This is one of the least visited parts of Tibet by Westerners. Closed for many years and still very difficult to get Tibet Travel Permit for, the journey truly traverses the roof of the world, much of it on rough roads. Accommodations are basic, food simple but the scenery is suburb. Begin in Lhasa, end in Zhongdian, aka Shangri La, Yunnan.
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa
On arrival you are greeted and transferred to the hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free to adjust to the altitude of one of the world’s highest plateaus, approx. 12,000 feet above sea level.
Day 2: Lhasa- B, L , D
Spend whole day exploring fascinating Lhasa. Visit the world-famous Potala Palace, the architectural wonder in the center of Lhasa and former home of the Dalai Lama. Head to the famous Barkhor Market and explore the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet.
Day 3: Lhasa-B, L, D
Day tour to Nobrulingkha, the Precious Stone Garden), built on the orders of the 7th Dalai Lama in the 18th century. Then tour Drepung Monastery, one of the “great three” Gelukpa monasteries of Tibet. Time permitting also visit Sera Monastery to see groups of red-robed young monks debate Buddhist doctrines in a lively traditional style.
Day 4: Lhasa / Draksum Tso / Bayi – B, L, D ( 490 km, 8 hrs)
Depart Lhasa this morning traveling along the gorgeous Niyang River to Nyingch. Enoute cross over Mila Pass, visit the Tsodzong Monastery and Draksum Tso lake. The lake and its surrounding views are stunning.
Day 5: Bayi / Lulang / Pailong / Pomi -B, L, D (240 Km, 6-7 hrs)
Today drive to Pomi. Pass by scenic alpine valleys lined with rhododendron bushes, cross over the Serkhym-La where you will have a chance to view the imposing peak of Mt. Namche Barwa. After days of driving on dusty roads, you’ll rejuvenate your spirits upon reaching Pomi, a town embraced by snow mountains, deep forests and fine views.
Day 6: Pomi / Rawok-tso / Pasho (219 Km, 6-7 hrs)
Continue via Ranwu to Pasho. The landscape along the road varies from snow mountains, glaciers to lakes and pastures. At Ranwu, visit the famed Ranwu lake whose color changes with seasons, from aquamarine to turquoise. Arrive in Pasho in the late afternoon.
Day 7: Pasho / Dzogong – B, L, D (201 km, 5-6 hrs)
Spend whole day driving from Pasho to Dzogong across Pomba pastures.
Day 8: Dzongong / Markham – B, L, D (158 km, 5 hrs)
This morning cross Dongda Pass, 5008 m above sea level. Continue to drive along the Lancng River to Markham, a junction town connecting Dechen and Markham.
Day 9: Markham / Deqin – B, L, D (235 Km, 8-9 hours)
Pass the border between Tibet and Yunnan at Yanjing to join the Sichuan Southern route to Yunnan. This part of road used to be of economic significance in ancient China, called “Tea-Horse Road”,as famous as the “Silk Road”
Day 10: Deqin / Zhongdian – B, L, D(195 Km, 5-6 hours)
Past Deqin see the holy mountain of Meili. Marvel at the stunning landscape as you enter Yunnan, reaching Zhongdian in the afternoon.
Day 11: Zhongdian – B, L, D
Visits 17th-century Gedan Songzanlin Monastery, scenic Napa Lake, then on to tour Zhongdian’s Tibetan Old Town and local market.
Day 12: Depart Zhongdian – B
Transfer to the airport for a flight to your next destination.