This tour begins at Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, Chengdu to Lhasa varies greatly in altitude. A traveler may experience four seasons within one day. It may snow heavily on the mountain. But be warm at its foot. For the most part, the highway is rugged and winding. After Ya-an, the flat eastern Tibet landscape gives way to undulating foothills at Dartsedo, the former capital of Chakla Kingdom and a tea and medical plant distribution centre and one of the three most important economical of Kham. Markhan is the intersection of Sichuan-Tibet highway and Yunnan-Tibet highway。
This tour constitutes a grand traverse of East Tibet, crossing the the mighty river gorges of Gyarong, Yalong, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween and Bramhapura. It encompasses the length and breath of Kham and Lhasa.The journey is fascinatingly beautiful. You will enjoy the views of overwhelming nature, mountains, interact with the locals and understand their culture, traditions and religions.
Chengdu To Lhasa Overland Tour Summary
Day 01: Arrive at Chengdu.
Pick up from airport, transfer to your hotel and settled up. verify itinerary with guide and driver and check equipment for next few days traveling.
Day 02: Chengdu – Dartsedo (Kangding) 325km.
View spot: Erlang mountain, Jasamkha chain bridge or Tibetan Thangkha Art Center.
Day 03: Dartsedo – Lithang 282 km.
View spot: Gyula Pass (Zuduoshan) (4,928m)
Day 04: Lithang – Markham 314 km.
View spot: Nomadic lifestyle, Tsokhla (Haizi shan) and Yangtze river.
Day 05: Markham – Bashu 357 km.
View spot: Mekong River, Dongda Mountain (5,005m) and ninety-nine road bendings.
Day 06: Bashu – Bome 219 km.
View spot: Rawo Lake and glaciers.
Day 07: Bome – Bayi 209 km.
View spot: Mt. Namchanbarwa from afar, and giant cypress tree.
Day 08: Bayi – Lhasa 393 km.
View spot: Bujhork Lamalin monastery, Basumtso Lake and arrive at Lhasa and check in hotel.
Day 09: Sightseeing in Lhasa.
View spot: Visit Norbulingka and Sera Monastery.
Day 10: Sightseeing in Lhasa .
View spot: Potala Palace, Joking temple and Barkhor Market street.
Day 11: Depart from Lhasa
What you can expect
Day 01: Arrive at Chengdu
Check-in, verify itinerary with guide and driver, check equipment
Day 02: Chengdu – Dartsedo (Ch Kangding) 325km
Depart from Chengdu, after we drive about 130km on the express way, we will drive in the green valley along the Qingyijiang River. Of course, the best always the hardest, we have to get over the first natural barrier-Erlang Mountain, for the high altitude and bad road conditions, this mountain was called the first barrier between Sichuan and Tibet in the past. But now, with the opening of Erlang Mountain tunnel (4km), the natural barrier became the smooth way. In the afternoon, when we get through the Erlang Mountain and pass by Glaring river, Jasamkha county (Luding), visit Jasamkha iron chain bridge or Tibetan Thangkha Art Center, we will arrive at the world wide famous ancient town Darted and its capital seat of Kangtze Tibetan Autonomous.
Day 03: Dartsedo – Lithang 282 km
Today we will drive to Lithang. First we will pass the Mountain Gyula (Zuduoshan) (4,928m). Reach the top of the mountain if weather permitted, you could see the mountain Minyang Gongkar. If you experience a drizzle day, you might see a beautiful rainbow hanging in the sky. Before getting Lithang, you will have to pass another three mountain passes, Mountain Gaoersi (4,412m), Jianziwan Mountain (4,659m) and Kazila Mountain (4,718m). On the way we pass by local Tibetan nomadic live as yak wool made tents, arrive at the highest county of the world—Lithang. It enjoys an altitude of 4,120 meters
Day 04: Lithang – Markham 314 km
Driving through the Lithang, grasslands are still the major scene. Tents are scattering, yaks are leisurely eating grass. After a ride on the long road, you are reaching the Tsokhala pass (Haizi shan) (4,675m). What makes the picture more beautiful is the snow-caped mountain featuring the stunning background. Through the tunnels, we could save much time to get to the border county—Bathang that is between Kangtze Tibetan Autonomous and Tibet Autonomous Region. Across the Yangtze River, before arriving today’s destination, we need to drive a certain distance of dusty and bumpy road. Markham is also the intersection of Sichuan-Tibet highway and Yunnan-Tibet highway
Day 05: Markham – Bashu 357 km
Depart from Markham, there will be a part of road with red soil. When finishing the red soil road. You are going to cross the Mekong River and pass the Dongda Mountain (5,005m). Our midway county is Zuogong. When get out of Zuogong, the car will move forward in the valley along a river. When we are at the little town of Bangda, we are getting close to the famous ninety-nine bendings. At the bottom of the bendings, we are meeting the Nujiang River. Passing the Nujiang River tunnel and several local villages.
Day 06: Bashu – Bome 219 km
About one and a half hours of car ride, we will pass the Rawo valley ditch, which is an enormous ice glacier. Before cars had to get through from the glaciers very carefully, but now the new road has been built, it became much safer and easier. The Rawo Lake is the famous high land glacier lake; there is dense forest near the bank accompanied with the clean and clear water in the lake. The shadow of the forest in the lake, the birds play and fly freely near the water. What a fairy land displayed in front of us. The road from Rawo to Bome landscape is terrific. The road is just between the river valley, the two sides of the road are great rock mountains covered by evergreen plants. At some section of the road, you could see snow-caped mountains and glaciers. The Bome County which located in the dense forest, will take our great attention. The famous Himalaya Mountain is located near this county, so we can easily see the Snow Mountains around the county.
Day 07: Bome – Bayi 209 km
We will drive in the dense forest, and then we will get over one mountains which clad with snow and ice, we arrive another destination. Also, in this section, we will face the most dangerous road throughout the Sichuan-Tibet highway. This part is called Tongmai. After you pass the Tongmai Bridge, the road becomes tougher with one side standing the cliff and another side crouching the deep ditch. This part is about 25km. When we drive through Lunang town, Bayi County is almost there. But before we reach it, we could see the Mt. Namchanbarwa from afar, pass the Sejila Mountain and visit the giant cypress tree (also called the king of cypress)
Day 08: Bayi – Lhasa 393 km
Today we can make an excursion to visit the Bujhork Lamalin monastery (belonging to Ningma-pa). And after then, we are starting our trip to Lhasa. Our car will drive along the Niyang River with beautiful scenes on the way. Today, we can make a detour to the Basumtso Lake. In the afternoon, we will arrive at the holy city of Lhasa and check in hotel.
Day 09: Lhasa：Norbulingka and Sera Monastery
We start the day with a visit to Norbulingka, the summer palace of Dalai Lama. Built in the 18th century by the seventh Dalai Lama, it has a tradition of hosting picnics in its beautiful garden. It is also the major venue for various Tibetan opera performances and dances during Shoton Festival (August-September). In the afternoon, we go to visit Sera Monastery, one of the three great Gelugpa universities. You will have the chance to observe one debating session of the monks. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Day 10: Lhasa: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor streets
Today we visit the world famous palace of Dalai Lama: Potala Palace. Also known as the winter palace, it was built in the 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama. Perched on the hilltop, Potala Palace gives you amazing views of the entire Lhasa city. You will visit private residential quarters of Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. We then visit Jokhang Temple, one of the most sacred sites in Tibet. It was founded in the 7th century by the first great Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo. Afterwards, we explore the surrounding Barkhor Old Quarter, where you will see pilgrims from all over the Tibetan plateau doing rituals on the street. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Day 11: End the tour
Your guide and driver transfer you to airport