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13 Days Overland Tour from Sichuan to Tibet (North Route)

Tour Code:26
Tour Type:Private
Grade: Overland tour
Group size: Maximum 12
Accommodation: Hotel & Lodge
Transportation: 4WD Land cruiser with support truck  Toyota 4500 1880 1420 1110 260  Mitsubishi jeep 1650 1280 1220 260
Highlight:This epic journey through Sichuan, across the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa, has attracted explorers and adventurers, pilgrims, traders, and even missionaries for hundreds of years. The journey is a long one, and requires a certain dedication on the part of the traveller, as well as a certain resilience to bumps! We have considerable experience of this route and know exactly what is required in terms of transportation, accommodation, and red tape, not to mention the fascinating sights along the way.
Every year from April to September, it is the best time to travel through some of the most attractive and beautiful areas in Sichuan and Tibet where you can enjoy the most typical Tibetan culture, life and landscape. With our 4 wheel drive land-cruiser, you start from Chengdu and end in Chengdu after you fly back from Lhasa, we drive you through the Tibet Plateau.
  • 4 nights in Lhasa, staying near the city's main attractions - the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple & 1 free day for self exploration in Lhasa.
  • Adventurous drive by best 4WD land cruiser across the ,roof of the world, with English speaking best local Tibetan guide.
  • Inspiring landscapes, superb mountain views, rich Buddhist history & culture & Tibetan Nomads.
  •  Hotels / lodges with Tibetan character wherever possible.
  • Complete hassle free Chinese (Tibet) travel documentation.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 1 Chengdu - Wolong - Danba
Today's Highlights:
Wolong Panda Base; Pass Siguniang Mountain; Arrive Danba

In the morning leave for Danba. We'll cross the Wolong Giant Panda Natural Reserve, where about 50 giant pandas are bred in a semi-natural environment. After lunch at Wolong, cross the foggy Balang Mountain (4,523 meters) and pass by the Siguniang Shan Mountain (four-girls mountain, highest peak 6250 m), late in the afternoon we reach Danba (1900 meters).

Day 2 Danba - Bamei
Today's Highlights:
Suopo Block Tower; Drive to Bamei

The local people are called Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetans. Danba has long been acclaimed as the Kingdom of Thousands of Ancient Blockhouses. Visit the ancient block towers in Suopo.

In the afternoon drive to Bamei. Pass by Donggu Scenery Spot (the Natural Bonsai Valley), which is situated at the Donggu Village 21 kilometers to the southwest of Danba County. In the valley, the clear Yak River flows through and numerous varieties of plants are well preserved and the lush and damp forests make it hard to view the sky. Many lakes and hot-water pools at the bottom of the valley create a world of steam. Reach Bamei in the late afternoon.

Day 3 Bamei - Kasa Lake - Garze
Today's Highlights:
Kasa Lake; Garze Monastery

Drive to Garze, the real cultural and religious center for the Tibetans living in Sichuan. In Tibetan "Garze" means "white and beauty", named after the famous temple in the county. On the way have a rest by the Kasa Lake. Upon arrival, visit Garze monastery of yellow sect (Gelug).

Day 4 Garze - Yilhun Lhatso - Dege
Today's Highlights:
Manigange; Xinlu Hai Lake; Dege Printing House

In the morning pass by Manigango to visit Xinlu Hai Lake (Yilhun Lhatso). Located at the foot of Chola Mountain in Dege County, Xinlu Hai Lake Scenic Spot is 98 kilometers from Garze County and 100 kilometers from Dege County.

In the afternoon we visit the Dege Printing House which has always been well reputed as the "Cultural Treasury at the Foot of the Snow Mountain." As the national leading protected entity of cultural relics, it is the biggest printing house in Tibetan area.

Day 5 Dege - Chamdo
Today's Highlights:
Pass Jinsha River Bridge; Cross Four Pass to arrive Chamdo

Drive across the Jinsha River (upper reaches of Yangtze) Bridge connecting Sichuan and Tibet heading for Chamdo. We will cross over no less than four passes: Khargang La (4,352 m), Lashi La (4,450 m), Jape La (4,680 m), and Tama La (4,511 m), with clutters of prayer flags waving in the wind on the peaks and friendly nomads waving at us from the grasslands.

Straddling the Mekong river, Chamdo (3200 m) was the former capital of Kham in East-Tibetan area and has a rich history as one of the earliest centers of the Tibetan plateau and home of Kalden Jampaling.

Day 6 Chamdo - Riwoche Jeep 105 km
Today's Highlights:
Jampaling Monastery; Drive to Riwoche

In the morning visit Galden Jampaling monastery. In the afternoon drive over the Zholpel La pass (4688 m) to Riwoche (3810 m).

Day 7 Riwoche - Dengchen Jeep 185 km
Today's Highlights:
Tengchen Monatery; Ritro Lhakhang

Drive on very bad road to Dengchen. Dengchen is the center of the Boen-Religion, which is a primitive religion based on ancient witchcraft and the worship to god and ghost, and was spread through the whole Tibet before the Buddhism was introduced into Tibetan area. Here visit two monasteries: Tengchen and Ritro Lhakhang.

Day 8 Dengchen - Bachen - Sok Dzong Jeep 255 km
Today's Highlights:
Drive to Sok Dzong

After master Tsuri La Pass (4200 m) and Shel La Pass (4750 m) we arrive at Bachen, the "big Yak hair tents". Continue to drive 30 km we reach Sok Dzong.

Day 9 Sok Dzong - Naqu Jeep 230 km
Today's Highlights:
Sok Tsanden Gompa; Drive to Naqu

Drive to the Sok Tsanden Zhol village, and visit the monastery of Nyimpa sect - Sok Tsanden Gompa. After that cross over two passes and reach the city of Shakchuka. Still just 100 km and two other passes have to be mastered before arrive at the today's destination Naqu. The northern route of Sichuan - Tibet Highway (Chengdu - Lhasa) and the Qinghai-Tibet Highway (Golmud - Lhasa) meet in Naqu.

Day 10 Naqu - Nam Tso Lake - Lhasa Jeep 480 km
Today's Highlights:
Namtso Lake; Nyenchentangla; Drive to Lhasa

Drive on the vast Qiangtang Grassland for Nam Tso. Cross the 5,150 m Lhachen La Pass and reach the Namtso or Tengri Nor along the newly paved way and set up camp at Tashi Dorie peninsula. It is said the holy lake and the holy mountain Nyenchentangla are a couple of lovers, who altogether guard the vast pasture and cattle. In the afternoon drive to Lhasa (3650 m), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region

Day 11 Lhasa Sightseeing
Today's Highlights:
Potala Palace; Jokhang Temple; Barkhor Street

We start from Lhasa's cardinal landmark- Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels

In the afternoon, we will drop a visit of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.

Day 12 Lhasa Sightseeing
Today's Highlights:
Drepung Monastery; Sera Monastery

About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains.

Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.

Day 13 Leave Lhasa
Today's Highlights:
Tour ends; Transfer to your next destination

Today, we will transfer you to the airport or the train station, to your next destination. Hope you had a wonderful time in Tibet.

Tips for This Tour
Do not be afraid of the AMS. This route starts from Chengdu of Sichuan basin, then heading west to higher altitude. Although there are several passes beyond 4000m, there will be no problem due to the short passing time; (More about the AMS)

Prices in USD (1:7)
    Vehicle Type

 2 persons

3 persons

4 persons

Single supplement
Toyota 4500





Mitsubishi jeep





The above price is just for your information only! There are fluctuations in the hotels of different seasons. Please ask the exact price firstly when you want to book the tour!

This trip price includes:

  1.  Comfortable Accommodation (3-star hotels in Lhasa and Shigatse);
  2. One 4WD Toyota 4500 Land Cruiser & one experienced driver;
  3. A Tibetan English-speaking tour guide;
  4.  All necessary Tibet permits;
  5. Breakfasts at all places;
  6.  Entrance tickets of sightseeing places;
  7.  Administration for visiting EBC.
  8. 2 bottles of Oxygen for each person.

The trip price does not include:

  1. Any meals which are not included in the "The trip price includes."
    Single Room Supplements (as the above quotation for accommodation is based on twin sharing room).
  2. International air and train tickets for coming to & leaving mainland China. Air tickets or train tickets not specified in the itinerary on the first arrival day and last departure day.
  3. Excess Baggage Charges.
  4. Personal expenses: Items of a purely personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips to guides or drivers, FAX, telephone, excess baggage charges, or sightseeing or meals which are not included in the day-to-day itinerary.
    Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
  5. Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.
  6. Visa fees

Please kindly note that meals usually can be arranged easily yourselves. The tour guide and driver can always help if necessary. If leave it to us, it costs around 50CNY/p.p for a lunch or dinner.

This trip takes you into areas well away from the usual tourist trail. But this mean groups share very basic accommodation often with limited access to hot water, no showers for several days, pit toilets, simple food with very little spoken or written English. Landslides or vehicle malfunction may cause disruption to the trip. There are some long travel days, often on rough dirt roads.


  1. Minor program changes sometimes are necessary, depending on road conditions, weather and availability of room.
  2. .Health consultation from your doctor before you come to highland (Over than 3000M).
  3. As we travel in Tibet area where the economy much more backward than other place, the diversity food is limited, so we suggest you take some solid food. Most of local restaurant only can offer the simple Sichuan and Tibetan Dish.
  4. The temperature varies greatly and sunshine can be very strong, please bring jackets, sunburn cream, medicine for altitude sickness etc.
  5. For avoiding the altitude sickness, please don`t do violent exercises, drink more water and rest as much as possible after sightseeing.
  6. We suggest you don`t go outside of your hotel during the night.
  7. Most of the time you will enjoy the beautiful views in the car, and the driving hours are very long in this tour.
  8. Tourists should take the high plateau altitude into consideration, if unexpected accident(injury, death etc.) happen, the Insurance Company will compensate according to the regulations not our company.
  9. This line most place short of water, some hotels can not provide enough hot water for bathing but you won have problems in cleaning your mouth and face.
  10. Prices listed above are valid excluding the periods of Chinese and Tibetan New Year, May day holiday, China National Day holiday,Shoton Festival and other important Tibetan Festival,activities which cause the big tour price change, an enquiry would be necessary for the exact tour price if you happened to travel during these periods. ......

            >>>More Tibet FAQ

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chinauniquetour  is a branch of CITS (China International Travel Service), one of China's largest and oldest travel agencies.Your satisfaction is our priority. All our guides, drivers and vehicles are carefully selected, certified for tourism and fully insured. Our tours have no unscheduled or mandatory shopping stops so you spend your time and money wisely.