Mt.Qingcheng ratified as Cultural Heritage by UNESCO is the headstream of Chinese Taoism. the initiator of Taoism.
EKJ03 Gyarong-Kham Exploration Chengdu-Jiuzhaigou-Wolong-Danba-Kangding-Hailuogou-Chengdu 13 days Tourfrom
Highlights: Jiuzhaigou National park,Wolong Shenshuping Base, Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages,Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park,Mt. Gongga, “King Mountain of Sichuan” etc.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeGuided Tours
Activity Level Moderate
Duration: 13 days 12 nights
Departure: April – December.
Route: Chengdu -75km/1hr- Dujiangyan Irrigation system -25km/50mts- Mt.Qingcheng -258km/4hrs38mts- Songpan Old Town -102km/2hrs- Jiuzhaigou National Park -108km/2hrs8mts- Huanglong National Park- 25km/45mts- Chuanzhusi town –283km/5.5hrs- Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base -100km/2hrs- Siguniangshan Town -112km/2hrs40mts- Suopo Ancient Towers -16km/45ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village -114km/2hrs25mts- Tagong -36km/45mts- Xingduqiao -80km/2hrs- Kangding -75km/1hr45mts- Moxi Town -160km/3hrs- Mt. Mengding-138km/2hrs15mts- Chengdu
*Dujiangyan Irrigation system,the oldest and only surviving no-dam irrigation system in the world.
*Mt.Qingcheng – one of the birthplaces of Taoism with a history over 2000 years.
*Songpan has a history over 2300 years, a town of military importance of ancient China.
*Jiuzhaigou National park, the most beautiful national park in China.
*Huanglong National Park together with Jiuzhai Valley, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
*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.
*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.
Gyarong Region of Tibet
Ngari is located in the far west region of Tibet. U-Tsang is located in the central region while Kham is found in the southeast and Amdo is in the northeast. One area you might not be very familiar with is the Gyarong region. Gyarong, also spelled Jiarong, lies in the heart of Sichuan province in a small area right between Amdo speaking Tibetans and Kham speaking Tibetans. Gyarong Tibetans number around 175,000 and are mostly found in 6 counties in north-central Sichuan. Five of the counties are located in Ngawa/Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, while one county is found in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (though a small Gyarong population also lives in Dartsedo/Kangding). Here is a list of the counties where Gyarong Tibetans are found: Barkham/Ma’erkang,Trochu/Heshui, Chuchen/Jinchuan, Tsenlha/Xiaojin, Lunggu/Wenchuan, Garze Prefecture, Rongtrak/Danba. Though officially grouped with the rest of Tibetans into one of China’s 55 recognized minorities, some people disagree as to whether the Gyarong people are actually Tibetan or not. Gyarong people speak a Qiangic language that is much different than Tibetan and cannot be understood by Tibetan speakers. Also, some aspects of the culture, particularly their clothing, is much different that other Tibetans. There is even disagreement among other Tibetans, some of whom say that the Gyarong people should not be classified as Tibetans, but should be classified as their own separate minority group.But anyway, all of the Gyarong people refer to themselves as Tibetans.
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:
Day1: Arrive in Chengdu, transfer to hotel, check in. O/N in Chengdu
Day2: Chengdu -75km/1hr- Dujiangyan Irrigation system -25km/50mts- Mt.Qingcheng. O/N at the foot of Mt.Qingcheng
Day3: Mt.Qingcheng -258km/4hrs38mts- Songpan Old Town -102km/2hrs- Jiuzhaigou National Park O/N in Zhangzha Town
Day4: Full Day Jiuzhaigou National Park Exploration. O/N in Zhangzha Town
Day5: Zhangzha Town -108km/2hrs8mts- Huanglong National Park- 25km/45mts- Chuanzhusi town O/N in Chuanzhusi town
Day6: Chuanzhusi town –283km/5.5hrs- Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base O/N in Wolong
Day7: Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base -100km/2hrs- Siguniangshan Town O/N in Siguniangshan Town
Day8: Siguniangshan Town -112km/2hrs40mts- Suopo Ancient Towers -16km/45ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village
Day9: Danba Zhonglu village -114km/2hrs25mts- Tagong -36km/45mts- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao.
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 !
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 -75km/1hr- Dujiangyan Irrigation system -25km/50mts- Mt.Qingcheng. O/N at the foot of Mt.Qingcheng
Dujiangyan Irrigation system is one of the world first irrigation systems and ratified into the World Cultural Heritage list. It`s located on the upper reaches of the Minjiang River. It was built between 306-251 BC. by the local people under the guidance of Libing and his son. Fortunately the Dujiangyan Irrigation system brings the vast Chengdu Plain under irrigation and has protected it against droughts and floods for over 2,300 years. Because of this Chengdu Plain has turned into the land of abundance with a mild climate and fertile soil.
Mt.Qingcheng ratified as Cultural Heritage by UNESCO is the headstream of Chinese Taoism. the initiator of Taoism, Zhang Taolin in the end of East Han Dynasty, came to Qingcheng Mountain to instruct Taoism from Shanxi. there still go round supernatural stories describing how he fight hard with devils, how the ”Brush Pen Groove” and the ” Three Island Stone” formed. After Taoist master Zhang Daoling passed away, Qingcheng Mountain also became prosperous as the headstream of Taoism, original Mountain of Taoist Master.
Mt.Qingcheng -258km/4hrs38mts- Songpan Old Town -102km/2hrs- Jiuzhaigou National Park O/N in Zhangzha Town
Drive to Jiuzhaigou along Minjiang River Valley via Duwen Express and then follows Wenchuan County(1326m), Miaoxian County(1580m) and Songpan County(2850m), Chuanzhusi town (3100m) and further north till Jiuzhaigou National Park. Songpan has a history over 2300 years, it was a town of military importance of ancient China. It is a pity that most of the city walls and historic sites have become nothing, but there are still some ancient buildings being well-reserved. With abundant water, sunshine and colorful flowers, the period from June to October would be a good time for tourists to do some sightseeing. Owing to the unique geographical environment and social environment with multination, Songpan is the epitome of national structure and culture of Aba prefecture. The interrelationship shows in many areas, such as building style, folk habits, and so on. 17km from Songpan, you will reach Chuanzhus towni, it’s an important hub whose left road will lead you to Ruo’ergai grassland and Langmusi and if you take the right road, you will either end up in Jiuzhaigou or Huanglong. From Chuanzhusi, you will see Shangmo village, a distinct Tibetan village, Jiabo ancient town, and pass famous “Nine Sharp Turns”, etc. Eventually, you will reach Zhangzha Town in front of Jiuzhaigou National Park.
Full Day Jiuzhaigou National Park Exploration. O/N in Zhangzha Town
Today is a full day sightseeing in the Jiuzhaigou National park. Jiuzhaigou has won many brilliant reputations, such as World Natural Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO, 5A National Park, and Best Waterscape in China. Today, you will found out all the reputations worthy any of them. Water is the soul of Jiuzhaigou, and there are more than 108 lakes, several large groups of waterfall scattering on three valleys shaping a large “Y”. Board environmentally friendly buses to access the Park. Hiking in the Shuzheng and Zezawa Valleys; Pearl Sands and Shuzheng Waterfall; the Tibetan village of Shuzheng, and numerous picturesque lakes including Panda Lake, Long Lake, Rainbow Lake, Tiger Lake and Rhinoceros Lake. The wild forest and pure high snow mountains, streams flowing quietly among valleys, beautiful waterfalls dropping from high mountains, and colorful lakes with amazing reflection of colorful forest. Today you will be fully-guided through your visit to Jiuzhaigou. After the sightseeing, drive back to your hotel. Then summon your energy for a Tibetan folk customs show at night, consisting of singing, dancing and other programs. (The entrance fee of 180 CNY is not included in the tour price).
Zhangzha Town -108km/2hrs8mts- Huanglong National Park- 25km/45mts- Chuanzhusi town O/N in Chuanzhusi town
Drive south to today’s highlights Huanglong National Park. Covering an area of 700 square kilometers, Huanglong National Parka is another highlight in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. It is also famous for its colorful ponds, snowy mountains, deep valleys, and dense forest. Between 3,145 and 3,578 meters above sea level at the foot of Xuebaoding, the main peak of Mt. Minshan, lies a 3.6-km-long calcified hill, resembling a giant golden dragon galloping among the virgin forest, and this is how the mountain was named. More than 3,400 ponds, varied in color and shape, picture the most spectacular view in the world, known as the Jasper Lake Under Heaven. World-known for beautiful valley, snow-capped mountains and primitive forest; plentiful different shaped and crystal colorful calcified ponds, caves, waterfalls, streams, stones. Lying about 360 kilometers away from Chengdu, Huanglong National Park together with Jiuzhai Valley has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, as well as World Biosphere Reserve, Green Globes 21, etc. Huanglong is also home to many endangered species including the Giant Panda and the Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed Monkey. Huanglong’s beauty is beyond mere words, you need see it in person to truly appreciate this ”Fairy Land on Earth” as well as the ”Calcification Museum”.
Chuanzhusi town –283km/5.5hrs- Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base O/N in Wolong
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.
Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base -100km/2hrs- Siguniangshan Town O/N in Siguniangshan Town
Morning drive to Siguniang, upon arrive, 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 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.
Siguniangshan Town -112km/2hrs40mts- 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.
Danba Zhonglu village -114km/2hrs25mts- Tagong -36km/45mts- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drop off to Chengdu airport, service end !
Nuorilang Waterfall on Jiuzhaigou National Park
Wolong Shenshuping Base, also known as China Giant Panda Garden in Wolong Nature Reserve.
Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages, known as the most beautiful villages all over China.
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.
Muge Tso Lake, the biggest alpine lake in northwest Sichua
Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park, the lowest altitude modern oceanic glacier