10 Days Yunnan-Tibet Highway Overland Tour from Lijiang to Lhasa

Start from Lijiang, travel along the ancient Tea Horse Road, you can experience the colorful ethnic culture in Lijiang Ancient Town and Shangri-la in Yunnan province, with stunning natural beauty of the Hengduan Mountains. After you enter Markam, you will drive to Tibet along the southern route of Sichuan Tibet highway. The beautiful landscapes of Nyingchi will show you the marvelous landscape of Eastern Tibet before you arrive in Lhasa. And of course, the city tour in Lhasa will take you to visit the famous Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the Barkhor Street and other highlights of this city and explore the Tibet culture and religions. 


  • Appreciate the breathtaking view on the way.
  • Experience the colorful and featured ethnic culture.

Brief Itinerary:

  • Day 1 Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La
  • Day 2 Shangri-la-Yanjing
  • Day 3 Yanjing – Zuogong
  • Day 4 Zuogong – Ranwu
  • Day 5 Ranwu – Bomi
  • Day 6 Bomi – Bayi
  • Day 7 Bayi – Lhasa
  • Day 8 Lhasa City
  • Day 9 Lhasa City
  • Day 10 Departure from Lhasa

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La

Sightseeing and Activities: Stone Drum, First Bend of the Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation: Shangri La
Meals: Lunch


Today you’ll be driven to the old town of Shigu (Stone Drum) which is famed for a drum-like stele made by white marble. It enjoys high strategic and traffic significance in China’s history that many troops struggled for. You will take a visit to the Iron Chain Bridge which the Red Army used to cross the river during the Long March in 1930s. Then head to the stunning First Bend of the Yangtze River. Here you can witness the three rivers (Yangtze River, Lancang River and Nu River) traversing through the valleys of Hengduan Ranges, and forming this breathtaking view.

The last place of Lijiang to visit is marvelous Tiger Leaping Gorge – one of the deepest gorge and one of the ten most classic trekking trails in the world. Legend says that it is named after a courageous tiger who jumped across the rushing river to escape from a hunter. Take a little challenging trek to stretch your legs as well as glut your eyes with most naturally picturesque and distinctive landscape.

Later, you’ll drive about 100km to Shangri La. You’ll enjoy the enchanting natural scenes on the way.

Day 2 Shangri-la-Yanjing

Sightseeing and Activities: Kawagebo mountain range, Mt. Meili, salt fields, catholic church, hot bath
Accommodation: Yanjing
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Mingyong Glacier of Meili Snow Mountain, Diqing

Departing Shangri-la we travel along the north of Mekong River valley into Tibet. Along the way, we may be able to see the peaks of Kawagebo mountain range on a good day. Mt. Meili (6,740 m/22,113 ft), which straddles the border of Yunnan and Tibet, is the highest peak in the province. Once into Tibet. Our first stop will be in the town of Yanjing, which was once the main source of salt for half of the Kham Tibetan area, which ranged from northwestern Sichuan down into Yunnan. We will visit the salt fields and visit the only one catholic church in Tibet. Followed by a stop at the hot springs, where each of us could pick our own natural hot bath overlooking the Mekong. Certainly the best way to relax our body for the adventure ahead!

Day 3 Yanjing – Zuogong

Sightseeing and Activities: view along the road, 
Accommodation: Zuogong
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

We cross two high passes in this section of the drive, one at around 3,900 m(12,795 ft), the other at 5,008 m(16,430 ft). Driving past local Tibetan houses scattered round the feet of snow-capped peaks, the expressions on innocent Tibetan girls would make you realize that you are one of the first foreign visitors to this isolated region. 

Day 4 Zuogong – Ranwu

Sightseeing and Activities:Nu River
Accommodation: Ranwu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

We will drive along the deep valleys of the Nu River(the Salween River), which is a long and tough journey, but our destination, the Ranwu Lake, a spectacularly crystal blue lake cupped by snow peaks.

Day 5 Ranwu – Bomi

Sightseeing and Activities: Poto-chu Valley at Tramog
Accommodation: Bomi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

We will wander along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog (2,743 m/8999 ft), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountainsides. We will go down several hundred meters in altitude as we reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tang-me where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet.

Day 6 Bomi – Bayi

Sightseeing and Activities:NamJiabawa peak
Accommodation: Bayi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Waking up to the birds’ singing, you will have an unobstructed view of the majestic NamJiabawa peak. After a long 9 hours drive, we will arrive in Bayi, the largest Tibetan town we will have reached at this point. 

Day 7 Bayi – Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Lamaling monastery, Basong lake
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

First we will drive 30 kms to visit the Lamaling monastery which an important monastery in Ningchi. And then drive to Basong lake. The crystal clear water of the Basong Lake will seem like an oasis to you — another place you would be reluctant to leave. Drive to Lhasa.

Day 8 Lhasa City

Sightseeing and Activities:Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you will visit the highest palace in the world-Potala Palace which is the Dalai Lama’s winter palace. It locates on the red hill, a good viewing point in Lhasa.

In the afternoon, we go to the renowned Jokhang Temple which will provide you one of your first sights of devout Tibetans. In the temple you will see the glistening Sakyamuni statue which is considered as Tibetan Buddhism’s rarity.
After then, stroll around the bustling Barkhor Street.

Day 9 Lhasa City

Sightseeing and Activities: Lake of Yamdrok Yumtso, Sera monastery
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

About hundred kilometers, you will appreciate the holy Lake of Yamdrok Yumtso Lake. The sacred lake of Yamdrok Yutso is revered as a talisman, supporting the life-spirit of Tibet. It is said that should its waters dry, Tibet will no longer be habitable.
Back to Lhasa before 3:00 p.m to visit the Sera monastery where lively lama debating will be seen (except Sundays). This is very interesting. Many lamas sitting or standing in the yard debate a certain topic their teacher has given.

Day 10 Departure from Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Departure from Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Railway Station to take flight or train out of Lhasa.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Shangri La Tianju Shangri-la

E-outfitting Boutique Hotel

/ Local Guesthouse
Yanjing / / / Local Guesthouse
Zuogong / / / Local Guesthouse
Ranwu / / / Local Guesthouse
Bomi / / / Local Guesthouse
Bayi / / / Local Guesthouse


/ / / Local Guesthouse

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Domestic train tickets of soft sleeper.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.

Travel Tips:

  • Visitors are advised to always carry changes of clothing due to the large variations in temperature between day and night.
  • The climate is relatively dry, so drink more water every day.
  • Protecting oneself from strong UV radiation at high altitude.
  • Protecting oneself from altitude sickness. Lessen the effects of altitude sickness, avoid strenuous exercise and have plenty of rest. 
  • Respect local customs , habits, and religious beliefs.