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18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa

Tibet Cycling Tour 884
TOT: 18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa
Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway
  • Admire the pearl on the roof of the world - Potala Palace
  • See Tibet’s snow-capped mountains, vast grasslands, holy lakes, wild donkeys and yaks
  • Visit two of Tibet's greatest monasteries – the Drepung and Sera Monasteries
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Day 1  Day1-Day3:Golmud - Kunlun Mountains Pass (160 kilometers)

We will begin our biking journey as we cycle from Golmud to our first high pass, the Kunlun Mountain Pass (elevation 4767 meters). This 160-kilometer part of your tour will take around 3 to 5 days, as the road conditions are tough with many uphill slopes.

Day 2  Day 4- Day5:Kunlun Mountains Pass - Wudaoliang (109 kilometers)

This part of our biking tour covers around 109 kilometers and 1 to 2 days should be enough as the road conditions are much better in this area. You won’t wan to miss the roadside hot springs when riding through the Nachitai Area. The pure, unspoiled water of the hot springs there is really well worth trying. There are comfortable hotels In Wudaoliang, providing us with a good chance to rest and relax here on the 5th night of our journey.

Day 3  Wudaoliang - Tuotuo River (150 kilometers)

With an average altitude of around 5000 meters, this part of our biking journey will also be an arduous one. A rough highland climate dominates this area with bitter cold at night and often-strong winds during the daytime due to the topography of the area.

Day 4  Tuotuo River – Yanshiping (91 kilometers)

Arise early this morning to nourish your aching body with the breath-taking sunrise, which will inspire you to continue on through the spectacular scenery as we head towards today’s destination, Yanshiping, where we will spend the night.

Day 5  Yanshiping - Tanggula Mountain Pass (100 kilometers)

Today’s journey takes us once again through beautiful mountain scenery as we head from Yanshiping through the Tangula Mountain Pass and stay overnight in Toudaoban.

Day 6  Toudaoban - Amdo (70 kilometers)

This section of our biking trip is mainly off-road, but the good news is that the scenery just gets progressively more beautiful as we continue on.

Day 7  Day10-Day11:Amdo - Nagqu (138 kilometers)

Continue your journey on to Nagqu, an important town that serves as a hub of Northern Tibet. On this two-day section of your trip, you will cross the Qiangtang prairie, where you will enjoy a magnificent pastoral view with herds of sheep and Tibetan yaks grazing against the backdrop of seemingly endless green grassland.

Day 8  Day 12- Day13:

Scenery along this section is fantastic with snow-capped mountains, vast green grasslands, and flocks of sheep. You can either cycle into Namtso Lake, which will take 2 days, or you take the jeep if you just want to make a day trip. Either way, we will need to travel through the Lichen Pass at an elevation of 5190 meters, which will give us a breathtaking view over Namtso Lake. Namtso Lake is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet, and it is also the world’s highest altitude salt lake. We can spend the night along the lakeshore to completely immerse ourselves in our beautiful surroundings.

Day 9  Namtso - Yangpachen (123 kilometers)

While enjoying the beautifully clear morning at the lakeshore, you can trek along the shoreline to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves. After a morning of exploration, we’ll begin the journey back to Lhasa with a bike ride over the Lagangla Pass to Yangpachen. Along the way we’ll have a view of the Nyenchen Thanglha mountain range, reaching Yangpachen around 4 or 5 p.m. Yangpachen is famous for its geothermal power station and the nearby hot spring, where we can relax in the natural hot spring before retiring for the night.

Day 10  Yangpachen - Lhasa (75 kilometers)

This is the final leg of your cycling trip as we roll through beautiful scenery towards the holy city of Lhasa on the roof of the world. The route from Yangpachen to Lhasa is mostly downhill and it has been recently repaired, so we’ll have a smooth and easy ride today. Still we will need to make sure that the bike’s brakes are working properly and that we control our speed, as there are many twists and turns on this route. As we enter Lhasa, we will encounter a sign reading “Welcome to Lhasa!” It’s a fitting end to a rewarding cycling journey that very few people will ever accomplish.

lhasa river

lhasa river

Day 11  D16-Lhasa sightseeing - Potola Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor

Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in 647 A.D. by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve – this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the “Kora” (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.

potala palace

potala palace

Day 12  D17- Lhasa sightseeing - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka Park

This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery – one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa’s main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace. In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet – the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon. You will finish today's activity after we visit Norbulingka Park, which served as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and later became a governmental administration center. Here you will have the opportunity to see how the Dalai Lama studied Buddhist scriptures and touched the lives of the local Tibetan people.

drepung monastery

sera monastery

Day 13  D18-Transfer to Lhasa Gonggar Airport or Train Station - Depart from Lhasa

Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel to escort you back to Lhasa Gonggar Airport for your departing flight or to the Lhasa train station for your departing train as you finish your Tibetan adventure.

lhasa airport

lhasa airport

Price Includes.
    • All necessary Tibet Travel Permit. (Including Tibet Entry Permit, Alien Travel Permit, Boarder Pass
    • Private professional English-Speaking local tour guide
    • Licensed Vehicle with experienced driver
    • Airport (or train)pick up and drop off
    • Accommodation listed in the itinerary
    • Breakfast provided by the hotel
    • Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
    • A container of Oxygen for emergency use
    • All taxes, fees and handling charges
    • Lodging and meal allowance to the guide & driver
    • Reservation fee for visiting Potala Palace
    • 2 bottles of drinking water per person per day
Price Excludes.
    • Meals not specified in the itinerary (All lunches & dinners)
    • All Entrance tickets to the sightseeing places
    • Flight/Trian tickets in and out of Tibet
    • Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
    • Any losses incurred from the force majeure factor like government control, natural disaster etc.
    • Tips to the guide & driver ( Tips is not required but expected)
    • Single room supplement
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