West Sichuan Tibetan style / 17 days
1 Chengdu to Barkam. Overnight in Barkam
2 Barkam to Rilong. Overnight in Rilong
3 Siguniang Mountains sightseeing. Overnight in Rilong
4 Rilong via Danba (see the watchtowers) to Tagong. See the Golden Stupa in Tagong. Overnight in Tagong
5 Visit monasteries in Tagong, see monasteries of Bamei and via the Garthar Grasslands to Luhuo, Overnight in Luhuo
6 Visit the Linque monastery in Luhuo, head for Ganzi, where we visit the Ganzi monastery. Overnight in Ganzi
7 Ganzi via Maniganggo to Dege, see wonderful Lhamu Namtso Lake on the way. Overnight in Dege
8 Dege sightseeing, visit the famous printing temple. Overnight in Dege
9 Dege to Ganzi. Overnight in Ganzi
10 Ganzi to Baiyu, on the way visit the Palpun monastery. Overnight in Baiyu
11 Visit Baiyu monastery and sightseeing in the town. Overnight in Baiyu
12 Baiyu to Ganzi. Overnight in Ganzi
13 Ganzi to Litang. On the way visit Haizi mountain. Visit Litang monastery. Overnight in Litang
14 Litang to Kangding. Visit the Jiangansi and Anjue monasteries. Overnight in Kangding
15 Kangding to Hailuogou Glacier. Overnight in Moxi
16 Hailuoguo Glacier sightseeing. Overnight in Moxi
17 Hailuoguo Glacier to Chengdu
Day 1: Chengdu to Barkam today is a long drive, about 8 hours. On the way you can see very beautiful nature and the scenery becomes more and more Tibetan in style. The elevation is going up to about 2600 meters.
Day 2: to Siguniang Mountains. The drive today is very beautiful, a trip through the rugged mountains. We stay at Rilong town, the entrance to Mt. Siguniang National Park.
Day 3: The main attraction of Siguniang Mountains is its unspoiled natural beauty. The unusual shapes of the mountain peaks are rarely seen anywhere else in the world. The blue sky, clouds and mist, snow peaks, ancient cypress forests, rushing waterfalls, and alpine meadows make this area a nature lovers dream. Mt. Siguniangshan consists of four adjacent mountain peaks. It got its unusual name from a local Tibetan legend that says the four peaks are the embodiments of four pretty girls. Today we go hiking or on horse back in Long-Peace Valley. Here we can see the old cypress path, the Lama Temple, the dry lakes and the waterfalls are peaceful and secluded. Hikers can easily reach Withered-trees (Kushu) Shoal via a plank road built into the cliff. But if you are yearning for the true beauty of Long-Peace Valley, you must take a tour on horseback (surcharge).
Day 4: Today we drive to Danba, where the Qiang Tibetan ethnic group lives. We will admire the amazing Danba watch towers. In the afternoon we go to Tagong where we enjoy this nice town and we can see the Golden Pagoda.
Day 5: In the morning we visit the Tagong monastery and Tagong Buddhism college. We continue to the quiet Tibetan town of Bamei (Garthar in Tibetan) where we visit the Tibetan Garthar monastery. It is a small monastery but very famous for “Nine Dragon, Nine Lions” where the number nine stands for imperial power, and the dragon and lion represent the leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery holds religious ceremonies many days of the year, including the Monlam Chempo (Great Prayer Festival). Garthar is a small town, with a spiritual feel to it. The many pilgrims and locals walk the prayer route around the stupas and prayer wheels the whole day. This little town is famous as the birthplace of the 11th Dalai Lama. After enjoying Garthar town, we go to Luhuo via the Garthar grasslands.
Day 6: In the morning, we first visit the Linque monastery , also known as Shouling monastery. It enjoys a high reputation among the monasteries in Kham because the 10th Panchen Lama and the 14th Dalai Lama once stayed here overnight. The Linque monastery has the amazing history of having belonged to many Tibetan sects. Built in 850, it first belonged to Bon sect (Tibet's original belief), it then belonged to the Nyingmapa sect and now it belongs to Gelupa sect (Yellow Hat). In Ganzi we visit the Ganzi monastery. Ganzi has a very rough, Tibetan feel to it. Not many tourists go there so it is all still very "pure".
Day 7: Just after Maniganggo you will visit the Lhamu Namtso Lake, surrounded by rock mountains covered with snow. After that, you will pass the Dege Chola, a 6168 meter high snow mountain from which you have wonderful views of the valleys and surrounding mountains. This is really very spectacular!
Day 8: Dege means "peaceful land" in Tibetan and in Dege you will visit the Printing Monastery It was founded in1729 and is one of the three largest Tibetan ancient cultural centers. In the yard there are more than 320.000 printing plates, and almost all of the more than 1000 Tibetan monasteries get their scripture books from this Dege printing monastery It is regarded as the center of Tibetan culture because of its largeness. It has actually the most comprehensive collection of printed scriptures, since it prints out scriptures of all the different traditions within Tibetan buddhism.
Day 9: Today we have to backtrack to Ganzi.
Day 10: On the way visit the Palpun monastery, the biggest Kagyulpa sect monastery in Kham.
Day 11: Today you have time to visit the Baiyu monastery (of Nyingmapa order). The rest of the day is free to relax and to enjoy this wonderful town in your own pace.
Day 12: Today we have to backtrack to Ganzi.
Day 13: Today we visit the wonderful Haizi mountain. This Nature Reserve is a lakeland plateau, stemming from glacier movement millions of years ago. The many eroded rocks assume impressive grotesque shapes which look like animals or flowers. At Litang, visit the famous Litang monastery.
Day 14: 80 % of population in Kangding is Tibetan. In this special and wonderful town, we visit the Jiangansi monastery of the Nyingmapa sect and the Anjue monastery of Gelukpa sect.
Day 15: Today we drive to Hailuogou National Glacier Forest Park where we can see spectacular glaciers. It is the biggest glacier park in China, where the glaciers are located at a low altitude, its lowest point is only 2,850 meters above sea level. We stay overnight in Moxi town, gateway to the park.
Day 16: A whole day to enjoy the spectacular glacier. You can hike around and take stunning pictures with the sun shining and reflecting on the glacier.
Day 17: On the last day of this tour, you drive back from Hailuoguo Glacier to Chengdu. Driving through the Erlangshan pass, the longest mountain tunnel in China, we get to Chengdu.