18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa
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18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa

Cycling from Golmud to Lhasa is an interesting and challenging tour, but you will be rewarded by fabulous sights en route and satisfaction after overcoming the high mountain passes over 4000m one by one.

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  • Itinerary Details
  • Service Included
  • Trip Notes

18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa

  • golmud
  • kunlun mountain
  • wudaoliang
  • tuotuo river
  • amdo
  • nagqu
  • namtso
  • yangpachen
  • lhasa

18 Day

$ 3500

Itinerary Highlights

    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

  • Itinerary Details
  • Service Included
  • Trip Notes
Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa (Elevation 3650 meters)
Hotel: Lhasa Hotel (3-star/4-star) Meals:Welcome dinner

Transfer to Lhasa downtown after arriving at the Lhasa Gongar airport or the Lhasa train station. Relax with free time after your arrival in Lhasa to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Day 2 Golmud - Kunlun Mountains Pass (160 kilometers)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast , lunch , dinner

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 3 Golmud - Kunlun Mountains Pass (160 kilometers)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast , lunch , dinner

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 4 Kunlun Mountains Pass - Wudaoliang (109 kilometers)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast , lunch , dinner

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 5 Kunlun Mountains Pass - Wudaoliang (109 kilometers)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast

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 6  Wudaoliang-Tuoduo River (150 km)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast

With an average altitude of around 5000 kilometers, this tour is also an arduous one. Rough highland climate dominates this area with frozenly cold at nighttime and strong wind at daytime.

Day 7 Tuotuo River-Yanshiping (91 km)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast

Get up early in the morning and nourish your aching body with the breath-taking sunrise, which dances over the horizon in Tuotuo River.

Day 8 Yanshiping-Tanggula Mountain Pass (100 km)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast

Cycle from Yanshiping to Tangula Mountain Pass and stay overnight in Toudaoban.

Day 9 Toudaoban-Amdo (70 km)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast

aThis section is mainly off-road. Scenery is getting progressively more beautiful.a

Day 10 Amdo - Nagqu (138 kilometers)
Hotel: Overnight at local Guest House Meals:breakfast

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 11 Amdo - Nagqu (138kilometers)
Hotel: Stay overnight in Nagqu. Meals:breakfast

Continue your journey to Nagqu, an important town in Northern Tibet. You will cross the Qiangtang prairie, where you could enjoy a magnificent pastoral view, like groups of sheep and yaks grazing on the endless green grassland.

Day 12 Nagqu- Namtso Lake (146 km)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast

Scenery along this section is fantastic with snow-capped mountains, vast green grassland, and flocks of sheep. You can either cycle into Namtso Lake or take the jeep if you just want to make a day trip. There is a high-pass- LaChenLa 5190m. Namtso Lake is the Heavenly lake, which is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet and also the highest salt lake.

It is fantastic to spend a night at lake shore.

Day 13 Nagqu- Namtso Lake (146 km)
Hotel: Camping or Guesthouse Meals:breakfast

Scenery along this section is fantastic with snow-capped mountains, vast green grassland, and flocks of sheep. You can either cycle into Namtso Lake or take the jeep if you just want to make a day trip. There is a high-pass- LaChenLa 5190m. Namtso Lake is the Heavenly lake, which is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet and also the highest salt lake.

It is fantastic to spend a night at lake shore.

Day 14 Namtso - Yangpachen (90km)
Hotel: Stay overnight in Yangpachen. Meals:breakfast

Enjoy the clear morning at the lake shore. You can trek along the lake shore to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves. Then head for Yangpachen.

The trail is dotted with green grass and swift current, and the main summit of Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain stands at the far distance, which looks towering and saintly. You might reach Yangpachen at around 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm. As Yangpachen is famous for its geothermic hot spring, you can enjoy a bath at the hot spring.

Day 15 Yangpachen to Lhasa (75km)
Hotel: Lhasa Hotel (3-star/4-star) Meals:breakfast

This is the final leg of your cycling trip. Enjoy the beauty as you approaching the holy city at the roof of the world. The route from Yangpachen to Lhasa is mainly composed of down slope, as it is new-repaired recently, most of that is even and plain. But you need to check the brake of your bicycle and control the speed as there are still many twists on the way.

You will see a sign writes "Welcome to Lhasa!" Congratulations! You have finished your cycling adventure! Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 16 Lhasa City Sightseeing - Potala Palace - Jokhang Temple - Barkhor Street
Hotel: Lhasa Hotel (3-star/4-star) Meals:breakfast

This is your 2rd day in Tibet, so you should be physically ready for Potala Palace—the palace with a lot of steps.

Climb up to Potala Palace, Tibet’s iconic landmark. You’ll see a lot of precious decorated statues, Buddhist scriptures and murals inside. Your guide will reveal to you the interesting history of the palace.

Visit Jokhang Temple (elevation 3,700 m), said to be the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. You will see many pilgrims prostrating themselves near the temple. Take part with locals in the 20-minute walk with prayer wheels, clockwise around Jokhang Temple. Take a stroll round Barkhor Street and see some Tibetan handicrafts.

Tip:
There are 1,080 steps up to Potala Palace and climbing steps on the plateau is not easy. If it’s too demanding physically, you don’t have to climb all the steps, and your tour guide will adjust your route accordingly.

Day 17 Lhasa City Sightseeing - Sera Monastery – Drepung Monastery
Hotel: Lhasa Hotel (3-star/4-star) Meals:breakfast , lunch , dinner

Enjoy a hotel breakfast, and visit Norbulingka in the morning; formerly the summer palace for the Dalai Lamas. Nowadays, Norbulingka is a beautiful public park and a good place to see locals camping and picnicking in summer.

Watch a monks’ daily debate in Sera Monastery (elevation 4,000 m), the second most important monastery in Tibet. The debate not to be missed is held at 15:30 every day, except Sundays. Monks are happy to live in the monastery and study Buddhist scriptures there.

Later you will visit Drepung Monastery, renowned as the site for the annual Shoton Festival. If you visit in early August, you will have a chance to see for yourself this largest of Tibetan festivals.

General rules for visiting temples in Tibet: Cameras are not allowed in the temples or in the debate field, but taking photos with a cell phone is ok. When visiting a temple, your shoulders should be covered, and you should not wear shorts. Walk clockwise when visiting Barkhor Street.

Sera Monastery

Drepung

Day 18 Depart Lhasa
Hotel: None Meals:breakfast

Your guide and driver will take you to Lhasa’s airport/train station on time for your departure and escort you to the correct security gate. Relax and leave any hassles to your tour team.

Service Included:

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;

Service Excluded:

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.

    Trip Tip

    1.Tibet Travel Permit;

    You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.

    2.Accommodation

    We’ve selected heritage hotels in the more traditional area of Lhasa, near Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, so that travelers can experience more of the local life and culture. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with special oxygen supplies, other hotels in Lhasa are recommended (as above).

    The accommodation in Dingri is poor (see above).

    3.Guiding;

    Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service.

    4.Food

    Enjoy local Tibetan, Western Chinese and Nepalese food on the tour.
    You will have standard western hotel breakfast in Lhasa, and specially prepared breakfasts outside of Lhasa: including butter, bread, coffee, tea, etc.
    After the first day, lunch is included every day. Your guide can recommend some good local restaurants for dinner. Outside Lhasa, we suggest you have dinner in the hotels where you are staying.

    5.Altitude Sickness

    Before your trip, ask your doctor for any suggestions in relation to altitude sickness and bring some medicine just in case. The most popular altitude medicine among foreigners is Acetazolamide/Diamox.
    We recommend that during the first two days after arriving in Tibet, visitors should keep warm, not take a bath, not smoke or drink alcohol. Drink plenty of water (>4 litres per day) before going and at altitude, and eat lots of vegetables and carbohydrates. Slow down, even if you feel energetic. Moving slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.
    If you don’t feel well after entering Tibet, go and see a doctor as soon as possible. There are doctors in major hotels in Lhasa, and you can call your tour guide for help at any time. We offer a free oxygen bag in the car.

    6. What to Pack

    Seek medical advice about altitude effects and pack any medicine you might need. Sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block, walking boots, and down jackets are all recommended.

    7.Transport

    Comfortable private cars/vans with experienced drivers will be arranged for you. All our vehicles meet the requirements of the Tibet Tourist Bureau, and are equipped with GPS and speed-limiting equipment.

    8.Booking

    Take into consideration the time you need to apply for your Tibet Entry Permit. It’s best to book a tour with us at least 30 days before your tour starts.

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