OLA03 Explorwestchina Trans Kham Sichuan-Tibet on Northern & Southern Route Overland Adventure 14 Days Tourfrom
Route:Chengdu – Wolong – Danba – Bamei – Kasa Lake – Garze – Yilhun Lhatso – Dege – Chamdo – Bangda – Baxoi – – Ranwu – Bome – Nyingchi – Basum Tso Lake – Lhasa – Potala Palace – Jokhang monastery – Drepung monastery – Chengdu.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeDiscovery
Activity Level Strenuous
Hard overland tour by 4WD vehicle.
Visit Panda in Wolong.
Highland-lakes and grassland.
Folkway of Qiang-Minority, Khampa- and Gyarong-Tibetan.
1000 year old block houses and beautiful Tibetan village in Danba.
On the roof of the world to Lhasa.
Beautiful landscapes Nyingchi.
Three nights in Lhasa with great sightseeing program.
This epic journey through Sichuan, across the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa, has attracted explorers and adventurers, pilgrims, traders, and even missionaries for hundreds of years. The journey is a long one, and requires a certain dedication on the part of the traveler, as well as a certain resilience to bumps! We have considerable experience of this route and know exactly what is required in terms of transportation, accommodation, and red tape, not to mention the fascinating sights along the way. The first step of this great overland adventure takes us to Pandas in Wolong. Then we drive to the 1000 year old block houses and beautiful Tibetan village in Danba. We head west to Garze which currently boasts the largest monastery in Kham and then continue to the sacred lake of Yilhun Lhatso (Xinlu Hai Lake) and finally the cultural centre of Dege where we can relax for a day. Cross Jinsha Jiang (upper reaches of Yangtse) we entry in Tibet. In Chamdo, the biggest city in East-Tibet we’ll visit Kalden Jampaling Monastery which dates from the 15th century, and forms the focal point of this important market town at the confluence of two tributaries of the Lancang Jiang (Mekong). At this point we take the southern route to Lhasa: cross Nu Jiang (Salween), pass by Ranwu Lake, cross Lulang forests and visit Basum Tso Lake, at last we reach the holy city Lhasa. In Lhasa we visit the Potala Palace, which stands on the Red Hill in the city proper, the holiest place Jokhang as well as Drepung and Sera.
Arrive in Chengdu
Arrive in Chengdu, capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Picked up by the local guide at airport and transferred to hotel.
Chengdu - Wolong - Danba
In the morning leave for Danba. We’ll cross the Wolong Giant Panda Natural Reserve, where about 50 giant pandas are bred in a semi-natural environment. After lunch at Wolong, cross the foggy Balang Mountain (4,523 meters) and pass by the Siguniang Shan Mountain (four-girls mountain, highest peak 6250 m), late in the afternoon we reach Danba (1900 meters).
Danba - Bamei
The local people are called Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetans. It is said that they are the descendants of the people of the ancient Xixia Kingdom, who merged with the local people after they fled from Gansu and settled here. Danba has long been acclaimed as the Kingdom of Thousands of Ancient Blockhouses. Visit the ancient block towers in Suopo. They were made of clay and block and look fine from outside with solid thick walls. Time permitting; visit the Jiaju Tibetan Hamlet. Jiaju, 10 kilometers away from the county city, is one of the rare places in China that has preserved complete Tibetan style residences. More than one hundred buildings keep the same architectural style with a complete and unique character of Jiarong Tibetan residences. Under the blue sky, the Tibetan residences decorated in red, white and black are strewed at random but also in order from the bottom to the middle slope of the valley. In the afternoon drive to Bamei. Pass by Donggu Scenery Spot (the Natural Bonsai Valley), which is situated at the Donggu Village 21 kilometers to the southwest of Danba County. In the valley, the clear Yak River flows through and numerous varieties of plants are well preserved and the lush and damp forests make it hard to view the sky. Strangely shaped peaks and giant stones form a forest of rocks; ravines stretch out in length and width here and there; and waterfalls flying down from the steep rock with thunder-like sounds. Many lakes and hot-water pools at the bottom of the valley create a world of steam. Too many wizardly sceneries to see, just like the fairyland on the earth. We reach Bamei in the late afternoon.
Bamei - Kasa Lake - Garze
Drive to Garze, the real cultural and religious center for the Tibetans living in Sichuan. In Tibetan ”Garze” means ”white and beauty”, named after the famous temple in the county. On the way have a rest by the Kasa Lake. Upon arrival, visit Garze monastery of yellow sect (Gelug). The temple was built in1552 by Juji Angwengpencuo the disciple of the Fifth Dalai Lama.
Garze - Yilhun Lhatso - Dege
In the morning pass by Manigango to visit Xinlu Hai Lake (Yilhun Lhatso). Located at the foot of Chola Mountain in Dege County, Xinlu Hai Lake Scenic Spot is 98 kilometers from Garze County and 100 kilometers from Dege County. It is 4040 meters above the sea level, with an average depth of 10 meters and a maximum depth of 15 meters. There are plateau spruces, firs, Chinese weeping cypresses, azalee trees and meadows around the lake. It is also a preserve for wild animals like white-lipped deer. We walk on the left side of the lake to its top, the gate of a short valley where the melted snow and ice pour into the beautiful lake Yilhun Lhatso. After that we drive up to the Chola Pass (5,000 meters), get across the steep Chola Mountain, the highest peak of which is 5,650 meters. In the afternoon we visit the Dege Printing House which has always been well reputed as the ultural Treasury at the Foot of the Snow Mountain.?As the national leading protected entity of cultural relics, it is the biggest printing house in Tibetan area.
Dege - Chamdo
Drive across the Jinsha River (upper reaches of Yangtze) Bridge connecting Sichuan and Tibet heading for Chamdo. We will cross over no less than four passes: Khargang La (4,352 m), Lashi La (4,450 m), Jape La (4,680 m), and Tama La (4,511 m), with clutters of prayer flags waving in the wind on the peaks and friendly nomads waving at us from the grasslands. Straddling the Mekong river, Chamdo (3200 m) was the former capital of Kham in East-Tibetan area and has a rich history as one of the earliest centers of the Tibetan plateau and home of Kalden Jampaling, the great monastery founded between 1436-44 and developed through the centuries by successive Living Buddhas.
Chamdo - Bangda - Baxoi
In the morning visit the Kalden Jampaling (Qiangbalin Monastery). Then We follow the Mekong downstream through alpine forests to Kyitang village, where the Khampa houses are sturdily built on horizontal timbers. Then we turn west to cross the Lona Pass (4,511 m) and follow the Yu-chu River downstream to Bangda, a town junction where Lhasa connects to the Chamdo-Kunming Highway. The Yu-chu valley lies north of the Salween gorges in the highlands of Tsawagang, where the immense geographic spatial dimensions of the land dwarf our presence. While distance covered is less than 100 km and probably half that by the way the crow flies, the terrain is steep, as defined by the 180 switchbacks we will conquer when we cross Gama La Pass at an altitude of 4,618 meters. 1N in simple Yingbinguan Hotel
Baxoi - Ranwu - Bome
On the road to Bome, we will stop in Ranwu to cast our lines in the pristine waters of Ngan Tso (Ranwu Lake), a spectacularly crystal blue lake cupped by snow peaks. After our lunch of freshly caught fish, we will wander along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog (2,743 m), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountainsides.
Bome - Nyingchi
We will go down several hundred meters in altitude as we reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tongmai where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet. Crossing Serkhyem La Pass (4,515 m) we will have spectacular views of Mount Gyala Pelri (7,150 m) and Mount Namchak Barwa (7,782 m). Late in the afternoon arrive in Nyingchi (Nyingtri, Linzhi).
Nyingchi - Basum Tso Lake
The garrison site Nyingchi is an ideal place for the discovery of two neighbouring high points: From the golden roof of the Gelugpa monastery Buchu to view the unique scenery of the Lamaling temple which is only a few kilometers runway. After lunch we drive to the Basum Tso Lake.
Basum Tso Lake - Lhasa
More than 6000 m high snow covered mountains make the lake film like, well, the leading actor is, without doubt, is the island monastery – Tsodzong. We take a boat travel around the island and up to the Tsodzong monastery on it. In the afternoon we drive on along the Niyang river for Lhasa. Afterwards we pass through scenic terrain with lush alpine forests and clear snow-melted streams and over the impressing Mi La pass (4865 m) to Lhasa. Late in the afternoon arrive in Lhasa (3650 m), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. The city is situated on the bank of the Kyichu River and has long been the ”Holy Land” of Tibet.
In the morning visit Potala, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures altogether creative a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon visit Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties.
In the morning visit Drepung monastery the sacred land of Gelug Sect., which was established in 1416 and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in. In the afternoon visit Sera monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called the court of wild rose? Today still 200 lamas live in there.
Lhasa - Chengdu
In the morning transfer to Gongga airport (100 km), fly to Chengdu.