Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour

Duration:
29 Days
Destination:
Lhasa - Tsetang - Nyingtri -Pomi - Nyingtri - Lhasa - Lake Namtso - Ali - Darchen - Mt.Kailash - Lake Manasarovar - Saga - EBC - Shigatse - Gyantse - Lhasa
Season:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Caution: this is not a tour for the faint-hearted nor the weak-willed!!! This 29-Day tour covering abt 6800 kilometers takes you to the most remote parts of Western Tibet by the Grand Ngari Northern Route. If you are determined and enjoy solitude & wildlife, this is definitely the one for you!

DayRoute
1 Lhasa Airport – Tsetang
2 Tsetang - Samye - Tsetang
3 Tsetang - Trandruk - Yumbulagang - Chongye – Tsetang, 70km, approx 1.5hrs
4 Tsetang - Nang Xian - Nyingtri
5 Nyingtri - Lunang - Pomi
6 Pomi - Rawok
7 Rawok - Tashigang - Nyingtri
8 Nyingtri - Draksumtso - Lhasa
9 Lhasa - Tsurphu - Yangpachen - Damxung
10 Damxung - Baingoin
11 Baingoin - Nyima
12 Nyima - Dungtso - Gertse
13 Gertse - Gegye
14 Gegye - Ali
15 Ali - Zanda
16 Zanda - Tsaparang - Zanda(4000m) - Darchen (4600m), 260km, approx 5hrs
17 Darchen - Kailash - Darchen
18 Darchen - Manasarovar (4588m), 30km, approx 1.5hrs
19 Zhongba - Gyirong Town
20 Saga - Rongphu(4980m) - EBC (5200m)
21 EBC - Tingri - Lhatse
22 Lhatse - Sakya - Shigatse
23 Shigatse - Gyantse
24 Gyantse
25 Gyantse - Lhasa
26 Lhasa Suburb
27 Lhasa City
28 Lhasa Suburb
29 Departure from Lhasa by Flight
Day 1 Lhasa Airport – Tsetang

Your guide and driver will wait you at Lhasa Gongar Airport holding your name board. After pick up, transfer to Tsetang for the night. The first day's well-rest is crucial to acclimatize high altitude. Remember to drink lots of water, eat light, and not to shower if you can help it.

The name of Mindroling Monastery in Tibetan means "Place of Perfect Emancipation".
Mindroling Monastery is one of the six major monasteries of the Nyingma school in Tibet.
  • Mindroling Monastery
Day 2 Tsetang - Samye - Tsetang

Tsetang is the fourth-largest city in Tibet and the capital of huge Shannan (Lhoka) prefecture. Samye Monastery is located abt 30km from Tsetang. 

Lot of precious murals have been kept well in Samye Monastery. The murals are telling the ancient famous stories of Tibetan Buddhism and historical events of monasteries.
Samye Monastery is a good place for monks to study. If you travel there, you may have a chance to observe the monks’ study and feel all the ritual and their sincerity.
Day 3 Tsetang - Trandruk - Yumbulagang - Chongye – Tsetang, 70km, approx 1.5hrs

Visit the major sights of Yarlung Valley in Tsetang today, of which is considered the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Trandruk Monastery is situated on the southern slope of the Mt. Gangpo Ri about two kilometers from the Tsetang Town. So far, it has a history of about 1,300 years. Yumbulagang also called "palace of mother and son", is counted as the first building in Tibet, with a history of over 2,000 years. Standing on the top of the tower house, you can enjoy the splendid panoramic view of the valley, and dream of the ancient legends of this palace. Finally, we'll go to the Chongye Valley to have a look at the burial mounds. Whilst the valley is sometimes referred to as the 'Graveyard of Imperial Kings', these burial mounds contain not only the remains of Tibetan kings, but also those of their wives and officials.

Stay overnight in Tsetang

Trandruk Monastery
Yumbu means doe, lagang means holy palace.
Day 4 Tsetang - Nang Xian - Nyingtri

Drive from Tsetang to Nyingtri via Nang Xian along Yarlung Tsangpo for abt 8hrs or so. 

Lamaling temple is 30km south of Bayi.
Lamaling Temple
Day 5 Nyingtri - Lunang - Pomi

For today’s ride from Nyingtri to Pomi, you will pass Serkhym-la (4582m), and you will have a good view of Namche Barwa (7756m) and Gyala Pelri (7151m) from a distance.

Lulang forest is in Nyingchi and shows your typical alpine scenery.
Known as a fairyland where gods live in with scenic beauties, Lulang Forest has special breathtaking scenery in every season
Day 6 Pomi - Rawok

A scenic ride from Pomi to Rawoktso Lake, with tropical-looking forest along it. 

Rawoktso lake likes a mirror to reflect mountains.
Rawoktso lake shines under sun.
Day 7 Rawok - Tashigang - Nyingtri

Drive back to Nyingtri today. En route, visit the gorgeous tiny rural village of Tashigang.

Tashigang is a rural village and now the main income comes from tourism.
If you go to Nyingchi from Lhasa, we will usaually stay a while in Tashigang Village. You can visit Tibetan family here.
  • Tashigang Village
Day 8 Nyingtri - Draksumtso - Lhasa

A hard ride today from Nyingri to Lhasa for abt 8hrs or so, en route, visit the beautiful Draksumtso Lake.

The best time to visit Draksum-tso Lake in Autumn, during which you can see the colorful forests around the lake.
Draksum-tso Lake is in jade green and surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
Day 9 Lhasa - Tsurphu - Yangpachen - Damxung

Head north from Lhasa along the National Highway No. 109. En route, visit Yampachen and Tsurphu Monastery. Then tour further along to stay the night at Damxung, where the only 3star-rated hotel is available near Namtso Lake. 

Tsurphu Monastery is about 65 km west of Lhasa.
There are many rare and historical relics in Tsurphu Monastery.
Day 10 Damxung - Baingoin

Drive from Damxung to Baingoin for the night. Baingoin, a small county north of Namtso Lake where usually visited by foreigners.

Namtso attracts many tourists from home and abroad with its unique charm.
Enjoy your visual feast at Lake Namtso.
Day 11 Baingoin - Nyima

Drive from Baingoin to Nyima enjoy the solitude and the rural sights of Tibet. 

Day 12 Nyima - Dungtso - Gertse

Drive the remote section of Tibet from Nyima to Gertse, en route, visit Dungtso.

Dungtso is so beautiful like a blue diamond mounted in the ground.
Another name of Dung tso is moon lake.
  • Dungtso
Day 13 Gertse - Gegye

It's an 8hr-drive from Gertse to Gegye. The initial landscape is a dreamy blur of lake and sky, cut by salt rings and brooding mountains of rust, mustard, turmeric and green barley. 

Day 14 Gegye - Ali

Drive from Gegye to Ali. Ali, also known as Shiquanhe, is the capital of Ngari prefecture, where you be able to clean up with hot shower and have a decent meal. 

Day 15 Ali - Zanda

From Ali to Zanda is a scenic ride takes abt 6hrs or so, passing Laling-la (5330m). 

Tholing Monastery is the oldest monastery (or gompa) in the Ngari.
With the background of Himalays, you will have a visual feast at Zanda Clay Forest.
Day 16 Zanda - Tsaparang - Zanda(4000m) - Darchen (4600m), 260km, approx 5hrs

Tsaparang is abt 18km west of Zanda, in the valley of Langchen Tsangpo, Sutlej River, the 'elephant river', which rises west of Manasarovar and continues over the border with India into Ladakh and finally Pakistan. After sightseeing, drive to Darchen for the night.

The historic site of Guge provides important physical information for the study of Tibetan history and ancient architecture.
In 1624, a Jesuit missionary and his companion arrived Guge Kindom. They saw irrigation canals and rich crops in what is now a dry and desolate land.
Day 17 Darchen - Kailash - Darchen

Darchen is the starting point of Mt Kailash Kora for pilgrims, but you will take the local shuttle bus here today to sightseeing Mt Kailash instead. 

There are many legends about Mt. Kailash. One love story tells that Mt. Kailash was a handsome man who married Mt. Naimona'nyi and later met his Valentine—Lake Manasarovar.
With an altitude of 6656m, Mt. Kailash is not the highest mountain in the world. But it is mysterious that it is never to be conquered.
Day 18 Darchen - Manasarovar (4588m), 30km, approx 1.5hrs

Head from Darchen to the sapphire-blue holy Lake Manasarovar, which is abt 1hr or so. 

Lake Manasarovar is the most transparent fresh water lake in China. It supports life while the salt lake Rakshas Tal lies next to it supports no life.
On the shore of the Lake Manasarovar, there are some monasteries. An ancient one called Chiu Gompa Monastery has been built right onto a steep hill.
Day 19 Zhongba - Gyirong Town

Enjoy the ride back with leisure. Our vehicle will stop along the ride for you to take photos.

Day 20 Saga - Rongphu(4980m) - EBC (5200m)

Drive from Saga to Everest Base Camp, en route visit the highest monastery of the world, Rongphu Monastery.

To celebrate Sakyamuni’s birth, Saka Dawa Festival is held in Rongbuk Monastery on every April 15th according to Tibetan calendar. You can watch monks do Tibetan dances there.
At the site of Rongbuk Monastery, you can view the highest mountain of the world brightly shining and clearly sparkling. The snowy peak seems happily to touch the blue sky.
Day 21 EBC - Tingri - Lhatse

After sightseeing, drive to Lhatse for the night. Lhatse is pretty much a one-street town, at elevation of 3950m.

Since there is a very simple post office at EBC, you can send postcards  from this highest place to your families, your friends, and even to yourself.
It is nice to watch the sunrise and the sunset at EBC. And if you couldn’t fall asleep at night, it is worthy to enjoy a spectacular starry sky on a clear night.
Day 22 Lhatse - Sakya - Shigatse

Head from Lhatse to Shigatse today, and a detour to visit Sakya Monastery, which is abt 25km off the southern Friendship Highway, accessed via a good dirt road through a petty farming valley.

The bell hanging on the roof stands for peace and prosperity.
Nartang Monastery is  where located 15 km west of Shigatse in Tibet.
Day 23 Shigatse - Gyantse

Travelling from Shigatse to Gyantse will lead you through the fertile Nyangchu Valley, a wide agricultural plain where colourfully decorated yaks and horses are used by Tibetan farmers to till the land.

Tashilhunpo Monaster was founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447
Enjoy the exquisite mural in this monastery.
Day 24 Gyantse

Lying on a historic trade route between India and Tibet, Gyantse (elev 3980m) has long been a crucial link for traders journeying to the Himalayan plateau, with its small-town charm and laid-back atmosphere. 

Pelkor Chode Monastery
Gyantse Dzong or Gyantse Fortress is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibe
Day 25 Gyantse - Lhasa

From Gyantse to Lhasa is abt 264km, en route you will pass by Khamba-la Pass (4794m), and with the huge massif of Mt Nojin Kangtsang (7191m) at far distance in view.

The white glacier looks spectacular for visitors passing by.
See a flock of sheep and local herdsman along the lakeshore.
Day 26 Lhasa Suburb

In the morning, we will go to visit Norbulingka. Norbulingka park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. The park is where the annual Sho Dun or 'Yoghurt Festival' is held.

In the afternoon, you are heading to Drepung monastery, which means Monastery of Collecting Rice in the Tibetan language. It’s a white magnificent construction that looks also like a pile of rice in the distance. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where lived more than 10 thousand monks before Tibet liberation.

Sera Monassrey is located at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa City
Drepung Monastery was the largest monastery in Tibet, with over 10,000 monks. Now, this monastery houses about 700 monks.
Day 27 Lhasa City

In the morning our guide will meet you at the hotel and first take you to visit the famous Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture, it was first built by 33rd King Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and rebuilt it later in the 17th century by 5th Dalai Lama, now it is a museum and world heritage site. 

In the afternoon, we will go to visit Jokhang Temple in the center of the old Lhasa city. Jokhang Temple is one of the most sacred temples in all over Tibet and it is always bustling with earnest local pilgrims since from early days. After that you will take a walk around the Barkhor street which is the one of the most devotional circuit as well as a crowded central market of Lhasa, Barkhor Street is located in the old area of Lhasa City Tibet, it is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it is also a must-see place for visitors.

The Potala Palace stands in the ancient Lhasa for centuries and plays an important role in Tibetan people’s beliefs.
The life-sized statue of the Jowo Shayamuni of age 12 can be seen in Jokhang Temple, it is recognized as the holiest object in Tibet.
Day 28 Lhasa Suburb

In the morning, we will go to visit Norbulingka. Norbulingka park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. The park is where the annual Sho Dun or 'Yoghurt Festival' is held.

After lunch, we will drive to visit the Drak Yerpa which is described as the "life tree" or spiritual axis of Lhasa. The site had a powerful spiritual heritage, having been visited by Songsten Gampo, Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsoygel, Padampa Sanggye, and Asisha. Among the caves on the hillside is Chogyel Puk, where Songsten Gampo meditated.

Takten Migyur Potrang built in 1954 by 14th Dalai Lama is called the New Palace
Drak Yerpa was built by Songtsan Gampo, the first emperor of a united Tibet, in the 7th century for his wife.
Day 29 Departure from Lhasa by Flight

Your tour ends today. Our guide and driver will collect you from your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station for your next destination.

Our private customized Tibet tours are ideal for families, small groups and individual travellers who desire a more thorough and intimate introduction to Tibet. Price varies with size, season, hotel rate. etc. Please fill out this form so our travel designers can start helping you plan a trip.

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Asked Questions from our Clients

Luc ***

2019-08-01

we have a trip plan for 2020. It's a perfect itinerary, but we would like to witness the eclipse of June 21, 2020. is it possible to add an option : Kailash kora ? thank you in advance for your proposal cordially Luc Massenet

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Catherine

We can arrange the tour for you with departure date on June 4th, then you can view the eclipse on 21st aside Manasarovar.

Muoi***

2019-07-21

We want a tour from date 9th, which go through three holi lakes, Mt Kailash and the EBC. The time frame is Sept to Oct, 2020. Please give us some suggestions and the cost of the tour for two and for four people.

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Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have the 29 Days Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour which is a private tour. 

I will quote for you after you confirm the itinerary. 

Susa***

2019-05-01

I would like to do the 29 day tour. Will there be alot of climbing, walking on this tour? I would like to go in September 2019 in a group that would already be formed. Do you have one at this time?

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Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have the 29 Days Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour which is a private tour. As travelers less than five, we often suggest they join our small group tour to keep the cost down.  I recommend the 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt.Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour. We have this group tour with the departure date on Aug.18th and Oct.17th. At present, we don't have a fixed date in September. Can you travel in August or October?

I will quote for you after you confirm the itinerary. By the way, which hotel star do you prefer? Economy 3-star hotel or comfortable 4-star hotel.

Ivan***

2019-01-21

I would like to spend as much as time in Tibet and see the most of it when I go. I am 24 year old college student and in a fairly good physical condition. I would be travelling on my own but would be great to join a group for this 29 day long tour. I am free to travel from the end of June/beginning of July till 1st of August. I am very interested in your tour, how can I find out more (also about the price)? Thank you, Ivan

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nance

In your inquiry, you mentioned that you’re interested our 29 days Grand Ngari Northern Route tour, which is a private tour. Frankly speaking, the cost of a private tour for you would be much more expensive. For people less than five, we usually suggest them join our small group tours to keep the cost down. So how about having our 15 days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour? 

Bern***

2019-01-03

Hello, I would like to make a trip to Tibet in August 2019 : my preferred route is Lhasa northern route Kailash trekking Manasarovar and rakhestal and flying back to Lhasa...can you please make me an offer. With best. Regards Bernhard Gwiggner, Austria

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Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have the 29 Days Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour which is a private tour. How many travelers would like to have this tour? As travelers less than five, we often suggest them to join our small group tours to keep the cost down. We have 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour. What do you think?

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