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15 Days Chengdu Lhasa EBC Overland Tour via 318 National Highway

Tour Route: Chengdu - Xinduqiao - Batang - Zogong - Bomi - Nyingchi - Lhasa - Shigatse - EBC - Shigatse - Lhasa

Trip Overview:

This is the perfect itinerary for overland trip enthusiasts to challenge the prestigious G318 National Highway, and further explore the wild beauty and mystic culture of Tibet in Lhasa, Shigatse and Mount Everest regions. G318 National Highway, well-known for its breathtaking natural scenery and dangerous route, present its highlight in the section from Chengdu to Lhasa, which has a combination of various rare landscapes like deep gorges, lofty mountains, lush forest, flat plateau grassland, glaciers etc.

With this overland tour, you will first travel overland from Chengdu to Lhasa, across the splendid landscapes along the world-class route. On the way, you will visit famous sites like Xinduqiao Bridge, Lulang Forest, Midui Glacier, Bangda Grassland etc., Then in Tibet, you will first enjoy a two-day Lhasa city tour to have an impression of this holy city. After that, the tour will take you to Mount Everest Base Camp via Gyantse and Shigatse. Gyantse Kumbum, Yamdrok Lake and Korala Glacier will be the refreshing parts along the way to the world’s summit. After appreciating the sunrise of the imposing Everest Peak, you will return to Lhasa for your departure to next destination.

  • Tour Code: TTO-PT-CL15

  • Trip Level:

  • Tour Type: Private tour with private guide and vehicle

  • Time to Visit:

Highlights:

  • Fabulous views along the world-class overland route - G318 National Highway.
  • Enjoy the alpine scenery of Lulang Forest, the Switzerland Scene of Tibet.
  • Tour spectacular Midui Glacier, widely believed to be the most beautiful glacier in China.
  • Wind your way up through the Potala Palace, the holy land and landmark of Tibet.
  • Join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet.
  • Take in a prayer meeting or some monk debating at Sera and Drepung Monastery, two of the largest and most intact of Tibet’s great monasteries.
  • Gaze upon the awe-inspiring summit of Mt. Everest.
  • Explore the historical Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Chengdu, Guests gathered in Chengdu before departure (500m)

Welcome to Chengdu! Upon arrival, be greeted by our local guide at the airport or train station.

After a group photo at airport, you will board on the coach and transfer to your hotel or have a stroll at the famous Chunxi Road Pedestrian Street, Wide and Narrow Alley, Jin Li Ancient Street, etc. Around 7 pm, the whole tour group, including Tibetan guide, will enjoy a welcome dinner (traditional Sichuan Cuisine).

Stay overnight in Chengdu.

Day 2: Chengdu - Ya’an - Luding - Kangding - Xinduqiao Bridge (410km, around 10h)

After breakfast, you take the car from Chengdu to Xinduqiao. Travelling along the Dadu River, upper reaches of Yangtze River, we will pass Zheduo Mountain (4298m). From there, the scenery turns different. Here, you will see Tibetan villages, lush pastures, and grazing yaks, bobbling brooks and fluffy clouds over deep blue sky. Then, you head towards Xindu Bridge, which is widely known for its ultimate pastoral scenery, a paradise for photographers.

Stay overnight in Xinduqiao.

Day 3: Xinduqiao - Yajiang - Litang - Haizishan Mountain - Batang (400km)

You make your way from Xindu, along the Yajiang, up to Mt. Jiangziwan (4658m). Then, we will reach Litang. Situated on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the city of Litang is natural grassland, dotted with grazing yaks, sheep, and nomad’s tents. If you visit there in summer, you’ll see blossoming flowers all over the fields. There have another dazzling and glorious temple named Ke’er Monastery. After visiting Litang, you will pass Mt. Haizi. It was called as Haizi Mountain but the road condition from east to the west is good.

And then we will go down to the Batang which is located in the bank of Jinshajiang River. Here produce many good fruits and they enjoined very high honor in east Tibet. It was said that the apple had been planted by a foreign preacher firstly. And the Christian churches here are still well protected now.

Stay overnight in Batang.

Day 4: Batang - Jinsha River - Markam - Lawu Mountain - Dongda Mountain - Zogong (260km)

Today, you begin to enter the region of Tibet. We will pass through three renowned rivers, namely Jinsha River, Lancang River and Nu River, all originating from the rivers of Tanggula Mountains. Keeping moving westwards, you will pass Lawu Mountain (4358m) and Dongda Mountain (5008m). Standing on the lofty mountain passes, you can take in the spectacular views of wandering Sichuan-Tibet Highway. At night, we will arrive in Zogong.

Stay overnight in Zogong.

Day 5: Zogong - Bangda Grassland - Yela Mountain - Seventy-two Bends - Baxoi - Rakwa Tso (200km)

In the morning, setting off to the next destination of Rakwa Tso. You will be first greeted by Bangda Grassland, which is one of the most important pastures in Tibet with boundless grass, flocks of yaks and horses. Then, you will continue your journey to Yela Mountain (4839m), the most dangerous natural barrier on Hengduan Mountain Range. Following the famous Seventy-two Bends, we will descend to the shore of Nu River. The road is bumpy, but the scenery here is very lovely. Along the elegant road with hollow and grass, you can catch sight of the snow mountain and glacier. At night, you finally get to Rakwa Tso.

Stay overnight in Ranwu.

Day 6: Rakwa Tso - Midui Glacier - YarlungTsangpo - Bomi (250km)

Get up early to enjoy the beauty of Rakwa Lake. As the source of Yarlung Tsangpo Lake, Rakwa is a typical seasonal glacial lake in Chamdo. Stretching westwards for about 10 km, this narrow river slowly plunges into a huge canyon. The flickering light of Rakwa Tso shows incredible beauty, with the snow-capped peaks and primeval forests afar as the background.

Driving out of the beautiful lake, you will head to Bomi. Along the road you can see thick trees, streaming water, snow mountains, lakes and small villages which make the place more marvellous. On the way, you can visit the Midui Glacier, famed as the most beautiful glacier in China. In the evening, you arrive at Bomi.

Stay overnight in Bomi.

Day 7: Bomi - Tongmai - Lulang Forest - Sejila Mountain (Mt. Namjagbarwa) - Nyingchi (230km)

Following a wide valley, you will move into Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon. The canyon and its surroundings form an earthly paradise, where you can see raging torrent, gushing waterfalls one after another. After that, heading to the lush Lulang Forest. Noted for Switzerland Scene of Tibet, Nyingchi Lulang Forest has typical alpine scenery depicting authentic rural scenery of snow-caped forest nature. Here, you can visit the Zhaxigang Village, the iconic Tibetan village in Lulang, enjoy the local famous Lulang Stone Chicken and other local snacks.

Standing at the viewing platform of Lulang, you will enjoy the stunning panorama views of Mt. Namjagbarwa (7782m). We will have a short stay at the Sejila Mountain Pass (4728m), where you can view the colorful leaves on the mountain in autumn. After that, we will move westwards to Nyinchi, the biggest city in eastern Tibet.

Stay overnight in Nyingchi.

Day 8: Nyingchi - Lhasa (420km)

Today, following Nyang River, you will keep moving west to your destination, Lhasa. On the way, we will see the different scenery, featuring idyllic pastoral scene along the valley. After passing Mila Pass (5013m), you'll finally arrive in Lhasa valley. The magnificent Potala Palace on the Red Hill will come into your eyes.

After arriving at Lhasa, your tour guide will help you check in the hotel.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 9: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

After breakfast, we go to the Potala Palace, a golden feather upon the roof of the world, which Tibetans proudly claim to be the prime miracle since the creation of this world. It is visible from any distance, with the golden roof shinning in the sun, spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and the many Buddhist icons within.

In the afternoon we go inside of the Jokhang Temple. The Jokhang, like most of the larger temple structures have numerous individual temples within it dedicated to specific enlightened beings, protectors, high lamas, or saints. Images, both sculpted and painted, are everywhere. Every inch of wall and ceiling is brightly painted with images of clouds, beings, mandalas, or decorative patterns. Colorful silk banners, three stories high, hang in various places. Color, pattern, and images crowd in around you. The central image inside the building is a 30-foot high gilded image of Maitreya Buddha.

Then stroll around the back alleys of the Barkhor area of Old Lhasa. The streets smelled of yak butter and incense while hordes of pilgrims shuffled along the main Kora (circumambulations) around Jokhang Temple. If someone just walked at a normal pace, one kora would take about 15-20 minutes.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 10: Lhasa Tour - Drepung monastery, Sera monastery

In the morning, tourists go to Drepung Monastery, which used to be the largest monastery with more than 10 thousand monks, Buddhist debates often occur there. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the monastery the appearance of a heap of rice. Drepung monastery, in the Tibetan language, means Monastery of Collecting-Rice. Learn about the lives of Tibetan monks there.

In the afternoon, visit Sera Monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 Lamas live in there.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 11: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse

After fully explore Lhasa, you’ll have a chance to get lost in the endless Tibetan landscape while you take a short hike along the turquoise waters of Lake Yamdrok, one of the four holy lakes in Tibet. This dazzling lake is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la (4700m). The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and it is shaped like a coiling scorpion. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangstsang (7191m).

Afterwards pass by the 5,010 m high Karo-la and the Simi La forward to Gyantse (3,950m). Visit Pelkor Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both built in the 15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse.

In the afternoon drive about 90 kilometers to Shigatse (3880m), the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang.

Day 12: Shigatse (3900m) to Everest (5200m) via Tingri

Drive to Lhatse, it is a small town where tourists can have lunch. Then, head to Shegar and if the weather is clear enough then on the way down to Shegar tourists will view the Mt. Everest in the distance. After 4 to 6 hours’ drive, tourists will arrive at Rongbuk Monastery but on the way, they will pass one of the highest Passes in Tibet (pang la pass height 5050m) from that’s pass they will view the whole five highest peaks in the world.

Day 13: EBC and Drive back to Shigatse

Open your eyes, and wake up to the first sunlight shining over the pyramid-shaped summit of imposing Mt. Everest. Grab your camera for an epic shot and stroll to the Rongbuk Monastery, exploring this world’s highest Buddhist compound. If you wish, you can do the meditation and experience the unparalleled tranquility and harmony there. Or you can interact with monks and nuns with the help of guide to learn more of their unique spiritual life.

The temperature can get bitterly cold in the early morning. Do wear enough cloths like your down jacket, scarf and mittens to protect the extreme coldness. Finally, jump into our tour vehicle and say farewell to the world’s highest peaks through the rearview mirror of the van. By following the zigzag roads on Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway, we head back to Shigatse.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 14: Drive back to Lhasa

This morning you’ll have an opportunity to explore the Tashilhunpo Monastery, the holy seat of the Panchen Lama, which is essentially a walled town with cobbled and twisting lanes that revolve around a magnificent monastery.

Then you’ll take a slightly different route back to Lhasa along Yarlung Tsangpo River, be wrapped again in the endless vistas of the Tibetan plateau.

Day 15: Day 15: Finish this Unforgettable Tour

Today, our guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.

Tour services end and Tibet welcome you back forever.

What’s included?

1. Tibet Entry Permit

2. Comfortable, clean and safe vehicle depending on your group size with reliable local driver;

3. Admission fees of tourist sites listed in the itinerary;

4. Professional English-speaking tour guide;

5.Accommodations depend on your preference. Please tell us your preferred accommodation class when submitting the enquiry, and we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.

6.All meals listed in the itinerary;

7.Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance

What’s excluded?

1. International flight to and out of China;

2. Chinese Visa

3. Domestic flight / train not listed in the itinerary (If you need ticket booking service, please leave your requirements in the Online Inquiry form.)

4.Meals not specified in the itinerary;

5.Tips to driver and tour guide, Tip as you wish

6.Personal expenses, such as laundry, phone call, optional tour activities and so on.

Trip Notes

  • 1. How to Get the Tibet Travel Permit?

    The Tibet Travel Permit is essential for any Tibet tour. We help to obtain this permit free of charge when you book your Tibet tour through us. Simply send us copies of your passport and China visa at least 20 days in advance. Once we receive your documents, we will promptly process the permit application with the Tibet Tourism Bureau. After obtaining your permit, we will notify you and send it to your hotel in mainland China.

    In exceptional cases, our staff can personally deliver the permit to you at the airport or railway station. With years of experience in handling Tibet Travel Permit, we assure you a smooth visit to Tibet by ensuring the acquisition of your permit.

  • 2. Where to Stay in Tibet?

    Accommodation facilities and services in Tibet might not match those found in the coastal and central parts of China. However, there's a diverse range of hotel options available. However, you can choose from a wide range of hotel options. In big cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, from cheap and clean youth hostels to distinct Tibetan-style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotels, you will find one that suits your interests and budget.

    As you travel to remote areas of Tibet, such as EBC and the Mount Kailash region, the accommodations tend to be more basic. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel, while others may only offer electric blankets in the guesthouses. Nonetheless, we always handpick cozy and safe accommodations for you along your itinerary in Tibet, ensuring a pleasant night's stay for your Tibet tour.

  • 3. How about the Guiding and Tipping in Tibet?

    Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service. Throughout your stay in Tibet, we will monitor your health and provide prompt assistance to you. If you encounter any trouble, please do not hesitate to contact them or our customer service manager.

    Travelers' tipping to Tibetan guides and drivers is seen as extra gratitude for their excellent service, much like what you do in the West. Normally, a tipping amount of 7 USD per day is acceptable. The basic principle is rewarding good service with fair pay.

  • 4. How are the Toilets in Tibet?

    Undoubtedly, for many Western tourists, using toilets in Tibet can be a challenging experience. Therefore, it's advisable to moderate your expectations. If you travel to Lhasa by Tibet train, both western-style and squat toilets are available onboard. Staying in hotels rated above 3 stars in cities like Lhasa and Shigatse ensures access to standard Western flush toilets, eliminating any discomfort.

    However, when visiting attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso or outdoor sites like EBC, you're likely to encounter smelly and unclean pit toilets. It's recommended to carry sufficient toilet paper for such occasions.

  • 5. How is the Weather in Tibet? What to Pack for Visiting Tibet?

    One of the notable weather features on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the significant temperature fluctuation between day and night. In Lhasa, the annual temperatures range from -2℃ to 12℃ (spring), 9℃ to 22℃ (summer), 7℃ to 19℃ (fall), and -7℃ to 9℃ (winter). Ensure proper clothing, such as thermal tops, a fleece jacket, breathable underwear, a down jacket, jeans, a beanie, and other essentials.

    Moreover, essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are crucial to shield yourself from the intense, blinding sunlight of the plateau. Staying hydrated by drinking more water and including vegetables in your diet is advisable to prevent dehydration during your travels in Tibet.

  • 6. How to Prevent from Altitude Sickness in Tibet?

    For first-time visitors to Tibet, whether arriving by flight or train, allowing ample rest is crucial for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Avoid rushing to explore the streets or attractions independently. Walk at a slower pace and refrain from exerting yourself by running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa before venturing to places like Shigatse or Namtso allows for better acclimatization. If you experience any discomfort, inform your guide, and they will assist you.

  • 7. Are There some Dos and Don'ts while Touring Tibet?

    Photography is generally prohibited in monasteries. If you wish to capture images of Tibetan pilgrims, kindly seek their permission or maintain a considerable distance while taking photos. Swimming and fishing are prohibited in the sacred lakes of Tibet. Avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics. According to policy, international tourists are not permitted to travel alone in Tibet.

    While navigating Barkhor Street, adhere to the custom of walking clockwise. Refrain from exploring unfamiliar trails. Take proactive steps to preserve Tibet's delicate ecosystem.

    Given that Tibetan Buddhism profoundly influences the lives of Tibetans, always show reverence and respect for their unique customs. If uncertain about any practice, it's advisable to seek guidance from your tour guide before proceeding.

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  • Explore Mount Kailash

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    Discover the real Tibet with us! We're dedicated to showing its true spirit and exploring its lively culture. Our aim is to give you an authentic experience, sharing the beauty and richness of Tibetan traditions. Come along for a journey deep into the heart of Tibet!

  • Leisurely explore Lake Yamdrok

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What Our Customers Say

  • Truly memorable experience

    We did a private trip actually, after a thorough research of numerous agencies we decided to go with Tibet Vista as they seem very experienced in Tibet tours and they are also very responsive. It was well-made decision, we loved our tour and our guide Kungga was excellent, he was attentive and accomodating to us...More reviews

    Apr 2024 Denira K
  • Once in a life time

    14 days from Beijing to Tibet and Nepal. The reality was beyond my expectations. A trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. The trip was arranged in an exceptional way! Laura Tang did an amazing job! She responded to all my questions immediately, she supported and solved any problems very quickly. The hotels she arranged for me were amazing!! ...More reviews

    Jan 2024 nico k
  • Nice view in winter!

    The view was magnificent. got to see snow and snow capped mountains. Thanks to Gemma Wei for helping with all the planning. Also thanks to Kunchok and Tsering for going accomodating to my needs as i was not used to the altitude. They also helped alot with the trek up the hills! ...More reviews

    Dec 2023 Benjamin X
  • Tibet is beautiful

    The tour was great! We visited amazing places and could feel the sacred atmosphere in all the temples. The nature is breathtaking with beautiful mountain and lake views. Our guide Jingme told us all about the history and showed us great places. All the hotels were much better than what I expected...More reviews

    Nov 2023 Krisyna H
  • Unforgettable Experience

    The 8-day trip with Tibet Vista was remarkable, combining cultural depth with stunning Tibetan landscapes. Our guide Jig Me was really knowledgable, the journey well-organized, and each destination, especially Everest Base Camp, was a highlight. Great value; highly recommended...More reviews

    Nov 2023 George J
  • FANTASTIC!

    Visiting Tibet with Tibet Visa agency is a once in a life time experience! They take care of everything and you just need to enjoy! Our tour guide was AMAZING...More reviews

    Nov 2023 Alberto
  • Exploring Tibetan culture

    Tibet vista made the entry process into Tibet super easy. Jing mei our guide had a wealth of knowledge about all the locations we visited and happily answered questions we had. Also organising a birthday cake for one of the guests showed how thoughtful he was...More reviews

    Nov 2023 Dylan P
  • Lhasa to Kathmandu

    Can't recommend this company enough. We did it very last minute and got our Chinese visas a few days before we flew to Chengdu and got the train to Lhasa. Lycoris our contact was patient and reassuring over the applications. The trip itself was something else...More reviews

    Nov 2023 philgiles
  • Private tour with guide and driver… wow!

    After much research, my wife gave the desired itinerary to the agency rep that she was working with. It covered a huge area from Lhasa all the way West to the Ali area and back along a Northern route. Of course having a private driver and Land Cruiser along with a very experienced guide, the trip was just fantastic... More reviews

    Oct 2023 howardxp1
  • Best trip I have ever had

    I just arrived home this morning after a one-month trip in India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. I have travelled a lot in my life but this trip is the best trip I have ever had. It really stands out by its geographic particularity, historical and cultural knowledge and most of all, its emotional/spiritual impact...More reviews

    Sep 2023 hptranle

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