Sichuan Tibet Overland Adventure
14 Days/13 Nights
This is one of the two main routes of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway that links the Tibetan areas of Western Sichuan with mainland Tibet. This route is longer than the southern route but less affected by rain during summer. The journey goes through the wild, mountainous and remote Tibetan areas of Western Sichuan and if you have traveled to Tibet proper before, you will be amazed to see that Tibetan culture is in many ways better preserved here. The route offers an insight to the culture, dress and tradition of Khampa people and you will visit big monasteries in Ganzi and Derge.
Because of geographical remoteness and poor infrastructure and facilities, this journey could be very tough and challenging and requires a good amount of determination before you sign up for this trip
Day 01: Arrive in Chengdu
We are met by our representative and transferred to the hotel.
Day 02: To Kangding (250 miles, 8 hrs)
Enjoy the rural scenery of the Eastern Kham of Tibet, now a part of Sichuan. Khangding was the historical capital of the local Tibetan kingdom of Chala. The journey goes along the Chengdu-Ya'an Highway, passing by Ya'an (the Rainy City); traversing through Qingyijinag Valley and crossing through the famous Mt. Erlang channel. Accommodationin Khangding, a standard tourist hotel.
Day 03: To Daofu (Dawu)
Before continuing to Daofu, we visit Lhagang Monastery of theSayka sect. It is surrounded by three hills symbolizing three Boddhisattvas. Also, we see some stupas and the remains of past teachers associated with the monastery. At Daofu, you will visit the 450 years old Nyitso Monastery-the largest monastery of the town. Accommodation in guesthouse.
Day 04: To Ganzi
The journey between Dawu to Ganzi passes through several bustling towns containing impressive monasteries. We come across the uniquely dressed Khampa people and their elegant dwellings built with wood and stone. Accommodation in guesthouse.
Day 05: To Derge
In the morning visit the 540 years old Garze monastery of the yellow hats-sect (Gelug). In the afternoon, we drive to Derge, lying on the border between Tibet and Sichuan. En route, we will visit the Dargye Monastery in Rongbasta village, andDzochen Monastery; it’s a 40 mile detour north from Manigango and stop by YihunLha-tso , the alpine lake. The inhabitants in Derge are Khampa-Tibetans who have independently lived here for hundreds of years and the influence of Lhasa reaches this region in the slightest way. Accommodation in theDerge Hotel, private bathroom may be available.
Day 06: To Chamdo (210 miles)
In the morning, visit Derge scripture printing press which was built in 1729 and the biggest scripture printing press in the world today as well as the Gengqing monastery of theSakya-sect. Afterwards drive to Chamdo-the former capital of Kham in East-Tibetan area. The drive involves crossing several high passes.
Day 07: Chamdo to Dengchen (156 miles)
In the morning, we visit GaldenJampaling monastery, which was built in the 15th century and the biggest monastery of the Gelugpa sect in East-Tibetan area. In the afternoon drive towards Dengchen, crossing a couple of high passes. This segment of the journey goes through a number of monasteries en route on either side of the road.
Day 08: Dengchen to Bachen (163 miles)
Dengchen is the centre of the Bön; a primitive religion based on ancient witchcraft and the worship of god and ghost, and was spread through the whole Tibet before the Buddhism was introduced into Tibetan area. Here we visit two monasteries: Tengchen and RitroLhakhang. The journey from Dengchen to Bachen involves crossing two passes, Tsuri La Pass (4200 m) and Shel La Pass (4750 m) and offers fabulous views of nomad camps and yak herds. The passes have spectacular views of theNyechenTangla range.
Day 09: Bachen to Nagqu (168 miles)
Drive along the SokTsandenZholvillage and during the journey stop to visit two monasteries of the Nyimpa sect: SokTsandenGonpa and KapgyeLhakhang. After that, we cross over two passes and reach the city of Shakchuka.
Day10: Nagqu to Namtso Lake. (96 miles)
Nagqu is a small town on the Qinghai-Tibet-Highway. It starts from Golmud of the Qinghai province and ends in Lhasa. The two main temples in Nagqu are ZhabtenGonpa of the Nyingmapa-sect and another of the Gelugpa sect. Nagqu has the famous horse racing festival in Augevery year. Drive over the Kyogche La Pass (4900 m) and go down to Damxung and take a right turn towards Namtso Lake-the second largest salt water Lake in China, the first one being Kokonor Lake of Qinghai. Visit the cave hermitages and walk along the lakeshores. Overnight in the guesthouse.
Day 11: Namtso to Lhasa (140 miles, 5 hrs)
Retrace the way to Damzxungon the Qinghai-Tibet highway and continue towards Lhasa via Yangpachen. If time permits, take a side excursion to Tsurpu Monastery-the principal seat of Karma pa-the head of Kargy sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: at Lhasa (B)
Full day sightseeing of Lhasa, visiting the Potala Palace-the landmark of Lhasa, Sera Monastery-the last of the three Yellow Sect monasteries to be built in Lhasa and the day concludes in Norbulinka- the summer retreat of the Dalai Lama. Accommodation in hotel.
Day 13: At Lhasa,
We visiting Drepung Monastery-once the largest, richest and the most powerful of the three major Yellow Sect monasteries of Tibet, the ancient Jorkhang Temple in the old Tibetan quarter of Lhasa and the Barkhor Street that forms the pilgrim circuit around the Jorkhang Temple.
Day 14: Lhasa-Departure
Transfer to airport. Service ends
- Trip Duration: 14 Days
- Difficulty Level: East Tibet, Kham and Amdo
- Accomodation: Hotels and guesthouses
- Activities: Sights seeing, 4WD Adventures, Monastery Visits, Short Hikes
- Trip Starts In: Chengdu, Sichuan
- Trip Finishes In: Lhasa, Tibet
- Best Time for Travel: March to October
All transportation by a 4WD Toyota Landcruiser Jeep.
English speaking Local Guides
Sightseeing Admission Fees.
Lunch and dinner
Drinks and tips and other expenses of personal nature such laundry, phone etc.
Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
Garze and Dargye Monasteries.
Traditional printing press of Derge.
Galden Jampaling monastery-the largest one in East Tibet.
Tengchen and Ritro Lhakhang of Bon followers.
Views of the Nychen Tangla Mountain range, grasslands and Nomadic camps.
The sacred Nam-Tso Lake also the second largest salt water lake in entire China.
Potala Palace, Drepung and Sera Monasteries, Jorkhang Temple etc in Lhasa.
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