If you want to travel from Xinjiang to Tibet, it will be a good option to have an overland tour via G219 highway and G318 highway. From Kashgar to Shiquanhe you need to pass through G219 highway, it will be 1063 kilometers in total. Although the scenery on the way is breathtaking, the journey will be kind of tough because of the high altitude. You need to begin your journey from 900 meters above sea level，go through 5 high mountains: Mazha Daban, Heika Daban, Qitan Daban, Jieshan Daban, Hongtu Daban, and end up with 4200 meters above sea level within just three days. On the contrary, if you travel from Lhasa to Kashgar, it will be easier to acclimatize the altitude for your body.
As for Shiquanhe to Lhasa, the average altitude is 4800 meters. This overland tour will contain G219 and G318 highway, 1730 kilometers altogether. The must-see point will be Mt. Kailash, Guge Kingdom, Everest Base Camp, Tholing Monastery, Korjak Monastery, Lake Manasarovar and Tunggar Peyang.
Best Time for Travel & Transportation
As for Shiquanhe to Lhasa, the average altitude is 4800 meters. This overland tour will contain G219 and G318 highway, 1730 kilometers altogether. The must-see attractions will be Mt. Kailash, Guge Kingdom, Everest Base Camp, Tholing Monastery, Korjak Monastery, Lake Manasarovar and Tunggar Peyang.
The best time to enjoy this fabulous overland tour would be from mid-April to May and Sept. to Oct. Do remember, the temperature here has a huge difference between day and night. Daytime will be quite cool and comfortable to travel around, the temperature is around 15 degree. But night time the temperature is around 2 or 3 degree. Travelers need to wear more to avoid getting cold. The climate in Tibet is quite dry and the sunlight is really strong. Travelers supposed to wear sunglasses and sun cream when they are outdoors.
The off-season is July to August and November to mid-Feb. Monsoon always begins from July and end up with August. It rains a lot during Monsoon time and it makes self-driving travel difficult to handle with. Winter time is very long and extremely cold in Tibet, almost last half year from November to April. Winter time will be too cold to drive because the roads are always covered with snow and ice.
Public traffic is scarce. Best way to have this overland tour is to rent a car or cycling. You need to know first, because of high altitude and Ngari is the least populated region in Tibet, cycling will need a lot of hard work. You have to carry a tent and a sleeping bag with you though out the whole journey in case you cannot find accommodation before night come. Maybe you have to face the situation lack of food or water. Rent car via a travel agency is ok but sometimes travelers will get lose because GPS is not always online.
Highlights for Travel from Kashgar to Shiquanhe via Xinjiang Tibet Highway G219
Travel from Kashgar to Shiquanhe will be a tough but exciting journey. You will go inside Tibetan plateau from Xinjiang plain. Go through around 5 high mountains, via plateau lakes, snow-covered mountains, and the breathtaking blue sky in this epic road trip.
Begin from Kashgar, you will go through 30 Li Yingfang, Hongliutan, Death Valley, Jie Shan Daban, Kunlun Mountain. Hongliutan and Death Valley are where you should be extremely careful about AMS due to extreme altitude. But, this journey will be an unforgettable snow mountain travel, it is common to have some plateau reflection. Don’t panic, have a good rest, use your oxygen supply and eat high-calorie food will help you to get through this position.
After you pass Kunlun Mountain, beside Rutog Country, there lies the beautiful lake – Pangong Tso. Pangong Tso belongs to China and India. The part of Pangong Tso Lake inside China is freshwater and the other side in India is saltwater. It will be a romantic and beautiful experience to set up a tent and stay overnight next to Pangong Tso. Pangong Tso is also known as a heaven for birds. Lots of birds flying over the lake from day to night.
Highlights for Traveling from Shiquanhe to Lhasa via Ngari Southern Route (G219 & G318)
Travel from Shiquanhe to Lhasa is filled with virtually all the top attractions in Tibet. There are countless beautiful lakes, mountains, and monasteries inside this holy land.
1. Guge Kingdom
Guge Kingdom is the first attractive spot in this journey. It is an archaeological site with more than 1200 years. It was as prosperous as Maya, with more than 100,000 people lived here. But within just one night, all the residents were gone. Nobody found the reason, and it remained an unsolved puzzle until now.
2. Tunggar Peyang
Tunggar Peyang is one of the biggest monasteries of Guge Kingdom. It is not only the heart of Guge Kingdom but also the largest Buddhism archaeological site in China. Wall painting is beautifully preserved after 1100 years pass by.
Note: To protect historic artifact, No photo & No flash is allowed in the cave.
3. Tholing Monastery
On the way to Guge Dynasty, you will find the first monastery in Ngari- Tholing Monastery. Tholing Monastery was set up in the 10th century. Tholing means “hovering in the sky” In Tibetan. Tholing Monastery includes 3 temples, the Yeshe-O Temple, the Lhakhang Karpo and the Dukhang.
4. Korjak Monastery
Korjak Monastery is a Buddhist monastery set up in the 10th century in Korjak Town, Burang County. Tibetan and Nepali pilgrims are coming here to pray every year. Korjak Town was founded later because of the prosperity of Korjak Monastery.
5. Mount Kailash
Mt. Kailash is recognized as the center of the world by Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Bon. Mt. Kailash is 6656 meters above sea level, shaped like a pyramid. Since a long time ago, Mt. Kailash became a center of worship for people who believe in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Bon.
Pilgrims believe that doing a Kora around Mt. Kailash will give them a fortune and good luck. An outer Kora usually takes 2-3 days depending on your health condition. If you want to do the Kora, you should start from Tarchen, walk 33 kilometers, pass by the highest point-Drolma La Pass (5630m above sea level), and take a good rest at the nearest campsite. So you can take your time and enjoy the hiking the second day.
6. Lake Manasarovar
Lake Manasarovar is located in the Burang County, 20 km southeast of the Mt. Kailash. Tibetan people believed that bathing with the water of Manasarovar will carry away needless desires, and past sins; Drinking from the water will keep people healthy and far away from disease; Circling the lake will bring countless beneficence. So, almost all of pilgrims come to Tibet and head toward to Lake Manasarovar. On the contrary, Lake Manasarovar’s neighbourhood- Lake Rakshastal, was regarded as Damon’s Lake. Because Lake Rakshastal is a saline lake without any signs of life.
7. Everest Base Camp
Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It is located at Tingri Country, next to the border between China and Nepal. A lot of people regard Everest as a must-visit place in their lifetime. Just try to imagine, how beautiful and divine it will be when you see Everest and stand at the feet of Everest. We have two most popular EBC itineraries: 8 Days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Small Group Tour & 10 Days Lhasa to EBC and Namtso Lake Small Group Tour. If you want to make your dream trip come true, or any question you want to inquiry, don’t feel hesitate to contact us.
8. Tashilhunpo Monastery
Tashilhumpo Monastery is an important national cultural protection site located at Shigatse City. It is regarded as the four largest monasteries with Garden Monastery, Sera Monastery, and Drepung Monastery together.
Yamdrok Tso is one of the holy lakes in Tibet. The other two are Lake Namtso and Lake Manasarovar. YamdrokTso’s beauty is beyond your imagination. It is the largest inland lake in the northern range of the Himalayas. Supplied with melted ice, the lake has a low level of salinity. In the Tibetan language, “Yamdroktso” is an ancient name meaning “upper pasture”, comparing the lake water to jadeite.
Most Classic Tibet Xinjiang Tour Packages
Dining and Accommodation
Around 200 kilometers will appear a service center with some restaurants and hotels. But the choice will be very limited. Restaurants are quite rare and the quality of accommodation is not so good. It will be a wise action to take some food yourself. Such as beef jerky, biscuit, and chocolate.
Cyclist: You can set up a tent or find a hotel on the way. Remember to carry a tent and a sleeping bag with you in case you can’t get to service point by night. Keep yourself warm and eat well to avoid High Altitude Sickness.
Self-Driving: Driving a car means you can carry almost all the stuff you need. Don’t forget to carry GPS with you in case of losing the way. You can choose hotels or lodge which you prefer, cook food you like if you carry a portable gas furnace on your car.
Travel with us: We can guarantee your safety in this journey and try to meet your requirements as much as possible. Arrange Clean & Cozy hotel and tasty Tibetan food for you. We can rent travel gear such as sleeping bags, tents, portable gas furnace to let you travel light. If you have any different idea about your itinerary, please contact us and tell us your travel plan, we will help you to customize your own journey. Travel with us will be a worry-free and enjoyable journey full of joy.
Travel Documents Needed
For foreigners, you will need a Chinese visa to go to Xinjiang province. From Xinjiang to Tibet, you need to get Tibet Travel Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit and Military Permit to enter Ngari. We will be happy to help you deal with these Tibet travel documents, you will not only save your time but also can get these documents 100 percent with no risk. As a pioneer of Tibetan Travel Operator, we are always here to offer you a customized joyful journey with a knowledgeable driver and an affordable price with hassle-free travel documents application service.
Brief Packing Lists
1. Medicine: High altitude medicine & First-Aid
2. Oxygen: Oxygen bag or oxygen bottle
3. Food: Biscuit & chocolate & beef jerky& fast noodle & Glucose
4. Accommodation: Sleeping bag & Tent
5. Documents: Tibet Travel Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit, Military Permit
6. Clothes: Waterproof jacket; Hat; Enough clothes to keep yourself warm
7. Travel Gear: GPS & Sun cream & Sunglasses