Xinduqiao Town is the “Light and Shadow World”, paradise of photographers.
EKD03 Explore the Last Shangrila Yading Nature Reserve and Kham Tibetan Culture Discovery 13 Days Circle Tourfrom
Highlights: Yading Nature Reserve,Explore “the last Shangila.Yarchen Gar Monastery,Gatuo Monastery,Dege Parkhang Sutra-Printing House,Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages etc.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeGuided Tours
Activity Level Challenging
Duration: 13 days 12 nights
Departure: April – December.
Route: Chengdu -266km/3.5hrs- Kangding -78km/2rs- Xingduqiao-196km/4hrs- Litang -150km/2.5hrs- Daocheng -110km/2.5hrs- Yading Nature Reserve -110km/2.5hrs- Daocheng -150km/2.5hrs- Litang -153km/3hrs- Xinlong -44km/1hr- Cuoka Lake -126km/3hrs- Yarchen Gar -129km/2hrs45mts- Baiyu County -40km/1hr- Gatuo Monastery -60km/1hr15mts- Jinshajiang Bridge -26km/35mts- Derge Parkhang -73km/1.5hr- Queershan Tunnel -21km/21mts- Yulong La Cuo -12km/28mts- Manigango -91km/2hrs- Garze -97km/1hr40mts- Luhuo County -70km/1hr15mts- Dawu County -166km/3.5hrs- Suopo Ancient Towers -15km/30ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village -112km/2hrs40mts- Siguniangshan town -100km/2hrs- Wolong Shengshuping Panda Center –118km/2hrs- Chengdu
*Muge Tso Lake, the biggest alpine lake in northwest Sichua
*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
*Yarchen Gar Monastery, monastery with lineage of the Nyingma Pa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism .
*Gatuo Monastery, the “mother” of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
*Dege Parkhang Sutra-Printing House,the Dazzling Cultural Pearl,the Encyclopedia of Tibetan.
*Xinluhai Lake is a specific lake and one of the largest glacial moraine-dammed lake in China.
*Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages, known as the most beautiful villages all over China.
*Mt. Siguniang, reputed to be the “Queen of Mountains in Sichuan” and “The Oriental Alps”.
*Wolong Shenshuping Base, also known as China Giant Panda Garden in Wolong Nature Reserve.
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.
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.
Itinerary at a glance:
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu, transfer to hotel, check in. O/N in Chengdu
Day 2: Chengdu -266km/3.5hrs- Kangding -78km/2rs- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao
Day 3: Xingduqiao -196km/4hrs- Litang -150km/2.5hrs- Daocheng O/N in Daocheng
Day 4: Daocheng -110km/2.5hrs- Yading Nature Reserve O/N in Yading Village
Day 5: Yading Nature Reserve (Luorong Pasture + Milk Lake & Five Color Lake) -110km/2.5hrs- Daocheng O/N in Daocheng
Day 6: Daocheng -150km/2.5hrs- Litang -153km/3hrs- Xinlong O/N in Xinlong
Day 7: Xinlong -44km/1hr- Cuoka Lake -126km/3hrs- Yarchen Gar -129km/2hrs45mts- Baiyu County O/N in Baiyu County
Day 8: Baiyu -40km/1hr- Gatuo Monastery (4,800m) -60km/1hr15mts- Jinshajiang Bridge -26km/35mts- Derge O/N in Derge
Day 9: Derge Parkhang -73km/1.5hr- Queershan Tunnel -21km/21mts- Yulong La Cuo -12km/28mts- Manigango -91km/2hrs- Garze O/N in Garze
Day 10: Garze -97km/1hr40mts- Luhuo County -70km/1hr15mts- Dawu County -166km/3.5hrs- Suopo Ancient Towers -15km/30ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village
Day 11: Zhonglu Tibetan Village -112km/2hrs40mts- Mt. Siguniang O/N in Siguniangshan town
Day 12: Siguniangshan town -100km/2hrs- Wolong Shengshuping Panda Center –118km/2hrs- Chengdu O/N in Chengdu.
Day 13: Drop off to Chengdu airport, service end !
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.
Chengdu -266km/3.5hrs- Kangding -78km/2rs- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao
While traversing the Western Sichuan Plain, drive to Kangding via Chengdu-Ya’an & Ya’an-Kangding highway. 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. Afterwards continue drive pass the 4218m Zheduo mountain 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.
Xingduqiao -196km/4hrs- Litang -150km/2.5hrs- Daocheng O/N in Daocheng
Continue drive to Daocheng via Litang. We’ll pass two 4300m high mountains-the Jianziwan & Kazila mountain. Lunch at Litang. With its 4010m altitude, the county is with no doubt the highest one in the world. In addition to its beautiful scenery & spectacular local Tibetan customs, another tourist attraction is the Hose-racing Festival in every August. Another 150km ride to Daocheng will be continued. 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. Daocheng county is of mountain plateau, including the Bowa Moun-tain and the Chitu River. On both banks of the river are broad pastures and stretches of forest. Mt. Bowa, grand and scenic,is sharply distinct during the four seasons: in spring and summer, azaleas bloom to vie each other for beauty, in autumn, leaves as red as flame cover the trees, while in winter, snow clothes all and gleams.
Daocheng -110km/2.5hrs- Yading Nature Reserve O/N in Yading Village
Get up early for a 110km ride to Yading as the road condition from Shangri-la tow to Yading is bad, and what is more important is you still will tour the Yading Valley. One more thing will amaze you in spite of the view is the our young kids. Whenever you pass by, they will stop by the road & solute to you! This must be their way to greet our tourists. So please prepare some small gifts for them. After reach Yading, you’ll enjoy the 2-hour-horse ride to Luorongniuchang and anther 2-hour-ride back to Chonggu monastery. We would like you enjoy the ride but please walk for a while sometime during the horse-riding as you may mot able to walk! Another chance to stay at the local family tonight but it might not has the same good condition as Daocheng’s.
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.
Daocheng -150km/2.5hrs- Litang -153km/3hrs- Xinlong O/N in Xinlong
Drive back from Daocheng to Yajiang via Litang on the half way. Have lunch in Litang, visit Litang Monastery and Litang Old Town in the afternoon. Litang Monastery was built in 1580 by the 3rd Dalai Lama, soon it became one the biggest monastery in Eastern Tibet with more than 4000 monks. The monastery is dedicated to the great Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. In Chinese, the name of the monastery is translated to “forever young monastery”, seems to suggest the mysterious Litang lover of the 6th Dalai Lama and their hopeless love. The monastery is of Gelugpa School, it comprises Jo-Khang (the temple of Buddha), Tso-Chen (Assembly Hall), Tsong-kha-pa Temple (in maintenance), Faxiang (the college) and Tantric Hall, it also preserves treasures like sutras written in Gold, etc. Being a romantic poet, the 6th Dalai Lama wrote one famous poem about Litang: oh you white crane, lend me your wings, I will not linger far, just fly to Litang and back. After his disappearance in 1707, his followers believed this poem has foreshadowed his reincarnation in Litang: the 7th Dalai Lama(1708~1757) therefor was found in the house of Ren-khang who later ruled Tibet for a half century. Today, some auspicious signs are still visible (e.g Lion milk traces on the pillar head) inside Ren-khang. This house is also the birthplace of another 6 important Rinpoches(living Buddha).Ren-khang also has a private museum and a meditation retreat. Around Ren-khang, you may explore the most traditional town of Litang. Among the winding lanes, you can find Litang Folk Museum, Holy Land Youth Book Coffee, Cangyang Village Restaurant, Namtso-Dagye Tibetan Medicine/Incense Workshop, etc.
Xinlong -44km/1hr- Cuoka Lake -126km/3hrs- Yarchen Gar -129km/2hrs45mts- Baiyu County O/N in Baiyu County
After breakfast, set out to Baiyu County. Visit Cuoka Lake on the way. The Cuoka Lake is located in Mari village, Xinlong County, Garze prefecture, Sichuan province. In Tibetan it means the dark sea among the rocks. The lake is an attractive destination not for its scale, but for the five wonderful sights, colourful water, fantastic lake, serene reflection, nomadic fishes and sacred temples around. Yachen Gar (Yachen Orgyen Meditation Monastery) is located 4,000m above sea level, in an isolated valley in Baiyu County. The Yachen Gar being one of the many Nyingma Sect monastery in China, was established in 1985, is one the larger concentration of nuns and monks in the world.
Baiyu -40km/1hr- Gatuo Monastery (4,800m) -60km/1hr15mts- Jinshajiang Bridge -26km/35mts- Derge O/N in Derge
After breakfast, depart to Garze via Derge. The Kingdom of Derge was an important kingdom in Kham from the 15th to the 19th century. It was a centre of industry, religion and politics, with the seat of its kingdom in the town of Dege. You will pass by Jinshajiang Bridge on the way. Jinshajiang Bridge connect Sichuan and Tibet for Chamdo. Gatuo monastery at elevation 4,800m, is located on the mountain top in Hepo village, at the eastern bank of Jinshajiang River, between Derge and Baiyu County. Gatuo monastery takes a land area over 1 square kilometer, huge in size. It is first Nyingmapa monastery built in Kham area, its affiliated monasteries are rampant in Amdo and Kham area, even in Nepal, India and other western countries have its affiliates, enjoying high reputation and respect. Drive to Dege for overnight.
Derge Parkhang -73km/1.5hr- Queershan Tunnel -21km/21mts- Yulong La Cuo -12km/28mts- Manigango -91km/2hrs- Garze O/N in Garze
Visit Derge Parkhang, it built in the 7th year of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty is one of the foremost cultural treasures of Tibet. It is located in in Dege County on the east bank of the Jinshajiang River. It is a living institution devoted to the printing and preservation of Tibetan literature, a printing temple that holds the greatest number of Tibetan woodblocks in the world. In the house are kept more than 200000 blocks of religious, historical, literature and art, medical, astronomical and calendar-arithmetical book editions in Tibetan, of which the Dege block edition of The Great Scriptures cut in the Qing Dynasty is expectably well-known. The Printing house is the largest of the three big Sutra-printing houses in the Tibetan regions of China (Lhasa Sutra-printing House in Tibet, Lhapuleng House in Gansu and Dege Parkhang in Sichuan). Drive to Garze via Queershan Tunnel and Manigango. Queershan Tunnel is said to be one of the world’s highest road tunnel at an average altitude of 4.378m above the sea level. Queershan Pass was an important link across the mountains, connecting Dege and central Tibet. Yilhun Lhatso, also known as Xinluhai or Yulong Lake, is a stunning, holy alpine lake. The lake is backed by the huge glaciers. The stunning alpine lake is said to provide meditation opportunities for those who wish to achieve enlightenment. Yilhun Lhatso Lake is a protected nature reserve, is a holy lake. On the shores of this lake one can find dozens of religious, carved prayer stones.
Garze -97km/1hr40mts- Luhuo County -70km/1hr15mts- Dawu County -166km/3.5hrs- Suopo Ancient Towers -15km/30ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village
Drive to Danba, a legendary place with plenty of beautiful scenery which is famous of “Country of Women”. Danba is also the ”East Female Country” in history. You will be amazed by the stunning scenery along the route from Garze to Danba. Danba Tibetan Villages, a retreat from the world, are known as the most beautiful villages all over China. Local Tibetans here are called “Jiarong Tibetan”. This is what you come here for. Furthermore, you may have the very good chance to enjoy the Jiarong Tibetan customs & stock house slides show by the researchers. Upon arrive 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. Afterwards drive to Zhonglu Tibetan Village, it 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.
Zhonglu Tibetan Village -112km/2hrs40mts- Mt. Siguniang O/N in Siguniangshan town
Drive to visit Mt. Siguniang, hiking 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 Siguniangshan 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 scenery 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.
Siguniangshan town -100km/2hrs- Wolong Shengshuping Panda Center –118km/2hrs- Chengdu O/N in Chengdu.
After breakfast, we will retrace back to Chengdu via Maobiling Ridge, a place where we could enjoy the full view of the Mount Siguniang. Continue drive to Wolong Shenshuping Panda 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 drive to back to Chengdu.
Drop off to Chengdu airport, service end !
Yading Nature Reserve — Explore “the last Shangila” in mysterious Kham
Litang, one of the highest county on earth, really experiencing the roof of the world.
Yarchen Gar Monastery, monastery with lineage of the Nyingma Pa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism .
Gatuo Monastery, the “mother” of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dege Parkhang Sutra-Printing House,the Dazzling Cultural Pearl,the Encyclopedia of Tibetan.
Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages, known as the most beautiful villages all over China.
Wolong Shenshuping Base, also known as China Giant Panda Garden in Wolong Nature Reserve.