Grand Ngari Northern Route Tour

Duration:
29 Days
Route:
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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Overview

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 Itinerary

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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.

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

Utse hall of Samye Monastery.
Samye Monastery
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 is the first Buddhist hall in Tibetan history.
Yumbulagang Palace is considered the oldest building in Tibet.
Day 4 Tsetang - Nang Xian - Nyingtri

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

Lamaling Temple
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.
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. 

Rawok-tso Lake
Rawoktso lake likes a mirror to reflect mountains.
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. 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

Draksum-tso Lake is in jade green and surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
The best time to visit Draksum-tso Lake in Autumn, during which you can see the colorful forests around the 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 a gompa which serves as the traditional seat of the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
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 Lake is the highest saltwater lake in the world.
Namtso, located in the central Tibet autonomous region, is the second largest lake in Tibet.
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.
  • 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 plays an important role in Tibetan history.
Sunset is the most beautiful moment for seeing 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.
Most of the sculptures at Guge are gold and silver buddhist statues. One named “Guge Silver Eye” represents the highest level of the artistic achievement.
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. 

Holy mountain Kailash is next to sacred lake Manasarovar.
Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Bon, and Jainism regard Mt.Kailash as the center of the world.
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. 

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.
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 Manasarovar - Saga

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.

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.

Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world.
Rongbuk Monastery is a monastery of Nyingmapa.
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.

Far view of Mt.Everest
Best place to take a photo of Mt. Everest.
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.

Its Mongolian architecture is quite different.
Narthang Monastery
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 is the only monastery in Tibet that combines Tibetan and Chinese styles in its design.
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.
Bathing in the sunshine, Yamdrok lake is displaying its dazzling beauty to visitors both home and abroad
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 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

The yard for Buddhist debates at Sera Monastery.
Far view of Drepung Monastery. Looks like rice heaps.
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 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

far view of Potala Palace.
Many pilgrims are worshipping and performing their devotions at the gate of Jokhang.
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.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Tyokyil Potrang is a pavilion in the midst of a lake and known for the top scenic spot in Norbulingka
Known as the shrine of Lhasa, Drak Yerpa has monasteries and famous ancient meditation caves.
Day 29 Departure from 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.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

guru***

2020-01-08

I would like to visit for a month what is the process and how much

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Catherine

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to spend a month in Tibet. Except for Indian passport, is there any possibility you're holding other country's passport? I'm asking because visiting Ali prefecture requires a military permit except for a Tibet permit. The procedure of obtaining a military permit for an Indian passport holder is more complicated than other nationalities. Please advise.

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? 

Read More ...

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