Day 1: Xining - Kumbum - Koko Nor Lake, 255 km. In the morning drive to Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er Si) of Gelukpa-sect, which was built in 1560 in Huangzhong County and also one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. Then cross over Sun-and-Moon Mountain (Ri Yue Shan). The Sun-and-Moon Mountain has always been an distinguish line between meadow and agriculture area. After that make a short trekking by the Koko Nor lake, the biggest salty lake in China, with an area of 4500 square kilometers and an altitude of 3194 m high above sea level. The big lake is acclaimed as "pearl on the highland" and the scenery of which is unusually fascinating and appears different shapes even at the same time.
Day 2: Koko Nor Lake - Dulan, 360 km. In the morning drive to Dulan along the Koko Nor Lake, the biggest salty lake in China, with an area of 4500 square kilometers and an altitude of 3194 m above sea level. In addition a small island known as "the heaven of the birds" lies in the lake. After an approximative 200 km long driving make a short stopover by the Tsaka Salty Lake where even the wind should be salty. Late in the afternoon arrive in Dulan.
Day 3: Dulan - Golmud, 280 km. Drive through the Tsaidam basin, among which most part is desert with some oasis dotted in. This basin lies in the north of the Amnyemaqen Mountain and the road to Golmud is just along the foot of the mountain. The Xiangride oasis is the last one seen in this desert. Late in the afternoon arrive in Golmud, which is a civilization center where Tibetan culture and Han culture melt each other.
Day 4: Golmud - Tuotuoheyan, 460 km. Drive through the vast wilderness and Tsaidam meadow on the Tibet-Qinghai-Plateau along the road in the foot of the Kunlun Mountain and go on upwards by steep valley to cross over the 4837-meter-high Kunlun Pass. Afterwards pass by the First Bridge over the Yangtse River and arrive in Tuotuoheyan, which is lain in the head stream of the Yangtse River.
Day 5: Tuotuoheyan - Naqu, 490 km. Cross southwards over the Tangra Shan Mountain. On the way the eagles, flocks of sheep and cattle, yaks, Snow Mountains, tents of Tibetan farmers everywhere altogether form a harmonious unity and allow the spirit and soul of people to relax.
Day 6: Nakchu - Namtso Lake - Lhasa Jeep, 510 km. Drive on the vast Qiangtang Grassland for Nam Tso. Cross the 5150 m Lhachen La Pass and reach the Namtso or Tengri Nor along the newly paved way and set up camp at Tashi Dorie Peninsula. It is said the holy lake and the holy Mountain Nyenchentangla are a couple of lovers, who altogether guard the vast pasture and cattle. In the afternoon drive to Lhasa (3650 m), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.
Day 7: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor street. The first day of sightseeing starts from Lhasa's cardinal landmark - Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2 hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.
Day 8: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery. About 8 km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung Monastery, once the world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambiance inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains.
Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera. Around 5 km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.
Day 9: In Lhasa. Two days are never enough to take in all the wondrous sights and sounds of Lhasa. Today is more of a free day for participants to do whatever they choose. It is completely up to you whether you want to relax, explore further, revisit one of the monasteries, go for a hike, peruse the market, or just interact with locals. For additional money tours can be taken to Tibetan Medical Center, Ganden Monastery and Tsurphu Monastery. The main thing is to just enjoy yourself and experience a little more of Tibet.
Day 10: Out of Tibet by air or train to China side, or flight to KTM, Nepal. Your private guide and the car with driver will see you off to the airport or train station. Your Tour ends.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Tibet China Local Culture Cultural Journey