Overland Tour from Sichuan to Tibet(10days)
Depart from Chengdu, after we drive about 130km on the express way, we will drive in the green valley along the Qingyijiang River. Of course, the best always the hardest, we have to get over the first natural barrier-Erlang Mountain, for the high altitude and bad road conditions, this mountain was called the first barrier between Sichuan and Tibet in the past. But now, with the opening of Erlang Mountain tunnel (4km), the natural barrier became the smooth way. In the afternoon, when we get through the Erlang Mountain and pass by Luding County, we will arrive at the world wide famous ancient city-Kangding.
Today we will drive to Litang. First we will pass the Zheduo Mountain (4,928m). When reach the top of the mountain you could see a white stupa. If you experience a drizzle day, you might see a beautiful rainbow hanging in the sky. Before getting Litang, you will have to pass another three mountains, Gaoersi Mountain (4,412m), Jianziwan Mountain (4,659m) and Kazila Mountain (4,718m). On the way you could see many meadows, and of course, many tents that are built up by the nomads. Finally we arrive the highest county of the world—Litang. It enjoys an altitude of 4,200 meters.
Drive out of Litang, the meadows and grasslands are still the major scene. Tents are scattering, yaks are leisurely eating grass. After a ride on the dusty road, you are reaching the Haizi Mountain (4,675m). Near the Haizi Mountain, you could see the gorgeous Sister Lakes. What makes the picture more beautiful is the snow-caped mountain featuring the stunning background. Thanks to the newly built tunnels, we could save much time to get to the border county—Batang that is between Sichuan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region. When cross the Jinsha River, now you are standing at the Tibet region. But before arriving today’s destination, we need to drive a certain distance of dusty and bumpy road. Markham is also the intersection of Sichuan-Tibet highway and Yunnan-Tibet highway.
Depart from Markham, there will be a part of road with red soil. When finishing the red soil road. You are going to cross the zigzag Lancang River and pass the Dongda Mountain (5,005m). Our midway county is Zuogong. When get out of Zuogong, the car will move forward in the valley along a river. When we are at the little town of Bangda, we are getting close to the famous ninety-nine bendings. At the bottom of the bendings, we are meeting the Nujiang River. Passing the Nujiang River tunnel and several local villages, we finally arrive in Paksho.
About one and a half hours of car ride, we will pass the Ranwugou ditch, which is an enormous ice glacier. Before cars had to get through from the glaciers very carefully, but now the new road has been built, it became much safer and easier. The Ranwu Lake is the famous high land glacier lake; there is dense forest near the bank accompanied with the clean and clear water in the lake. The shadow of the forest in the lake, the birds play and fly freely near the water. What a fairy land displayed in front of us. The road from Ranwu to Pome is a little bit dusty and bumpy, but the landscape is terrific. The road is just between the river valley, the two sides of the road are great rock mountains covered by evergreen plants. At some section of the road, you could see snow-caped mountains and glaciers. The Pome County which located in the dense forest, will take our great attention. The famous Himalaya Mountain is located near this county, so we can easily see the Snow Mountains around the county.
We will drive in the dense forest, and then we will get over one mountains which clad with snow and ice, we arrive another destination. Here lives the primeval Menba and Luoba nationality. Their ways of living are much similar with the Tibetans, but they still keep their primitive way of life and the dwellings. Also, in this section, we will face the most dangerous road throughout the Sichuan-Tibet highway. This part is called Tongmai. After you pass the Tongmai Bridge, the road becomes tougher with one side standing the cliff and another side crouching the deep ditch. This part is about 25km. When we drive through Lunang town, Bayi County is almost there. But before we reach it, we could see the Mt. Namchenbarwa from afar, pass the Sejila Mountain and visit the giant cypress tree (also called the king of cypress).
Today we can make an excursion to visit the Bujhork Lamalin monastery (belonging to Ningma-pa). And after then, we are starting our trip to Lhasa. Our car will drive along the Niyang River with beautiful scenes on the way. Today, we can make a detour to the Basomtso Lake. In the afternoon, we will arrive at the holy city of Lhasa.
Today, we will visit the Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels. Also today, we will drop a visit of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.
About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains. Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.
Take flight to leave Lhasa, tour ends.
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