An Authentic Tibet Journey for Budget Travelers
Traveling across 2 provinces, this journey explores the unique cultural heritages of ancient tribes living in Eastern Tibet. Experience most exciting festival of a year in Tibet, the Yushu Horse Racing Festival. Visit the famous lakes and monasteries of Amdo and Kham, the Dzochen meditation caves of hermit monks, famous grasslands and holy mountain Amnye Machen, the poetic city of Kangding, the largest nunnery Yarchen Gar. Offer a stone carving to the largest mani stone pile in the world, visit a traditional printing house in the cultural capital of Kham.
- Amdo and Kham landscape and culture
- Yushu, Dzochen, Derge, Litang
- Yushu Horse Racing Festival
- 15-day trips begins in Xining, China, and ends in Chengdu, China
- 14 nights in hotels
- Average altitude of 3500m
- July 22nd
22.07/Day 1: Arrive in XN [2200м] Amdо
Arrive Xining and get settled. If time allows, we will visit Tibetan Medical and Cultural Museum.
Xining is located in the eastern part of Qinghai Province and lies on the upper Tsongchu River (Huangshui River). An important attributory of Yellow River. It is formerly part of Tibet’s Amdo province, and a little over one million Tibetans inhabit Qinghai’s minority Tibetan prefectures of Haibei,Hainan,huangnan,Golog, Yushu and Haixi.
Now Xining is the political, economic, and cultural center of Qinghai Province with an average altitude of about 2,200 metres (7,200 ft). Human activity in the region can be traced to 2,100 years ago. Xining has six colleges and universities, eight hospitals, some four hundred plants and mines and a few bustling commercial centers where the cuisine reflects the province’s ethnic diversity. Ethnic minorities, mainly consisting of Hui (Muslims) and Tibetans, account for about 15% the city’s one million people. East part of Xining around the biggest Mosque in Qinghai province, is mainly inhabited by Hui Muslims. But there are total of 5 ethnic minorities such as Tu, Sala, Mongolian.
23.07/Day 2: Xining – Tsigorthang – Drakar Tredzong monastery – Tsigorthang (Xinghai) [3300 м] Amdо
Beginning your journey into the wilderness of Tibetan Plateau. Tsigortang town is situated near the scenic power-place of Drakar Tredzong – ‘white monkey fortress’, which is considered as one of the most important sacred sites in Amdo. There are about 500 monks and 20 Buddhist mentors staying here. Hermits and Tibetan yogis are doing their retreats in the caves located in the mountain cliffs in this area. If time permits, you can do a 2.5 hours hike around the monastery with great view of the monastery and nomads areas nearby. Stay the night in Tsigorthang.
24.07/Day 3: Tsigorthang –Mt. Amnye Machen – Mado  Amdо
Continually driving west about 220km of rolling grassland, you will make a left turn from highway G214 towards TawuSholma. You will see the snow peaks of Mt. Amnye Machen and other high and rocky mountains. Afterwards, drive to Maduo. which lies at 4350m. Take a short walk up to see prayer flags and Master Padmasambhawa’s Statue on the hillside. Overnight in Maduo.
25.07/Day 4: Mado – Kyegumdo (Yushu) [3700 м] Amdо—Кham
Drive through some of the remote areas of Tibetan Plateau. You can see yak hair and white nomadic tents and their yaks and sheep scattering on the leisurely grassland. Continue on to Jyekundo, a large town populated almost entirely by Tibetans. There are many famous sites around Jyekundo, including a picturesque local monastery and an enormous pile of carved stones featuring Tibetan prayers. Overnight in Jekundo or Yushu.
26.07/Day 5: Kyegumdo – Yushu Horse Festival [3700 м] Кham
Drive to the horse racing ground to watch the horse races. Even though horse race is one of the biggest activity in this event, but there are also many other cultural activities you can see and experience, such as traditional group dancing, yak riding, singing competition, traditional dress show. etc. Afternoon, we drive back to Yushu town.
27.07/Day 6: Kyegumdo – Sershul monastery (Shiqu) [4200 м] Кham
Spend in the morning in Yushu. After lunch, drive 120km towards east to Sershul Monastery. Serhul Monastery is a Gelukpa monastery lies on the beautiful hillside with bending river a front. This is the biggest monastery in Sershul area which hosts more than 500 monks at the present. There were 1500monks in it’s peak in 19th century. This place also offer great hiking opportunity on the mountain behind the monastery.
28.07/Day 7: Sershul monastery – Dzogchen Valley [4100 м] Кham
Drive from Sershul town which is a small trading town for the local nomads through some beautiful open valleys with covered by yaks, you will reach the famous Dzochen retreat center. Dzochen Monastery is recognized as the major pilgrimage site of Tibetan Buddhist in the eastern Tibet and as one of the largest Monasteries of Nyingmapa school in Kham region. The monastery is founded by Fist Dzochen Pema Rigzen in late 16th century on the advice of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Later expended by his students, including Drichen Rabjam, Tenpei Gigme and by his successive incarnations. Dzochen tradition is one of the most popular practice in the west. The monastery has a picturesque landscape with Golden roof temples in front with forest and snow caped mountains as a background. We will camp or stay a very basic guesthouse in a village.
29.07/Day 8: Dzogchen Valley – Yilhun Lhatso lake – Tro La pass – (Derge) [3250 м] Кham
Visit the beautiful lake – Yihun Lhatso, a place that locals consider holy. You can see many Mani Stones (Sutra prayers carved on the stone) with different colors on the shore. This crystal clear lake is surrounded by snow capped mountain. After spend few hours at the lake, continue on to the famous Chola Mountain 6168m. Drive over the mountain pass at 5000m and then down to Derge.
30.07/Day 9: Dege – Palpung monastery – Dzongsar monastery [4000 м] Кham
Visit the DegeParkhang Printing House, one of the most important Buddhist scripture printing houses. Discover manual printing, which is done with carved wood blocks. The king Tenpa Tsering brought Dege to the peak of it’s power by conquering the outlying northern districts of Dzachuka. Under his instructions and assistant from local tribes, Dege Parkhang/ Dege Printing House was founded in 1729. There are total of 217.000 wooden printing blocks housed in the this printing house and the works of this print house has been used all cross Tibet Plateau. Afterwards, visit Dege Gomchen Monastery which was founded in 1448, the monastery originally built as a Sakyapa Monastery, therefore, it has kept strong ties with Sakyapa and the center of Ngor Gompa. You can distinguish the Sakyapa lineage by checking the purple color with white stripes. Stay in Dege.
31.07/Day 10: Dzongsar monastery – Katok monastery – Pelyul monastery (Baiyu) [3100 м] Кham
Driving along the Yangtse River you will reach the border of Sichuan and Tibet Autonomous Region. Take shift to left continue drive through some deep valley and forests, Baiyu (Pelyul) town will be appeared on the leftside of the river. Before get to Pelyul, we will make a detour to Katok Monastery, a great Nyima sect Monastery. The Pelyul Monastery was founded in 1665 in the Kham province of eastern Tibet (present-day Baiyu, Sichuan, China) by Kunzang Sherab, the First Palyul Throne Holder. Stay in Pelyul.
01.08/Day 11: Pelyul monastery – Yachen Gar monastery [4000 м] Кham
Continue driving along the river in the deep valley, the road start ascending up to a open grassland nomadic area. Yarchen Gar is located not far from the main road. Yarchen Gar is the biggest nunnery or Buddhism learning center for nuns in entire Tibet. We stay in the Yarchen Guesthouse.
02.08/Day 12: Yachen Gar monastery – Litang (4020 м) Кham
Drive about 300km southeast from Yarchen Gar, we reach Litang. Litang is a nomadic town with an population of 50.000, and 90% of the population are Tibetans. This is also a major trading town, all the nomads live around Litang come to this town for their daily needs and necessities. Another highlight in the town is the Litang Gompa or Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery, a Gelukpa monastery located at the outskirt of the town. This is famous due to the birthplace of 7th Dalai Lama. The 10th Dalai Lama also stayed in the monastery for long time. Stay in Litang.
03.08/Day 13: Litang – Dartsedo / Kangding [2550 м] Кham
We will drive about 300km to Dartsedo today, the road condition is much better from now on. Kangding sites at an elevation of 2600m above sea level and it is the largest town in Gantse Prefecture. Once we arrive Kangding, we will visit Dordrak Monastery, a monastery located in the town with a history of 450 years, afterwards, we can take walk around town and Paoma Mountain or Dentok Ri in Tibetan, can be seen not far from the town. If time allows, there are few other monasteries nearby. Stay in Kangding.
Optional: drive to Rongdak and overnight there.
04.08/Day 14: Dartsedo / Kangding – Chengdu [500 м] Кhам
Drive from Kangding to Chengdu
05.08/Day 15: Departure from Chengdu. End of the service.
Say goodbye to your guide and driver