OLA05 Explorewestchina Trans Shangila & Mt. Hengduan Yunnan – Tibet Overland Adventure 18 Days Tourfrom
Route:Kunming – Dali – Lijiang – Zhongdian – Dechen – Markam – Zuogong – Baxoi – Ranwu – Bome – Nyingchi – Basum Tso Lake – Lhasa – Potala Palace – Jokhang monastery – Drepung monastery – Chengdu
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeDiscovery
Activity Level Strenuous
Hard overland tour by 4WD vehicle from Dechen -Lhasa.
Visit the minorities in Dali and Lijiang.
Folkway of the Tibetan in Kham.
On the roof of the world to Lhasa.
Beautiful landscapes Nyingchi.
Three nights in Lhasa with great sightseeing program.
From Kunming we drive to Dali, which is located between the Erhai Lake and the Canqshan range, the subsequent trip leads you to East Tibet where experience various landscapes. The Jade-Dragon Snow-Mountain and the Tiger Jumping Gorge in Lijiang are probably the most famous scenic spot in Yunnan Province. On markets you get to know peoples of the Bai and Naxi minorities who still partly carry their own colorful national costumes. The visit to some of the temples will repay us long-time stop here.
We reach Gyalthang (Zhongdian), which is situated in the east edge of Himalaya Range with an altitude of 3330 m above sea level. Here you visit Sumsanling (the city of monasteries) and trek to the isolated Dabao Temple. The route leads us through the Hengduan Range to Dechen. Followed, must conquer, particularly these zigzag ways up and downs, the complicated landforms of the three river confluence, which is at the boundary of Sichuan, Yunan and Tibet: at first across the Jinsha Jiang (Golden Sand Rive, upper reaches of Yangtze) enter Tibet, then come Lancang Jiang (Mekong) and Nu Jiang (Salween). Going on westwards, pass by Ranwu Lake, cross Lulang forests and visit Basum Tso Lake, at last we reach the holy city Lhasa. In Lhasa we visit the Potala Palace, which stands on the Red Hill in the city proper, the holiest place Jokhang as well as Drepung and Sera.
Arrive in Kunming (D)
Today arrive in Kunming and transfer to the hotel. Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, is also called Spring City. due to its fine climate all year round. Yunnan in Chinese means ”to the south of the clouds”. This multinational city is famed for its fascinating multicolored street picture and numerous day and night markets.
After the breakfast visit the Lunan Stone Frost about 125 kilometers to the east of Kunming, which enjoys its distinct landscapes and unveils the best out of the wonders of the Karst topography. The Lunan Autonomous county is a home of the Sani minority. This Karst Stone Frost with an area of 270 sq km, appeared approximately 270 million years ago when the crust of earth lifted and the original endless sea allowed to disappear. The bizarre line stone rocks feature in various formation and some of them tower above to 30 m high.
Kunming - Dali 380 km (B/L/D)
In the morning drive to Dali, where stroll in the alleys of the ancient small town. The well preserved ancient city gates and the historic buildings have shown the city long history. In the afternoon visit San Ta Si (Three Pagoda Temple) in the northwest outskirts of Dali. Then boating on the Erhai Lake in the east of the city. The lake with an area of 249 square kilometers, is 40 km long and surrounded by high mountains such as Cang Shan (the Azure Mountain) being 4122 m. high in the sky.
Dali - Lijiang 200 km (B/L/D)
Drive northwards approx. 200 km to Lijiang pass by the Erhai Lake. With an altitude of 2600 m above sea level on Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Lijiang is located in the Naxi Minority Autonomous County of Yunnan Province. The city had a 800-year-old history and is the only city where the Nazi ethnic minority reside. It is famous for its old wooden houses and the layout of the town streets. The cobblestones, clear brooks and bridges are seen here and there in the city as one walks. Now, it has been listed as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The cobblestones are seen here and there in the city as one walks. In the late afternoon visit Hei Long Tan (Black Dragon Pool), which is located in the northern foot of the Elephant Hill. The summits of the snowy mountain nearby are clearly reflected in this pond. In addition, visit a five-arch marble bridge and different pavilions, for example, the Tower Five Phoenix.
First drive northwards 30 km to the Yulong Xueshan (Jade-Dragon Snow-Mountain), which is 5596 m high and at the south edge of the Tibetan Plateau. This mountain has long been admired as kingdom of forests or reasure of house vegetation?with rare birds and animals moving and flying about in it. In the mountain visit Yu Feng Si (a Buddhist monastery complex). The giant camellia in the monastery is more than 500 years old and has gained the fame of 10,000 Flowers Camellia due to its flourishing flowers every year. Afterwards visit Baisha village of Naxi minority where about 350 Buddhism mural paintings made between 14th and 17th century are preserved.
Lijiang - Shangrila 220 km (B/L/D)
Continue the journey to Tiger Jumping Gorge on the Jinsha Jiang (Golden Sand River), the upper reaches of the Yangtze River (the longest river of China, 6380 km). In the15 km long gorge, as the turbulent water of the Jinsha Jiang River is forced by Hapa Snow Mountain standing in its way to turn abruptly 100 degrees north eastwards and thus gives birth of the first Bend of the Yangtze River? Here the cliffs on the west bank of the river is 4000 meters above from the surface of the water, while a giant rock, just called Tiger Jumping Gorge of 300 cubic meters or so, is laying in the middle of the river to cause the waves up to the sky. In the afternoon arrive in Shangrila (3330 m), the historic southern gateway to Kham. Most of the residents here are Tibetan.
In the morning visit the Sumsanling Monastery, which was created in 1679 by the Fifth Dalai lama. In 1958 the monastery complex still accommodated about 1300 monks of the Gelugpa Sect. It is a pity that in 1959 this monastery was almost completely devastated during the tragic Culture Revolution. Anyhow it was systematic reconstructed in 1982. Today several hundred monks in the prayer halls do their Buddhist exercises again. Characterized by Its Han-Chinese and Tibetan construction style, the monastery with an area of 34 ha is considered as the most important monastery of Gelukpa-sect in Yunnan province. The mural paintings and wood carvings in the monastery are quite fine. On 29th of November every year in Chinese traditional lunar calendar an important religious party called Gedong-party is held here. People dance with masks to pray for luck of the next year. In the afternoon walk to visit the Dabao Si Monastery, which is situated on a hill with an altitude of 3.300 m above sea level. The flying streamers around the monastery and the approx. 2 km long Mani-stone will impress you deeply.
Shangrila - Dechen 190 km (B/L/D)
Drive through parts of the Hengduan Range along the Jinsha Jiang (upper reaches of Yangtze). Have a break in a beautiful small town named Benzilan. On the way we enjoy far view of Meili Xueshan, the highest peak in Yunnan Province, with an altitude of 6740 m above sea level. This peak is called awagebo by Tibetan compatriots, which means the white snowy mountain in Tibetan language. Regarded as one of the Eight Buddhist Mountains and the Divine Mountain and Holy land? every year the Buddhist followers from Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Qinghai trek thousands of miles to pay religious homage to it. In the afternoon arrive in Dechen, situated close to the border between Yunnan and Tibet.
Dechen - Markam 220 km (B/L/D)
Go on northwards along the Langcang Jiang River valley, the upper reaches of the Mekong River. After a lunch break in the Mekong valley, pass the border between Yunnan and Tibet, and then arrive at Yanjing country. In the afternoon reach Markam, where the Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu – Lhasa) and Yunnan-Tibet Highway meet (Kunming – Lhasa).
Markam - Zuogong, 158 km, 5 hours (B/L/D)
Heading for Zuogong (3980 m). On the way we cross the Lancang Jiang (Mekong) and overcome three passes: Joba, Lawu (4358 m) and Dongda (5008m).
Zuogong - Baxoi, 201 km, 6 hours (B/L/D)
Drive upstream to Bangda, a town junction where Lhasa connects to the Chamdo-Kunming Highway. The Yu-chu valley lies north of the Salween gorges in the highlands of Tsawagang, where the immense geographic spatial dimensions of the land dwarf our presence. While distance covered is less than 100 km and probably half that by the way the crow flies, the terrain is steep, as defined by the 180 switchbacks we will conquer when we cross Gama La Pass at an altitude of 4,618 meters.
Baxoi - Ranwu - Bome (B/L/D)
On the road to Bome, we will stop in Ranwu to cast our lines in the pristine waters of Ngan Tso (Ranwu Lake), a spectacularly crystal blue lake cupped by snow peaks. After our lunch of freshly caught fish, we will wander along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog (2,743 m), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountainsides.
Bome - Nyingchi (B/L/D)
We will go down several hundred meters in altitude as we reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tongmai where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet. Crossing Serkhyem La Pass (4,515 m) we will have spectacular views of Mount Gyala Pelri (7,150 m) and Mount Namchak Barwa (7,782 m). Late in the afternoon arrive in Nyingchi (Nyingtri, Linzhi).
Nyingchi - Basum Tso Lake (B/L/D)
The garrison site Nyingchi is an ideal place for the discovery of two neighbouring high points: From the golden roof of the Gelugpa monastery Buchu to view the unique scenery of the Lamaling temple which is only a few kilometers runway. After lunch we drive to the Basum Tso Lake.
Basum Tso Lake -Lhasa (B/L/D)
More than 6000 m high snow covered mountains make the lake film like, well, the leading actor is, without doubt, is the island monastery – Tsodzong. We take a boat travel around the island and up to the Tsodzong monastery on it. In the afternoon we drive on along the Niyang river for Lhasa. Afterwards we pass through scenic terrain with lush alpine forests and clear snow-melted streams and over the impressing Mi La pass (4865 m) to Lhasa. Late in the afternoon arrive in Lhasa (3650 m), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. The city is situated on the bank of the Kyichu River and has long been the ”Holy Land” of Tibet.
In the morning visit Potala, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures altogether creative a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon visit Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties.
In the morning visit Drepung monastery the sacred land of Gelug Sect., which was established in 1416 and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in. 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.
Lhasa - Chengdu (B)
In the morning transfer to Gongga airport (100 km), fly to Chengdu.