Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour
- 29 Days
- Lhasa - Tsetang - Nyingtri -Pomi - Nyingtri - Lhasa - Lake Namtso - Ali - Darchen - Mt.Kailash - Lake Manasarovar - Saga - EBC - Shigatse - Gyantse - Lhasa
- Tour Type:
- Private Tour
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!
Daily ItineraryCollapse Expand
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.
- Mindroling Monastery
Tsetang is the fourth-largest city in Tibet and the capital of huge Shannan (Lhoka) prefecture. Samye Monastery is located abt 30km from Tsetang.
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
Drive from Tsetang to Nyingtri via Nang Xian along Yarlung Tsangpo for abt 8hrs or so.
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.
A scenic ride from Pomi to Rawoktso Lake, with tropical-looking forest along it.
Drive back to Nyingtri today. En route, visit the gorgeous tiny rural village of Tashigang.
- Tashigang Village
A hard ride today from Nyingri to Lhasa for abt 8hrs or so, en route, visit the beautiful Draksumtso Lake. Draksum-tso Lake is a sacred lake of the Nyingma (Red) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Continue ahead until you reach the Mila Mountain Tunnel. Mila Mountain is the last high mountain on 318 national Sichuan-Tibet Highway before entering Lhasa, with an altitude of 5013 meters. In the afternoon, you will arrive in Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
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.
Drive from Damxung to Baingoin for the night. Baingoin, a small county north of Namtso Lake where usually visited by foreigners.
Drive from Baingoin to Nyima enjoy the solitude and the rural sights of Tibet.
Drive the remote section of Tibet from Nyima to Gertse, en route, visit Dungtso.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head from Darchen to the sapphire-blue holy Lake Manasarovar, which is abt 1hr or so.
Today, you will spend a lot of time on the way, but the landscape along the way is worth to see. From Manasanovar to Mayum-la(5220m) via Hor Qu, approximately 90km before Mayum-la(5220m), Mt.Kailash is gradually fade away behind you as you cross from Ngari prefectures to Shigatse.
Hor Qu to Paryang, 223km. This is a pleasant 4 hours' driving along the spine of the Himalayas, passing through the yellow steppe, with craggy, snowcapped peaks looming to the north when the weather is clear. There is a tricky section of sandy road 12km east of Paryang, but all the major river crossings now have bridges.
Paryang to Zhongba, 101km, About 23km driving from Paryang, you drop past spectacular dunes and crest a 4780m pass; Driving 17km further, you can see another section of dunes. Photos were taken along this route can often get steppe, streams, desert dunes and snow-capped mountains in the same shot.
Zhongba to Saga, 145km, there are several ruined monasteries along this stretch. After a long journey today, we finally arrive at the destination and stay overnight in Saga.
Drive from Saga to Everest Base Camp, en route visit the highest monastery of the world, Rongphu Monastery.
After sightseeing, drive to Lhatse for the night. Lhatse is pretty much a one-street town, at elevation of 3950m.
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 Rice Heap in the Tibetan language. The entire monastery is large in scale and the white buildings cluster and covers the hillsides. They look like huge rice heaps in the distance, so it is called Drepung. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
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 the 33rd King - Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and rebuilt later by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Now it's a museum and world heritage site.
In the afternoon, we will go to visit Jokhang Temple in the center of the Lhasa old town. Jokhang Temple is one of the most sacred temples all over Tibet and it is always bustling with earnest local pilgrims since the early days. After that, you will take a walk around the Barkhor Street - one of the most devotional circuit as well as a crowded central market of Lhasa. Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it‘s also a must-see place for visitors.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
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.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
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.