17 Days Sichuan-Yunnan-Tibet Overland Tour

For this 17-day Sichuan-Yunnan-Tibet overland tour, we drive from Chengdu to Lhasa via Yading Nature Reserve and Yunnan Deqin Meili Mountain is a really adventure trip with stunning scenery! High Plateau mountain ranges, grasslands, nomad herders, snow-capped holy mountains, virgin forests, holy lakes, local Tibetan villages,ect will make you have a memorable trip!


  • Climb up the grandiose Potala Palace to admire its featured architecture and beautiful murals, Buddhist statutes and other collections;
  • Experience the authentic Tibetan culture and devoted pilgrimage by joining the worshipers in Barkhor Street and Jokhang Temple;
  • Visit Drepung Monastery and watch the brilliant live Buddhism Debating in the Sera Monastery;
  • Visit Daocheng Yading, Nicknamed as “the Last Shangri-La” for its natural beauties: mysterious monasteries, forests, pastures, snow-capped peaks, lakes and Tibetan villages;
  • Step into Meili Snow Mountain-With 13 peaks at over 6,000m, it is an UNESCO natural site located in Deqin county, dividing Yunnan from Tibet;
  • Have a stop to learn history about Yanjing.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1 Chengdu Arrival
  • Day 2 Chengdu
  • Day 3 Chengdu-Kangding
  • Day 4 Kangding-Litang
  • Day 5 Litang – Daocheng – Yading
  • Day 6 Yading Nature Reserve – Daocheng
  • Day 7 Daocheng – Xiangcheng – Benzilan
  • Day 8 Benzilan – Deqin – Feilaisi
  • Day 9 Feilaisi-Yanjing
  • Day 10 Yanjing-Mangkang-Zuogong
  • Day 11 Zuogong –Ranwu
  • Day 12 Ranwu-Bomi
  • Day 13 Bomi-Bayi
  • Day 14 Bayi-Basongtso-GongbuJiangda-Lhasa
  • Day 15 Lhasa
  • Day 16 Lhasa
  • Day 17 Lhasa Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival at Chengdu City.

Sightseeing and Activities:Arrival in Chengdu City
Accommodation: Chengdu
Meals: none

Arrival at Chengdu City and you are free to get around in the rest of the day.

Day 2 Chengdu Panda Tour

Sightseeing and Activities:Chengdu Panda Base, Leshan Giant Buddha
Accommodation: Chengdu
Meals:breakfast, lunch

Morning time: Set out at about 08:00a.m., drive about 30 minutes to Panda Breeding Base; visit the cute giant pandas, 
Afternoon: Visit Jinsha Museum. The Jinsha Cultural Relics Site is the ruins of the capital city of the ancient Shu Kingdom. It is o-ne of the ruins with the most unearthed ivories compared with others in the same period all over the world and with the most excavated gold and jade wares among all the same kinds of ruins all over China.

Day 3 Chengdu – Kangding

Sightseeing and Activities:Da-Chu River,Kangding County,Erdaoqiao Hot Spring
Accommodation: Kangding
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning drive to Kangding, go through Er’lang Tunnel, along Da-Chu river. Upon arrival at Kangding, explore this town on your own, enjoy the mountain scenery and visit the local people. After dinner, enjoy a soak in the hot springs at Erdaoqiao.

Day 4 Kangding – Litang

Sightseeing and Activities:Anjue monastery,Xinduqiao Town, Litang Monastery,Litang Grassland
Accommodation: Litang
Meals: breakfast, lunch

In the early morning, visit Anjue Monastery and enjoy a rare chance to see their morning ceremony! Drive on to Litang. Today’s journey from Kangding to Litang will take you approximately 5 hours (306km). En route have a stop at Xinduqiao ‘ heaven for photography’ and Tagong Monastery. Litang with over 3000m high altitude is one of the highest towns in the world. Afternoon visit the large Litang Chode Monastery, which is built for the third Dalai Lama. The monastery here is now home to 1400 Yellow Hat sect monks. Overnight at Litang Gaocheng Hotel.

Day 5 Litang – Daocheng – Yading

Sightseeing and Activities:Haizi Snow Mountain Range,Genie Snow Mountain, Tibetan Villages,the Shu-chu River, Daocheng County,
Accommodation: Yading
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Today we will reach the highlight of this journey – Yading Nature Reserve, home to three sacred Tibetan mountains. Tibetan Buddhists believe that making a kora around these mountains brings them favor with the gods. The scenery here easily rivals that of national parks of the west such as Yellowstone and Yosemite in terms of spectacular, pristine mountain scenery.

Day 6 Yading Nature Reserve – Daocheng

Sightseeing and Activities:Yading National Park, Luorong Pasture, Five-Color Lake,Chonggu Temple
Accommodation: Daocheng
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Horse-riding to Chonggu Temple, see the scenery of Chonggu Temple and holy peak Xiannairi. From Chonggu Temple trekking up to Drolma-la tso ( Pearl Lake) or ride a horse about 15minutes. Pearl Lake is the best place to view the holy peak Xiannairi. You can still choose the local sightseeing bus to explore around. Late afternoon drive back to Daocheng. Overnight at Yading Hotel or same level other hotels.

Day 7 Daocheng – Xiangcheng – Benzilan

Sightseeing and Activities:Sangdui village, Xiangcheng County, Derong County,the Ganre River Valley of Yangtze River,Tibetan Villages,Sanpi Monastery
Accommodation: Benzilan
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Departs at Daocheng early morning, pass Sangdui village to Xiangcheng along different plateau forest scenery and local Tibetan villages. Overnight at Benzilan.
Tibetan Village in Xiangcheng County,Sichuan.

Day 8 Benzilan – Deqin – Feilaisi

Sightseeing and Activities:Benzilan Town, Moon Bend of Yangtze River, Baimang Snow Mountain, 13 Pagodas, the sunset view of Meili Snow Mountain
Accommodation: Feilaisi
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Walk to see the famous Jinsha River bend, then start driving to Deqin Feilai Temple by pass Snow mountains.  Feilai Temple is the best place to see holy Mt.Meili. Mt. Meili is one of the most sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism. ‘Kang Karpo Peak’ means the God of Snow Mountain in Tibetan, and is a holy land for worshiping. Pilgrims from Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan,and Gansu travel to the mountain at the beginning of each winter to worship. Thousands of devout pilgrims worship together and encircle the holy mountain, adding even more mystery and loftiness to the mountain. Overnight at local hostel(twin-room with private bath).
the sunrise view of Meili Snow Mountain in Yunnan.

Day 9 Feilaisi – Yanjing

Sightseeing and Activities:the sunrise view of Meili Snow Mountain, Mekong Grand Canyon, Mingyong Glacier,Yanjing Town
Accommodation: Yanjing
Meals: breakfast, luncho

Try to get up early in the morning, drive 10km to Feilaisi to view the magic sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain. Then drive another 1.5-hyour to Mingyong Village, where you will walk on the trails for about 4km to the bottom of Mingyong Glaciers, walk another one hour or so, you will get to Tibetan Taizi Monastery-another good spot to view the magnificent Mingyong Glaciers. (You can choose to hire a horse to go up to the glacier on your own expense in order to save your energy.) After the tour, get back to Deqin County.

 If you are lucky enough to have a good weather, you could see the golden snow-covered Kawagebo peak (6,740m, the Peak of Mt. Meili. Then you travel along the north of Mekong River valley into Tibet. Once into Tibet, your first stop will be in the town of Yanjing, which was once the main source of salt for half of the Kham Tibetan area, which ranged from northwestern Sichuan down into Yunnan.
You will visit to the salt fields, followed by a stop at the hot springs, where each of us could pick your own natural hot bath overlooking the Mekong. Certainly the best way to relax your body for the adventure ahead!

Day 10 Yanjing-Mangkang-Zuogong

Sightseeing and Activities:Honglashan Mountain(红拉山),Mangkang County, Lawushan Mountain (拉乌山),Zhuka Bridge and Lancang-Mekong River, Juebashan Mountain(觉巴山),Dongdalashan(东达山) Mountain
Accommodation: Zuogong
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Drive to Zuogong County via Mangkang County.
After lunch, you cross two high passes in this section of the drive, one at around 3,900 m(12,795 ft), the other is Dongdashan Mountain Pass at 5,008 m(16,430 ft).
Driving past local Tibetan houses scattered round the feet of snow-capped peaks, the expressions on innocent Tibetan girls would make you realize that you are one of the first foreign visitors to this isolated region.
From Yanjing:
Honglashan Mountain Nature Reserve
Honglashan Mountain(红拉山) Pass (4220M);
Mangkang County
Lawushan Mountain(拉乌山) Pass (4293M)
Cross Lancang-Mekong River from Zhuka Bridge
Juebashan Mountain(觉巴山) Pass (3900M)
Dongdalashan(东达山) Mountain Pass (5008M)
Dongdashan Mountain Pass (5008M) in Chamdo.
Dongdashan Mountain Pass (5008M) in Chamdo.

Day 11 Zuogong –Ranwu

Sightseeing and Activities:Nujiang-Salween River,Yelashan Mountain(业拉山)at 4828M,Anjiula(安久拉山) Mountain (4468M),Ranwu Lake
Accommodation: Ranwu
Meals: breakfast, lunch 

Nujiang River in Tibet

You will drive along the deep valleys of the Nu River (the Salween River), which is a long and tough journey, but your destination, the Ranwu Lake, is another Shangri-la, stay in the tent beside the Lake.
Drive 35KM to the old Zuogong, then drive along the Yuqu River to Kuatiantuo Bridge, continue the driving along Yuqu River to Bangda Grassland and Yelashan Mountain(业拉山)at 4828M. Cross the Nujiang-Salween River,you will visit the Hengduan Mountain Ranges and arrive at Basu County. After lunch, continue the driving to Yuqu River and arrive in Anjiula(安久拉山) Mountain (4468M), arrive at Ranwu Lake in the late afternoon.

Day 12 Ranwu-Bomi

Sightseeing and Activities:Ranwo Lake,Gan Tso Lake, the Poto-chu Valley, Parlung Tsangpo Gorge
Accommodation: Bomi
Meals: breakfast, lunch

A rare morning which involves no driving! You have two options available: for those interested in a half day hike, your photographer/guide would take you onto a scenic half day hike; while those who’d rather opt for a half day of retreat would find this place ideal for relaxing, writing your travel notes and washing off the dust accumulated in the journey so far.
A drive of 129km would take us about 5 hours to Bomi, stay in the guesthouse.You will wander along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog (2,743 m/8999 ft), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountainsides.You will go down several hundred meters in altitude as you reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tang-me where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet. Stay in a guesthouse in Bomi.

Day 13 Bomi-Bayi

Sightseeing and Activities:Serkhyem La Pass, Mount Gyala Pelri and Mount Namchak Barwa, Bayi Town
Accommodation: Bayi
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Drive across Serkhyem La Pass (4,515 m/14813 ft), the last major pass before reaching Lhasa, you will have spectacular views of Mount Gyala Pelri (7,150 m/23458 ft) and Mount Namchak Barwa (7,756 m/25446 ft). On the way to Nyingchi, you pass through Bayi, originally a military base, which has now become the capital of Nyingchi District.
North of Bayi, Bajie village lies on the edge of a primary dense forest with sacred cypress trees which are more than two thousand and five hundred years old. Around May, you would be able to see three to five-meter rhododendrons in full bloom. Stay in a 3 star hotel in Bayi.

Day 14 Bayi-Basongtso-GongbuJiangda-Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Basongtso Lake,Tsozogongba Monastery,Niyang River
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: breakfast

Morning start driving to Lhasa along the beautiful Niyang River, you will do a detour off the Sichuan-Tibet Highway to visit Draksumtso(Basumtso) lake en route. Overnight at Lhasa.

Day 15 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Jokhang Temple, Barkor Street, the Potala Palace
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: breakfast

On this second day morning you will take an easy visit to Jokhang Temple. This temple is the most revered shrine in all of Tibet and is constantly bustling with devout worshippers. You will also be given the opportunity to shop in Barkor, the crowded central market of Lhasa. In the afternoon you will visit is Sera Monastery, a fifteenth century sprawl of golden roofs and whitewashed walls. This well preserved monastery is located just a few miles North of Lhasa and is home to several hundred monks. Its famous debating activities are happening 3-4pm quite regularly every day, so remind your guide not to miss it.
At last a trip to Tibet would not be complete without experiencing the vital Potala Palace. This palace is Lhasa’s cardinal landmark and is a wonder of Eastern architecture. Your first site of this massive structure will be a magical moment remembered for years to come. It has been a palace since the fifth or sixth century and was once home to the Dalai Lama.

Day 16 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Norbulingka Palace, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: breakfast, lunch

You will visit Norbulingka Palace, situated in the west side of Lhasa is just around a km southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka meaning ‘Treasure Park’ covers an area of around 360000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. You will be amazed to know that there are more than 370 rooms inside its premises. It is called summer palace because after the 7th Lama, Dalai Lamas used to visit here during summers to hold religious and government related activities.
As a part of “Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace”, UNESCO added Norbulingka in its list of world heritage sites.Then you will visit Sera Monastery, founded in 1419, at its height, Sera monastery was residence to more than 5,000 monks and five monastic colleges. Although much less active now, with only several hundred monks currently in residence, one of the most interesting times to visit the monastery is in the afternoon when monks, after finishing their morning scripture classes, can be seen debating in the courtyard.
This truly amazing day will ended with a visit to the Drepung Monastery. Once the world’s largest monastery, housing 10,000 monks, Drepung monastery lies hidden in rocky ridges just beyond the city. Surprisingly much of the building was left untouched throughout so many hundreds of years.

Day 17 Departure from Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Departure from Lhasa
Accommodation: none
Meals: breakfast

Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, end of the trip.

Recommended Hotels

City 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Chengdu Crowne Plaza Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Garden City Hotel-Chengdu
Kangding Minshan Sun Tribe Hotel Liu Liu City Gesanghua Hotel Black Highland Barley Farm
Litang / / Taozi Boutique Hotel
Yading / Yading Inn Ramada Encore Hotel
Daocheng Holyland Hotel Daocheng Yading Daocheng Hongjingtian Hotel Tibetan Style Theme Hotel
Benzilan Songtsam Hotel Jin An Hotel Jinsha  Holiday Hotel
Feilaisi High Mountain Villa Mingzhu Hotel Shenjuyuan Hotel
Yanjing / / Changdu Business Hotel
Zuogong / Yuexi Holiday Hotel Shengfang Hotel
Ranwu / / Local Guesthouse
Bomi / Bomi Pingcuo Kangsang Holiday Hotel Tianma Hotel
Bayi Botai Linzhi Hotel Wholetour Inn Nyingchi Gongbu Hotel
Lhasa Luxury St. Regis Lhasa Resort Lhasa Yak Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel


Group size(person) 5 Star ($) 4 Star ($) 3 Star ($)


Service Included:

  • Tibet Entry Permit and Alien’s Travel Permit.
  • Admission fee of all tourist sites in itinerary.
  • Professional Tibetan English speaking tour guide.
  • Travel Agency Service Charge.
  • Transportation.
  • Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance.
  • Environment friendly local bus between Rongpuk and EBC.
  • Hot water bottle and sleeping bag provided in Winter while traveling to EBC.
  • Oxygen provided while traveling to EBC.
  • Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance.
  • All accommodations.

Service Excluded:

  • Single room supplement.
  • China visa, all air tickets and train tickets to and from Tibet.
  • Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary (all lunches and dinners).
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional activities, etc.
  • Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
  • Excess Baggage Charges.