Sichuan Tibet Overland Adventure - 13 Nights/ 14 Days

Tour route: Chengdu-Khangding-Daofu-Ganzi-Derge-Chamdo-Dengchen-Bachen-Nagchu-Namtso Lake-Lhasa.

This is one of the two main routes of Sichuan-Tibet Highway which 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, costume 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.

Sichuan Tibet Overland Adventure - Day to Day itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Chengdu
You are met by our representative and transferred to 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 Chengdu-Ya'an Highway, passing by Ya'an (the Rainy City); traversing through Qingyijinag Valley and crossing through the famous Mt. Erlang channel. Accommodation in Khangding, a tourist standard hotel.

Day 03: To Daofu (Dawu)
Before continuing to Daofu, you will visit Lhagang Monastery of Sayka sect, which is surrounded by three hills symbolizing three Boddhisattvas. Also you will see some stupas, and the remains of past teachers associated with the monastery. At Daofu, you will visit 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, offers impressive monasteries. You will 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 yellow hats-sect (Gelug). In the afternoon, drive to Derge which lies on the border between Tibet and Sichuan. En route, you will visit Dargye Monastery in Rongbasta village, Dzochen Monastery; 40 miles detour north from Manigango and stop by Yihun Lha-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 just in a slight way. Accommodation in Derge 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 Sakya-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, visit Galden Jampaling monastery, which was built in the 15th century and the biggest monastery of 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 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. The journey from Dengchen to Bachen involves crossing of 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 Nyechen Tangla range of mountains.

Day 09: Bachen to Nagqu (168 miles)
Drive along the Sok Tsanden Zhol village and during the journey stop to visit two monasteries of Nyimpa sect: Sok Tsanden Gonpa and Kapgye Lhakhang. After that, 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, which starts from Golmud of Qinghai province and ends in Lhasa. The two main temples in Nagqu are the Zhabten Gonpa of Nyingmapa-sect and another of Gelugpa sect. Nag qu has the famous horse racing festival in Aug, every year. Drive over the Kyogche La Pass (4900 m) and go down to Damxung and take right turn towards Namtso Lake-the second largest salt water Lake of 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 Damzxung at 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 hotel.

Day 12: at Lhasa (B)
Full day sightseeing of Lhasa, visiting 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 hotel.

Day 13: At Lhasa,
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. Accommodation hotel.

Day 14: Lhasa-Departure
Transfer to airport. Service ends


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