- Day 01: Arrival in Kunming and transfer downton, 1900Mts/24Km. Hotel
You'll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel.
You will take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings.
-- Kunming is the capital of southwest China's Yunnan province, a primarily agricultural province of 45 million. Kunming has a population of five million and is located in one of the world's most geographically, ethnically, biologically and linguistically diverse regions. Situated at 1,900 meters (6,233ft) above sea level and 25° north of the Equator it has a rather unique and pleasant climate for a Chinese city.
- Day 02 Kunming to Lunan Yi ethnic autonomous county, 120KM and back to Kunming.
After breakfast, you will be driving to the stone forest which is in Lunan Yi Nationality Autonomous County, at the distance of about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Kunming and requires only a three-hour drive. It covers an area of 400 square kilometers (96,000 acres) and includes both large and small stone forests, as well as many other scenic spots.
The Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. After lunch drive back Kunming to visit the Flowers and Birds Market in the downtown.
- Day 03 Kunming-Dali,2007Mts/360Km by air
Take the morning flight to Dali which is a historically and culturally famous city of China, is renowned for her historical interest and Bai ethnic culture. After landing, you visit the Three Pagodas in Chongshen Monastery which has a history of over 1,800 years located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle.
After lunch, you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat to the Jinsuo Islet in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in JinsuoIsland.InErhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake.
After landing, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. Visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people's Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style. At last, you will visit the Ancient Dali Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. After climbing up to the City Wall of Dali, you will have panoramic view of the Erhai Lake.
- Day 04: Dali-Shaxi- Lijiang, 2400Mts/ 122Km by private car
In the morning ,drive from Dali to Shibaoshan mountain .The most prominent sight at ShibaoShan is the Stone Bell Temple with its 139, well preserved stone carvings. These magnificent stone carvings date as far back as 1300 years to the once powerful Nanzhao Kingdom during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The carvings are testimony for a time when Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet started to spread in the Yunnan area. Another interesting sight is the 'Suspending Temple', also called the Baoxiang Temple. The Baoxiang temple was built on a ledge of a nearly vertical cliff and can only be reached by a long flight of stairs. On a clear day the views from the Baoxiang Temple over the Shaxi valley are simply magnificent.
after lunch drive to Shaxi , Shaxi is the last remaining ancient market town of its kind on the Tea & Horse Caravan Trail. This trail is a trading route that connected Tibet, Sichuan, and Yunnan to countries in southeast Asia, also called the Southern Silk Road.The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has listed Shaxi as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world in 2001. Therefore, Shaxi has recently undergone massive efforts to preserve ancient architecture and culture. Shaxi also got recognized in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH) and the People's Government of Jianchuan County jointly established the Shaxi Rehabilitation Project (SRP).Then drive to Lijiang .
- Day 05: Exploring the old town of Lijiang ,
In and around Lijiang; morning walk through Black Dragon Pool Park to learn about the Dongba shaman culture of the Naxi minority. Lunch in Yuhu village at the foot of Jade Dragon Mountain , visit home of Dr Joseph Rock, 20 th century National Geographic plant collector andNaxi expert. Spend the evening exploring the old town.
- Day 06:Lijiang-Gyalthang-Zhongdian(Shangri la),3200mts,187Km, 4 hrs drive
Drive up to Gyalthang / Zhongdian (now known as Shangri-La). The route will take you up through Tiger Leaping Gorge where the Yangtze River , running off the Tibetan plateau, suddenly turns north, tumbling through a spectacular very deep and narrow gauge. Continue driving up to the Tibetan plateau, stopping to climb up to the great limestone White Terraces at Baishultai. Overnight at the Songtsam Hotel.
- Day 07: Sightseeing Zhongdian.
In Zhongdian, visit SongtsenlingGompa (built 1679), an important teaching monastery, visit a local Tibetan village. Dinner in the Old Town where the local Tibetans dance every evening in the main square.
- Day 08: Shangri-La-Deqin,3550Mts/180Km Hotel
Drive to Deqin [6 hours or 180 km] in the morning, en route, visit Benzilan Town with the workshop of Clay Pottery, Dongzhulin Monastery, Baima Snow Mountain [4400m or 12,000ft
- Day 09: Deqin-Yubeng-Mingyong-Deqin Hotel
Get up early in the morning to enjoy the sunrise with the Prince Peak of Meili Snow Mountain [the highest and most beautiful peak of Yunnan with the altitude of 6740m or 19,000ft], then continue to drive to visit Mingyong Glacier, Yubeng village with the beautiful nature view en route. Drive back to the hotel
we enter more fertile valleys and the architecture also begins changing to the fortress-like compact adobes of Chatreng. Visit the Sampheling Monastery, completely raised during the Cultural Revolution but now restored in grand fashion. Although the monastery was originally Kagyu, the Mongolian army razed it in the 17th century during the 5th Dalai Lama's most aggressive Gelukpa expansion in frontier areas.
Drive around 6.5 hours thru changing terrain. As we get higher and near Sumdo the terrain gets rocky and dryer. We are now in nomad country. At Sumdo we visit one of the oldest Karmapa monasteries in Kham and then continue East towards Daocheng. We will drive to Riwa and stay overnight there. ShengtingYading Hotel
- Day 10 ExploreYading
Morning drive to Yading Nature Preserve (37 km), then we can hike for 2 to 3 hrs to LobsangNutown Pasture, with a very nice view of the RisumGonpo the Three Brother Protectors - namely Chambeyang, Chenrezig, and ChanagDorje. These are the three peaks called the Gagkarling range which botanist/explorer Joseph Rock called the "Sacred Moutain of the Outlaws." In the turn of the 20th century - this area became a robber stronghold. We visit the Chongu Monastery also called the Bandit Monastery by Rock. Afternoon drive back to Riwa. ShengtingYading Hotel
- Day 11 : Drive from Riwa- Daocheng-Lithang
Drive to Lithang over 2 high passes with great views of the glaciated rocky mountains known as Great Stone Garden. If the weather is clear we could have views of Mt. Kawa Garpo and Genyen mountain during this beautiful drive. Stop at the holy Drakar Ney, the sacred site of the Buddha of compassion, which is the main site of worship after the famous summer Lithang races and during the Tibetan New Year. We then enter the grasslands of Lithang. Hotel
- Day 12: Lithang to Xinlong-Ganzi
Morning, visit Lithang. Visit GandenThubchenChoekhorling Monastery (LithangGompa, Litangsi). The monastery is just on the northern edge of town and belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhists. The monastery was founded in 1580 by the third Dalai Lama SonamGyatso on the site of an older Bön-monastery. There are three main temples in the compound, of which one is currently under construction. The oldest seems to be the one on top of the hill, still featuring the wooden construction of the upper rim of the buildings. Inside, you can view several chambers and a bedroom in which the 7th Dalai Lama is said to have resided. Many more famous and influential personal figures were born here, including the 7th Dalai Lama, 10th Dalai Lama, the most influential Zebutsundaba Lama of Mogonia, the 7th Gyamuyang Lama, the 7th, 8th and 9th Pabalha living Buddha of Chamdo monastery and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Xianggen living buddha.
After the sightseeing, drive along the Yalong river valley, enjoy its nature beauty. Then We will get in Ganzi county passing by Xinlong, overnight in hotel. Hotel
- Day 13: Morning, visit Gardze monastery and afternoon,excursion to Yachen Gar or monastery (130Km, 2hrs drive) and back to kardze. Same hotel
Morning, visit Kardzemonatery. The monastery was originally built in the 17th century during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama but the present size was rebuilt. The monastery has 450 monks today. The main assembly hall of the monastery is dedicated to the statues of BhuddhaShakyamuni and statues of Tsongka and his two main desciples, Kedrup je and Gyeltsop Je in the centre, 6 ornaments and two suprems are to the both sides. The wall painting of the monastery is beautiful. There is a chaple next to the main assembly hall which is dedicated to the Lamrim Lama Tsokshing or the Lamrim Lama tree. It is the biggest Lamrim tree or Lamrim refugee tree which I have ever seen.
After that, we went to the second floor of the assembly hall and there is a very beautiful small chaple of Amitayus and the monk in the chapel gives you initiation of Amitayus for your longevity.
The next is the chaple of protector deities which are dedicated to the statues of PaldenLhamo, GyelpoKunga etc. The monks do protector deities prayer every day and they are doing very deep ritual protector deities prayer. The next one is the chaple of Demchok, Jigje, SangwaDhupa etc.
The third floor is the chaple of JowoShakyamuni and mandala of Kalachakara. Next to the Lamrim Lama tree, there is a chaple of MaitreyaBhuddha but we could not visit that chaple of because of the time.
Yarchen Garor monastery officially known as the YaqênOrgyän Temple is located in Baiyü CountyGarzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture , in Sichuan province, China. It lies in an isolated valley 4000m above sea level. The monastery is associated with the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism . With more than 10,000 Sangha members now, it's the largest concentration of nuns and monks in the world. Most of the Sanghas are nuns.
- Day 14: Ganzi to Derge
Drive to Derge which is well known for its Buddhism printing house and its historical role in keeping the Buddhism going. On halfway, passing by Manigange where three roads meet (road to the north is to Yushu, road to west is to Derge and Chamdo, the third is to Ganzi) and climbing over the Chola pass (5050m). Visit Xinluhai (also named as Tsolha lake, elevation: 4040 meters) Hotel
Derge is also a county which is the border between Sichuan and main land
Tibet.FromDerge the road condition becomes no paved but it is good
enough..Derge was the largest and most infl;uential of the five kingdoms of
Kham. the crafts of Derge, particularly in printing and metal work were
renowned throughout Tibet.The most important thing that we can see there are
DergeGonchen monastery and the most famous Derge printing house.The present
monastery was rebuilt in 1980s and the monastery is maily dedicated to Sakya
pa sect so there are more stature about Sakyapa sect.
Derge Printing house is a magnificent three-storeyed building with
original frescoes that were blackened by smoke during the Wanton destruction
of the 1960s, but recently restored with pains taking care. Derge Printing
house was the most popular printing houses for the old government of Tibet
in the past for printing all kinds of scriptures and books.
- Day 15: Visit Derge and then drive to Dzokchen monastery (3800m/170Km) Guest house
Visit the famous Derge Printing house, inside which are piles of collection of wood carved boards for printing. Many of the collections are rare in the world. And then visit the Gengqing monastery, which is close to printing house and this monastery belongs to Sakyapa order.
After the sightseeing in Derge, you will drive to Dzokchen monastery through DergeTrola pass and drive through Murila pass, 4559Mts.
- Day 16: Dzokchen monastery to Sershul(4000m/220Km ) Hotel
Morning drive to Dzokchen monastery from the town at the distance of 3Km. Dzokchen monastery is located in a small beautiful valley with rocky capped mountain. It has main assembly hall, ZangthokPeri and some other temples. The monastery has around 600 monks nowadays. Drive through Murila pass, 4559Mts.
Most of the route between Dzokchen and Sershul is along high altitude grasslands that are filled with yaks. There are only a few small villages along the way.
- Day 17: Serchul town to Serchul monastery, visit and then to Yushu(3700m/158Km ) Hotel
Drive from Sershul to SershulGompa at the distance of 30Km. SershulGompa is a Gelukpa sect and it has 1500 monks nowadays. The most sacred relics of the monastery are a statue of Tsongka, a golden stupa of Tsongkapa in which there is a tooth of Tsongkapa. A statue of Jowo made of white sandal wood, a hat of the present Dalai Lama, a paire shoes of the 9thPenchen Lama and some tomb stupas of the monastery Lamas.
After lunch, we will drive to JyekundoWe drove to Sershul in the valley of rich nomad camps and a pass at the elevation of 4700m. 88Km before reaching Jyekundo, we will reach Zhiwu village. The road condition from Sershul to the pass before reaching Zhiwu village, is very bad.
- Day 18:Jyekundo-Zurmang, 3500mts/210Km, Monastery guest house in the monastery
We drove to Zurmang, 3500mts at the distance of 210Km including visiting ZumarDutsitil. From Kyegundo to Pelthang airport is 15Km and then turn left from the main road to Nangchen. We take the narrow road but in good condition, on the way, we saw some monasteries including Benchen Lama at Pelthang town. We crossed two main passes and then reached at Xiao Zurmang town.
After crossing another pass, we drove on the left to ZurmangDutsitil which is at the distance of 15Km from the main road to ZurmangNamgyeltse. The ZurmangDutsitil was built in around 15th century but the monasteries are all in new buildings. The monastery has a charming Makala chapel and some of the young monks were meditating there and doing Puja to Makala. There is a hermitage above the monastery and the monks said that they are meditating 4 years in the hermitage.
The scenery for today is a narrower valley with rich grass land. They have lots of beautiful nomad camps on the way.We also visited Dodo Gompa which has a long history that it was built during DrogonChoegyelPakpa but it is a complete newly re-built monastery and the main assembly hall is under construction.
- Day 19: Zurmang-Nangchen,3700mts/70Km Gesar hotel in Nangchen
We visited the main assembly hall of themoanstery. inside, it is also under construction, they are building three periods Bhuddhas statues. ZurmalNamgyelJangchupling is one of the biggest Kagyupa monasteries in Kham area and it was originally built in the 15th century. The temple which has more old paintings are also under construction.
After sightseeing, we drove to the east of Zurmang monastery at the distance of 8Km where there is a nunnery openningceremoney. The nunnery has received a special guest from ZurmangNamgyel who is one of thehigest lama of Zurmang called KyabjeGawa Rinpoche. There were lots of monks, nuns and lay people, joining theceremony. All those Khampapeople were wearing traditionalKhampa dress with full of ornaments on their heads, waist especially women. We had a picnic lunch on the way and drove to Nangchen. There are around 70KM to Nangchen. We crossed a pass at 4900mts. On the way, we enjoyed the beautiful nomad camps, gorges with some beautiful trees, rocky hills, Mekong river. From mekong river, we crossed the Bridge and get into G214 high way. From there, Nangchen, 3700mts was just 13Km. We stayed in Gesar hotel in Nangchen which is considered as the best hotel. It has quite clean rooms.
- Day 20: Excursion to Gar monastery-back to Nangchen, 196Km Gesar hotel
We drove to Gar Gompa which is located at the distance of 98Km from Nangchencounty. We took the G214 road for around 20Km and then from a middle of a pass, we turn left side where there is a sighn board of Cha Gompa.
On the right side of the pass, JaGompa is located and it is the seat of Sanggye Tenzin who is the 10th reincarnation now. It is a Karma Kagyupa monastery with over 500 monks now. The monastery has a beautiful ZangtokPelri and the main ground floor of ZangtokPelri is dedicated to the statues of Guru Rinpoche, YesheTsogyel and Mandarawa. The top third floor is dedicated to many old Thangkas including Thangka of Karma successives, Thangka of Amitaba mandala etc. After pass, the scenery is slowly changing from a beautiful grassland with nomad camps into a gorge with dense forest.
It is a complete different landscape of a narrow gorge, rocky mountains, full of trees. We reached Gargon which is located on a rocky hill and the monastery is located into two, upper part and lower part of the monastery. In the main assembly hall of the lower part of the monastery, there are statues of Kagyupa Lama and in the centre, a statue of DrigungKyopa Rinpoche. The monastery has around five hundred years history but all are new today. There is a statue of one of the monasteries Yogis called Chime Dorjee and we have seen a very clear foot prints of Yogi Chime Dorjee. In the upper part of the monastery, the main chapel is dedicated ot the Avaloketasivara, Shakyamuni and a very sacred foot print of Yogi Chime Dorjee.
There are two main Lamas in the monastery, one is called Gar KonchokGyeltsan who is in USA today and Gar MigyurDorjee whom we visited in his residential room. The monastery has around 120 monks.
On the way, we visited Gar Nunnery. The nunnery is located on a hill where it is believed to be the sacred mountain of Chenrezi. There is a very sacred cave which is considered as natural Chenrezi so they built a statue of Chenrezi inside the cave in the present day. We drove back on the same way and had a short visit in Cha Gompa.
- Day 21: Drive Nangchen to Chamdo (3256m/180Km ) Hotel
After breakfast, drive to Chamdo at the distance of 180Km, crossing the border between Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai province. The scenery is quite similar to the one when you are driving from Serchul to Jyekundo.
Chamdo, officially Qamdo, and known in Chinese as Changdu, is a prefecture-level city in the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Regionand it is the third largest city of Tibet.itis one of the six prefectures of Tibet Autonomous Region.The population of
Chamdo is 77326.
- Day 22: Visit Chamdo and then drive to Rawu lake (3807m/361km) Guest house
Morning, visit ChamdoJampaling monastery.
KALDEN JAMPA LING MONASTERY is a very famous monastery called KaldenJampaling. It was founded by
one of Tsongka pa's student called JangsamSherrapSangpo in 15th century.
it formally had 10000monks and ranked alongside Lithang and Khantse as the
largest Gelukpaestaplishment in Kham. However it had greater prestige and
influence insofar as it was oldest Delukpa monastery in the region. The
edvelopment of the monastery was maintained over the centuries by the
successive incarnations of ofPakpaLha whose father ,KuchorTogden , had
been an actual disciple of Tsongkapa. Nowadays the monastery has around 3000
Drive continuously towards Tibet Sichuan Tibet highway, ascent the Zar Gama La Pass ( 4,618m ), and down through 180 switchbacks to the Upper Salween River and cross NakchuZampa Bridge at Po. Continue through the Ngajukla pass ( 4468m ) which forms the watershed between the Tsangpo/ Brahmaputra and Salween riverse.
- Day 23: Rawo lake-Nyingtri- .342Km Hotel
Morning, enjoy an easy walk around the lake Rawu and then drive towards Nyingtri through Serkyim La pass 4515m. You will pass by Lunang forest village and Lunang international resort which is going to finish soon this year. From the top of the Serkyim la pass, you will have a very beautiful view of Namcharkbarwasnow capped mountain.
- Day 24: Bai-Darksumtso, 3200m/ Guest house
After breakfast,head to lake Darksumsto,which is the national forest park and it is a beautiful green land with forest and surrounded by dense forest which gives you a total different view from the central part and western part of Tibet.
Take the scenic bus into the lake, 15 minutes bus ride, visit the island of small monastery and cave of Guru Rinpoche.
- Day 25: Darksum Lake-Ganden monastery-Lhasa,3650/400Km Tibet Heritage hotel
Continue your journey up to the valley and reaching the pass of Bhala which is over 5000m above sea level. From the top of the pass, you are entering into the Lhasa area and will see some nomad camps, pastureland, farmers on the way.
Enroute visit Ganden monastery which is the mother monastery of the Yellow hat school. Yellow hat school or Gelukpa sect was found by the master Tsongkapa in the 14th century and it is one of the largest schools in Tibetan Buddhism.
- Day 26: Sightseeing Lhasa, Potala Palace, Jokang temple and Bharkor. Tibet Heritage Hotel on B.B
After Breakfast, you will start from the hotel and drive towards Potala square. Leave the car behind and must be ready and take your challenge to climb more than hundred steps of the PotalaPalance. The Potala Palace was originally built in the 7th century by Tibetan King SongtsanGampo but the one to the present size was expended by the 5th Dalaia Lama. It has thirteen storey’s high with more than a thousand rooms and divided with White and Red Palace.
After the sightseeing of the Potala Palace, walk around the Potala Palace with pilgrimages and you can experience the ancient tradition of Tibetans, walking around Potala, praying matras. The Kora takes you around 40 minutes. It is also good to acclimatize to the high altitude.
After lunch, you will visit Jokang temple. Jokang temple is the oldest temple of Tibet which was built by King SongtsanGampo in the 7th century and it is housed to the most sacred statue of BhudhaShakyamuni brought from mainland China by the princess Wangchen of the Tang court. Walking around the Bharkor is another interesting thing during your tour in lhasa. You will meet many different people in Bharkor.
- Day 27: Sightseeing Lhasa, Pabongka, Chubsang nunnery and Sera monastery. Hotel on B.B
Drive to and explore Pabongka Monastery; hike downhill to Chupsang Nunnery; walk to Sera Monastery, where we have a picnic lunch; depending on availability, make your own prayer flag at Sera’s printing center and witness monks debate age-old scripts in the courtyard.
- Day 28: Drive Lhasa to Gongkar airport and fly back.