- Day 01: Arrival from Lanzhou airport and transfer to Gansu International hotel, 1300mts/70Km
Arrival at Lanzhou airport and transfer downtown city at the distance of 70Km. Lanzhou is the capital city and the largest city of Gansu province and it is located to the northwest China at the bank of yellow river. Historically, it has been a main link on the northern silk road.
Lanzhou is home to 3,616,163 inhabitants and it has different ethnics living in the city including Tibetan, Chinese, Muslim Hui etc.
- Day 02: Lanzhou-Drotsang monatery(Qutansi)-Gonlung Jampa Ling(Younisi)-Huangzhong Xian,2500mts,281Km. Tsongka hotel
Lanzhou to Drotsang monastery at Ledu Xian 160Km from Xining to Ledu and from Ledu to ‘Drotsang monastery, 21Km.. Drotsang monastery was built 6 hundred years back by one of the famous Lama called Drotsang Dorje Chang who was born in the village near by Lhasa. The main object of Drotsang monastery is the statue of Dorje Chang. The monastery was built in mostly in Chinese styles with more wood achitecture. They have very beautiful typical architecture. Nowadays they have around 10 monks. There is a very big ancient Dram which was 600 hundred years history and there is rock made Mandal which has 4 hundred years history.
The site of Gonlung Jampa Ling was originally chosen by the 3rd Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso and then the 4th Dala Lama on wards started to build the monastery. The monastery used to have many famous Tibetan scholars such as Changkya Rope Dorje, etc.
There is the most beautiful landscape of pies of mustered fields, blooming in yellow followers. The monastery is located in the Huzhu Xian and the majority population is Tu tribe.
From Ledu to Pingan Xian is 60Km and from Pingan high way to Martsang Dark is one and half Km. From Martsang Dark to Gonlung Jampa Ling is 40Km.
From Pingan Xian to the point to go to Xining and Huangzhong is 40Km and from there to Hunagzhong Xian is 30Km.
- Day 03: Visit Kumbum Monastery, 2500mts and then to Kokonor lake,3150mts ( Tsoshar),187Km. Grassland hotel
Kumbum Monastery has the statue of Jowo shakyamuni, Maitreya, Gyelpo Kunga chaples, a statue of a white horse in the Gyalpo Kunga Chaple which was used by the 9th Penchen Lama, the Golden stupa of Tsongka in which they preserve the original sandal wood which appeared one hundred thousand Gyalwa Senge Nagro when Tsongka pas was born.
There are eight stupas in the big court yard of Kubum when we enter the main entry gate. Those are the eight enlightend stupas and proir to the construction of Kubum monastery, Tsongka pa pitched the tent there and later the pillars of the tents used as the pole of the stupas and in each of the stupas, they have the pillars of Tsongkapa’s tent.
There is a chaple of Buddhas of the present, past and future. In the outer courtyard of the chaple, there is a rock which resembles to the water tank which Tsongkapa’s mother used to carry water.
From Huangzhong to Doba town, 20Km and then to Qinghai highway ( G315 ) 167Km to Tsoshar. We come through son and moon mountain ( Riyue ) which is the mark of the pass when Princess Wencheng missed her family and wanted to return to China instead of coming to Lhasa.
There is a Xian called Huangyuan which is just around 20Km from the hgih way.
From Son and moon mountain, climb down to the town called Ringmo which is the junction to go to Chabcha, Kyegundo and Mato.
- Day 04: Tsoshar to Bird Island, 140Km and back to Tsoshar. Same hotel
Drive along the beautiful grassland and Tso Ngonpo. We can have yogurt stop on the way at beautiful nomad camp which is located at the shore of the lake.
- Day 05: Tsoshar-Ringmo-Chabcha-Samthang la-Horka-Xinghai-Darkar Terdzong,4100Mts,242Km
Monastery guest house
Start the tour from Tso Ngonpo and drive for 50Km to Ringmo which is the junction to turn to Chabcha from the G109 to Xining. Just after you turn from the main high way, drive up across the small pass and down to Chabcha. From Chabcha hospital after 200mts, turn right and drive to Kyamru Gompa. Kyamru Gompa is a beautiful monastery located at the distance 22Km from Chabcha. The monastery has around 170 monks nowadays and it is a Gelukpa monastery. Unfortunately most of the monasteries were re-built recently so most of the statues, images or chaples are new. From Chabcha to Samthang la town is 50Km and we drive over three small passess which are called First, second, third Samthang la respecitvely. From Samthang la, we drive on the left side from the intersection to Atsok Gompa at the distance of 42Km. The Atsok Gompa is located at the bank of Yellow river bend. It is also a Gelukpa monastery. From Samthang la to the junction to Xinghai Xian is 20Km and then 27Km to Xinghai. From Xinghai to Darkar Terdzong is 30Km and we need to drive over the mountain and will see some beautiful nomad camps.
- Day 06: Darkar Terdzong-Xinghai-Wenchuan-Mato,4000mts,240Km Mato hotel
Visit Darkar Terdzong in the morning. Darkar Terdzong was originally a sacred mountain where there is a big cave of Guru Rinpo Che. As a history goes, Some evila spirits escaped from Tso Ngonpo and admitted in Darkar Terdzong and they did many evil deeds. By the time, Guru Rinpo Che transformed into a man with a monkey head and took meditation in the cave. When he completed the meditation, miraculasly hit his Vajra to the roof of the cave and made a hole. He got out of the cave through the hole and defeated those evil spirits and since then it became a very sacred cave and mountain. Darkar Terdzong means a man with a monkey head. After that in around 15th Century, Tsongkapa also came to the site and used to give teachings there. We could see a big rock throne of Tsongkap while we are doing outer Kora. There are a no of sacred caves around the outer Kora and if we visit all the caves, it will take us around 5 hrs to complete the outer Kora. Drive over the pass from the junction where you get to the main road from Xinghai. This side of the pass is full of beautiful nomad camps and flocks of Yaks, Sheep. After we descend the pass for a while, we will see Mt Amnye Machen in the distance. We reach Wenchuan after this and just before reaching Wenchuan, there is a beautiful pile of prayer flags formed into a stupa in different colours and they are building more than 20 stupas which is donted and directed by one Lama there. After Wenchuan, there is a small beautiful lake which is called Gutso.
- Day 07: Mato-Ngoringtso-Kyaringtso,4400mts,85Km. Mato hotel
Drive to the southwest of Mato through a grassland. You will get to the ticket checkpoint after 30Km from the county capital and there is also a small high dro electronical power station. After 25Km,, you will get to Ngoring Tso and then continue to the monastery and all the way to the viepoint. From the viepoint, you can see Kyaringtso in the other valley. Both of those two lakes are the source of the Yellow river. You can sometimes see wilde animals such as Kyang-Antelopes, Fox etc.
- Day 08: Mato-Tsogyenrawa ( Huashixia )-Darlag ( Dari),3700mts 280Km Gesar hotel
We drive along the same way back from Mato to Tsogyenrawa at the distance of 80Km. We will see some wild animals such as ibex, ofx etc. From Tsogyenrawa, we drive along the rich beautiful nomad camps on the beautiful grassland. We will always confront flocks of Yaks and Sheep. We stoped at a point where we can see Amnye Machen Snow mountain and had a yogurd from a nomad family and when we asked the father of the family how many of the Yaks his family has. He said he has over 200 Yaks so I think the nomads are quite rich there. When we reach Darlag, we need to cross a bridge to go to Darlag over the Yellow river. We will drive to Traling monastery which is at the distance of 15Km. The monastery was located in a beautiful grassland up in a mountain slop and the monastery was richly built. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and it has around hundred years history. There is a big assembly hall, one giant stupa, Sangthok Pelri and some other small chaples. There is a big sky burial which is the main burial in the region of Golok.. The main abbots or teachers fo the monastery are Tenpei Ngima who is 82 years old, Pedma Lodro who is 83 years old and Yeshi Pelsang who is 93 years old.
- Day 09: Darlag-Arikza Gompa-Shiqu(Sershul ),4100Mts,280Km Shangdi Nilha hotel
We start the trip at around 8.30 from Sershul and drive along the Yellow river( Machu ), pass by Geser Lhakang, and a distant view of Samdrup Tse Lhakang, also Gesar Lhakang whish is at the other side of the Yellow river. After 40Km, we get to the first juntion to go to Pongkor Gompa to the south east and a direct road to Sangruma and Tatok village and Tatok Gompa. From there we need to drive on the left side leaving the yellow river behind and after around 10Km, we reach beautiful monastery at the other side of the river called Gepe Gompa within the Gepe vilalge(Depa). After passing a small pass, we drive through many beautiful nomad camps with full of their live stocks all over the pasture land. After going down, we drive through Sangruma Xiang and after 5km, there is a side road leading in to the left side valley to go to Sangruma monastery. We drive straight ahead and reach a beautiful campsite where we had a lunch in a nomad family. There we had warm welcome from the two sisters of the family by offering us Amdo butter tea, hot water and butter. After lunch we reach a pass, 4600Mts which is the border between Amdo and Kham, Qinghai and Sichuan in the present day. From there, the main jeep road was ended and we had to drive on lush muddy, bumpy pasture land for around 5Km and then another 40Km on the a better pasture land drive with an excellent scenery with nomad camps. The pasture is rich in grass and beautiful flowers. After driving around 50Km into a small gorge with a tributary of Yalong river (Dzachu), we reach Junyung Mehor Sangak Choeling monastery which is a big Nyingmapa monastery. We drive through Arikza Gompa and get to the main road of Shiqu ( Sershul) and Kardze by crossing the bridge of Yalong river (Dzachu). Sershul is a small county with a pretty big pasture land around.
- Day 10: Sershul-Sershul Gompa-Sershul-Denkhok-Dzokchen,3800Mts 181Km Guest house
Drive from Sershul to Sershul Gompa at the distance of 30Km. Sershul Gompa 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 H.H, a paire shoes of the 9th Penchen Lama and some tomb stupas of the monastery Lamas. Drive 80KM from Sershul through the rough road via lots of pasture land to reach Denkhok. Denkhok has a junction to go to Sershul and to Dzokchen and it is located ath the bank of Yangtse river(Drichu). We visit Langthang Drolma Lhakang in Denkhok which is one of the 8 temples built by Songtsen Gampo in order to press down the branches of Supine ogress. The temple has a sacred statue of Tara which was brought from China by Princess Wencheng with the Jowo Image. The temple showed the image once to the audience during Tibetan new year. The main building of the temple dates back to the 7th century. The temple has around 40 monks.
Drive 101Km through many zigzag road up in the mountain with some beautiful views of Yangtse river and a few beautiful monasteries on the way including Langchen Gompa, Lingtsang Gompa etc, we get to Dzokchen after 10Km drive from the junction to go to Sershul and Mani Ganggo.
- Day 11: Dzokchen-Mani Ganggo-Derge,3292Mts, 164Km Trola 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, Zangthok Peri and some other temples. The monastery has around 600 monks nowadays. Drive through Murila pass, 4559Mts. After reaching Mani Gango,drive 22Km towards south west and then get to Yilhun Lhaso, 4110Mts. Explore the lake and drive another 114Km to Derge via Trola pass, 5050Mts.
- Day 12: Derge-Pewang Gompa-Pelpung Gompa,84Km,4050mts. Stay in Pelpung Gompa
Morning visit Derge printing house which has two main chaples which dedicated to the statues of Shakyamuni and Tara, Guru Rinpoche etc. The printing house has over 30 people working for religious prints. After Lunch, we drive to Pelpung monastery. After around 16Km drive, we reach the bend of Yangtse river and drive along the Yangtse river for around 30Km until we turn off for Pelpung monastery. We drive through a beautiful gorge and enroute visit Pewang Gompa which is the monastery of Sakya sect. Pewang Gompa has around 100 monks. We finally reach Pelpung Gompa which is located up on a hill surrounded by thick forest. The monastery is a Kagyupa sect and the seat of the Thai Situ Jangchup Rinpoche. There is a golden tomb stupa of Thai Situ but because of the monastery renovation, we could not see.The monastery has over 400 monks including the monastery school. It is very worthy to go up to the monastery school in the late afternoon because there is a very lively debate gong on in the monastery school which is only 20 minutes walk from the main monastery.
- Day 13: Pelpung Gompa-Dzongsar-Katok Gompa-Palyul xian, 3261Mts/205KmHotel
Drive from Pelpung monastery to the Yangtse river main road at the distance of 31Km and from there we follow 5Km along the Yangtse river and then turn left for Dzongsar monastery and drive to Dzongsar at the distance of 45Km. It is a beautiful valley along a clear crystal colored river which is also one of the tributaries of the Yangtse river. The people in the valley live their living mainly on farming. We had lunch in Dzongsar monastery and then drive back to the Yangtse river main road, follow the river for 10Km and then drive to Katok Gompa at the distance of 35Km through many zigzag road. Katok Gompa is located on a high mountain and it used to be one of the biggest Nyingmapa monastery. Most of the monastery images or chaples are new and there is a main assembly hall and two Zangthok Peri. The older smaller Sangthok Peri is dedicated to the statues of Guru Rinpoche, Shantarakshita and the Dharma King Trisong detsen. Drive down to the Yangtse river main road and follow the river for around 30Km and then drive in the left valley from the river to get to the Pelyu Xian.
- Day 14: Palyul-Adzang Gompa,3900mts,130KmMonastery lodge
Visit Palyul monastery in the morning. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and the seat of the Drigung Penor Rinpoche who was passed away a few years back. We drive through some beautiful villages and through a pass before reaching the junction to Adzang Gompa and to Kardze. There is a monastery in the town called Ghonkor Gompa which has over 1000 monks. From there we drive 15KM into a beautiful forested gorge and then a pasture land where Adzang Gompa was located. Adzang Gompa is located beautifully on a slope of a pasture land. The monastery has over 11 reincarnated Lama’s history and the first Lama was Adzang Drukpa Rinpoche. The main objects to see are Adzang Drukpa Rinpoche relics stupa where he vanished his body in the air, the tomb stupa of Adzang Drukpa Rinpoche second reincarnation, the tomb stupas of the son and daughter of first reincarnated Adzang Rinpoche. The bodies of the son and daughter were buried in the ground before 1959 and in around 1980s, the bones of the bodies were emerged from the ground with some magical sign and then they built the tomb stupas of them. We slet in the monks rooms and the monks were very friendly and welcome.
- Day 15: Adzang Gompa-Lithang,3100mts, 346KM Genyi hotel
We drive to the main road from Adzang Gompa and then continue for 36Km in the main road and then drive right from the main road to Nyarong. We drive through a pass over 4400mts and some beautiful nomad camps on the beautiful pasture land. Eventhough there is only 130Km to get to the main road, it took us over 7 hrs. We drive back to Nyarong for lunch at the distance of 20Km in the Yalong river gorge. From Nyarong to Lithang is 166Km and the road condition is pretty good so we reach Lithang within 4 and half hrs. After leaving the main road and Yalong river, we drive into a forested gorge and cross a pass over 4300mts and drive down in the valley of pasture land which is completely occupied by rich nomad camps with full of yak and sheep.
- Day 16: Lithang-Nyachuka ( Yajiang)-Xinduqiao-Lhagang,3050mts 253KM Hotel
Visit Lithang monastery which was originally built by the 3rd Dalai Lama and it is a Gelukpa monastery, inhabited by around 1000 monks nowadays including the monastic school. It is under a huge construction of building statues of Tsongkapa, Jowo etc. Lithang is also the birth place of the 7th Dalai Lama.
Drive over the pass from Lithang and then drive towards sought east from the juntion. We drive over the mountain for around 2 hrs with many beautiful nomadic camps. We have enjoyed the yogurd lunch from the nomad camp. It is always up and down drive between Lithang, Nyachuka-Xindoqiao at the distance of 145Km to Nyachuka and 80Km from Nyachuka to the junction to Dartsedo and Lhagang. From there, we drive 33km to Lhagang in a beautiful fertile valley. After Nyachuka, we have seen lots of beautiful big Tibetan houses from both sides of the road and seeming those Tibetans’s are enjoying their rich well being.
In Lhagang, there is a Khampa Cafe owned by an American, married to a Tibetan nomad. They serve nice western food and coffee.
- Day 17: Lhagang-Zhungzhep(Xindoqiao )-Dartsedo(Kangding),2500mts,108Km Hotel
Visit Lhagang monastery which is one of the 108 small temples, built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in order to press down the branches of the Supine Ogress. The monastery has over 1300 years history and the most sacred statue of the monastery is Jowo Shakyamuni which dates back to the 7th century. As per the history, the Jowo Shakyamuni was built in Lhagang according to 8 years Jowo after the image of Jowo Shakyamuni magically spoked when it arrived in Lhagang saying that she did not want to move from there but as per the King Songtsen Gampo’s strong wishes to bring the statue to Lhasa, they built the present statue of the Jowo in Lhasa for the stead of the onw which is in Jokang today. The monastery was originaly a Kagyupa sect and then in around 12th cnetury, the monastery was gradually transformed into Sakyapa sect. I thas over 30 monks noadays. We went to visit some nomad camps from Lhagang to the sought west and there is a big Bhuddist community after around 15Km from Lhagang where all the locals, monks and nuns gather to make thousand offering of flowers, water etc. We had lunch in a Coffee shop runs by an Americam lady, married to a Tibetan nomad. She served really good western food.
From Lhagang or Tagong grassland, we drive in to the rich fertile valley and then through many beautiful Tibetan farmers houses along the road and finally get to Dartsedo after the high pass over 4000mts.
We visit the monastery called Nagchu in Dardo county and it was originally built by the 5th the Dalai Lama so it has over 400 years history. The monastery is a Geluk monastery and it has 30 monks nowadays. They have statue of Tsongkapa, Maitreya and Nechun oracle in three different chaples respectively.
- Day 18: Dartsedo-Luding Xian-Tianquan Xian-Yangan Xian,280Km-G5 highway to chengdu-Xinjin,70Km-Meishan,25Km-Jiajiang-35Km-Emeishan-35Km,500mts. Emeishan Grand hotel
Start the journey from Dartsedo at around 8 in the morning and after 20Km, meet the
junction to go to Danba and Dartsedo and then drive along the Gyarong river until Luding
Xian(Chakzam). The scenery from Dartsedo till Yangan is through gorge with thick forest.
From Yangan, we start the highway and drive towards Chengdu on the high way G5 until
Xinjin at the distance of 70Km and then turn left to LeShan and Emeishan. The land is
getting wider and wider and becomes a huge plain fertile land with many tea trees. From
Jiajiang, we leave the highway and drive through Jiajiang and Emei city. Our hotel is
located at Pougo temple which is located at 500mts and it is considered to be one of the
most sacred temples in Emei Shan. Emei Shan has been sacred mountain to the Bhuddist
for over 2000 years history but the temple itself has been built in around 17th Century by
Kangxi Emperor. The statues of Maitreya Buddha, Shakyamuni, a drawing of the whole
mountain dates back to the time of the monastery construction.
- Day 19: Emeishan-Jiajiang-Chengdu,180Km Shufeng Huayuan hotel
Drive from Emei Shan base to the top scinic spot of Emei shan which is 54Km and it takes
2 hrs drive as there are over 360 Zigzags and turns. The Emei Shan has three main sections
of scinic spot, the first one is Pogou temple at 500mts, second one is Wannion bus station
at between 700mts and 1900mts and the third one is the golden summit at 3077mts. The
golden summit is the temple dedicated to the statues of Bhuddha and a staue of Puxian
with 10 heads. We took 3 minutes cable car up to the golden summit. The length of the
cable car use is 500mts and the car can carry 100 people.
We drive from Pogou temple to Jiajiang at the distance of 36Km and then to highway to
Chengdu at the distance of 145Km.
- Day 20: Chengdu-Shuangliu airport,
Start from hotel at 7 15 and drive to the airport,25Km. Fly back to Amsterdam.