10 Days Chengdu to Lhasa via G318 National Highway

10 Days World-Class Overland Route: Chengdu to Lhasa via G318 National Highway

(SG008A) Chengdu - Kangding - Xinduqiao Bridge - Litang - Markam - Zogang - Ranwu - Nyingchi - Lhasa


In China, perhaps no road has a bigger name than G318 National highway via Chengdu to Lhasa section. It’s a nationwide obsession. Each year, young and old hit the road, either by self-drive or cycling or even trek to Lhasa via this legendary road. And it’s all down to its unbelievable scenery and surprising encounters along the treacherous mountain roads. And you will set out for an epic overland tour from Chengdu. The 2100km’s road trip takes 8 days and takes you past grotesque gores, lofty peaks and vast grassland, chanting glaciers, lovely Tibetan villages, etc. till reaching Lhasa, the heart of Tibetan culture and history.

And there is no better way to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime journey than enjoying the hassle-free service provided by us, a well-established local Tibet travel agency with offices based in Chengdu, Lhasa, and Kathmandu. You can enjoy our one-stop service to deal with Tibet permit and other travel formalities for traveling from Chengdu to Lhasa by overland. Our knowledge and attentive Tibetan guide will fly from Lhasa to Chengdu to meet you and show you the best scenery along the way and ensure your travel safety. We never use the third party contractor to run the tour and the only spacious and quality vehicle and experienced drivers with up to 5 years driving experience on this route are employed for such tour.

If you prefer, after you finish sightseeing in Lhasa, you can continue your overland tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu via EBC, which is another popular worldwide. On the way, we will offer considerate guided service for traveling and providing convenient jeep transfer service to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Chengdu, Guests gathered in Chengdu before departure (500m)

Pick up tourists at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and escort them to hotels. For the rest of the day, you may have a good rest at hotel or stroll leisurely yourself at Chunxi Road Pedestrian Street, Broad and Narrow Alley, Jin Li Ancient Street, etc.

At around 7pm, the whole tour group, including Tibetan guide, will enjoy a welcome dinner (traditional Sichuan Cuisine). After dinner, the guide will give a briefing about the tour itinerary and dos and don’ts during the tour.

Day 2: Chengdu - Ya’an - Luding - Kangding - Xinduqiao Bridge (410km,10hrs)

At 7am, we are expected to take tour vehicle from Chengdu to Xinduqiao via Ya’an. As we travel against the flow of Dadu River, upper reaches of Yangtze River, you will pass the first soaring peak on Tibetan Plateau, i.e. Zheduo Mountain (mountain pass 4298m). Instantly, the entire scenery starts to invite you in. Upon seeing exotic Tibetan villages, lush pastures, and grazing yaks, bobbling brooks and fluffy clouds over deep blue sky, you find it hard to move your eyes away from the windows of tour vehicle. Keep heading west, after winding roads, we finally end up in Xinduqiao, known as a paradise for photography.

Day 3: Xinduqiao - Yajiang - Litang - Haizishan Mountain - Batang (400km,7hrs)

Xinduqiao wakes up in soft and tender sunlight in the early morning. And its big name as a heaven for photography will never let you down. Accompanied by picturesque small bridges, peaceful local villages and exotic Tibetan houses, and yellow poplar trees, we move westward towards to raging valley of Yalong River and exuberant forest.

On the way, we will pass famous Yajiang and finally reach Litang, a city on Qinghai-Tibetan plateau with an altitude of 4000m. Litang is a natural grassland on the plateau. Grazing yaks, sheep and nomad’s tents dotted across the massive pasture are the most common scene. If you come in summer, you will be greeted by the waves of blossoming flowers.

Besides, another star attraction inLitang is Ke’er monastery, a prestigious Gelugpa Monastery on this lively pasture. The entire monastery is built along the mountain, with varied heights. Adorned with gilded frame, the highest temple of it is instantly recognizable at a great distance. Then after visiting Litang, the whole team travel through Haizishan Mountain (4700m) and venture into menacing valley regions and at night we should make it to Batang County.

Day 4: Batang - Jinsha River (upper reaches of Yangtze River) - Markam - Lawu Mountain - Dongda Mountain - Zogong (260km,8hrs)

Today, we officially enter the Tibet Autonomous Region. As wide as 300 sq km, our tour vehicle will move in regions where Jinsha River, Lancang River and Nu River flow paralleled. The three renowned rivers share the same source originating from rivers of Tanggula Mountains on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. As the relentless torrent pounds jagged mountain in deep valley, you can hear the roaring sound of nature. Undoubtedly, this part of the road is also the most difficult one.

Without any hesitation, we keep travelling westward and pass Lawu Mountain (4358m) and Dongda Mountain (5008m). Standing atop of lofty mountainpasses, covered with snow, you can enjoy the spectacular vista of zigzag Sichuan-Tibet highway and incredible Lancang River crawling through mountainous ranges. Surprisingly, hardly can you find vegetation at the lower part of the valley. Flanked by rugged mountains, the brown river flows afar like a blazing fire, which makes one of the highlights of entire road trip. At night, the whole team will reach the city of Zogong.

Stay overnight in Zogong

Day 5: Zogong - Bangda Grassland - Yela mountain (Nu River Mountain) - Seventy-two Bends - Baxoi - Rakwa Tso (295km,6hrs)

As we hit the road from Zogong, our next destination would be Bangda Grasssland, the most importantnatural pasture in eastern Tibet. The gentle river and boundless grassland are home to flocks of sturdy yaks, horses, and sheep and other wild life. The vibrant grass and other little known flowers and bushes rule this enchanting place. They provide ample food for animal husbandry and Tibetan nomads.

After a brief tour in enchanting Bangda Grassland, our team is expected to travel across Yela Mountain (4839m), the most dangerous natural barrieron Hengduan Mountain Range. Then we will move downward by following famous Seventy-two Bends till the shore of Nu River. The snow-blanketed mountains range stretches into infinite vista.

Further moving westward, we begin to be surrounded by soaring snow mountains, pristine forest and idyllic Tibetan villages. All of sudden, you realize we are now in a world of forest where the sheer drop of altitude would reach 2500m. And that leads to huge temperature change (up to 20℃) from mountain pass to the bottom of valley. You can experience 4 seasons in a single day. At night, we will arrive at Rakwa Tso.

Day 6: Rakwa Tso - Midui Glacier - ParlungTsangpo - Bomi (137km,3hrs)

Serving as the source of Parlung Tsangpo Lake, Rakwa Tso is a typical seasonal glacial lake in Chamdo. The narrow strip of river stretches westward for about 10kmand slowly winds up in a giant canyon. In the foreground are the lovely Tibetan villages; as you look further, the shimmering light of Rakwa Tso displays irresistible beauty; while the glacial valley, and snow-capped peaks and primeval forests loom afar in the background. What a feast to your eyes!

As we continue our journey from Rakwa Tso, our team will follow the scenic road amid dense forest and turbulent Parlung Tsangpo till today’s final destination Bomi. On the way, tourists can tour spectacular Midui Glacier, widely believed to be the most beautiful glacier in China. The main peak of Midui Glacier has an altitude of 6800m. While its snowline stays at 4600m and the lowest end of glacier averaging an altitude of 2400m. For that, Midui Glacier is known the only glacier with the lowest altitude in the world. Tourists can closely enjoy the marvelous ice tongue, measuring 700-800m from the top to bottom.

Day 7: Bomi - Tongmai - Lulang Forest - Sejila Mountain (Mt. NamchaBarwa) - Nyingchi (230km,5hrs)

Following an open and wide valley (2km wide, 5km long), we move into the canyon of Parlung Tsangpo. Flanked by lush forests, the canyon and its surroundings form an earthly paradise. The raging torrent, notorious rapids, and gushing waterfalls can be seen one after another. With jagged glaciers hanging on steep rock face and steamy mist floating over icy mountain peaks, you will get amazed by how truly incredible our planet can be.

After that, we will head to celebrated Lulang Forest. It is an enchanting forest covering an area of 15 sq km on the plateau. This region is blanketed with vibrant shrubs, spruces and pine trees. At the bottom of the mountain are steppes and local Tibetans living beside the brooks. We can visit the Zhaxigang Village, the iconic Tibetan village in Lulang and meet the locals and enjoy the local snacks, etc.

At the viewing platform of Lulang, you will be enjoying the panorama of Mt. NamchaBarwa(7782m), one of the most amazing mountains in China. We will make a brief stop at Sejila Mountain Pass (4728m). You can view the colorful leaves on the mountain in autumn which look like a palette overturned by mountain deities. Of course, the seas of clouds, massive forests and lofty Mt. Namcha Barwa are within easy sight. After passing Seijila Mountain Pass, the tour group will keep moving westward and arrive in Nyingchi, the biggest city in eastern Tibet. In spring, the peach flowers in the foot of the forest are in full bloom, which makes Nyingchi the most beautiful peach flower scenery in China.

Day 8: Nyingchi - Lhasa (400km, 5hrs)

We will keep moving west to Lhasa by following Nyang River, a tributary of Yarlung Tsangpo River. Different from the awe-inspiring scenery in Hengduan Mountains, most of the view features idyllic pastoral scene along the valley.

Then will visit the Basumtso Lake, which is a beautiful small holy lake of Tibetan Buddhism.

After passing Mila Pass(5013m), the last mountain pass during the road trip, we will finally arrive in Lhasa valley. Shortly after Dagzê County, the magnificent Potala Palace perched on Red Hill will appear in your sight. You long-expected holy Lhasa city is now only steps away. Check in hotel for a good rest.

Day 9: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street (B, D)

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.

Day 10: Departure from Lhasa

The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and see you off. You could use Tibet Vista’s Service continually travel westward along National Highway 318 to Mt. Everest or as far as to Nepal .

Tour Cost & Schedule in 2022

DeparturesApr.1 to Jun.25Jun.26 to Aug.25Aug.26 to Oct.15Oct.16 to Nov.15
Price for per person 1990 US$ 2190 US$ 2190 US$ 1990 US$
Single Room Supplement 25 US$/Night 30 US$/Night 30 US$/Night 20 US$/Night

Note: The prices above are just the reference price, based on the average number of tourists in a group. The actual price is subject to fluctuation, either higher or lower, according to the number of tourists, market price and traveling time. Contact us for the details.

Currency Converter:
Money Rate Last Updated: 2022.1.1 *Source: Bank of China

Please Note:

    1. If you couldn’t find a tour date suitable for your travel schedule in the above form, please contact our travel experts and they will help you plan a delightful vacation to Tibet at the BEST local price.
    2. Discount: 1.) 5% off for those booking the tour together with other two travelers (3 or 3 above in total) at the same time; 2.) 5% off for those booking the tour 3 months in advance.

(Note: the above preferential policies can only be enjoyed by either one of them, not both.)

Service Included:

  • Travel documents including Tibet Travel Permit, Alien’s travel permit, foreign affairs permit and military area entry permit;
  • All admission fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide all through the trip;
  • Comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable driver; vehicle ranging from 7 seats Van to 29 seats tourist bus depending on the group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary, Chengdu and Lhasa hotels with free breakfast, hotels on the way from Chengdu to Lhasa do not include breakfast charge;
  • Welcome Dinner at Chengdu when group members meet in Chengdu;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • Brief meeting of the tour by the guide at the beginning;
  • Handy Map of Tibet;
  • To take care of client’s healthy condition with fingertip blood oxygen pulse monitor;
  • Drinking water provided on tour;
  • Medical oxygen cylinder, and some small bottles of portable oxygen in the vehicle;
  • U sleep travel pillow for good rest during long driving journey;
  • First aid kit survival emergency medical supply bag .

Service Excluded:

  • All Meals Costs except breakfasts included in Chengdu and Lhasa are on traveler's own and the tour guide will help to arrange meals;
  • Optional tour or extra places to visit (If time is enough we are flexible to visit some other places shortly from the main road, like Basum Lake, the entrance tickets of the tourist sites are on traveler's own);
  • Tips to tour guide and driver (You are suggested to tip the tour guide and driver at least 7 USD/day in total if you are generally satisfied with their service).

Notice: Hotel condition along the way are relatively poor than big cities, we try our best to arrange the clean and comfortable hostel with private bathroom for the group.

Transfer Service between Hotels and Airport/ Train Station

Lhasa Gongar International Airport is about 70km from the downtown, and it takes about 1.5 hours for a car transfer between airport and hotel. Considering the distance and language barrier, Tibet Vista provides free transfer service from/to airport.

Upon your arrival at airport, our Tibetan local pick-up guide will hold a board with your name and wait for you at the exit, he will escort you to the transfer car, accompany you to the hotel, and assist you with hotel check-in. When tour ends, our guide will pick you up at hotel and escort you to the airport.

Airport Pick-up Schedules: Pick up tourists at 10:00 am; 13:30 pm; 17:00 pm

Airport Drop-off Schedules: Pick up tourists at 06:30 am; 08:00 am; 12:00 pm

If your flight time is not within our transfer schedule, feel free to contact our travel consultant, we will do our best to arrange the most proper transfer service for you.

Besides the airport transfer, Tibet Vista also provides unlimited free transfer between hotel and Lhasa Railway Station according to your arrival/departure time.

Please kindly note: if passengers are less than 3 per transfer, we may use publish transportation like public airport bus or Taxi instead of using our shuttle service.

Travel Tips for 10-day Chengdu Lhasa via G318 Overland Tour

1. What is the road condition of G318 National Highway?

The road condition of G318 National Hwy has been steadily improving. The well-paved two-lane asphalt road covers most of the journey. And more newly-built tunnels make previously treacherous mountain roads more easily accessible. You can even enjoy the Nyingchi-Lhasa Expressway, the world’s highest freeway to Lhasa, for the final part of the trip.

However, since many hairpin bends and some of the cliff-side roads, esp. from Markam to Zogong, are still involved, G318 Hwy remains an adrenaline-packed ride to global travelers. And we only hire drivers with at least up to 5 years’ driving experience on this road to ensure your travel safety.

2. What about the accommodation along G318 National Highway?

Both served as a spiritual highway to Lhasa and business hub, each year G318 Hwy receives tens of thousands of travelers and businessmen from Chengdu to Lhasa.

To cater to more travelers on this scenic road, growing numbers of hotels have sprung up along the way, offering more choices for different travelers.

From guesthouses to budget 3-star hotels and 5-star luxury resorts, we can help you book the most suitable accommodation for your needs.

3.  Do I have to worry about the altitude sickness?

Well, it’s wiser to learn how to deal with altitude ascent in a scientific way rather than freaking out yourself hysterically. The highest part of the journey would be from Litang, Batang, Markam, and Zogong, with an average altitude of above 4000m and a number of lofty mountain passes to travel by.

However, no worries. Our attentive and well-trained Tibetan guide will closely follow your health and offer oxygen supply and timely-treatment when needed. You will enjoy the thrilling rollercoaster ride with a safety guarantee.

4.  Which season is the best for Chengdu to Lhasa overland tour?

May to June and Oct to Nov are the most ideal season for traveling via G318 Hwy from Chengdu to Lhasa. Your journey won’t be affected by the landslide caused by the monsoon season in summer.

However, late March and early April are also a high season for full-bloomed peach blossoms in Nyingchi while in summer the verdant grassland and Tibetan nomads would also be a real spectacle. So, be flexible and hit the road for what interests you most.

5.  What should I pack for the road trip?

The climate of Tibetan Plateau is notoriously unpredictable. It’s advisable to dress in different layers for the temperature change in a single day.

Down jacket(even in summer), thermal and breathable underwear, vest, windbreaker, jacket, T-shirt, jeans, sunblock, sunglasses, beanies, trekking/sport shoes, personal medicines, toiletries are highly recommended.

Nothing Matters More than Bringing you a Safe and Comfortable Journey!

Spiritually-uplifting yet physically-demanding, Tibet travel is no ordinary experience. Though you may have done many research, nothing prepares you for the real adventure. However, you can rest assured that the moment you set your foot in Lhasa, your Tibetan guide, driver and all of Tibet Vista’s team are pooling our resources and doing what we can to ensure you a safe and pleasant travel experience.

The following value added tour service will be your best guarantee for a seamless Tibet travel on Tibetan Plateau.

Routine Tour Service Workshop and Seminar for Our Tibetan Guide

To an organized tour, we believe, whether or not you will have a great travel experience largely depends on whom you travel with. So, we attach great importance to the training and exchange amid our Tibetan guide and other staff. Each year, a series of workshops and seminars and training courses will be held for our Tibetan guides and other staff to exchange their guide experience and offer first-aid training, etc. They are committed to offering the quality and tourist-friendly service to you.

Celestron Telescope Give You Close-up View of Mt. Everest at EBC

Standing at the foot of Mt. Everest and gazing at this holy mountain form an integral part of EBC tour. Apart from taking you to the best vantage points to view this natural wonders, we offer brand-new Celestrontelescope (with 60 optical zoom Lens) for you to get close-up view of the world’s highest mountain. Besides, don’t miss the starry Milky Wayin EBC.

Helpful Service: Trekking Pole, Camping Lantern and Portable Charger

When travelling on Tibetan Plateau, we highly suggest you travelling list. And we offer helpful rental service (50 CNY deposit), such as trekking pole, camping lantern and portable charger. Upon your request, we may also prepare the camping tent, sleeping bag, etc. for you. A small amount of service and cleaning charge is expected. Our friendly travel consultants will give you pro advice to remove your heavy daypack.

Keep You Warm and Protected from Harsh Alpine Climate

In addition to warm sweet tea and hot water and warm smile, we feel obligated to protect you from chilly wind at EBC and Mt. Kailash, etc. Why not bundle up in our well-prepared warm Tibetan Apron. If you forgot to bring you gloves, no problem! The hot water bagbring you instant warmth and our versatile magic scarfwill work like a charm to protect you from sunburn and dust in Tibet.

Multiple Travel Kits Make Your Trip More Comfortable

As the long ride is very common esp. travelling beyond Lhasa, we kindly prepare a full set of travel kit for you to enjoy an easy ride in Tibet. Upon your request, we may offer neck pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs, fork knife spoon set, and sleeping bag at EBC tent during your journey.

Free Battery Recharging

Besides, you may use our free power recharge service at our office at Lhasa Gang Gyan Hotel (first floor 1102).

Unique Eco-friendly Bottle for Drinking

Tibet Vista is a staunch supporter for Eco and responsible travelin Tibet. As we visit Tibet, why not work with us to save limited resources and minimize human’s impact to the natural environment.We designed a tailor-made Eco-friendly Bottle for drinking throughout your tour in Tibet. It’s very convenient to use it to drink hot water, coffee, Tibetan milk tea. Such a fine souvenir, don’t you think?

Easy-to-Use Tibet Tourist Map and Other Useful Travel Stuff

What’s more? Plenty of useful travel brochure and travel kits such as Tibet tourist map,up-to-date travel advice, etc. will greet you in Lhasa. You will find them exceedingly helpful to your day-to-day travel in Tibet.

Meet Beloved Mr. Kunga, Your Best Guard for a Safe and Pleasant Journey

And now, the last but not least, I take great pride in introducing our beloved Mr. Kunga, the customer service manager of our company.If you have any problem adapting to the life on Tibetan plateau? Or simply wanna to learn more about Tibet. Do not hesitate to stop by our customer service office in Lhasa Gang Gyan Hotel (first floor 1102) and have a friendly little chat with him.

Mr. Kunga would make a good cup of tea for you and share with you his more than 30 years’ guide experience in Tibet. In fact, Tibet Vista is the only local Tibet travel agency that has a designated customer service manager who offers prompt support to your need.

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