Overland Route 15: Mongolia – China – Tibet – Pakistan

Duration: 27-30 days
Distance: ca. 8.700 km
Highlights: Qinghai lake, Mt Kailash
Best travel time: May, June, September, October


Duration Details
Day 01

Mongolia – China (Takeshikenzhen)

Border crossing. Meet your guide at the border. Fromalities at the border. Stay near the border.

Day 02
Takeshikenzhen – Altay

Formalities at the traffi administration. You will receive your temporary Chinese driving license and number plate after the vehicle check.

Distance: approx. 345 km

Day 03
Altay – Karamay

Distance: approx. 415 km

Day 04
Karamay – Turpan

Turpan is an oasis city located in the Uighur autonomous region of Xinjiang, China.This place has been for centuries the centre of a fertile oasis (grape production, among others) and an important commercial city on the Silk Road.

Distance: approx. 430 km

Day 05
Turpan visiting day

Visiting day in Turpan.Cultural influences are multiple here. The encounter between the culture of the West and that of the East is perfect. The caves of the thousand Buddhas of Bezeklik, the ruins of Jiaohe and Gaochang are very beautiful witnesses of the rich history of the region. The Flamboyant Mountains are among the sites to visit during your visit to Tourfan. A stifling heat emanates from it but the places have become very popular following the famous novel The Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en. The Emin Minaret is the oldest Islamic tower built in Xinjiang. It is located in the very city of Turpan.

Day 06
Turpan – Hami (Kumul)

Walk to the Mazar Village of the Tuyugou Valley, this village is known as the oldest village in the Uygur. Visit the desert park near Shanshan and Hami Hui Kings Tomb…

Distance: approx. 410 km

Day 07
Hami – Dunhuang

Drive to Dunhuang in the morning. Visit Dunhuang Caves, Moon Fountain and Mingsha Sand Hill in the afternoon.

Distance: approx. 490 km

Day 08
Dunhuang – Jiayuguan: Jiayuguan Fort, Overhanging Great Wall

The city of Jiayuguan has a population of about 300,000. It is located at the entrance to the Gobi Desert and near the Qilian Mountains. Jiayuguan, one of the province’s first cities, has a history dating back more than 600 years. The city was then a strategic gateway on the ancient Silk Road.The Jiayuguan Fort marks the western end of the Great Wall of China.The Great Hanging Wall is the other jewel of the Great Wall of China to be found in the city of Jiayuguan. Because of the 45 degree inclination of the walls, one would think that the walls fell suddenly from the sky…

Distance: approx. 370 km

Day 09
Jiayuguan – Zhangye – Mati Si

Located 65 kilometers from Zhangye, the caves and temple of Mati, or Matisi, were established under the Northern Liang dynasty, about 1600 years ago. The temple is embedded in the mountain which itself is pierced by many caves. It preserves more than 500 Buddha sculptures and more than 1200 square metres of frescoes.

Distance: approx. 280 km

Day 10
Mati Si – Qinghai lake (south shore)

Qinghai Lake is not only the largest lake in China but also an extraordinarily salty lake, at an altitude of 2,205 meters. A paradise for ornithologists and cyclists, this bluish vastness is a beauty. Around the lake, villages are there to remind us of the cultural mix so specific to the Qinghai region.It is an important pilgrimage site for Tibetans and attracts many believers. They go around the lake, but it takes about eighteen days on horseback and twenty-three on foot. To the west of the lake is an island, with a temple called “Mahādeva”, i. e. the heart of the lake, which was the residence of about twenty monks.

Distance: approx. 410 km

Day 11
Qinghai lake – Golmud

Distance: approx. 660 km

Day 12
Golmud – Nagqu

Distance: approx. 830 km

Day 13
Nagqu – Namtso lake

Distance: approx. 250 km

Day 14
Namtso lake – Lhasa

Distance: approx. ca. 200 km

Day 15 Lhasa visiting day
Day 16
Lhasa – Gyangtze

Distance: approx. 270 km

Day 17
Gyangtze – Shigatse – Lhatse: Visit Tashilhunpo on the way

Distance: approx. 250 km

Day 18
Lhatse – Everest Base Camp

Distance: approx. 190 km

Day 19
Everest Base Camp – Gyirong

Distance: approx. 260 km

Day 20
Gyirong – Zhongba

Distance: approx. 270 km

Day 21
Zhongba – Manasarovar Lake

Tagesetappe: ca. 290 km

Day 22
Manasarovar Lake – Darchen (Mt. Kailash)

Distance: approx. ca. 60 km

Day 23
Darchen – Ngari (Ali)

Distance: approx. ca. 290 km

Day 24
Ngari (Ali) – Duomaxiang

Distance: approx. 230 km

Day 25
Duomaxiang – Mazha

Distance: approx. 500 km

Day 26
Mazha – Kargilik

Distance: approx. 250 km

Day 27
Kargilik – Yenisgar – Kashgar

Distance: approx. 245 km

Day 28
Kashgar visiting day
Day 29
Kashgar – Tashgurkan

Distance: approx. 295 km

Day 30
Tashkurgan – Exit Pakistan

Distance: approx. 130 km (in China)

Contact us for your own overland tour

Change this itinerary

Duration Details
Shorten this itinerary by 3 days

Skip day 8,9 and 10: You will miss Qinghai Lake, Mati temple and the Great Wall at Zhangye