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Home4WD/OverLand4WD overland drive from Chengdu to Lhasa :

4WD overland drive from Chengdu to Lhasa :

Kangding, Dege, Changdu,Nyingchi, Lhasa

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Tour Code: 4WD-S/W-010
Duration: 20days
Destination: Chengdu, Kangding, Northern Sichuan-Tibet Road, Nyinchi, Lhasa
Good time to visit: Apr, Aug, Oct
Departure date: on request 2016
Effort Nature Culture

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This route to Lhasa is the most scenic overland route, crossing several 4,000 m(13,123 ft) passes, dropping down through lush green valleys and gushing gorges, and crossing picturesque landscapes that Tibetans call their 'backyard.' We begin this three-week journey from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, and continue overland through Ganzi prefecture into the Tibetan Autonomous Region. This journey will take you to villages and communities previously closed to most travelers, both geographically and culturally. Our Tibetan guide will tell you about Buddhism and its many sects, explain Tibet's history and teach you some phrases in Tibetan to help you get to know the local people. Traveling by 4 WD vehicles, we have the freedom to stop and explore Tibet's sacred mountains and monasteries, stay with local Tibetan families and take day hikes at your leisure and whim.

Tibet-Ganzi-Temple of Pewa (1).jpg Tibet-Ganzi-Hadi Nunnery .jpg Tibet-Ganzi-Dargye Gonpa.jpg 


Day 1 Chengdu
Arrive in Chengdu, meet and greet at the airport, trnasfer to the hotel(4 star), prepare for the adventure, welcome dinner with Sichuan special Hotpot.

Day 2 Chengdu/Kangding (BLD)
We will leave for Kangding in the morning. Once outside the Sichuan basin, we will begin to climb the mountain of the Erlang;you may see Chinese army trucks trudging along the road carrying fuel and supplies. Kangding is a fairly large city tucked within a river valley. The sidewalks of Kangding are crowded with Hui, Chinese Muslims, and Tibetans who have come down from the highlands to sell wild mushrooms, vegetables, yak skins and various paraphernalia, stay in the hotel(about 2 star).

Day 3 Kangding(BLD)
We will visit the Tibetan School, one of China's specialized Tibetan language institutions, to learn some useful Tibetan phrases to give you a tool for communicating during your journey. We will also learn about the art of Tibetan painting. At lunch, we will have the chance to practice our lessons as we eat with students. The afternoon is spent exploring Kangding, climbing the hill to a monastery or relaxing in the hot springs. We will also learn about the Kham Aid Foundation and the many projects this non-governmental organization initiates and supports. Stay in the same.

Day 4 Kangding/Rongbatsu(BLD)
We will leave Kangding in the morning to head west, switch backing up over Gye La pass (4,290 m/14,075 ft) and driving along tree-lined roads through small towns, each distinct by their architectural styles and characters. We will stop along the way to photograph wild animals, herds of yaks, temples, stupas, people and anything that grabs your fancy. Arriving in Rongbatsu after a full day's journey, we will first rest our weary bones in the hot springs at the base of stunning mountains. The guest house is located in an authentic Tibetan home with traditional design.

Day 5 Rongbatsu(BLD)
We left one day free for you to explore the area on your own or with a guide. Hadi Nunnery is a few hours walk along the Yalong River from the guest house, where you can spend an afternoon with Buddhist nuns to learn about their lives. You could also meet Gyalten Lobsang Shampa Rinpoche, a living Buddha, visit the Dargye Gonpa, a monastery belonging to the Gelu sect, or visit a local school. Stay in the same.

Day 6 Rongbatsu/Yihun Lhatso(Xinlu Hai, BLD)
After a session of morning prayer with the monks, we will drive west for three hours through Manigango to a grassland region known as Yilhun. Here is one of the most beautiful lakes in all of Tibet, surrounded by scenic mountains. We will camp here, you will have time to walk along the pilgrim's trail where you can see thousands of carved Mani stones.

Day 7 Yihun Lhatso/ Dege. (BLD)
From the heights of Tro La Pass (4,916 m/16,129 ft), we will have a spectacular view of the Yangtze gorge stretching into the southwestern region. The landscape makes a dramatic ascent into a blanket of pine forests as we approach Dege, the heart of Kham, a large kingdom which until recently occupied the region. There are plenty of places to explore in Dege; Dege Printing House has a library of more than 270,000 plate blocks used to print Buddhist sutras; and across the street stands the Tongtong Gyalpo Temple, a charming old temple which miraculously escaped the Cultural Revolution, and therefore retains many original murals and objects. The Tibetan Medicine Hospital, which is also a factory, is a storehouse of herbs, antlers, bats, snakes and other plants and animals collected from the far reaches of the Tibetan plateau. Stay in a guesthouse.

Day 8 Dege/Pelpung(BLD)
Ride horse from Dege to Pelpung (Babang).We will have breakfast with a Tibetan family who will accompany us with their horses over to the Palpung Tubten Chokhorling Monastery, where we will stay the night. Palpung ranks second in the hierarchy of Karma Kagyu sect monasteries, and has Ugyen Rinpoche, an 11-year-old (in 2000) living Buddha, in residence. The route from Derge to the monastery takes us through endless fields of maize and barley growing on a steep hillside. Once over Gotse La Pass (4,481 m/14701 ft), the expanse of land belongs to the nomads living in yak hair tents.

Day 9 Pelpung/Pewar(BLD)
Ride horse from Pelpung to Pewar. Traveling along the river and through wheat fields, we will reach the Temple of Pewar, which houses one of the finest sets of Buddhist murals in western Sichuan. The paintings, which are more than 270 years old and cover more than 370 square meters(1214 sq ft), miraculously survived the destruction inflicted by the Cultural Revolution. We will spend a leisurely afternoon here drinking tea and eating tsampa with the rinpoche. With a bit of luck we may have the privilege of viewing the monastery's exclusive artworks and treasures, which are locked safely behind ancient carved wooden doors. Stay overnight in the temple.

Tibet-Db-village.jpg Tibet-Monastery-01.jpg Tibet- tibetan%20bride.jpg

Day 10 Pewar/Dege/Jomda(BLD)
Ride horse back to Dege, then drive to Jomda. From Pelyul county, we will cross the Yangtze river, which marks the political border between Sichuan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region. After crossing Nge La (4,245 m/13927 ft), we are welcomed by Wara Gonpa, an important monastery of the Sakya school. We will stop for the night in Jomda, a moderately large town, at a finely decorated wooden cabin, and pay a visit to a Tibetan hospital which supplies herbal medicine throughout the region.

Day 11 Jomda /Changdu(BLD)
Drive from Jomda to Chamdo. Reaching the end of the day would seem like a mighty feat as we will be crossing over no less than four passes - Khargang La (4,352 m/14278 ft), Lashi La (4,450 m/14600 ft), Jape La (4,680 m/15354 ft), and Tama La (4,511 m/14800 ft), with clutters of prayer flags waving in the wind on the peaks and friendly nomads waving at us from the grasslands. Stay in a hotel in Chamdo(about 3 star).

Day12 Changdu(BLD)
Relax in Chamdo. Straddling the Mekong river, Chamdo possesses a rich history as one of the earliest centers of the Tibetan plateau and home to Kalden Jampaling, the great monastery founded between 1436-44 and developed through the centuries by successive incarnations. While the original monastery was destroyed in 1912 by the Chinese, it was rebuilt when the Tibetan army seized Chamdo in 1917. We will spend the day stretching our legs, exploring the monastery and shopping in Tromzikhang, an open-air market where colorfully dressed Tibetans pawn their wares and antique goods. Stay in the 3 star hotel.

Day 13 Changdu/Bangda(BLD)
We follow the Mekong downstream through alpine forests to Kyitang village, where the Khampa houses are sturdily built on horizontal timbers. We then turn west to cross the Lona Pass (4,511 m/14800 ft) and follow the Yu-chu river downstream to Bangda, a town junction where Lhasa connects to the Chamdo-Kunming Highway.The Yu-chu valley lies north of the Salween gorges in the highlands of Tsawagang, where the immense geographic spatial dimensions of the land dwarf our presence. Stay in a local guesthouse.

Day 14 Bangda/Baxu(BLD)
While distance covered is less than 100 km (63 mi) and probably half that by the way the crow flies, the terrain is steep, as defined by the 180 switchbacks we will conquer when we cross Gama La Pass at an altitude of 4,618 meters. Stay in a local guesthouse.

Day 15 Baxu/Ranwu/Bomi(BLD)
On the road to Bomi, we will stop in Ranwu to cast our lines in the pristine waters of Ngan Tso, a spectacularly crystal blue lake cupped by snow peaks. After our lunch of freshly caught fish, we will wander along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog (2,743 m/8999 ft), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountainsides. We will go down several hundred meters in altitude as we reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tang-me where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet. Stay in a guesthouse in Bomi.

Day16 Bomi/Nyingchi (BLD)
Drive across Serkhyem La Pass (4,515 m/14813 ft), the last major pass before reaching Lhasa, we will have spectacular views of Mount Gyala Pelri (7,150 m/23458 ft) and Mount Namchak Barwa (7,756 m/25446 ft). On the way to Nyingchi, we pass through Bayi, originally a military base, which has now become the capital of Nyingchi District. North of Bayi, Bajie village lies on the edge of a primary dense forest with sacred cypress trees which are more than two thousand and five hundred years old. Around May, we would be able to see three to five-meter rhododendrons in full bloom. Stay in a 3 star hotel in Bayi.

Day 17 Nyingchi/Lhasa(270 kilometres, BLD)
We will pass through a scenic terrain with lush alpine forests and clear snow-melted streams. Relax in Lhasa hotel, the best hotel in Lhasa.

Day 18 Lhasa (BL)
Visit Potala Palace, Jokang Temple , Bakhor Bazaar, stay in the same.

Day 19 Lhasa(BL)
Visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, and Norbulingka, stay in the same;

Day20  Lhasa(B)
Free in the morning, transfer you to the airport for your flight.

B-breakfast L-Lunch D- dinner 

Tour Cost:               Currency Converter
 2-5 person6-9 personOver 10 personSingle Supplement
Tour CostCNY35630/P
(The cost for the child of 2-12 year old is based on 15 % discount of the adult's tour cost.Any baby less than 2 year old is free of any charges. If it turns out there is cost involved, we reserved to collect the cost.)

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The tour cost includes:

  • Good tourist van or 4WD vehicle as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Meals daily as listed in the itinerary, picnic lunches in remote area if required(B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner);
  • Service of English guide and experienced driver;
  • Scenic spots admission fee; Nature Reserve Protection fee and/ or camping permit fee (inside nature reserve) if required
  • Accommodation: double-occupancy in 4 star hotel in big city, and the best hotel in small cities or counties, clean guest house/hostel/or home-stay in villages as clarified in the itinerary; camping in non-residential area as mentioned in the itinerary, camping gear like tent, sleeping mat, and cooking equipment when required;
  • All the Foreigner's Travel Permit to Tibet and the remote area/border area if needed;
  • A truck for carrying food and all supporting equipments when necessary.(Normally it is for a group over 6 person driving for more than 5 days into non-residential area,) 
  •  Camel/yak/porter to carry your luggage if trekking and camping for more than 2 days in the desert or non-residential area when required in the itinerary; for a group more than 6 persons we will provide outdoor cooking equipment and a cook to prepare meals;
  •  All domestic flights/trains/local airport taxes if there is in the itinerary;

The tour cost does not include:

  • Meals in your free time or on the train/plane, Personal travel insurance, sleeping bag when camping, tips to tour guide and driver, international flights and related airport taxes, excess baggage charged by Airlines; The medicine for the sickness or accident while on the way, single supplement cost for those who wants to accommodate on a single basis, supplementary trips and services not mentioned, visa costs, any expenses on personal nature not listed above, the extra cost due to the unforeseen events;


  • As the exchange rate of CNY to USD is subject to Change, the final price will be calculated according to the Chinese currency CNY. The price in USD dollar is just for your reference.
  • We are ready to reserve the e-air ticket from another city to the starting city or from the ending city back to your preferred city if needed.
  • The prices do not apply to National Holidays (e.g. Chinese National Day Sep. 30th -Oct.8th , Or other Special Festival time).
  • We reserve the right to alternate the visiting order of the scenic spots. The entrance tickets to scenic spots are based present price. We reserve the right to revise the price without notice if the tickets price rise up.
  • The really itinerary and hotel/hostel maybe different from the itinerary. For the enjoyment of your trip a "go with the flow" attitude is necessary. Many factors will influence your trip, such as weather conditions, health, route conditions, etc. Please prepare one-two days more as "cushion" day in case of delays in travel due to unforeseen events.
  • Tourist insurance is a must before going. Take out appropriate travel insurance to cover hospital treatment, medical evacuation and any activities, including adventure sports, in which you plan to participate. Please provide us the confirmation of insurance company when sign up. 
  • The part of the area we will visit has not been well developed like Beijing and Shanghai. While it is good to enjoy the well protected nature view and experience unique primitive customs, we should prepare for that even the four star hotel is not so good and the food is not so delicate and various in the small town.

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