Happy Amdo / 4 day tour
1 Transfer from Lanzhou to Xiahe. Overnight in Xiahe
2 Visit the Labrang monastery. Overnight in Xiahe
3 Visit the Sangke grasslands. Overnight in Xiahe
4 Back to Lanzhou via Binglingsi grottoes
Day 1: Arrival at Lanzhou airport or train station and transfer to Xiahe. This takes about 5 hours. Around Lanzhou, we can see many houses made of earth and the mountains are dry and brown. After three hours driving, we come into the beautiful green mountains of Xiahe.
Day 2: Today you will visit the Labrang Monastery. This is the largest Tibetan monastery outside of Tibet province. It houses more than 2000 monks from the Yellow Hat tradition and there are 6 schools of Buddhist teachings. In the morning you will join in with the monastery tour. A monk from the monastery guides this tour in English. In the afternoon, our guide will take you to see the printing temple where the sutras are still printed by using wooden blocks. You will also climb up the Golden Stupa for a bird's eye view of the whole complex and you can walk part of the kora which is the prayer wheel route.
Day 3: This day you will go to the spectacular Sangke grasslands. On these vast grasslands you will see herds of yaks and sheep, and you will enjoy some short hiking trips. You will also be able to visit a nomad tent, where you will surely be invited for some tsampa, which is the Tibetan staple food consisting of ground barley mixed with butter and boiling water. Also you can taste the delicious Tibetan yak milk tea. You can easily spent the whole day roaming around the grasslands, enjoying the scenery and the beautifully dressed Tibetan nomads.
Day 4: Today you will go back to Lanzhou via the Bingling caves. Here you can see 694 Buddhist images carved into the cliffs of a 60 meter high gorge. The most beautiful image is a 27 meter high statue of the Future Buddha Maitreya. To reach Bingling, you first go by car to the pier, then travel about one hour by speedboat across the Liujiaxia reservoir. Here the scenery is stunning with soaring cliffs on both sides. After visiting Bingling, you again have to travel for about one hour back by speedboat before you continue by car to Lanzhou.