Xining – Chengdu: Through Eastern Tibet and over the Himalaya


On this expedition we cross the eastern Himalayas from the capital of Qinghai Province (Xining) and drive to the capital of Sichuan: Chengdu. We cross grasslands, drive along the Yellow River through landscapes of sandstone, meet  nomads and visit one of the largest monasteries of Tibet: Sertar. We often pass areas beyond 3000 meters and cross curvy mountain passes. At the Tibetan Thanka handcraft center at Tongren we learn about Tibetan art and visit the old town with pilgrims. A journey through the original, rural China and Tibet. This adventure can be booked together with the Chengdu – Dali journey

 

Date:On request
Price:On request
Highlights / Route:Xining – Qinghai-Lake (Kokonor) – Yellow River – Tongren – Xiahe (Labrang-Monastry) – Langmusi – Sertar- – Aba – Chengdu
Length:~ 1.900 Km
Duration :11 days
Style / Character:Adventure tour with overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses
Media:
Vehicles:4×4, SUV, Van, Bus

 

Google maps only offers a basic overview on the route. Many smaller roads are not documented.

Daily itinerary for Xining – Chengdu:  Through Eastern Tibet and over the Himalaya

DayRoute: Description
1 Xining arrival day: Pick-up service from the airport and acclimatization. Joint Dinner in the provincial capital of Qinghai. 
2 Xining – Kumbum Monastery – Qinghai Lake: After breakfast we start with our trip. Before we get to the nearby 3,800 meters Qinghai Lake we take a break and visit the monastery of Kumbum Monastery (Ta He Si). The monastery dates from 1578 and is one of the six largest monasteries of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Qinghai Lake (Kokonor) is considered one of the largest salt lakes in the world.
3h
 
3 Qinghai-Lake – Yellow River: From Qinghai Lake we go further to the Tibetan highlands and continue over a plateau which is inhabited by nomads and grazing yaks, before arriving on the shores of the Yellow river. The view on the Qinghai Lake from the top is spectacular. We visit the Xiaqiong Monastery, which is one of the most important in this part of Tibet (Amdo).
4h
 
4 Yellow River – Tongren: The journey takes us over Tibetan grassland to Tongren where we spend the night in a hotel. Before we arrive in Tongren we pass the monastery Achung Namdzong. It is one of the most important monasteries of the Nyingma school. Tongren is a center of Tibetan art and culture. Here you can purchase hand-painted Thangkas ( Tibetan paintings on animal skin ) or just watch the goings on the street.
4h
 
5 Tongren – Xiahe (Labrang-Monastery): Labrang is one of the largest temple complexes of the Gelugpa school in the world. Several mountain slopes are planted with small one- or two-storey accommodation and temples for the monks. The mountain slopes are surrounded by grasslands and around 2800m altitude. Today the monastery is one of the most important educational institution of Tibet. In the 18th century it became a trading center because of its location on the Silk Road and Tibet. The monastery is located in a river valley.
3h
 
6 Xiahe (Labrang-Monastery) – Langmusi: Langmusi is a small Tibetan village amidst grassland and coniferous forest and marks the boundary between the provinces of Gansu and Sichuan. The village is surrounded by small red and white painted monasteries, such as the Kerti Monastery, yak herds and pine trees. this night we stay in a small guest house.
4 1/2h
 
7 Langmusi – Kirti Gompa: The road leads along the Yellow River on our way to the south. Soon we are back on almost untrodden roads surrounded by grassland, mountains, nomads and the vast sky. Today’s destination is near the Kirti Gompa, another important monastery.
6 1/2h
 
8 Kirti Gompa – Sertar: The Way to Sertar (or: Seda) leads over 50 km of slopes. The effort is worthwhile, because Sertar is a highlight of this trip. Sertar is the largest Buddhist educational institution in the world and was built up the hill over generations. The amazing view and the architectural extent can not be understood only by looking at photos.
8h
 
9 Sertar – Aba: Slowly but surely we are leaving the Tibetan grasslands and drive through pine forest and along small lakes to Aba where we will stay a longer time in our camp.
  5 1/2h
 
10 Aba – Chengdu: On the last day of riding we get back to civilization. Chengdu is a large, modern and vibrant city and also the provincial capital of Sichuan.
  6h
 
11 Chengdu Departure Day:Transfer to the airport.

 

Included Services:

Mountain view in Qinghai 5 Overnights stays in hotels and guest houses
English speaking tour guide
Vehicle
Meals (Breakfast, Lunch), Mineral Water
Help with applying a Chinese visa

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