Theme: Himalayan Soft Adventure
Tour Code: VH-74
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This unconventional journey takes you from Gansu province via Qinghai province to Tibet. The journey entails visit to some very important monasteries of Gelukpa-sect in Tibet Buddhism like Labrang, Kumbum, Jokhang, Drepung, Sera, Barkhor and Tashilunpo as well as the Potala Palace. Have an experience of exotic local conditions and customs and take pleasure of natural landscapes comprising snow clad mountains, sparkling highland lakes, vast meadows, emerald-green forests, typical plants and rare wild animals in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.
Day01 Flight to Peking:
Arrive at Peking by flight.
Day02 Peking - Lanzhou flight WH2116 1710/1920 or WH2112 1125/1335 1N in 3*Jincheng hotel:
After arriving at Peking airport fly to Lanzhou. Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu province, which lies in the middle of loess plateau of China. For long it has been an important, historical city on the Silk Road. The Yellow river runs all across Gansu province.
Day03 Lanzhou- Bingling - Xiahe 80+280 km 1N in 2*Labrang hotel B/L/D:
After having your breakfast visit Thousand-Buddha Caves in Bingling (approximately 80 kilometers) over the Yellow River by boat. The grottos, built long ago in 420 AD have statues which are older than those present in Dunghuang Grottos. In the evening reach in Xiahe situated at an altitude of 2,900 meters. This place is exclusively inhabited by Tibetans. In the afternoon pay a visit to Labrang monastery; it is among the most important religious centre lying on the northeast border of the Tibet region. The monastery erected in 1710 features among the six grand monasteries in Tibet area. For centuries it has proved as a connecting link between Tibetan and Mongolian Lamaism.
Day04 Xiahe - Xunhua - Tongren 260 km 1N in 2*Huangnan hotel B/L/D:
In the morning pay a visit to Labrang monastery which lies near Xiahe, one of the most important religious centers n the northeast border of the Tibet region. The monastery constructed in 1710 happens to be one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet area. It has served for centuries link the Tibetan with Mongolian Lamaism. While you are proceeding to Tongren halt at Xunhua (the first station in Qinghai province). It is the hometown of the 10th Pantschan lama and especially noted for the presence of divine lucky tree. According to legend he was recognized as the "holy child" by the Pappel tree near his ancestral house. Reach Tongren in the evening.
Day05 Tongren - Xining 210 km 1N in 3*Qinghai hotel B/L/D:
Visit Longwu monastery of Gelukpa sect. It was constructed by the rulers of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) as a monastery of Sakya-sect. Also visit Wutun village, which is the center of Tibetan Regong-art blending religious art and folk art. Next proceed to Xining, the capital of Qinghai province. This city inhabited with Tibetan is also the residence of Uygur, Kazak and Hui minorities.
Day06 Xining - Kumbum - Koko Nor 26 + 160 km 1N in simple tent hotel B/L/D:
During the journey visit Kumbum monastery (Ta'er Si) of Gelukpa-sect built in 1560 in Huangzhong County. It is one of the six grand monasteries of Tibet. Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Lamaistic "yellow hat sect" and 14th Dalai Lama both were born here. Kumbum-monastery plays an important role to connect the Mongolian with the Lamaism. Nowadays, many Mongolian gather here for the purpose of worship. Next cross over Sun-Moon-Mountain (Ri Yue Shan). In 641 Wencheng princess of Tang Dynasty crossed over this mountain; here you can find a sun-pavilion and a moon-pavilion on the summit which have been built so that the people can halt for a break here. The Sun-Moon Mountain has been the distinguishing line that separated the meadow and agriculture area. Reach Koko Nor Lake in the late afternoon and accommodate yourself by the lake.
Day07 Koko Nor Lake - Dulan 320 km 1N in simple Xingdu hotel B/L/D:
In the morning take a drive to Dulan along the Koko Nor Lake. It is the largest salty lake in China spanning an area of 4,500 square kilometers and located at an altitude of 3,194 meters above sea level. The big lake dubbed as "pearl on the highland" is known for its fascinating scenery. "Koko Nor" means "blue lake" in Mongolian language because of its shape and color that resembles moon. There is a tiny island in the lake that is called "the heaven of the birds". After driving 200 kilometers stop by Tsaka salty lake where you can feel the salty wind. Arrive at Dulan in the late afternoon.
Day08 Dulan - Golmud 360 km 1N in 2*Golmud hotel B/L/D:
Drive through the Tsaidam basin. The major part of this region is desert with pockets of oasis. This basin lies to the north of the Amnyemaqen Mountain. The road to Golmud is just along the foot of the mountain. The Xiangride oasis is the last oasis that can be found in the desert. Arrive at Golmud in late afternoon. It has a civilization center where Tibetan culture and Han culture is in harmony with each other.
Day09 Golmud - Tuotuoheyan 420 km 1N in simple Tuotuohe hotel B/L/D:
Take a drive through the vast wilderness and Tsaidam meadow on the Tibet-Qinghai-Plateau. This journey is along the road that lies on the foot of the Kunlun-mountain. Move upwards by a steep valley to cross over the 4.837- meters-high Kunlun Pass. After you pass by the First Bridge over the Yangtse River reach Tuotuoheyan (located in head stream of River Yangtse)
Day10 Tuotuoheyan - Naqu 430 km 1N in 1*Naqu hotel B/L/D:
Move southwards as you cross Tangra Shan Mountain. The environment is in harmony with local animals like eagles, sheep, cattle and yaks along with the snow covered mountains and tents belonging to Tibetan farmers. It is a place to relax.
Day11 Naqu - Lhasa 360 km 3N in 3*Shambala hotel B/L:
Leave Naqu and take a southward trip over the Qing-Tibet plateau. Master 5,200-meters-high Queer pass while you are driving through Nyainqentangra Shan Mountain. Arrive at the "holy city" Lhasa in the late afternoon.
Day12 Lhasa B/L:
In the morning pay a visit to Potala erected in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet. After the construction it served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas. Another important place is Dralha Lhupuk (meditation cave) where Pelden Lhamo, the goddess of protection can be found. Visit Jokhang monastery in the afternoon; it is the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers. At this place countless pilgrims come for daily worship. The temple, erected in 647, is among the earliest wood-and-masonry structures found in Tibet. Walk by a big free market known for stalls selling local specialties situated on the Barkhor Street near Jokhang. Drive to Norbulingka (meaning the garden of treasures in Tibetan language). It is located in the western suburbs of Lhasa; this palace complex constructed in 18th century has been the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas.
Day13 Lhasa B/L:
In the morning pay a visit to Drepung monastery which is considered as the sacred land of Gelukpa sect. It was created in 1416 and has been the home to second, third and fourth Dalai Lama. In the afternoon pay a visit to Sera monastery. It was built in 1419 and has been regarded as an important Buddhist seminary. The presence of rose plants gives the place another name of "the court of wild rose". Currently it is home to 200 lamas.
Day14 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse 260 + 90 km 1N in 3*Shigatse hotel B/L:
Pass by the Yamdrok-Tso Lake, which is the third-biggest holy lake in Tibet. This place is ideal for taking photos. Cross over Kangpa-La Pass (5000 meters) to arrive at Gyantse in the afternoon. Then visit Kumbum Pagoda (100-thousand-Bouddha's-pagoda) and Pelkor Monastery reputed for its splendid Buddhist Tibetan art; both these were built in the 15th century. Then drive to Shigatse, which is the second largest city housing 40,000 Tibetan inhabitants.
Day15 Shigatse - Lhasa 290 km 1N in 3*Shambala hotel B/L:
In the morning visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelukpa sect, which is the seat of the Panchan Lamas; it features among the 6 grand monasteries in Tibet. In the monastery you can witness a huge gilded statue of Maitreya (Bouddha of the future). In Tibet Buddism, Panchen Lama is considered as the embodiment of Maitreya Buddha. After sightseeing come back to Lhasa.
Day16 Flights Lhasa - Chengdu - Peking 1N in 3*Taiwan hotel B/L:
Proceed to airport in the early morning and take a flight to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. On arrival at Chengdu have your lunch at the airport and leave for Peking by flight. Once you are at Peking proceed to the hotel.
Day17 Peking - home B:
Proceed to the airport and take a flight back to your home.
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