15 Days Tibet-Yunnan Overland Tour from Lhasa to Kunming

This 15 Days Tibet-Yunnan Overland Tour from Lhasa to Kunming will first bring you to visit the highlights of Lhasa. Experience Tibetan Buddhism in Lhasa and Shigatse such as Potala Palace and Rongbuk Monastery. Head for the Everest Base Camp to appreciate fabulous natural landscape of Mt. Everest and you will see stunning lakes, grand snow mountains, vast grassland, boundless desert, majestic glaciers and so on along you way. Then, transfer to Shangri-La to start your colorful tour in Yunnan. Enjoy the main attractions of Shangri-La, Lijiang, Dali and Kunming. Be amazed at the grand Tiger Leaping Gorge and enjoy your leisurely time in the three ancient towns. Pay a visit to the “world wonder” – the Stone Forest in Kunming to end the tour.


  • Experience Tibetan Buddhism in significant monasteries along your way and in Lhasa city and Shigatse.
  • Meet snown mountains, tranquil lakes, shimmering rivers, Tibetan villages and rare animals on your way.
  • Enjoy the starry sky and charming sunrise of Everest Mountain.
  • Visit the top attractions of Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La including the ancient towns and grand Tiger Leaping Gorge.
  • Experience the ethnic culture of Bai, Naxi, Tibetan, Yao minorities.
  • Visit the “world wonder”-the Stone Forest and other city highlights of Kunming.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lhasa Arrival
  • Day 2: Lhasa
  • Day 3: Lhasa
  • Day 4: Lhasa-Shigatse
  • Day 5: Shigatse – Rongbuk Monstery
  • Day 6: Shigatse-Lhasa-Shangri-La
  • Day 7: Shangri-La
  • Day 8: Shangri-La-Lijiang
  • Day 9: Lijiang
  • Day 10: Lijiang
  • Day 11: Lijiang-Dali
  • Day 12: Dali
  • Day 13: Dali-Kunming
  • Day 14: Kunming
  • Day 15: Kunming Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Lhasa Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa Arrival
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy your own free time and get ready for your Lhasa tour. You will be then transferred to the airport to board a short flight to Lhasa, capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Day 2Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Barkhor Street
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It has been used since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collection are the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.  

After you take lunch and then head to Jokhang Temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century, in order to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve, perhaps the single most venerated object in Tibet Buddhism.

Around the temple Barkhor Street where you can do kora (circling the Barkhor street) with pilgrims and locals and buy the souvenirs. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 3 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Drepung Monastery, Carpet factory, Sera Monastery
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you are going to visit Drepung Monastery which was one of the “three greet” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. Ganden palace is used as Dalai lama’s palace in the Drepung before moving to the Potala palace.

Afternoon, Sera Monastery—It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419 by Jamchen chojey, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. The highlight is the Monks debate at around 3 – 5 in the afternoon. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 4 Lhasa-Gyangtse-Shigatse

Sightseeing and Activities:Nyangchu Valley, Yamdro-tso lakes, karo-la glacier,Kubum monastery
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Passing by the green farmland of Nyangchu Valley, Yamdro-tso Lakes, Karo-la Glacier roadside at 4960m, We move westwards to the second biggest city Shigatse, the Area spiritually hosted by Pamchan Lama.

The most important attraction for today is Yamdro-tso Lake and Kubum Monastery in Gyantse. From the top of the pass kangpa-la at 4700m high in clear weather, you can see the fabulous shade of deep turquoise, Yamdro-tso Lake is shaped like coiling scorpion with deep blue in colour.

Kubum Monastery, means 100,000 images in Tibetan, is the town’s foremost attraction, The 35m-high chorten (stupa) with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome, is awe-inspiring. You can visit every chambers in the monastery.

Day 5 Shigatse – Rongbuk Monstery

Sightseeing and Activities:Mt. Lhotse(8516m),Mt. Everes(8848m), Mt. Cho Oyu(8201m),Mt Mayalu(8463m), Rongbuk Monastery
Accommodation:Rongbuk Monastery
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Drive westwards the Friendship way to Tingri County. On the way to Mount Everest you will pass the checking point with your TTB permit, travel permit and passport, and purchase the entrance of Everest Base Camp.

There is about 90km bumpy road from Tingri to Rongpuk, road is under construction. From Tingri to E.B.C with the very rough road, pass the wild grassland, cross the rapids river and high mountains. If it is in clear whether, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which is 8000m high or more, such as: Mt. Lhotse(8516m), Mt. Everes(8848m), Mt. Cho Oyu(8201m),Mt. Mayalu(8463m). Overnight at Rongphu Monastery Tent.

Day 6 Rongphu Monastery – Shigatse

Sightseeing and Activities:Rongphu Monastery, the sunrise of Mt. Everest, Mt.Evrest Base Camp
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Early in the moring to see the sunrise from Rongbuk Monastery then to view Mt. Everest. It is fabulous and splendid. After walking arrive the place get on the animal carriage then use half of an hour arrive at Everest Base Camp ( Or you also can trekking to Base Camp around 1.5-2 hours one way. It’s interesting and much more warm, but hard to breath).

Hiking up to the top of the photo point to take pictures of the splendid- Mt. Everest. Then late in the afternoon around 13:00 go down from E.B.C back to Tingri by friend-ship highway back to Shigaste.

Day 7 Shigatse-Lhasa-Shangri-La by flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa-Shangrila by flight
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Shangri-La, the legendary lost paradise, a place with stunning scenery, the azure sky and the hospitality of unsophisticated people. 

Day 8 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Lamasery, Pudacuo National Park
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, begin your exciting tour with a visit to Songzanlin Lamasery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, then visit Pudacuo National Park (green vans available in scenic area) after lunch.

Day 9 Shangrila-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Lijiang Ancient Town
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge(Shangri-La section ), the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Then, drive to Lijiang and visit Lijiang Ancient Town to walk down the cobblestone streets over 700 years and see the Naxi way of life which chaned little over time.

Day 10 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Town, Baisha Mural
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Pick-up at 7:30am, drive about 30KM to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain , you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Spruce Meadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around1 hours in the original forest in Spruce Meadow.

After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijang Ethnic Show (Regular seat )  directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses.

After that, visit Baisha Town and Baisha Mural in the ancient capital of Naxi Kingdom in Baisha village.

Day 11 Lijiang-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Dali Ancient Town and Three Pagodas
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will be transferred to Dali, the ancient political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan area. Upon arrival, visit Dali Ancient Town and Three Pagodas, the symbol of the history of Dali.

Day 12 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Erhai Cruise, Xizhou Bai’s Houses
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, after breakfast, you will first be transferred to the pier and take an Erhai Cruise for about 4hours. Then in the afternoon, then visit Xizhou Town andBai’s Houses there(Yan’s Courtyard included) where you can see what the Bai people’s houses like.

Day 13 Dali-Kunming by high speed train

Sightseeing and Activities:Western Hill & Dragon Gate, Village of Ethnic Culture
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Take the high speed train to Kunming in the morning, you will then take a visit of Western Hill & Dragon Gate. After the tour, you can have a short visit to the Ethnic Villages.

Day 14 Kunming – Stone Forest-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities:the Stone Forest, the Green Lake, Birds and Flowers Market
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.

Then, drive back to Kunming.You will take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings.  Enjoy a 20-minute walking to visit the Birds and Flowers Market in the downtown area.

Day 15 Kunming Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:Depart from Kunming
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy your free time be transfered to the airport for the flight to next station.

Recommended Hotels

Lhasa Intercontinental Hotel Lhasa Yak Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel
Shigatse / Shigatse Manasarovar Hotel Jiumu Yamei Hotel in Shigatse
Shangri-La Shangri-la Resort Zhaxidele Hotel Maoyuan Hotel
Lijiang Lijiang InterContinental Resort Wangfu Hotel Louwailou Hotel
Dali Dali Hilton Hotel Landscape Hotel Taiheju Hotel
Kunming Crowne Plaza Kunming City Centre Jinjiang Hotel Longteng Hotel

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation with breakfast as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide and vehicle for transfers & sightseeing;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  •  Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • High speed train tickrts with 2nd class seat;
  • Two bottles of mineral water each day.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • All optional programs;
  • Domestic air tickets fares with airport tax and fuel extra fee based on economy class mentioned in the program.

Travel Tips:

  1. Tibet Permits

There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)

  1. Available Months to Visit Tibet

Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.

  1. High Altitude Sickness

The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.

  1. How to Go to Tibet

Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa. Kathmandu also has several flights to Lhasa each week.

If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).

  1. Packing and Wearing Ideas

Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended. As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.