a trip we will remember for a lifetime.

 Dom B
Travel Date:January 5, 2019

My first and only group tour trip so far. What shall I say? Everything worked like a clockwork. My group mates where great and we had a lot of fun (and celebrated new year successfully). The travel agency (asia Odyssey travel) was definitely a good choice. The advises and caretaking I got from my agency (thanks amy, you are an angel ) was better then the one of my other group members (we talked about it openly). I'm lucky that I choose this trip, tour and agency. It was a good experience and I can definitely recommend it if you like a good and organized tour through tibet.