A journey along Sichuan-Tibet Hwy by 4WD Land Cruiser takes you through vast, open landscapes with majestic peaks vaulting skyward. The plateau areas are dotted with castellated Tibetan homes and an infinite number of contentedly munching yaks. Also you’ll pass from time to time as pilgrims prostrate their way slowly along their way to Lhasa.
|Day||Route||Attractions & Activities|
|1||Chengdu - Kangding|
|2||Kangding - Mugecuo - Paomashan - Kangding||Lake Mugecuo, Paoma Shan|
|3||Kangding - Xindu Bridge - Litang||Enjoy the scenery of Xindu Bridge|
|4||Litang - Batang||Chode Gaden Pendeling Monastery|
|5||Batang - Markham - Dzogang||Natural views along the way|
|6||Dzogang - Pomda - Pashu - Rawok||Pomda Monastery, Neru Monastery|
|7||Rawok - Pomi||Ranwu Lake|
|8||Pomi - Tashigang - Lulang - Nyingtri||Dodung Monastery, Lunang Scenic Area|
|9||Nyingtri - Draksumtso - Lhasa||Draksum-tso Lake|
|10||Lhasa City||Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|11||Lhasa Suburb||Drak Yerpa, Sera Monastery|
|12||Departure from Lhasa||Send off to airport/railway station|
Early morning, we will pick you up at your hotel in Chengdu city. Here it goes the very beginning of your Sichuan-Tibet Hwy 4WD land cruiser tour. Hooray~~ Today’s journey will pass by Ya’an and Luding, to finally arrive in Kangding. Ensconced in a steep river valley at the confluence of the swift Zheduo and Yala Rivers and towered over by mighty Gongga Shan(7556m), Kangding(pop 82,000; elev 2616m) is famous throughout China for a popular love song that the town’s surrounding scenery inspired. The town has long been a trade centre between Han & Tibetan cultures, with the exchange of wool, herbs and bricks of tea from Ya’an wrapped in yak hide. It also served as an important staging post on the road to Lhasa, as indeed it does today.
Kangding is nestled in a deep river valley at the point where the fast-flowing Yala meets the raging Zheduo which roars its way right through the town centre. More poignantly, Kangding has for centuries also been the point at which two very different cultures converge.
- Lake Mugecuo
- Paoma Shan
Litang(pop 51,30; elev 4014m) is famed as the birthplace of the 7th and 10th Dalai Lamas. Litang lies at a wheeze-inducing altitude of 4014m,but the thing air isn’t the only thing taking your breath away—ice-capped peaks every which way and epic grasslands. On arrival, you’ll know you’re in Kham—yaks, sheep skins, yak butter tea, nomads, Khampas(Tibetans of Kham) in their traditional Tibetan stytle clothes.
Lying 32km from the Tibetan border and 5.5 bumpy hours down a dirt track from Litang, low-lying Batang(2589m) is an easy-going and friendly place with lots of streetside barbecue grills and outdoor seating, the town itself is quite morden but the surrounding suburbs of ochre Tibetan houses are lovely. There are some fine walks around Batang. Head north to a lovely Tibetan hillside village and then west to a riverside chorten and a few inevitable pilgrims.
- Chode Gaden Pendeling Monastery
You will enter Tibet’s territory today. Congrats! You made it, half-way of your journey already. Markham has for centuries been a strategic crossroads town on the salt and tea trade routes between Tibet and Sichuan.
The roller-coaster road east from Azogang crosses high mountain passes and some stunning scenery before arriving as Pomda. Known as Bangda in Chinese, Pomda(4390m) comes in two parts: the T-junction, where Hwy 318 meets Hwy 317; and the village, abt 5km north of the junction, where you’ll find Pomda monastery.
Then descend west to Pasho town, with fine views of the arid valley. The land scape changes dramatically along the 90km stretch between Pasho to Rawok. Rocky purples and reds, reminiscent of Utah or Arizona in US, make way for arid khaki colours in an area sprinkled with traditional whitewashed villages. The road then climbs the 4462m-high pass, Ngajukla, which marks the end of the arid plateau and the start of the descent into the subtropical Parlung Tsangpo Valley.
Later cross Ngajuk-la and descend into the valley past a small azure lake and some nomads’ camps before reaching Rawok.
- Pomda Monastery
- Neru Monastery
Pomi, this bustling county capital has well-stocked shops and several hotels and restaurants, making it a logical place to spend the night. The town itself isn’t much to look at but the surrounding scenery is lovely and there’s scope for exploring nearby valleys.
Drive from Pomi to Nyingtri today. En route, visit the gorgeous tiny rural village of Tashigang and Lulang Forest.
- Dodung Monastery
- Lunang Scenic Area
A hard ride today from Nyingri to Lhasa for abt 8hrs or so, en route, visit the beautiful Draksumtso Lake.
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 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.
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.
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.
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