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.
EKS04 Mt. Gongga, Hailuogou Ice Glacier and Khampa-Gyarong-Tibetan Region Exploration 10 Days Circle Tourfrom
Highlights: View Mt. Gongga, “King Mountain of Sichuan”, from Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park and Tsemed Pass Mt. Gongga Viewpoint. Including Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages etc.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeGuided Tours
Activity Level Moderate
Duration: 10 days 9 nights
Departure: April – December.
Route: Chengdu -138km/2hrs15mts- Mt. Mengding -160km/3hrs- Hailuogou Glacier Park -75km/1hr45mts- Kangding -78km/2rs- Xinduqiao (3,300m) -62km/1.5hrs- Yaha Pass -36km/1hr15mts- Tsemed Pass -3.6km/8mts- Mt. Gongga Viewpoint -100km/2hrs45mts- Xingduqiao -94km/2hrs- Tagong -114km/2.5hrs- Zhonglu Tibetan Village -112km/2hrs40mts- Siguniangshan town -100km/2hrs- Wolong Shengshuping Panda Center –118km/2hrs- Chengdu.
*Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park, the lowest altitude modern oceanic glacier
*Mt. Gongga, “King Mountain of Sichuan”, the highest mountain in Sichuan.
*Muge Tso Lake, the biggest alpine lake in northwest Sichua
*Xinduqiao Town is the “Light and Shadow World”, paradise of photographers.
*View Mt. Gongga, the last splendid view of Minya Konka at Tsemed Pass.
*Tagong Grassland,the most harmonious and beautiful grassland in the Tibetan plateau.
*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.
Minya Konka is also called Mount Gongga or Gongga Shan. It is one of the most popular trekking destinations in China. Minya Konka is 7556 meters’ tall and the highest mountain in Sichuan Province and also the easternmost 7 thousander in the world. Minya Konka is located in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan within one day’s drive from Chengdu. Minya Konka is a holy mountain among local Tibetan People
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.
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.
Itinerary at a glance:
Day1: Arrive in Chengdu, transfer to hotel, check in. O/N in Chengdu
Day2: Chengdu -138km/2hrs15mts- Mt. Mengding -160km/3hrs- Hailuogou Glacier Park O/N in Moxi Town
Day3: Full day Hailuogou Glacier Park Exploration O/N in Moxi Town
Day4: Moxi Town -75km/1hr45mts- Kangding -78km/2hrs- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao
Day5: Xinduqiao (3,300m) -62km/1.5hrs- Yaha Pass -36km/1hr15mts- Tsemed Pass -3.6km/8mts- Mt. Gongga Viewpoint -100km/2hrs45mts- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao
Day6: Xingduqiao -94km/2hrs- Tagong -114km/2.5hrs- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village
Day7: Zhonglu Tibetan Village -16km/45mts- Suopo Ancient Towers -16km/45ts- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village
Day8: Zhonglu Tibetan Village -112km/2hrs40mts- Mt. Siguniang O/N in Siguniangshan town
Day9: Siguniangshan town -100km/2hrs- Wolong Shengshuping Panda Center –118km/2hrs- Chengdu O/N in Chengdu.
Day10: 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 -138km/2hrs15mts- Mt. Mengding -160km/3hrs- Hailuogou Glacier Park O/N in Moxi Town
While traversing the Western Sichuan Plain, drive to Hailuogou National Glacierg via Chengdu-Ya’an express way. On the half way, 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”.
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 -75km/1hr45mts- Kangding -78km/2hrs- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao
Drive to Kangdin 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. 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 (3,300m) -62km/1.5hrs- Yaha Pass -36km/1hr15mts- Tsemed Pass -3.6km/8mts- Mt. Gongga Viewpoint -100km/2hrs45mts- Xingduqiao O/N in Xingduqiao
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. It is a picturesque small Tibetan town, famous for its plateau pasture scenery, with vivid green grassland, streams, mountains, and Tibetan houses. Xinduqiao also a separating point of the North and South Sichuan-Tibet highway. Mount Gongga also known as Minya Konka, is ‘The King of Sichuan Mountains’, located at the southern part of Kangding in Sichuan, is the highest mountain in Sichuan, with the highest peak of 7,556 m. Mount Gongga is famous for the breath-taking natural scenery like spectacular glaciers, crystal highland lakes, snow-capped mountains, Tibetan nomads people and a very fine adventure travel destination, once listed as one of the top 10 hiking destinations in China. Yaha Pass at the altitude of 4,568m or Tsemed Pass at 4,500m have been gaining popularity in recent years for its favourable location that provides the best view of the magnificent Mount Gongga. Drive back to Xinduqiao for overnight.
Xingduqiao -94km/2hrs- Tagong -114km/2.5hrs- Zhonglu Tibetan Village (2,200m) O/N in Zhonglu Tibetan Village
The scenery is absolutely fabulous en the route to Tagong grassland! Tagong monastery (altitude 3,730m), 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. Continue a 113km drive, you will arrive at Danba– a county where you may see different Tibetan people. Because the 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. A legendary place with plenty of beautiful scenery which is famous of ‘Country of Women’. Danba is also the “East Female Country” in history. Danba Tibetan Villages, a retreat from the world, are known as the most beautiful villages all over China, it is the hometown of Jiarong Tibetans in Sichuan Province. Jiaju Tibetan Village is known as one of the six most beautiful ancient villages in China, is the most unique tourist attraction in Danba County with more than 140 families residing here. The houses are located in the sunny slope of the mountains. Its name, Jiaju, means ‘a hundred families’. It is always the highlight of a Danba tour, during which you will not only enjoy the marvellous nature beauty, but also experience the unique culture of the local Tibetans in Sichuan. Drive to Zhonglu Tibetan Village for overnight.
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.
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 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.
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 !
Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park, the lowest altitude modern oceanic glacier.
Xinduqiao Town is the “Light and Shadow World”, paradise of photographers.
Zhonglu Tibetan Fortress Villages, known as the most beautiful villages all over China.
Mount Siguniang National park which are famous for the four snow-capped peaks and the three beautiful valleys stretching from Rilong town.
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.