Nowhere else can you truly explore the glory of ancient Tibetan civilization and understand how magnificent the western Tibet is than having the big loop tour around Ngari region. With little human presence, the vast wilderness in Ngari(300,000sq.km) presents an utterly different picture than anywhere else in Tibet. The ruins of lost civilizations like Guge Kingdom, ultimate pilgrimage destination such as Mt. Kailash, and a vast array of wildlife keep captivating ceaseless flow of global photographers, pilgrims and other tourists to visit in Ngari region. Starting your adventure from Lhasa, this 19-day big loop tour brings you a superb chance to explore the essence of Tibet with a focus in vast wilderness of Ngari.
When you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel. Tourists may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Bhamaputra river (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa river on their way to Lhasa. After arriving in Lhasa, you can take a rest and get acclimatized to high altitude. If you feel to go out, then you can go to the Potala Square, where you will enjoy the fountain with different colors and get amazing photos of the Potala and around. Insider Tips: For the new-comers of Tibet, to get acclimatized to the high altitude in Tibet. Having a good sleep in your hotel is a good option. Don not rush to visit attractions inside Lhasa city. Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Today's tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace which is the winter palace of the Dalai lama. It was put to use since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. Then after lunch, tourists head to Jokhang temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve. Outside, you can see pilgrims making prostrating in front of Jokhang Temple. Around the temple is Barkhor street, where you can do kora (a religious circle of a building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals, and explore the old market. Besides, We can taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house; The welcome dinner will also be arranged accordingly; Optional: With time permitting, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. You can upgrade your service to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD) Stay overnight in Lhasa
In the morning ,you are going to visit Drepung monastery which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. You can visit biggest monastery kitchen inside the monastery and enjoy Buddhist Sculpture Carving workshop near Drepung. In the Afternoon, Tourists will visit Sera Monastery which is another one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet. The hot attraction is the Monks debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon. In addition, you can tour the Tibetan religious scripture printing house; inside the monastery, you can see three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha. Stay overnight in Lhasa
In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse .On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) .The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance you can have spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar, (7191m) the highest mountain near Lhasa . Later, we will pass and enjoy the Korola Glacier on the roadside; At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang pray flag at Simila Mountain Pass; Then, we will arrive in Gyantse, historically Tibet's third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse).In Gyantse, we will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy the Far view of Gyangtse Fortress. After one and a half driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, we may visit traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer). Stay overnight in Shigatse
In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Then, we’ll leave Shigatse after getting your Alien’s travel permit, and then drive to Lhatse, it is a small town where you can have lunch. After that, we will pass Tsola Pass(4600M), and Gyatsola Pass(5248M). Shortly after we enter Mt. Everest National Nature Reserve, tourists can enjoy the panorama of Himalaya at Gawula Pass(5198m).Then we drive along the New zigzag road to Everest Base Camp(5200m). You can get closer to gazt at the Mt. Everest peak. The sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permits at the lodging area. Stay overnight at Rongbuk monastery guest house.
In the morning, we can enjoy the sunrise of Everest Peak at lodging area if weather permits; then As we head to saga, you can view of the worlds’14th highest peak Mt.Shishapangma (8012m), and Turquoise Lake Peiku tso(4590m). If you are lucky enough, you are very likely to see wild animals like wild donkey, wild antelope etc. Stay overnight in local guesthouse
On the way to Darchen, you will have a chance to appreciate the stunning view of the Saga valley between Gangdise Range and Himayala Range. Meanwhile, the beautiful grassland and local's villages can also be seen. As we cross the Mayomla Pass(5112M), you can enjoy the spectacular vista of Mt. Naimonanyi(7694M). Then we are supposed to pass by the holy Lake Manasarover and finally arrive at the southern foot of Mt.Kailash, the most holy mountain in Tibet. stay overnight in local guesthouse
In the morning, we are supposed to take eco-bus from Darchen to Sarshung valley. Then we will meet Yaks and porters at Sarshung village. (the cost of hiring yaks, horses, and porters are not included in the package) After that, we can begain the trek (Around 13km) from Sarshung to Drirapuk Monastery along the Lachu valley and rivers. You can enjoy the both west and north face of mountain Kailash today. Finally, we will visit Drirapuk Monastery. stay overnight in local guesthouse
Today, we will trek over Dromala pass(5630m), the highest pass of the Kora. On the way you can have a rest in a teahouse. All the way, you can see locals Tibetans prostrating in the Kora path and beautiful Kadoe Lake when walk downhill. We may also visit Zutulpuk Monastery. Stay overnight in local guesthouse
On the day three of the kora. you will trek 7km to Zongto where you can take bus to Darchen. Along the Kora, you can see piles of Mani Stones. We will end the Trek around noon, rest in the lodging place. (Optional): Taking bath in Lake Manasarova and enjoy hot spring
It is about an eight-hour driving from Darchen to zanda, though the distance is only about 243km. After several hours of zigzagging down and up fantastically eroded gorges and gullies, we enter wider Sutlej Valley and finally reach Zanda after crossing a bridge. Tsamda county is the current name for the region and was known as Guge kingdom. The capital of the county is located at Toling. Toling monastery, founded by Richen zangpo in the 10th century, was once Ngari's most important monastic complex. It was due to the influence of Richen Zangpo that Toling became the main religious centre of Guge kingdom after inviting the great Indian master ATISHA. The kings of Guge replaced the city as a political centre of power by establishing capital slightly closer to the Indo-Tibetan trade routes. But the monastery is still an important cultural heritage of Ngari. Stay overnight in Tsada.
Today, we are expected to travel from Tsada to Shiquanhe town. The 200km’s scenic drive would be your lifetime experience. You will be able to see the stunning Clay Forest formed by crustal movement in Xiangquan River Canyon. Shiquanhe town is the capital city of Ngari prefecture as well as the last big town during the big loop tour of Ngari region. Later, Tourists can tour the Shiquanhe town and buy some supplies for the following travel. Stay overnight in Shiquanhe Town
The focus of today’s tour will be the Pangong Tso Lake(4242m), or known as the “long-necked swan”. It is the world’s highest birds’ habitat. In the lake are over a dozen of islands and it is home to more than 20 kinds of wild birds, including Bar-headed goose, Brown-headed Gull, etc. On the way back to Shiquanhe Town, we will stop at Rutog County to visit the famous Rutog Rock Painting. The paintings involve the sun and moon, mountains, horses, cattle, antelopes, houses, and locals, vividly presenting the livelihood of ancient Tibetan nomads around Pangong Tso Lake. After that, we will head back to Shiquanhe Town. Tourists can buy some supplies for the following journey. Stay overnight in Shiquanhe Town
Starting from Shiquanhe Town, we will pass Gégyé and travel all the way to Gerze. Shortly after we venture into the Changthang grassland of Gégyé County, we will enjoy packs of wild Tibetan donkeys, Tibetan antelopes, and Tibetan gazelle, etc. Besides, a great number of nameless lakes, mountain passes, and snow-capped mountains make picturesque scenery. On the way, we can also see a big salt lake and trucks preparing to load supply from here. And finally finish the over 200km’s drive from the salt lake to Gerze. Stay overnight in Gerze
As you enjoy the ride from Gerze to Wanpo South Village, you will have a rare chance to see a variety of rare wildlife that can only be seen in remote areas of western Tibet. Animals like Tibetan gazelle, marmot, and Black-necked crane, wild donkey, etc. will keep you company in Northern Ngari where there is little human presence. After we pass Coqen County, tourists can see many colorful mountains, red, green, or yellow, largely due to the abundant mineral resources hidden inside these mountains. The road gets bumpier as we move from Coqen to Zhari Namco Lake. The lake is widely-known as the largest saline lake with the highest altitude in Ngari region and its favorable environment produces ibetan cashmere goats. In the afternoon, we will be arriving at Tangra Yumco Lake, which is the holiest lake in Bon religion. Many believe that its holiness is equal to that of Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova. It’s said that the color of the lake can change three times within a single day. Having finished visiting Tangra Yumco Lake, we would move to Wanpo South Village. Stay overnight in Wanpo South Villag
Facing Tangra Yumco Lake and Dagoer Snow Mountain, Wanpo South Village (4500m) is a secluded and picturesque place with charming pastoral scene. The local villagers here are half-nomadic and half-farming. They cultivate barely, potatoes, Rapeseed and Bok Choy, etc. Such peaceful , harmonious and pastoral scene is extremely rare at such altitude. that’s why it’s called the “Wanpo Paradise”. Tourists can have a good rest in the village and explore this village. If you are interested, you may visit Dangchung Monastery in Wanpo North village. Stay overnight in Wanpo South Village
Today, we will have an early star. After we leave Nima, and you will find yourselves travel in the world of Tibetan gazelles and finally we will reach Serling Tso around noon after passing numerous small lakes. Serling Tso is the second largest saline lake in northern Tibet, only next to Namtso Lake. In Tibetan, it is believed to be a “Demon Lake”. In the afternoon, we are about to continue our journey to Namtso Lake. We will move close-wise along the north bank of Serling Tso and you will see many Tibetan Antelopes and Tibetan gazelles grazing or playing at lakeside. Around 3 hours’ drive we will arrive at Tashi Island of Namtso. Here, you can enjoy the stunning view of Namtso and climb the Tashi Island to have a panoramic view of the biggest salt lake in Tibet. Never miss the chance to view the starry night at the bank of Namtso Lake. It will definitely be one of the highlights of this long journey. Stay overnight at Namtso
In the morning, never miss the stunning sunrise view of the Namtso Lake. Then we will head back to Lhasa. As we pass the Yangpachen Hot Spring (Optional, 25USD, does not included in package) Stay overnight in Lhasa
The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.
- Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
- All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
- Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
- Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
- All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
- Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
- All meals listed in the above itinerary;
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
- First aid kit;
- International flight to and out of China;
- Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
- Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.
Frequent Asked Questions
What makes this 19-day big loop tour special is that it takes tourists all the way from central Tibet to the remote wilderness of western Tibet, giving you a panoramaic view of the boundless terrian of Tibet with a focus to explore the magnificent natural wonders and wildlife of Ngari region