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Yunnan Tibet Overland Tour

11 Days
Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - ShgngriLa - Rumei - Basu - Bomi - Nyingchi - Lhasa
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Yunnan Tibet Overland Tour includes a variety of natural landscapes and rich ethnic cultures on the national highways of G214 and G318. Starting from Kunming, you will pass through Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Ranwu Lake, Laigu Glacier, Bomi, Nyingchi, etc, and finally arrive at the holy city - Lhasa. Along the way, you will experience different natural landscapes, including high mountains, canyons, hills, rainforests, rivers, and other geological features. In addition to the magnificent natural scenery, you can also experience the cultures and customs of various ethnic groups, such as the Bai, Naxi, Yi, and Tibetan Groups. As the Ancient Tea Horse Road, the Yunnan-Tibet Highway has the lowest altitude among the routes into Tibet. Traveling from the rich-oxygen and low-altitude areas to Tibet, you can gradually adapt along the way, so there is less worry about altitude sickness. Yunnan-Tibet route presents different beauties in different seasons, making it a route suitable for travel in spring, summer, and autumn. From April to May, there is less rain. From July to August, there is light rain, adding a unique flavor to the scenery. From September to October, you can avoid the rainy season, and the autumn weather is cool and refreshing, with golden scenery everywhere.

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Kunming - Dali, 340km, Approx. 4hrs Xizhou Village, Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, Erhai Lake
2 Dali - Lijiang, 176km, Approx. 2hrs Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Village, Black Dragon Pool Park
3 Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri-La, 191km, Approx. 3.5hrs Tiger Leaping Gorge, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Ancient Town
4 Shangri-La - Feilai Temple, 194km, Approx. 4hrs Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, Potatso National Park, Feilai Temple
5 Feilai Temple - Yanjing - Rumei Town, 275km, Approx. 6.5hrs Meili Snow Mountain, Salt Fields in Markam
6 Rumei Town - Basu County, 310km, Approx. 7hrs Dongda Mountain Pass, Bangda Grassland, Nujiang 72 Turns
7 Basu County - Bomi, 217km, Approx. 4.5hrs Ranwu Lake, Laigu Glacier, Midui Glacier
8 Bomi - Nyingchi, 227km, Approx. 5hrs Guxiang Lake, Lulang Forest, Mount Namcha Barwa
9 Nyingchi - Lhasa, 391km, 4.5hrs Draksumtso Lake
10 Lhasa City Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
11 Lhasa Departure Send off to the airport/railway station

Daily Itinerary


You will depart from Kunming to Xizhou Village in Dali. This ancient town is backed by Cang Mountain and faces Erhai Lake, being a famous town of Bai culture with a history of over one thousand years. Here, you can enjoy local food, and experience the Bai history and culture along the ancient streets, including ancient buildings and traditional handicrafts.

After visiting Xizhou, you should not miss the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple. These three pagodas are located about 1.5 kilometers north of the Dali Old Town and were built during the Tang Dynasty a thousand years ago. Upon entering the scenic area, you can admire the millennium charm of the three white pagodas from afar.

In the evening, you can wander along Erhai Lake or rent a bicycle to ride around. The lake is clear and transparent, reflecting the surrounding mountains and the blue sky and white clouds, with a gentle breeze that is truly enchanting. At night you can fall asleep to the sound of Erhai Lake.

Stay overnight in Dali

After breakfast, you will leave Dali and head to your next destination, Lijiang. First, you will visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. This mountain range consists of 13 peaks, resembling a "giant dragon" soaring and dancing. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is famous for its breathtaking scenery and is considered a sacred mountain by the Naxi people. There, you can hike, ride horses, or take a cable car to an altitude of 4680 meters. At the summit, you will overlook magnificent natural scenery, including rivers, meadows, pine forests, and clouds.

After enjoying the beauty of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, you will go to Baisha Village, the most primitive Naxi village. There, you will see the colorful Baisha Murals, which integrate Han, Tibetan, and Naxi cultures. You can also visit the Naxi Dongba Culture Museum, where you will learn more about Naxi culture and customs. If time permits, you can also visit Black Dragon Pool Park. Afterward, your guide will lead you back to the hotel for rest.

Stay overnight in Lijiang

After breakfast, you will travel to Shigu(Stone Drum) Town, which is 60km from Lijiang. It is named after an ancient drum-shaped stone tablet in the town. On the way to the ancient town, you will pass by the viewing platform of First Bend of the Yangtze River. The Yangtze River rushes down from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and, after being blocked by cliffs in Shigu Town, it turns into a V-shaped bend and flows northeast. It’s a nearly 180-degree turn that creates breathtaking scenery and is definitely worth visiting.

Your next stop is Tiger Leaping Gorge, the world's fourth-largest canyon. Its trail is known as one of the world's top ten classic trekking routes. Here, you can experience the magnificent scenery with a vertical height difference of 3,900 meters between the bottom and the top of the gorge, and hear the roaring sound of the river rushing through, shaking the gorge and stirring the soul!

Afterwards, your guide will take you to the Dukezong Ancient Town in Shangri-La.

Stay overnight in Shangri-La

After breakfast, you will begin your journey in Shangri-La. Your first stop will be Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, known as the "Little Potala Palace," which is the largest monastery in Yunnan Province. Here, you will see exquisite thangkas, murals, and Buddha statues. The predominantly red and yellow building shines brightly in the sunlight.

Next, you will visit Potatso National Park. There you will see clear alpine lakes, lush pastures, blooming wetlands, and pristine forests. You will first arrive at Shudu Lake, where you can see countless herds of cattle and sheep along the lake shore. Then, you will reach Bitahai Lake, the highest lake in Yunan. The Lake is surrounded by mountains and looks like a green gemstone set in the mountains. You can see the forest and the sky reflected in the lake.

Finally, we will drive from Shangri-La to Feilai Temple, also a town in Deqin County. On the way, you can admire Meili Snow Mountain in the distance.

Stay overnight at Feilai Temple

In the morning, you will depart by car and travel along G214 to Feilai Temple Viewing Platform, where you will witness the sunrise over Meili Snow Mountain. Meili Snow Mountain, with an altitude of 6,740 meters, is one of the four sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism. When the clouds break, the brilliant sunlight falls on the snow peaks, and the golden snow-capped Meili Snow Mountain looks majestic like a pyramid.

After enjoying the sunrise, you will travel upstream along the Lancang River, crossing the boundary marker between Yunnan and Tibet, officially entering Tibet. Your first stop in Tibet will be the thousand-year-old Salt Fields in Markam. This is the only artificial salt field landscape along the Ancient Tea Horse Road and has been listed as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage. The layered salt fields extend from the foot of the mountain to the halfway point, reflecting the light and shadow of the sky like a color palette.

Afterward, you will cross the Hongla Mountain National Nature Reserve and arrive in Rumei Town.

Stay overnight in Rumei Town

After breakfast, you will travel along G318 and the winding Lancang River to Basu County. Along the way, you will cross the Lawu Mountain(4,338m), the Jueba Mountain(3,940m), and the Dongda Mountain Pass(5,008m), the highest point of the entire journey. The Jinsha River, Lancang River, and Nujiang River, which originate from the Tanggula Mountains, form the trend of three parallel rivers. When you look out from the mountain pass, the Yunnan-Tibet Highway and Lancang River appear like two shining ribbons, sometimes visible and sometimes hidden among the mountains and valleys.

After descending the mountain, you will arrive in Zogong County and have lunch. Then, you will travel upstream along the Yuqu River to reach the vast Bangda Grassland. The wide wetlands on both sides are covered with dense meadow plants, like green felt. You can see herds of cattle and sheep grazing here.

Crossing the Yela Mountain Pass(4,658m), you will enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Nujiang 72 Turns and the grand Nujiang Grand Canyon. Afterward, you will arrive in Basu County for the night.

Stay overnight in Basu County

After breakfast, you will cross the Anjiula Mountain(4,390m), and arrive at the famous plateau glacier lake, Ranwu Lake. Besides the blue water lake, you can see picturesque scenery like grassy meadows and snow-capped peaks.

After lunch, you will head to the Laigu Glacier, which is adjacent to Ranwu Lake and is one of the three largest marine glaciers in the world. The white glacier peaks and the blue floating ice make you feel like you are in the Ice Age. Next, we will visit the Midui Glacier, known as one of the most beautiful glaciers in China, definitely worth a visit!

After enjoying the millennia of glaciers, you will drive 143km to Bomi.

Stay overnight in Bomi

In the morning, you will depart from Bomi and travel 230km to Nyingchi. Along the famous National Highway 318, you will encounter a series of stunning plateau landscapes. Along the way, you will pass by the Guxiang Lake, a beautiful park; and cross the Tongmai Bridge - formerly known as a natural barrier; the quaint village of Tashigang, and the Lulang Forest.

The Lulang Forest is the highlight of this journey. Located about 80 kilometers from Bayi Town, it is nestled in the mountains and is known as the "Jiangnan of Tibet" for its beauty. From here, you can see distant snow-capped mountains, meandering rivers, verdant primitive forests, and blooming azaleas. It is a veritable paradise on earth! At the Lulang viewing platform, you can also see the famous Mount Namcha Barwa.

Stay overnight in Nyingchi

Today, you will depart from Nyingchi and drive to the sacred city - Lhasa. You will follow the Nyang River upstream, offering panoramic views of the most beautiful road from Nyingchi to Lhasa. Along the way, you will visit Draksumtso Lake. It is a famous sacred lake in Tibetan Buddhism, particularly in the Red Sect(Nyingma). It has emerald green water surrounded by snow-capped mountains all year round, resembling a crescent moon embedded in a deep valley. There is also an island on the lake called Tashi Island, which is said to be a "hollow island", with a temple built in the Tang Dynasty.

After visiting the lake, you will pass through the Mila Mountain Tunnel, the world's highest tunnel. In the afternoon, you will end the journey as you arrive at your destination - Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

In the morning, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby 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 is a museum and a world heritage site. 

In the afternoon, we will go to visit Jokhang Temple in the center of the Lhasa old town. Jokhang Temple is the most sacred temple in 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 which is one of the most devotional circuits 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 is also a must-see place for visitors.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Your tour ends today. You will be transferred to the Lhasa airport or railway station for your next destination.

Our Service


Yunnan-Tibet Highway passing through the Bingchacha Line(G219) is currently not available to foreigners.

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