8 Days: Chengdu-Barkham-Dzamthang-Pema-Thangkor Grassland-Darthang-Takstang Lhamo-Labrang-Lanzhou or Xining
Chengdu is by far the most relaxed city in China, very popular with both Chinese people and foreigners. The city offers many tourist excursions, tea houses, and the famed Sichuan cuisine.
Beyond Chengdu, it's a very different world. The nomadic and agricultural lifestyle, the natural beauty of wild flowers and beautiful lakes and the majesty of places of religious learning will transport you into a higher realm of consciousness.
We can meet you at the Chengdu airport and we can leave the nest day or if you’re spending a few days in Chengdu, we can arrange for your airport transfer to your hotel and then come to meet you in the morning of your departure for Kham. We can also refer you to our friends in Chengdu if you’re interested in Chengdu activities.
Day 1: Our first destination is Barkham (2,670 m), 360 km from Chengdu, at the northern edge of the Gyalrong region. This charming town is embedded in a long and narrow valley that stretches for 200 km. With a population of 50,000, it is an excellent place to acclimatize and enjoy comfortable lodgings. Visit Barkham Monastery. Hotel (4-star hotel available.)
Day 2: Drive to Dzamthang via Thuje Chenpo Monastery and Elephant Mountain. Dzamthang is a scenic mountainside town that offers fair hotels, banking and shopping. You can also visit Dzamthang Monastery.
Day 3: Drive to Pema town. On the way several monasteries, we will stop at several monasteries and enjoy the architecture, sacred art and culture of monastic Buddhism. Home-stay or hotel.
Day 4: Drive through the Thangkor grasslands and visit the thriving complex of Darthang Monastery. In the distance, you will be able to view the extraordinary Nyenpo Yurtse mountain range. These mountains are the birthplace of the Golok people. There are fourteen peaks, well over 5,000 m. You may also see the sunset at the first bend in the Yellow River. Simple hotel in Darthang.
Day 5: Drive to Taktsang Lhamo aka Langmusi. This is a small village popular with Tibetans because it hosts several festivals a year. Kirti and Serti monasteries can be visited. Langmusi is also well suite for casual hiking and horse trekking which can easily be arranged. Guest ouse.
Day 6: Drive to Labrang. This town (aka Xiahe) is both Muslim and Tibetan and is well developed for tourism. Home-stay or simple hotel.
Day 7: Visit Tashikyil Monastery, one of the largest Gelugpa institutions in Tibet. Fortunately, it survived relatively intact during the Cultural Revolution and since then much has been renovated and expanded. Outside the main gate, you can visit the important School of Buddhist Studies where some of the greatest lamas and scholars continue teaching. Home-stay or simple hotel.
Day 8: From Labrang, you can choose to end your journey by driving to Lanzhou or Xining. Lanzhou is an industrial city of about 3 million people. Many travelers to Amdo or the Silk Road will begin or end their journeys here. Xining is the capital of Qinghai and the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau. We will bring you to your hotel.