Sichuan Tibet Hwy 4WD Tour

Duration:
12 Days
Destination:
Chengdu – Kangding - Pomi – Nyingtri - Lhasa
Season:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Overview

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.

DayRoute
1 Chengdu - Kangding
2 Kangding - Mugecuo - Paoma Mountain - Kangding
3 Kangding - Xindu Bridge - Litang
4 Litang - Batang
5 Batang - Markham - Dzogang
6 Dzogang - Pomda - Ranwu
7 Ranwu - Pomi
8 Pomi - Lulang - Nyingtri
9 Nyingtri - Draksumtso - Lhasa
10 Lhasa City
11 Lhasa Suburb
12 Departure from Lhasa

Daily Itinerary

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Day 1 Chengdu - Kangding

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.

Stay overnight in Kangding

Day 2 Kangding - Mugecuo - Paoma Mountain - Kangding

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 center. More poignantly, Kangding has for centuries also been the point at which two very different cultures converge. 

Stay overnight in Kangding

Mugecuo Lake in Autumn
Paoma Mountain
  • Lake Mugecuo
  • Paoma Mountain
Day 3 Kangding - Xindu Bridge - Litang

Today, we are going through Xindu Bridge then to Litang. Xindu Bridge is a highlight on the Sichuan-Tibet highway. It's also called photographers' paradise, as well as the world of light and shadow. The beautiful natural scenery, trees, grass plants, dotted Tibetan-style dwellings, cattle, and sheep attract tourists to come here to take pictures of splendid moments.

Litang is famed as the birthplace of the 7th and 10th Dalai Lamas. Litang lies at an altitude of 4014m, so it's called the world's high city. Litang is more like a hidden paradise, where you can feel the magnificent grassland and worship Tibetan Buddhism.

Stay overnight in Litang

Amazing scenery of Xindu Bridge
The city gate of Litang
  • Xindu Bridge
  • Litang
Day 4 Litang - Batang

From Litang to Batang, the altitude drops from 4014m to 2589m, and the surrounding scenery has also changed from green grasslands to bare mountains. One of the highlights is the alpine lakes in Haizi Mountain in Batang County, and the largest lake on Haizi Mountain is the Sister Lake. Besides the Sister Lake, another recommended spot is Cuopu Valley, which is surrounded by mountains and gorges. There is a square kilometer area covered with hot springs, on the slopes, beside the highway, in the forest, in the fields, under the cliffs, and by the river.

Stay overnight in Batang

Sister lake
hot springs in Cuopu Valley
  • Sister Lake
  • Cuopu Valley
Day 5 Batang - Markham - Dzogang

From Batang to Markham, enjoy the scenery all the way! You will enter Tibet’s territory today. Congrats! You made it, half-way of your journey already. For centuries, Markham has been a strategic crossroads town on the salt and tea trade routes between Tibet and Sichuan.

Stay overnight in Dzogang

salt pans in Markham
Red earth in Markham
  • Markham
Day 6 Dzogang - Pomda - Ranwu

From Dzogang to Pomda, the road condition is good. Known as Bangda in Chinese, Pomda is 4390 meters above sea level and is the intersection of the southern and northern Sichuan-Tibet highways. It used to be the obligatory stop of the famous "tea horse road" in the past. It is located on the 318 national roads between Dzogang and Basu.

After passing Pomda, you'll not only experience the precariousness and desolation of the Nu River Grand Canyon and the "72 turns of Sky Road", but also enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the idyllic scenery between the canyons. After getting out of the canyon, you will find that the sky is getting clearer and the horizon is getting wider. You will see snow-capped mountains and a big Ranwu Lake, and the Ranwu Town is near.

Rawoktso lake likes a mirror to reflect mountains.
Rawok-tso Lake
Day 7 Ranwu - Pomi

From Ranwu to Pomi, you can also visit Laigu Glacier and Midui Glacier. Laigu Glacier is one of the three largest glaciers in the world. Melted ice and snow flows into Ranwu Lake, which is the source of Parlung Zangbo River. Midui Glacier is the most important marine glacier in Tibet. It is one of the three major marine glaciers in China and the lowest in the world. All the way, besides glaciers, you will see the dense alpine forest, deep gorges, clear stream, blue sky, snow peaks, high waterfall, etc. You will arrive at Pomi County in the evening.

Stay overnight in Pomi

Laigu Glacier
Midui Glacier
Day 8 Pomi - Lulang - Nyingtri

Drive from Pomi to Nyingchi, with a total distance of 230 km. Along the famous National Highway 318, there are series of stunning plateau scenery. En route, you will pass by Guxiang Lake which is a beautiful park, get through Tongmai Bridge which is a natural barrier, the gorgeous tiny rural village of Tashigang and Lulang Forest. Lulang Forest is the highlight of this part. It's 3,700 meters above sea level and located on Sichuan-Tibet highway, about 80 kilometers away from Bayi Town, Nyingchi. Lulang is a typical long plateau mountain meadow. From the viewing platform of Lulang, you can see the famous Namcha Barwa Peak.

Guxiang Lake
Lulang means where the fairy lives in Tibetan.
  • Guxiang Lake
  • Lunang Scenic Area
Day 9 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 10 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

The Potala Palace stands in the ancient Lhasa for centuries and plays an important role in Tibetan people’s beliefs.
The life-sized statue of the Jowo Shayamuni of age 12 can be seen in Jokhang Temple, it is regarded as the holiest object in Tibet.
Day 11 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

Drak Yerpa was built by Songtsan Gampo, the first emperor of a united Tibet, in the 7th century for his wife.
The worship hall of Sera Monastery
Day 12 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.

Cost & Inquiry

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.

Your Contact Information

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Matt***

2019-02-25

I would like to take 9-10 days and travel by road from chengdu to Lhasa, stopping at significant points along the way, like the Yading Nature preserve. What would be the cost of this trip? Thank you

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Caroline

In your inquiry, you mentioned that two of you would like to take 9-10 days and travel by road from Chengdu to Lhasa. I am sorry that the itinerary you saw on our website is for the past. For now, foreigners could not enter Tibet from mainland China by road. You could only take a train or fly to Lhasa from Chengdu or other gateway cities of mainland China. Please let me know your idea.

Loui***

2018-02-16

MorningSichuan Tibet Hwy 4WD TourPlease could you give me an idea of cost for this tour please. We are looking to travel in July or August.Many thanks.

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beatrice

July and August are the peak seasons for Tibet Tour. Here's the itinerary

LIM ***

2018-01-06

Hi, please confirm this trip is available in April? if yes, kindly quote 2 Singaporean pax from 1 Apr. Do we need VISA into Lhasa?

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nance

Sichuan Tibet Hwy 4WD Tour is available in April. Due to Tibet's unique background, apart from a Passport and a Chinese Visa, all foreign tourists allowed to enter Tibet must have Tibet Travel Permits. However, Tibet Travel Permit will not be issued for all tours from mid-February to March. So you need Tibet Permit to enter Tibet. We can handle this for you.

Chri***

2017-12-17

I'm interested in doing a loop from Lhasa along Hwy 318 and then back along Hwy 317. Is this open to foreigners? Also, is the overland route from Chengdu to Lhasa open? Thanks!

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nance

Dear Chris,

Thank you for sending us an inquiry! Yes, the Hwy 318 and Hwy 317 are opened for foreign travelers, and you can drive from Chengdu to Lhasa along Hwy 318 and then back along Hwy 317. For more detail, there is something you need to know before you plan this tour.

1) You need to apply for a Tibet permit. 

2) You need a tour guide when you start this tour. Because if no tour guide, the Tibet permit would not get approved.

3) For foreign travelers, you can’t drive private cars to Tibet from Chengdu along Hwy 318 or Hwy 317. You need to travel in a tourist car. Nance

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