Arrive in Kunming in China
There is a reason why even today, Tibet maintains such a mysterious reputation because it isn’t easy to get there. Any trip there requires a lot of preparation and patience. We begin our Tibet trip from Kunming, a charming mountainous city in Southwest China and hub for many international flights. Be sure your flight arrives early as you’ll need a Chinese Driving Permit to be allowed to drive in the in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you have everything you need as long as you show up on time!
Kunming - Lhasa
We hope you enjoyed your brief stay in Kunming because now we begin our Tibet expedition. We arrive in Lhasa which has been the capital of Tibet for over one thousand years and its name translates to “Place of the Gods.” This is your first taste of high altitude life as the city rests comfortably at 3650 meters above sea level. So it’s a good time to get used to the high life and relax so that you are ready tomorrow’s adventure!
Today we will journey around the incredible city of Lhasa. With so much to do and see, it’s hard to even know where to begin on our Tibet trip! We will begin the day with the Potala Palace which is the hallmark of the old Tibetan lifestyle. From here we will head to the Jokhang Temple, which is over 1300 years old and one of the holiest site in Tibetan Buddhist. From here, we will head over to the Sera Monastery, which is one of the the centers of the Buddhist Faith. No Tibet tour is complete without going to this special monastery. Here you can see monks debate and question the sacred Buddhist scriptures and try to solve some of life’s toughest mysteries.
Lhasa - Shigatse
271 Km - 5h of riding
By now, you should be itching to get behind the wheel and today we will embark on the Friendship Highway. Although the drive is long, it is the most beautiful in Tibet and will take across the Kamba Pass and give us views of Lake Yamdrok Tso. This lake, is revered for its unique turquoise waters and reputed to have mystical properties. Our Tibet expedition will truly test your driving skills. The road will have us winding back and forth many switchbacks as we head up to 5000 meters in altitude and pass the incredible Karola Glacier. Soon we will be on our way back down as we wind our way into Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city where will spend the rest of the day exploring before getting ready for our next day on the road.
Five Mountains in a Day
237 Km - 4h30 of riding
As we jump back on the roads of Tibet, get ready for one of the most memorable days of your life. Today, we will cross the peak of Gyatso La Pass and Gawalu Pass ascending from 5,000 to 8,000 meters where you will be able to see five different mountains as we drive through some incredible mountain roads. By the end of the day, you’ll be able to see the Golden Everest Peak during sunset before we head to Tingiri for the night. Don’t worry we will be back to see the peak for sunrise as we continue our Tibet trip!
Everest Base Camp
70 Km - 2h of riding
Our Tibet tour starts early to catch the sunrise at Everest Peak. At an altitude of 17,060 feet, you will have a once in a lifetime view of the northeast ridge and summit of the world’s most famous mountain. Afterwards, we head to Rongbuk Monastery, home to the world highest monastery and post office. We will spend time exploring this unique place before heading back and getting ready for tomorrow’s adventure.
237 Km - 4h30 of riding
It’s time to start heading back. Don’t think it’s going to be any easier go back this way. The Tibet expedition only gets more exciting! You’ll have the opportunity for some entirely new views of the area and catch some things you might have missed a ong the way such as Shigatse Dzong,a high lying hilltop palace that overlooks the city.
Shigatse - Lhasa
273 Km - 5h of riding
Before we head back on the Friendship Highway and continue our Tibet tour, you will have a chance to visit Tashilhunpo Monasteries which was one of the few places in all of the country to escape the turbulent times of the cultural revolution and truly maintain its historic charm. You’’ be able to see the massive statue of the Future Buddha, which is the largest gilded state on earth! Then we will head back to Lhasa for a final farewell dinner to celebrate our journey. In the morning we visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery before we start the drive back to Lhasa. One of the few monasteries in Tibet to weather the stormy seas of the Cultural Revolution, Tashilhunpo remains relatively unscathed. The huge golden statue of the Future Buddha is the largest gilded statue in the world. After we reach Lhasa, we take rest for a while before we all meet for the final felicitation dinner.
Lhasa - Kunming
It’s time to say bye to our Tibet expedition and head back towards Kunming. If you wish to remain in Tibet longer then you need to arrange special permission otherwise we recommend heading back to Kunming and spending some time enjoying the great city especially the legendary Stone Forest before you head home or continue your journey onward.