Tibet and Western Sichuan Discovery

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Sichuan , literally means “four rivers” and it is known as “Land of Abundance”. In the past, Sichuan was said to be more difficult to reach than to heaven. It boasts of beautiful local culture and rich natural wonders bordering Tibet, Gansu and Qinghai Provinces. And, Tibet, has for centuries been a fascinating dreamland for visitors. No wonder, there’s a saying goes that “A thousand tourists have 1,000 different reasons that they fall in love with Tibet”. West China Adventures invites you to explore amazing places from Sichuan through Gansu, Qinghai to Tibet.

Tour Schedule(June6–20,2015)
Our expeditions begins with the introduction of Chengdu, China’s Panda Landand birthplace of world-famous Sichuan Food. We’ll definitely taste delicious local food and witness giant pandas in Chengdu Panda Eco-park. Then go ahead to spectacular Jiuzhaigou National Park(UNESCO’s world natural heritage). After that we’ll start our overland journey to eastern part of Tibet(actually parts of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai Provinces). Cross Ruo Er Gai grasslands and its extensive wetland area, including the highland nature reserve where grey-lag geese and black-necked cranes inhabit. We have many stops for botanizing en route. Also, we’ll visit Labrang Monastery , an important Buddhist-learning center.
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Lhasa, known as “Sunshine City”. En route, marvel at the mesmerizing plateau views. Lhasa boasts of many esoteric sites, each with beautiful and mysterious Tibetan culture. These include Jolkhang Temple, a very sacred place for pilgrims from all over Tibet, the Potala Palace, Dalai Lama’s winter palace, and Gandan ,Glupa’s ancestral temple where Tsongkhapa’s(founder of Glupa) real body is preserved , overlooks the upper reaches of the Lhasa Valley.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 01 Arrive Chengdu,the bustling queen city of West China and capital city of Sichuan Province. Transfer to the hotel. This evening celebrate your arrival with a Sichuan Food dinner. As an option, see a wonderful performance of “Face changing “and “Flame Spitting -Out”of Sichuan Opera.
Overnight in Chengdu(D)

Day 02 This morning, see the Chengdu Panda Park, a beautiful panda’s habitat, and learn about panda’s breeding program with opportunities for photos. Afternoon flight to Jiuzhaigou.
Overnight in Jiuzhaigou(BLD)

Day 03 Full-day excursion to Jiuzhaigou , UNESCO’s world natural heritage, with our picnic lunch. This beautiful national park is famed for its falls, turquoise lakes,colorful woods in Autumn, snow-capped mountains and Tibetan folk custom . The green bus will take us to the fork of two valleys. Enjoy hiking on the boardwalks through the virgin forest or on the trails above falls.
Overnight in Jiuzhaigou(BLD)

Day 04 Travel to Ruoergai, famed for its Tangka Horses and the First Bend of Nine-turn Yellow River. We’ll have our picnic lunch on the endless grassgland with nice views. En route, see Tibetan villages or small towns on walking tour. Explore the source of Yellow River with an opportunity for photos.
Overnight in Ruoergai(BLD)

Day 05 Today, .Browse Huahu(flower lake), a nature reserve for protection of black-necked cranes. We’ll have a nice hike in Nymph Valley and see Lamo (known as small Switzerland)monastery, built in 1413, where Tibetan people study Tibetan medicine and Buddhism.Overnight in Hezuo

Day 06 With a scenic drive on beautiful grasslands of Gansu Province, travel to Xiahe. See Labrang Monastery, one of most famous Buddhist palces of Yellow Sect in Tibetan Buddhism. A monk guide will show us around this spectacular temple . Also, take a leisure walk in a traditional Tibetan village, Neyde.
Overnight in Xiahe(BLD) Labrang Hotel

Day 07 Today, we’ll drive to Xi’ning (capital city of Qinghai Province) with very nice ecology views of grasslands, via Yellow River crossing. Our trip will be done from a Tibetan to Muslim region as landscapes change from grassland to

semi-arid steppe and arid river valley with wind eroded red sandstone formations in the valley of the Yellow River, and some picturesque villages.

Possibly, enjoy walking tour of Xunhua on the waterfront of Yellow River.

Xi’ning, capital city of Qinghai Province, has long been an important trading center where Chinese, Tibetan and Turkic culture intermingle. This evening, browse a local free market, Shuijin.
Overnight in Xi’ning.

Day 08 This morning, we’ll visit the Red Cliff Village, 14th Dalai Lama’s birthplace. He was born here in 1935 and recognized as Dalai Lama in 1940, when he was four and a half years old. His leadership of Tibetan government last until 1959.

Afternoon, head back to Xi’ning for leisure. And then board the train to Lhasa.Overnight on the train.
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Day 9 Today journey by a train to Lhasa, capital city of Tibet, is center of Tibetan politics, economy, culture and religion. With an elevation of over 12,000 feet, it is located on the northern bank of Lhasa Rvier. In Tibetan, Lhasa means”land of gods”or”holy place”. We’ll enjoy remarkalbe plateau views en route.Upon arrial, transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Lhasa (BLD)

Day 10 See the highest palace–Potala complex, firstly built in 7th century A.D.. The present one was built by 5th Dalai Lama in 17th A.D.. It became the “winter palace” after the 7th Dalai Lama built Norbulingkha as summer palace.
Visit Jolkhang Temple, built in the mid of 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsengampo. It is the most sacred place in Tibet where pilgrims often pay a visit. Explore local free market on the Barkhor Street where tourists can buy souvenirs with good prices.
Overnight in Lhasa(BLD)

Day 11 Depending on the schedule of opening of monasteries, we’ll see Sera or Drepung, important spiritual centers near Lhasa.Overnight in Lhasa

Day12 Today we will venture out to Ganden Monastery set on a ridge top in the mountains to the east of the city. In the Lhasa valley, the Tibetan people still practice traditional farming methods. En route to these monasteries, we will have superb opportunities to see the life and flora of the Tibetan countryside.

Overnight in Lhasa
Day 13 This morning, travel northwards out of LhasaValley to the high Tibetan Plateau. We will traverse extensive grasslands along the Qinghai-Lhasa Highway, then cross a pass at nearly 17,000 feet to spectacular NamtsoLake, with an elevvation of 15,500 feet. And it is encircled by grasslands and the glaciated snow mountains of the Nyenchin Tangula. See wild flowers at the high pass, beautiful rose-colored gentians and on the kora circuit at Namtso lots of Saxifrage and others. En route, we will enjoy a picnic lunch on the grasslands and may have the opportunity to visit a family of seasonal nomads.

Overnight in Lhasa

Day14 Fly to Chengdu.Leisure time for your personal.

Overnight in Chegndu

Day 15 Transfer to the airport. Tour ends.