EKD02 Explore The Last Shangrila – Yading Nature Reserve Chengdu-Danba-Yading-Kangding-Chengdu 13 Days Circle Tour


Highlights: Yading Nature Reserve,Explore “the last Shangila”,Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park,Mt. Gongga, “King Mountain of Sichuan”,Muge Tso Lake,Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages etc.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided Tours
  • Activity Level Moderate
All about the EKD02 Explore The Last Shangrila – Yading Nature Reserve Chengdu-Danba-Yading-Kangding-Chengdu 13 Days Circle Tour.

Duration: 13 days 12 nights

Departure: April – December.

Route: Chengdu –118km/2hrs- Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base -100km/2hrs- Siguniangshan Town -112km/2hrs40mts- Danba Zhonglu village -15km/30mts- Suopo -114km/2hrs25mts- Tagong -94km/2hrs- Yajiang -132km/2hrs20mts- Litang -150km/2.5hrs- Daocheng -110km/2.5hrs- Yading Nature Reserve -110km/2.5hrs- Daocheng -150km/2.5hrs- Litang -196km/4hrs- Xinduqiao-80km/2hrs- Kangding -75km/1hr45mts- Moxi Town-160km/3hrs- Mt. Mengding-138km/2hrs15mts- Chengdu

*Wolong Shenshuping Base, also known as China Giant Panda Garden in Wolong Nature Reserve.
*Mt. Siguniang, reputed to be the “Queen of Mountains in Sichuan” and “The Oriental Alps”.
*Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages, known as the most beautiful villages all over China.
*Tagong Grassland,the most harmonious and beautiful grassland in the Tibetan plateau.
*Xinduqiao Town is the “Light and Shadow World”, paradise of photographers.
*Litang, one of the highest county on earth, really experiencing the roof of the world.
*Yading Nature Reserve — Explore “the last Shangila” in mysterious Kham
*Muge Tso Lake, the biggest alpine lake in northwest Sichua
*Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park, the lowest altitude modern oceanic glacier
*Mt. Gongga, “King Mountain of Sichuan”, the highest mountain in Sichuan.

Explore “the last Shangila” — Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve from Chengdu, discover the most incredible beauty of the land including majestic snow mountains, expansive meadows, glacier lakes and forested valleys. Yading Nature Reserve in Daocheng is one of the most beautiful places on the Tibetan plateau in western Sichuan, famous for its wonderful sceneries including three holy snow capped mountains, forested valleys, clear rivers, glacier-fed lakes and abundant wildlife. This overland tour will take you to the real Shangri-La in the world – Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve. The landscapes along the drive and Yading Nature Reserve itself will make the whole journey worthwhile. Additional you will also be arranged to visit the Buddhist monastery in Tagong grassland and the Zhonglu Tibetan village in Danba to learn the Tibetan religion and culture. The travel season we recommend for Yading Nature Reserve is from late April to early Nov. . April to June is the best time to see the flourishing flowers blooming and the majestic snow peaks in the clear weather. July to August is the rainy season, the forest is at its best green, but however the trails up to the milk lake and five color lake may be get destroyed by the water sometimes and there is a big chance that you may not see the peaks due to the foggy weather. September to October is considered as another best time to visit Yading Nature Reserve, the scenery along the overland journey and at Yading Nature Reserve is at its most brilliantly colorful in Autumn season and the snow capped peaks will be often seen due to the clear sky.

Overview of Kham Tibetan Area:
Kham is one of the 3 main traditional regions of Tibet, along with U-Tsang and Amdo and is located in the eastern and southeastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau. Kham is a large area covering over 924,000 kilometers² (356,000 miles²). Kham is home to approximately 2 million Tibetans or 35% of the total Tibetan population. Parts of Kham lie in the eastern portion of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), western Sichuan, southern Qinghai and northwest Yunnan provinces.

Kham is the most geographically diverse region of Tibet. Kham, traditionally known as Chushi Gangdruk which means “4 Rivers, 6 Ranges”, contains the headwaters of many of Asia’s longest and most important rivers. The Mekong, Yangtze, Yellow and Salween rivers all begin in Kham. These rivers cut deep canyons and gorges throughout eastern Kham. There are numerous mountain ranges and high peaks throughout the area. The Kunlun Mountains (which includes the Bayan Har/Bayan Kala Range) form the far northern boundary of Kham while the far eastern extent of the Himalaya’s form the southern boundary. The rugged Hengduan Range, which includes the Daxue Mountains, are along the eastern border of Kham and mainland China. The highest peak in Kham is Minya Konka, which rises to 7556 meters. Other notable peaks in Kham are Mt. Chola, rising to 6168 meters in Dege county and Mt. Bukadaban in Drido county rising to 6860 meters.

Unlike in TAR where tourism is strictly restricted, the Tibetan regions of old Kham are open to foreigners just like all other areas of China. Only some parts are exceptions, like Larung Gar are not open to foreign visitors. You can visit Kham with only having a Chinese visa. Kham as the “Ethnic Corridor Of Tibet”, as its vast and sparsely populated territories are inhabited by over 14 culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic groups. The Kham even has well preserved the Tibetan Culture and lifestyle. here are lots of beautiful home-stays and less restriction to travel around the villages, you can also easily interact with locals and enjoy the local lifestyle. Join us to experience the stunning landscapes, beautiful homestay, authentic Tibetan culture and lifestyle in Kham. Welcome to join us for a memorable experience in Kham.

Itinerary at a glance:​
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu, transfer to hotel, check in. O/N in Chengdu
Day 2: Chengdu –118km/2hrs- Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base -100km/2hrs- Siguniangshan Town O/N in Siguniangshan Town
Day 3 : Siguniangshan Town -112km/2hrs40mts- Danba O/N in Danba Zhonglu village
Day 4: Zhonglu Tibetan Village -16km/45mts- Suopo Ancient Towers -16km/45ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village
Day5 : Danba Zhonglu village -114km/2hrs25mts- Tagong -94km/2hrs- Yajiang O/N in Yajiang
Day6: Yajiang -132km/2hrs20mts- Litang -150km/2.5hrs- Daocheng O/N in Daocheng
Day7: Daocheng -110km/2.5hrs- Yading Nature Reserve (Pearl Lake) O/N in Yading Village
Day8: Yading Nature Reserve (Luorong Pasture + Milk Lake & Five Color Lake) -110km/2.5hrs- Daocheng O/N in Daocheng
Day9 : Daocheng -150km/2.5hrs- Litang -196km/4hrs- Xinduqiao O/N in Xinduqiao
Day10: Xinduqiao -80km/2hrs- Kangding -75km/1hr45mts- Moxi Town O/N in Moxi Town
Day11: Full day Hailuogou Glacier Park Exploration O/N in Moxi Town
Day12: Moxi Town -160km/3hrs- Mt. Mengding-138km/2hrs15mts- Chengdu O/N in Chengdu
Day 13: Drop off to Chengdu airport, service end !

  1. Day1 Arrive in Chengdu, transfer to hotel, check in. O/N in Chengdu

    Be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. If time permits, visit the Kuanxiangzi (wide lane) and Zhaixiangzi (narrow lane), it used to be home to officials in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and are among the city’s cultural heritage sites still intact today. Originally, single-story houses and courtyards featured the specialty of the area. To relive the taste of local life years ago, tea houses and folk arts are readily found in the area while displays of the lifestyle, dialects, food and customs of Chengdu in the past will be reinstated in museums. As an option in the evening(200CNY extra), enjoy a wonderful variety show of Face changing and Flame Spitting Out of Sichuan Opera.

  2. Day2 Chengdu –118km/2hrs- Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base -100km/2hrs- Siguniangshan Town O/N in Siguniangshan Town

    Drive about 1.5 hours to reach Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base. This base is also known as China Giant Panda Garden. The base is highly simulated to Giant Panda’s habitat hidden deep into mountains. Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base (China Giant Panda Garden), a research center newly constructed after Wenchuan Earthquake, is about 22 kilometers from the former site – Wolong Hetaoping Base and covers a total construction area of nearly 20,000 square meters, about 20 times the area of Hetaoping Base. This project is supported by Hong Kong SAR Government and designed according to Green Samsung standards. From the perspective of appearance, the open and spacious base is like a villa in Tibetan and Qiang minority style, which allows a large activity space for pandas. Afterwards, we drive towards Mt. Siguniang (2 hours). On the way, we can see the ruined old panda base. The road snakes across the beautiful Wolong Nature Reserve, passing by rivers and gorges till it reaches the Balang Mountain tunnel. It’s one of the highest mountain in Sichuan, and sometimes on the mountain, one can see vast spreading clouds-sea. When descending at Maobilang Pass at another side of mountain, one can get the best panoramic view of Mt. Siguniang.

  3. Day3 Siguniangshan Town -112km/2hrs40mts- Danba O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village

    Morning drive to hike in Changping Valley, one of the valleys at Mount Siguniang National park which are famous for the four snow-capped peaks and the three beautiful valleys stretching from Rilong town with the landscapes of alpine forest, grasslands, and lakes etc. Mt. Siguniang consists of 3 big valleys, namely Shuangqiao Valley, Changping Valley and Haizi Valley; as Shuangqiao Valley is possible to visit mostly by sightseeing bus with some good hiking trails, Changping Valley and Haizi Valley are suitable for enthusiastic hikers, both valleys take one full day to explore by foot, horse-riding service (self-paid) is available throughout those two valleys also. Bring yourself with some water and snack on the way because there is no restaurant inside the valleys. If you choose hiking, today must be a tiring day, but the amazing sceneries on the way definitely pay off at end of the day. Most tourists praise that those 3 valleys plus the peaks compose the most beautiful picture s in western Sichuan. Drive to Danba for overnights. Danba sits in a deep valley at the confluence of two rivers, with another three river valleys joining the first two nearby. Each of these five valleys is equally stunning, with rugged Tibetan villages clinging to steep, fertile mountainsides above a brown river streaked with white in places where swift currents collide.

  4. Day4 Zhonglu Tibetan Village -16km/45mts- Suopo Ancient Towers -16km/45ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village

    Wake up early and you may take a walk around at Zhonglu Tibetan Village for peace of mind. You may also discover Tibetan culture and life. Afterwards, set out to visit Suopo Ancient Towers. Suopo has 84 ancient watchtowers remained, are the most concentration of watchtowers in the world. The exteriors are built with stone to make them as solid as they could be, while the inside facilities are mostly made of wood. These watchtowers have angular shape and slip walls with wide bottoms and narrow tops in the height ranging from 20 meters to 60 meters. Watchtowers were originally constructed to watch out threatens and attacks from the outside world. Some were built to store valuable goods, or were used as a place of worship. Zhonglu Tibetan Village has an altitude of 2,200 m, is located in Danba County. Zhonglu in Tibetan means worship place together of human and God. Zhonglu Tibetan village has many attractions such as historic watchtowers and many local houses of Tibetan residents.

  5. Day5 Danba Zhonglu village -114km/2hrs25mts- Tagong -94km/2hrs- Yajiang O/N in Yajiang

    Drive to Tagong (altitude 3,730m) with 3 hours in the car, the landscapes on the way is good. Tagong Grassland is located in Tagong Town, Kangding of Sichuan Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture at an elevation of 3730 meters, and is about 113 kilometers from Kangding, with Sichuan-Tibet Highway passing through. Backing against the famous Haizi Shan Mountain, Tagong Grassland possesses flat terrain, plenty water and lush grass and groups of flocks and herds, within which there are such spots as Tagong Temple, Muya Gold Tower and Yala Snow Mountain, etc. Upon arrival, you will be arranged to visit Tagong monastery, a nice example of a typical Tibetan monastery, with its statues, painted walls, thangkas, incents smells and plenty of monks dressed in their carmine robes. After enjoys the sunset over Yala holy mountain, another 40 minutes drive to Xinduqiao (altitude 3,300m), the heaven for photography. Continue drive to Yajiang for overnight.

  6. Day6 Yajiang -132km/2hrs20mts- Litang -150km/2.5hrs- Daocheng O/N in Daocheng

    Drive to Daocheng (altitude 3,700m) via Litang (altitude 4,010m), it is a quite long journey taking roughly 7-8 hours on the car. Morning cross over the Gao’ersi pass (about 4,410m high) to Yading courty, from where follows another two high passes (about 4,700m high) – the Jianziwan & Kazila, the landscape on the way is very good including deep valleys, snow capped mountains, pastures dotted with sheep and yaks. Lunch at Litang. With its 4010m altitude, Litang county is no doubt the highest city in the world. In addition to its beautiful scenery & spectacular local Tibetan customs, another tourist attraction is the Hose-racing Festival in every August. Therefore, if you are here at the very right time, you’ll never miss the chance for the hose-racing & dressing show. Another 146km ride to Daocheng will be continued afterwards. Daocheng is a county that you will enjoy because of its rich soil & Tibetan culture, and a good place for recharging yourself before Yading. You may relax yourself by bathing at the hot spring & the Tibetan local dancing show.

  7. Day7 Daocheng -110km/2.5hrs- Yading Nature Reserve (Pearl Lake) O/N in Yading Village

    After breakfast at the hotel, drive about 2 hours to Shangrila town, enjoy the beautiful landscapes on the way.Upon arrival at Shangri-la town, you need to take the local sightseeing bus to Yading village, the start point for your next one and half days exploration at Yading Nature Reserve. From Yading village (altitude 3,800m), enjoy the scenery of Chonggu Temple and the holy peak of Xiannairi. From Chonggu Temple trekking up to Drolma-la tso (Pearl Lake), the best place to view the holy peak Xiannairi. Later afternoon return to Yading village for overnight.

  8. Day8 Yading Nature Reserve (Luorong Pasture + Milk Lake & Five Color Lake) -110km/2.5hrs- Daocheng O/N in Daocheng

    Try to get up early in the morning and go to Chonggu Temple for the stunning sunrise, then take the local battery cart to Luorong Pasture, it is nestled on a high and flat valley encircled by the three sacred mountains with expansive meadows and surrounding forests. The pasture is dotted with brooks, lakes and the Gongga River cuts through the grassland posting a majestic view. Then hike up to Milk Lake and Five color lake (altitude 4,700m) (roughly 6 hours round trip by hiking) or you can take the horseback riding to Sheshengya first, then trek up to Milk Lake & Five Color Lake (about 4-5 hours, the horse riding fee is on your own). It is a challenging trekking, but its all worth for the spectacular scenery. Later afternoon get back to Yading village and take the local sightseeing bus back to Shangri-la town where you will meet the driver and head to Daocheng for overnight.

  9. Day9 Daocheng -150km/2.5hrs- Litang -196km/4hrs- Xinduqiao O/N in Xinduqiao

    After breakfast at the hotel, start driving back to Xinduqiao. On the way, you may choose to have a stop at Litang, an important transit town along the ancient trade business route between Tibetans from Tibet and the local Hans at Kangding and Ya’an city. At Litang, you can choose to visit Litang monastery, one of the larger Gelupa monasteries in Sichuan Kham area, this monastery has close and tight relations with the 7th, 10th, and 11th Dalai Lhama. Then continue to Xinduqiao-the photographer’s paradise. Xinduqiao Town is a wonderful fairyland known as the ”Light and Shadow World” and is also a great location for photography lovers. The magical land has endless grasslands, winding streams, golden cypress, rolling hills dotted and cattle and sheep that graze peacefully. At Xinduqiao, you can catch a glimpse of the Gongga Mountain peak and Millennium Temple. Visiting Xinduqiao during the different seasons you will capture the changing colors of the village. During spring and summer Xinduqiao is blooming with amazing colors. By the time autumn approaches the whole scenery is red and yellow with the leaves ready to fall. In the cold winter you can expect to capture fantastic snow scenes.

  10. Day10 Xinduqiao -80km/2hrs- Kangding -75km/1hr45mts- Moxi Town O/N in Moxi Town

    Driving pass the 4218m Zheduo mountain to Kangding, enjoy the nice views along the way. Kangding (Dartsendo), the largest city and capital of Ganzi (Garze) Tibetan Prefecture, in western Sichuan Province. Historically it was an important business center between China and Tibet on the Tea-horse-road. It is the center of Kham Tibet, a religious, economy center of Sichuan. After lunch, Visit Muge Tso Lake, about 26km away from Kangding. Muge Tso Lake covers an area of 500 square km. At an altitude of approximately 3’800m.it is the biggest alpine lake in northwest Sichuan, it is a national protection area.
    Drive to Moxi town via Yajiageng Red Rock Beach Park, Yajiagengis part of the National Scenic Area of Gongga Mountain and is also the boundary mountain of Kangding and Luding County. Red stone created the magic of Gongga Mountain – the first red rock beach in the world. On the banks of the glacier, each stone is covered with a red coat, and the red rocks that accumulate on both sides of the river turn into a flowing red color, which flows down the clear glacier water. The color is bright red, endless, and magnificent. Red stone was born in ancient times. Like the dinosaurs and ancient ferns in the ancient ice age, red stone already existed before human beings were born. Today, the existing red stone is extremely rare. From the perspective of the distribution area, the Red Rock in the Gongga Yanzigou is the world’s largest.

  11. Day11 Full day Hailuogou Glacier Park Exploration O/N in Moxi Town

    Hailuogou National Glacier and Forest Park with its entrance located at the Moxi Ancient Town. We advise you to buy some snacks or have a quick lunch before entering the national park, because it’s inconvenient to have meals inside the national park. Take the sightseeing bus to Camp 3 (1 hour), from there you can either take the cable car (CNY 150, round trip) to camp 4 to view the large icefall of the glacier or hiking downwards to the beautiful glacier relics, to choose which totally depends on weather. If weather is good, to Camp 4 is advised, otherwise, glacier relics are also very good choice. The last cable car from Camp 4 down to Camp 3 departs at 4 PM and the last sightseeing bus leave Camp 3 to entrance departs at 5PM, so make sure you won’t miss anything. There is one 4 star hotel at Camp 3 if you want to stay inside the national park, though it’s more expensive, yet you can not only enjoy the famous Hailuogou open air hot spring spa at Camp 2 surrounded by the snowcapped mountain but also view the golden sunrise over the Mt. Gongga next morning just through the window of the hotel.

  12. Day12 Moxi Town -160km/3hrs- Mt. Mengding-138km/2hrs15mts- Chengdu O/N in Chengdu

    Drive to visit Mountain Meng Ding, it is the birthplace of the world’s tea culture, as well as being home to the earliest tea plantations ever recorded in written Chinese, according to the earliest legend of tea planting by Wu Lizhen (200 BC-53 AD), from Mingshan County, Ya’an, Sichuan. Living at the top of Meng Ding Mountain, the Taoist was the first person to plant tea in the world, and was known as ”the ancestor of tea planting”. The altitude, soil and climate of Meng Ding Mountain are very suitable for growing tea, so as far back as over 2,000 years ago, in the Western Han Dynasty, ”the ancestor of tea planting”, Wu Lizhen, began to plant domesticated wild tea, symbolizing the beginning of a human-plant tea history. Mengshan tea has long been regarded as a magic bullet for curing diseases among people, so it got the name of ”Holy Tea” and Meng Ding Mountain has been hailed as ”the Hometown of Holy Tea”.
    While traversing the Western Sichuan Plain, drive to back to Chengdu via Chengdu-Ya’an express way.

  13. Day13 Drop off to Chengdu airport, service end !

Mount Siguniang

Mt. Siguniang, reputed to be the “Queen of Mountains in Sichuan” and “The Oriental Alps”.

Xinduqiao Town

Xinduqiao Town is the “Light and Shadow World”, paradise of photographers.

Muge Tso Lake

Muge Tso Lake, the biggest alpine lake in northwest Sichua

Mount Meng Ding

Mountain Meng Ding, it is the birthplace of the world’s tea culture, as well as being home to the earliest tea plantations ever recorded in written Chinese.