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Lhasa & Namtso Bike Tour

Duration:
8 Days
Route:
Lhasa-Damxung-Namtso-Yampachen-Lhasa
Season:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Overview

This 8-day Lhasa & Namtso Bike Tour, has 4 days for riding at a moderate difficulty level which most people can accomplish. Apart from biking in Lhasa, this particular route also offers superb view along the way. During the tour you will witness vast green grassland dotted with nomad’s tents, sheep and yaks, turquoise Namtso Lake with magnificent Nyenchen Thanglha range over 7000m tower over, sky-railway rushing through aside the road, and experience swimming-pool like Yampachen Hot Springs with snow-capped mountains surrounding you in the background…
DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel.
2 Lhasa Suburb Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
3 Lhasa City Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
4 Lhasa - Damxung (155 Km) Qinghai Tibet Railway
5 Damxung - Namtso (75 Km) Namtso Lake - Ideal Place for a Spiritual Journey
6 Namtso - Yampachen (123 Km) Enjoy the scenery along the way
7 Yampachen - Lhasa (75 Km) Yampachen Hot Springs
8 Departure from Lhasa Send off to the airport/railway station

Daily Itinerary

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This is the first day in Tibet. Your guide will greet you at Lhasa Gonggar Airport/Railway Station and transfer you to your hotel. It usually takes around 1.5 hours to drive from Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa and takes about 20mins from Lhasa Railway Station. Tourists could have a look at the Yarlung Tsangpo River, the largest and longest river in Tibet on their way to the hotel. After check-in, you can have a good rest first. And if you feel like going out, you can wander around the city. But just remember that don't take too much stuff, try to go with a light pack. Meanwhile, drink some more water, do not move strenuously. It’s really useful to get acclimatized to the high altitude.

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.

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

Drepung Monastery is the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.
The yard for Buddhist debates at Sera Monastery.

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.

Riding bike about 155km from Lhasa to Damxung along Tolung-chu and Qinghai-Lhasa Train Line, totally takes abt 8hrs. The road is in decent condition. Enjoy the fabulous view along the view. Damxung means "select pasture" in the Tibetan language. Damxung county has an area of 10,036 square kilometres, with rugged topography. Damxung is long and narrow, measuring 185km from the northeast to southwest extremes, and at most 65km across. The terrain is rugged, including the western Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains, with their highest peak rising to 7,111 metres. As of 2013 the population was 40,000, with most of the people engaged in animal husbandry.

Stunning scenery along Qinghai- Tibet Railway

Riding bike about 75km from Damxung to Namtso, takes abt 4hrs, with Nyenchen Thanglha snow mountain ranges in view. Today’ most difficult ride is to climb to Mt. Nagenla Pass (5190m), but the good thing is our vehicle is standing-by, always ready to take you if the bike ride becomes too difficult for this section. After going through Mt. Nagenla Pass, you can see vast green grassland dotted with nomad’s tents, sheep and yaks. Soon afterwards the turquoise Namtso Lake will come into view taking your breath away. 

Namtso lake

Rise up early to see sunrise at Namtso Lake, and you can also do a light trek to Tashi Dor Island at the lake shore, exploring its meditation caves. Then ride bike to Yampachen, at a distance of 123km, taking about 7hrs. Yampachen is a small town lying in Yampachen Valley, a long and narrow graben basin which covers an area of about 450 square kilometers. It is about 90 kilometers long and less than 10 kilometers wide. The mountains standing around Yampachen Valley are 5500-6000 meters above sea level. There are modern glaciers on the top of these mountains and relics of the ancient glaciers in the valley. Located at approximately 4500 meters above sea level, Yampachen is famous for its geothermal resources that produce much of the electricity for the capital Lhasa. It is also famous as a hot spring resort. Yampachen lies just south of Nyainqêntanglha Mountains, in an upland lush green valley surrounded by the tents of nomads with grazing yak and sheep populating the hillside.

Treat yourself a lovely bath/swim at Yampachen Hot Springs with snow-capped mountains surrounding you in the background, consider it a reward after biking at the top of the world for 3 days so far. After this refreshment, ride back to Lhasa, at a distance of 75km, taking about 4hrs.

Yampachen hot springs

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 Service
INCLUSIONS
  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB) and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
  • Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel, or guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Free use of sleeping bag;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.
EXCLUSIONS
  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
  • Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
  • Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
  • While the gratuity for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
  • All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.2%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by Loui***
2020-01-27

My wife and I are hoping to do a cycling tour of Tibet. We will only have 17 days total, which will include travel from Washington, DC, so likely only 14 days in Tibet. Our available dates are between July 25- Aug 9. We would ideally like to do a 7-10 day group cycling tour from Lhasa, then take a side trip to Everest Base Camp by car if possible. Please let us know what you can offer. Thank you. Ken Zweig

Cherry
Answered by Cherry 2020-01-27

In your inquiry, you mentioned two of you would like to have a 7-10 day group cycling tour from Lhasa, then take a side trip to Everest Base Camp by car. Shall I recommend you to join our 10 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Everest Namtso Group Tour? There is no bilking group tour. Frankly speaking, it is a little expensive for two travelers to have this biking tour.

Asked by Rach***
2017-07-22

I am curious about group tours in Tibet that involve either cycling or trekking, or a combination of both. I am interested in a tour that is physically strenuous and offers a good immersion in culture as well. I am an independent traveler who would ideally like to be in Tibet in November as part of a group tour. Please let me know what is available and if this is possible. E-mail works best for me, as I am currently traveling and often without cell service. Cheers, Rachel Lee

Answered by Penny 2017-07-22

Dear Rachel Lee, thanks for telling us your travel plan for Tibet! I got them all. Since you’ll travel in Nov and prefer to join a group tour, I suggest you to consider to do our 8 days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt. Everest Group Tour which are available on the 6th, 9th, 11th and 23rd of Nov. This tour can allow you to trek from the Tent Camp Area to Everest Base Camp (about 4kms). Besides, I think it’s a better choice to cycle between Lhasa and Ganden Monastery than cycling to Namtso Lake in Nov as the travelers usually are not allowed to visit the Namtso Lake at that time. The reason is the altitude of the Namtso Lake is higher and will start to snow sometimes in Nov. I've sent you an itinerary by email for your reference, kindly inform me if you like it, thank you!

Asked by Eric***
2017-04-03

Flying to Chengdu and then would like to take train to Lhasa... Same for return..

amy
Answered by Amy 2017-04-03

Dear Eric Magal Richards, train between Chengdu and Lhasa is available every other day. Train Chengdu-Lhasa in Aug runs on Even number date such as on 2nd, 4th or 6th Aug, so you could take train from Chengdu to Lhasa on 4th Aug to join our 9 Days-Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt. Everest Namtso Group Tour starting on 6th Aug. But train from Lhasa back to Chengdu runs on Odd number date such as on 1st, 3rd or 5th Aug, above 9 days group tour ends on 14th Aug, so you could only fly from Lhasa back to Chengdu after tour. 

What Our Customers Say
Yamdrok lake

My TIBET experience with Great Tibet Tour was very brilliant.   It was the 2nd-time visit to TIBET but Shigatse and Gyantse. The hotel you chose me at Shigatse had very Lovely Tibetan decoration. and Guides ( both 2 guys)  were very kind and gentle. So I could relax. ....

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