Day 1: Arrive ChengDu.
Day 2: ChengDu - WenChuan - MaErKang. Set off from ChengDu early in the morning. Enter WenChuan area – rebuilt after the 2008 earthquake. Visit ancient villages of Qiang and Tibetan ethnic minority and stay overnight at MaErKang. MaErKang was an important trade hub long the ancient tea and horse caravan route. A wide river cuts through the town. Houses stand on the ascending slopes of the banks.
Day 3: MaErKang - Sertha (SeDa). Our journey continues westwards to the town of Sertha. Larung Gar Buddhist Institute (or Sertha Buddhist Institute) is a striking cluster of red buildings in the remote valleys of Larung near Sertha. It is the largest and most influential Buddhist school, attracting students from all over the world.
Day 4: Sertha - GanZi. Heading west of Garze, the landscape becomes more picturesque after LuHuo. Here you will see endless mountains and the turquoise Kasa Tso (Kasa lake). Spend the night at the beautiful Garze county.
Day 5: GanZi - MaNiGanGe - XinLuHai. After breakfast, we will head towards Mt QueEr. On the way, there are numerous monasteries, grasslands and lakes. Huge mani rocks stand silently on the coast of the shimmering XinLu Lake. The majestic Mt QueEr is at a distance.
Day 6: XinLuHai - DeGe - BaiYu. Leaving the sacred XinLu lake, we will cross the highest pass of the journey at MtQueEr. Next is DeGe – hometown of legendary Tibetan King Gaersa and famous DeGe Printing Institute. Dege Printing Institute is the largest and one of the oldest printing institutes in Tibet. Its huge collection of about 280 thousand printing blocks is a precious treasure trove of Tibetan life, history and culture. We will spend the night at BaiYu, a pleasant little town with a splendid local monastery.
Day 7: BaiYu - Friendship Grassland. The highlight of the day is Friendship Grassland. Vast and silent, its beauty cannot be described. A relaxing day, enjoy!
Day 8: Friendship Grassland - XinLong. We are entering the forest zone. Deep within is the mysterious 700-year-old Ningma monastery – WoBu Monastery. We will pass through PiCha Gou, a stunning place in autumn, and rest at Xinlong county.
Day 9: XinLong - LiTang. XinLong is a laidback town where you can experience the authentic culture of the Khampa Tibetans. Linger, people watch and soak up the atmosphere of this town. You will see rugged Khampa men in their fur hats, equestrian attire, armed with silver carved knives. They may use motorbikes or jeeps but out there in the grassland, they are still superb horsemen like their forefathers. Leave for LiTang in the afternoon.
Day 10: LiTang - KangDing. LiTang at 4100 m is one of the highest town on earth. A grassland plateau surrounded by mountains, it is famous for its annual horse riding festival. We will wake early and go to the Ganden Thubchen Choekorling Monastery for a panoramic view of LiTang. Get your cameras ready! The majestic monastery itself – a Yellow Hat Sect monastery – is an attraction too. If we are lucky, we may catch the intense monks’ debate session. We will leave for KangDing in the afternoon. You can look forward to a relaxing hot spring and a good night’s sleep!
Day 11: KangDing - ChengDu. Our journey is coming to an end. In a few hours, we will be greeted by the bright lights of ChengDu.
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