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Overland Trip from Yunnan to Tibet

Last Update: March 23, 2020

Yunnan Tibet overland tour is one of the most popular Tibet overland trip. You can choose to start your Yunnan Tibet overland tour from Kunming, Lijiang, or Shangri-La. The Yunnan Tibet overland trip is dominated by various stunning landscapes and rich cultural sites. It's no doubt that this must be a wonderful and unforgettable journey.

Why Choose Yunnan to Tibet Overland Trip?

The Yunnan-Tibet Highway is a significant access to Tibet overland. Starting from the Jinhong City of Yunnan and reaching to Duopuma of Qinghai, the highway is connected to the Sichuan- Tibet southern highway.

Yunnan Tibet overland tripScenery along Yunnan Tibet Highway

During the trip you have a pleasure to enjoy the various natural landscapes along the Yunnan-Tibet highway, such as gorges, glacier, and rivers etc. On your way, you can also feel the Dongba culture and meet the Naxi people. Besides, a lot of renowned, old towns and monasteries are situated along the road. You will go through the wild, mountainous and remote areas, enjoy the stunning scenery of great canyons, lakes, snow-capped mountains, monasteries, hot spring, enormous forest and see the isolated Kham Tibetans who keep the original culture and customs.

When is It Ideal to Make the Overland Trip?

Although the Tibetan Plateau is known for its high altitudes, the daytime temperatures are actually quite mild. With clear blue skies, between April and November, the average temperature ranges from 15-25 degrees Celsius. July and August are usually characterized by showers during the day and cold at night, the temperature will drop below 0 degrees at night.

Yunnan Tibet overland tripYunnan Tibet overland trip

Thus, the best time to take an overland tour in Tibet is between April and November. To be honest, driving from Yunnan to Tibet, the best months are May, June, September, October and November. July and August are nice seasons, but rainy. while Winters are too cold and windy.

What are the Highlights and the Classic Itinerary for the Overland Trip?

A classic itinerary for a road trip from Yunnan to Tibet is the 12-day overland tours through the Yunnan- Tibet Highway. This trip starts from Lijiang whereby you can feel the Tibet culture and witness the landscape of barely fields and yak scattering in the gorgeous valleys. During the trip you will be mesmerized by the largest and finest monasteries like the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery of Yunnan. Here, you can also enjoy delicious Tibetan dishes and the delectable butter tea.

Visiting Manasarovar LakeVisiting Manasarovar Lake

Next you can see Bengzilan Town and the first bend of Jinsha (Yangtze) River, Dongzhulin monastery and Baima (white horse) Snow Mountain. The Mingyong Glacier, Sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain and Mingyong Village will also be revealed to you during the trip. The pleasant farmlands scatter in the tranquility ground as you come across the Nujiang-Salween river and the Ranwu Lake. Visiting the Potala Palace, Jokhang and Barkhor streets is the highlight of your stay in Lhasa. And last but not the least, you will have the opportunity to experience the richness culture of Tibetan Buddhism in the world-renowned Sera and Drepung Monasteries of Lhasa.

What You Should Pack With You?

When you decide where you are travelling, you may have googled what you need to take already. The necessities that experts suggest for tourists to travel to Tibet include: a pair of hiking boots/sturdy sneakers, sleeping bag and insulation pad, ground cloth or tarp (recommended but not required), rain gear (waterproof pants and jacket), towel, 3-5 T-shirts, lightweight fleece or wool sweater (Tibet is characterized by low temperatures), 2 pairs of nylon pants, 5-7 couples of socks (polypropylene or wool are recommended), 3-5 underwear, sunglasses, personal toiletries.

You also need to carry your own toilet paper and some zip-lock bags (bathrooms may not be readily available), personal medication, camera, batteries and film/digital Memory Cards, adapter and surge protector (you do not want to miss out posing amidst the unique landscape of this utopia), light- weight thermal shirts or long underwear ( recommended but not required).

The type of sockets used in Tibet is an important thing you need to be pondering over. Here you go-for Class 1 appliances, a Type 1 3-pin plug and socket is used. In Tibet, plugs are rated as 220V 50Hz. Has some space left in your bags? You could choose to take a personal music player, journal, binoculars, wide-brimmed hat, swim suit (for hot springs), gloves, scarf, sunscreens, money belt or fanny pack and anything that may make you feel relaxed. You could also carry some soft snacks and water.

How We Can Help You With the Trip?

You need a Chinese Visa and Tibet Travel Permit, alongside some special permits for selected areas like Mount Everest, when you tour Tibet. So, after helping you find the Tibet tour package that best caters to your needs and preferences, we will arrange for everything, including all required permits, vehicle, accommodation during travel, and tour guide. The only thing you need to do is give us the necessary information like your photographs and completed application forms. And you can just sit back and pack your bags while we will take care of the rest.


Yunnan-Tibet highway was completed in 1973, with a total length of 1,930 km. The road crosses through some spectacular nature attractions. And there are many beautiful Tibetan towns and villages along the way, where you can experience the traditional Tibetan ways of life and culture. It is truly rewarding to make an overland trip from Yunnan to Tibet. If you have any questions about the Yunnan Tibet overland tour, please feel free to contact us.

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