For no-holds-barred adventure head off the beaten track and down to South-Western China for the road trip of a lifetime. Hop in your hire car, pre-arranged by us and complete with snacks and pre-programmed satnav and off you go on the drive of your life.
You’ll climb thousands of feet above sea level to the mystic lands of Tibet, ending your journey along China’s longest national road at the foot of Mount Everest. En route you’ll traverse some of the most remote and undiscovered places of the world including a visit to the largest Buddha stone sculpture in the world (it’s enormous) and a fully functional printing monastery dating back to the Qing dynasty…
into the wilderness
If you’ve ever wanted to explore a really really wild frontier then this one’s for you. As the world gets smaller, it gets harder to find untouched new lands- but we reckong we’ve found a gem with this experience. You really don’t get much more off the beaten track. Investigate a different side to China in a 4×4 as you make your way towards Tibet and the foothills of the Himalayas.
Following your own private guide who knows the highlands like the back of his hand, you’ll start in the capital of Sichuan, Chengdu, envied for its vibrant street culture and classic wooden architecture, and prepare to explore one of the world’s last true wildernesses. After your first night here, a shining new SUV will be delivered to you by your guide and you’ll have a chance to discuss your route. Now all that’s left to do is to get behind the wheel and start the drive of a lifetime…
You’ll begin cruising through the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau: rich in tradition, culture and worship. Witness the world’s largest stone Buddha (so large you can fit an entire dining table on his big toe) and watch the locals gallop past on horseback. Spend your second night in Baoxing, in the countryside of the Sichuan plains, for some true pastoral peace.
Now it’s time to start making the climb up. Head into the valleys then up to Mount Jiajin where the air gets thin at 4,000 meters (this may seem high, but we’re not finished yet). Spend the next few days adjusting to that mountain air. Sleep in Ganzi for two nights: a truly authentic Tibetan village below the peaks of Mount Chola with plenty of gorgeous surroundings to explore.
ancient monasteries and mystic highlands
Visit ancient monasteries, such as the Bakong Scripture Printing Monastery, where scripts are hand printed by the monks at lightning-speed, and in minute, beautiful detail. Then you’ll reach the summit of the climb. Head through the Mount Chola Pass where you will be 4,900 metres above sea level and will have a stunning view of the surrounding highlands.
After a night’s rest, it’s back on the (slightly bumpy) road to cross the border into Tibet. Now you’re in serious mountain country. Rest your head in Chamdo, the old capital of the Kham area, before rejoining China’s longest national road – the G318. Climb the Mount Yela Pass before the adrenaline pumping trip back down the other side: 72 hairpin turns take you 2,700 meters back towards earth. Once you reach the bottom and the shores of Lake Rawok, take a couple of days to explore this amazing area. Head to the mouth of Lhegu Glacier, and spend the afternoon relaxing by the lake. Bliss.
Whilst on the road you’ll pass Gelang Village, known as the Switzerland of Tibet. This town is set by a tranquil lake surrounded by plants and wildlife to keep the picture-perfect moments coming. Keep your camera out for another day of completely breath-taking scenery through Tibet’s most amazing mountains.
Slowly steer your way along a steep mountain face before traversing the 4,560 metre Sejila Pass where, on a good day, you can see Mount Namjagbarwa: eastern Tibet’s highest mountain at a whopping 7,700 metres. Not your average horizon.
your grand finale
After this journey of a lifetime you’ll find yourself in Lhasa, your final destination, where you can explore amazing palaces, enjoy traditional dancing and walk the backstreets of the capital of this ancient kingdom. You’ll also have an opportunity to make your way through to the Mount Everest Base Camp for a truely unforgettable experience.
Available Year Round
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