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
  • 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!

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.
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
Yumbulagang 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 is home for monks and nuns.
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.
Lulang means Dragon King Valley in Tibetan, also known a place of Forget Home.
Day 6 Pomi - Rawok

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

Rawoktso lake shines under sun.
Rawok-tso Lake
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.
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.

4 stars scenery Draksum-tso Lake.
Draksum-tso Lake
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.
Yampachen hot springs
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 Lake
Namtso Lake
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.

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

It's an 8hr-drive from Gegye to Gertse. 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
Zanda Clay Forest was formed by constant erosions caused by rainstorm and the Xiangquan river.
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.

Lots of murals from the Guge remains are kept well. The murals are describing the life of the times, such as farming, herding, singing and so on.
The historic site of Guge provides important physical information for the study of Tibetan history and ancient architecture.
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. 

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.
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.
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.
During summer time, pilgrims gratefully take bath in the lake and drink the water of Manasarovar. They also think plants in the lake are magical medicines.
Day 19 Manasarovar - Payang - Saga

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.

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.
Rongbuk Monastery has guesthouse for the tourists. There are lots of tents nearby as well. Tourists need to be careful on the belongings.
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.

The best time to travel to Mt. Everest would be May, June, Sep and early Oct. EBC is relatively less windy and clear.
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.
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.

Sakya Monastery
Narthang was ever famous for its scriptual teaching and monastic discipline.
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 Monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's Mountain), Shigatse
Shalu 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 is spectacular from the highway
Sacred Lake Yamdrok glows with various colors, like turquoise, when the sun is shining
Day 26 Lhasa Suburb

Today you will visit attractions in Lhasa suburb. You will stay long hour on sightseeing under the fierce sun of Tibet, do arm yourself with sunglasses/ hat/ sunscreen, etc.

Sera Monastery has a rich collection of cultural relics
Drepung Monastery has white constructions and looks like a heap of rice in the distance. Its name, “Drepung”, means “Collecting Rice” in Tibetan.
Day 27 Lhasa City

As the capital city, Lhasa is the political, economic, cultural, communication and tourism center of Tibet with a history over 1300 years.

The original Potala Palace was built by the King Songtsan Gampo for his bride in 637 AD, and it was rebuilt by the fifth Dalai Lama.
Reconstructed in Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties for several times, Jokhang Temple has four stories and covers an area of about 25,000 square meters now.
Day 28 Lhasa Suburb

Today you will visit attractions in Lhasa suburb. You will stay long hour on sightseeing under the fierce sun of Tibet, do arm yourself with sunglasses/ hat/ sunscreen, etc.

Drak Yerpa was built by Songtsan Gampo, the first emperor of a united Tibet, in the 7th century for his wife.
Tyokyil Potrang is a pavilion in the midst of a lake and known for the top scenic spot in Norbulingka
Day 29 Departure from Lhasa by Flight/Train

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



Departing from Zürich



Before I quote you, could you please kindly let me know the following info?

1. When are you going to have Tibet tour? Different season, different cost.

2. What kind of accommodation would you like to stay in? The Luxurious (5-star), the comfortable (4-star), economy class (3-star) hotel or the budget guest house?

As it’s a 29-day private tour, it may a little bit expensive for you when you travel alone. I recommend you join our 15 days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour with the similar itinerary. What do you think?




Hello,My husband and I are looking at the 29 Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour. Travelling in October - November 2018 with Guesthouse - 3 star accommodation. Would you please advise the approximate cost of this.Thank you.



In your inquiry, you mentioned that you and your husband are interested in our 29-day Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour which is a private tour. And you would like to have it in October – November 2018. Please check the following itinerary first.



My wife and I are interested in the Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour. We are looking at October 2018, and we are happy to have a mix of guesthouse and 3 star accommodation.Could you please give us some more details, such as things that are included and excluded, and the price.Thank you



In your inquiry, you mentioned that you and your wife are interested in our 29-day Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour, which is a private tour. And you would like to come in October. Yes, this northern part of Tibet is worth visiting, but a little bit hard than other sightseeing tours as it’s almost off-the-beaten-path scenery. Please check the detailed itinerary I emailed you.



Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour



Day Route Attractions & Activities 1 Arrive in Lhasa Pick up and transfer to hotel 2 Lhasa Suburb Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery 3 Lhasa City Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street 4 Lhasa Suburb Drak Yerpa, Norbulingka 5 Lhasa - Tsurphu - Yangpachen - Damxung Tsurphu Monastery, Yampachen Hot Springs 6 Damxung - Baingoin Namtso Lake 7 Baingoin - Nyima 8 Nyima - Dungtso - Gertse Dungtso 9 Gertse - Gegye 10 Gegye - Ali 11 Ali - Zanda Tholing Monastery, Zanda Clay Forest 12 Zanda - Tsaparang - Zanda(4000m) - Darchen (4600m), 260km, approx 5hrs Guge Kingdom (Tsaparang) 13 Darchen - Kailash - Darchen Mt. Kailash 14 Darchen - Manasarovar (4588m), 30km, approx 1.5hrs Lake Manasarovar 15 Manasarovar - Payang - Saga 16 Saga - Rongphu(4980m) - EBC (5200m) Rongbuk Monastery 17 EBC - Tingri - Lhatse Everest Base Camp 18 Lhatse - Sakya - Shigatse Drampa Gyang Temple, Sakya Monastery, Nartang Monastery 19 Shigatse - Gyantse Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shalu Monastery 20 Gyantse Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum, Gyantse Dzong 21 Gyantse - Lhasa Karola Glacier, Yamdroktso Lake 22 Departure from Lhasa by Flight/Train Send off to airport/railway station



i travel alone and would like to know the price for your Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour in may 2018



Dear Jocelyne,

I'm glad to hear that you are interested in taking our 29 Days Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour in May 2018, this is a private tour covering all must-see tourist sites in Tibet, the price is based on what level of the hotel do you want?(guesthouse, 3-star, 4-star and 5-star)

I also need to know your nationality, because India passport holders are not allowed to take this tour. 



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