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15-Day Eastern Tibet Overland (Gyalrong&Kham Tibetan areas of Sichuan province)

Our Kham Tibet Overland tour has been specially designed to provide travelers with a mix of Tibetan culture and history, set amongst the stunning scenery of the Tibetan Plateau. Little visited, the Tibetan region of Kham is one of Sichuan’s best-kept secrets and this tour will provide an intimate look at one of the most fascinating cultures in the world.

Departing from Chengdu, we will drive to the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau to visit the stunning Four Sisters mountain range. From here, we will drive up onto the ‘roof of the world’ and make our way through the region to the border of the ‘Tibetan Autonomous Region’. The joys in this journey lie not only in the views but also stumbling across authentic and meaningful encounters with the local Khamba Tibetans and their culture.

Still technically inside Sichuan, no special permit is required to travel Kham Tibet, meaning you are able to experience all the joys of Tibet, with more freedom and without the extra travel permit.

per adult from

$4,741

NZD

Duration

15 days

Voucher

Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • 13x Breakfast
    • 14x Dinner
    • 13x Lunch
    • Accommodation included: 14 nights
    • Private transportation
    • English-speaking tour guide service
    • Entrance tickets of the tourist attractions mentioned in the itinerary
    • Bottled water
    • Entry/Admission - Panda Valley
    • Entry/Admission - Changping Valley
    • Entry/Admission - Shuangqiao Valley
    • Entry/Admission - Jiaju Tibetan Village
    • Entry/Admission - Dege Parkhang Sutra-Printing House
    • Entry/Admission - Daocheng Three Holy Mountain
    What's excluded :
    • Extra charge for single room option if you would like to stay in a room alone
    • Activities or programs not mentioned in the itinerary
    • Your visa fee, if there is any
    • Your other personal expenses
    • Your international or domestic air tickets
    • Tips to the guide and driver if you are happy with their service

  • Day 1: Arrive at Chengdu

    Stop At: Chengdu, Chengdu, Sichuan
    Having greeted you at the airport, we will take you to your hotel for you to refresh and relax. In the evening, we will hold a welcome dinner – here we can discuss any final questions you may have about your Kham Tibet trip, whilst sampling some of the best dishes that Sichuan cuisine has to offer and looking forward to the upcoming journey.

    Meal provided: dinner
    Overnight: Chengdu Tibet Hotel, a 5-star standard Tibetan style hotel
    Chengdu Altitude: 500 meters
    Duration: 16 hours

    Meals included:
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Chengdu Tibet Hotel, a 5-star standard Tibetan style hotel.

    Day 2: Chengdu – Dujiangyan Panda Valley – Four Sisters Mountain

    Stop At: Panda Valley, Baima Village Yutang Town, Dujiangyan China
    Departing from your hotel in the morning, we will first drive to Dujiangyan Panda Valley. Set within the beautiful mountains, the base is dedicated to rehabilitating pandas back into the wild. We will spend some time to visit China’s most adorable animal, before completing the rest of the drive to the Four Sisters Mountain range.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Mt. Siguniang Nature Reserve, Within Xiaojin County, Xiaojin County 624200 China
    As the name suggests, the Four Sisters comprise of four mountains lined in a row, each over 5000 meters above sea level. Each rising higher than its neighboring sister, the largest peak has an altitude of over 6000 meters. You will have some time to relax and take a wander in the small town, set below the sisters towering above.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Driving distance: 231 kilometers (4 to 5 hours)
    Overnight: A local 3-star standard hotel in Four Sisters Mountain Town
    Four Sisters Mountain Town Altitude: 3160 meters
    Duration: 16 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 3-star standard hotel at Mount Siguniangshan Town

    Day 3: Four Sisters Mountain Sightseeing

    Stop At: Changping Valley, Siguniang Mountain, Xiaojin County 624200 China
    Already at over 3000 meters in altitude, today will be all about enjoying the stunning alpine scenery found around the Four Sisters’ National Park. We will take our time to do some light hiking within Changping Valley, which provides stunning views of the mountains and surrounding peaceful nature. If you wish, it is also possible to see the valley on guided horseback.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Overnight: A local 3-star standard hotel in Four Sisters Mountain Town
    Four Sisters Town Altitude: 3160 meters
    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 3-star standard hotel in Mount Siguniangshan Town

    Day 4: Four Sisters Mountain - Danba

    Stop At: Shuangqiao Valley, Siguniang Mountain Resort, Within Xiaojin County, Xiaojin County 624200 China
    Waking underneath the Four Sisters’, we will spend the morning visiting Shuangqiao Valley, which is famous for its beautiful snow-capped peaks. After lunch, we will take a 2.5 hour drive to Jiaju Tibetan Village, set just outside of Danba.

    Duration: 3 hours

    Stop At: Jiaju Tibetan Village, Zhanggu Town, Danba County 626303 China
    Danba is perhaps one of the wealthiest Tibetan towns and in its surroundings, there are several traditional Tibetan villages. We will drive straight to Jiaju Village, which is famed as being one of the most beautiful villages in the entirety of China. For the remainder of the afternoon, we will explore the village and its many picturesque homes, before sleeping there for the night.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Driving Distance: 112 km, about 2.5 hours
    Overnight: A guesthouse at Jiaju Tibetan Village
    Jiaju Tibetan Village Altitude: 2,200 meters
    Duration: 16 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a guesthouse in Jiaju Tibetan Village

    Day 5: Danba – Bamei-Luhuo-Ganzi

    Stop At: Bamei Prairie, Bamei Town, Daofu County 624356 China
    First, we will drive to Bamei and have a chance to visit Huiyan Temple. Continuing, our second point of interest today will be Ranggu Monastery, which is set beneath a mountain of prayer flags and has over 180 tantric paintings. From here the next section of the journey takes us through particularly beautiful Tibetan environment . We’ll see Tibetan homes, with ornate structure, carvings and paintings, displaying a wealth of imagery.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Luhuo County, Luhuo County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
    We will stop at Luohuo County and take a visit of the temple there. Historically having 277 halls and chambers, Luhuo temple used to hold over 1000 monks making it the largest in Kham Tibet, until an earthquake in 1973. The final section of our journey will take us past large mountains and a stunning lake.

    We will arrive at Ganzi County in the late afternoon and check in at the hotel.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Driving Distance: 330 kilometers, about 6 hours
    Overnight: a 3-star standard hotel in Ganzi
    Ganzi Altitude: 3,380 meters

    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 3-star standard hotel in Luhuo

    Day 6: Ganzi Sightseeing

    Stop At: Ganzi County, Ganzi County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
    Set in a large valley, Ganzi is overshadowed by both the impressive Chola Mountain range and its monastery. Ganzi Monastery is almost as bustling as the town below. The monastery sits above the Tibetan old town with its winding alleyways, slowly snaking up the hillside.

    We will visit Ganzi Monastery in the morning, and then in the afternoon it’s your free time. You may relax and then explore the town by yourself.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Overnight: a 3-star standard hotel in Ganzi
    Ganzi Altitude: 3,380 meters

    Duration: 1 day

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 3-star standard hotel in Ganzi

    Day 7: Ganzi - Manigange-Dege

    Stop At: Manigango, Dêgê County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China
    From Ganzi our journey becomes more remote part of Kham Tibet. We will be able to see nomads tending to their yaks and continuing a way of life that hasn’t kept pace with the rise of modern China.

    Not long after Manigange we reach Xinlu lake, which boasts some of the best alpine scenery of the trip. With many rocks inscribed with prayers, this tranquilly beautiful glacial lake is an exceptionally peaceful place. Locals and monks visit here more often to take advantage of a prime spot for meditation.

    We first drive along the 317 road, which links Chengdu to Lhasa, to Manigange. 317 road is also known as North Sichuan Tibet Route. Manigange, a nomad town and historic stopping point on the Tea Horse Road, is simple and small but set within stunning surroundings. With pastel colored buildings and a very friendly population, it is the perfect place for us to break for lunch.

    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: Dege Parkhang Sutra-Printing House, No.17 Wenhua Street Gengqing Town, Dege County 627250 China
    After the visit of the lake, we will continue to drive to Dege. In the afternoon we will visit Dege’s Parkhang Sutra-Printing House. Dege is an incredibly important cultural hub, both for Kham Tibet and all other Tibetan areas. Situated close to the border of Tibet it holds the Parkhang Sutra-Printing House. First established in 1729, it accounts for over 70% of Tibet’s literary heritage, printing everything from religious works to historical and scientific texts. You can still see people printing and inscribing stone to this day, as well as the many Tibetans circling to complete their prayers and pay homage to the site. The rest of the day is free to explore the old Tibetan districts of this border town to the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Driving distance: 204 kilometers, about 4 hours
    Overnight: a 4-star standard hotel in Dege
    Dege Altitude: 3294 meters
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 4-star standard hotel in Dege

    Day 8: Dege-Xinlong

    Stop At: Xinlong County, Xinlong County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
    Today we will drive to the direction of South Sichuan Tibet Route (also known as 318 National Road), and will stop at Xinlong for overnight. Xinlong is located half way between Ganzi and Litang, and you will pass here when driving from 317 National Road to 318 National Road, which are known as North Sichuan Tibet Route and South Sichuan Tibet Route respectively.

    The scenery along the way today is also quite stunning, and you will see beautiful Tibetan villages, breathtaking high mountain ranges and big rivers. Whilst a little more ‘concrete’ than other towns we visit, Xinlong is still a nice riverside town with some traditional architecture and a monastery above.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Overnight: a 3-star standard hotel in Xinlong
    Xinlong Altitude: 3200 meters
    Driving Distance: 288 kilometers, 5 to 6 hours
    Duration: 16 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 3-star standard hotel in Xinlong

    Day 9: Xinlong-Litang

    Stop At: Litang County, Litang County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
    Leaving Xinlong in the morning, we are on our way to one of the highest towns in the world, Litang. As a true wild west town in Kham Tibet, Litang is famous for not only being one of the highest towns in the world but also for its horse festival held in late July and early August, when thousands of Khamba Tibetans descend on the town for trading and racing.

    We will have opportunities to visit the large monastery at the top of town, one of the largest prayer wheels in Kham Tibet, as well as the birthplace of the 7th Dalai Lama. On top of this, Litang has been a historically important site for Sky Burials, a funeral rite, the burial site lies to the edge of town. Particularly adventurous travelers will also have the opportunity for a spa – there are some shallow, but natural, hot springs a short drive out of town.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Overnight: a 4-star standard hotel in Litang
    Litang Altitude: 4014 meters
    Driving distance: 152 kilometers, about 3 hours

    Duration: 18 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 4-star standard hotel in Litang

    Day 10: Litang-Daocheng-Shangri-La Town

    Stop At: Daocheng County, Daocheng County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
    In the morning we will visit Litang Monastery and the birthplace of the 7th Dalai Lama(if you didn’t have time to visit them yesterday). Litang Monastery was first built in 1580s by the 3rd Dalai Lama and it is the oldest and largest Buddhism monastery of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism in Kham Tibetan area. And Litang is also the birthplace of the 7th and 10th Dalai Lamas.

    In the meanwhile, Litang is a place where the 6th Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso wanted to visit very much. He had been probably the most well-known Dalai Lama, because of his romantic love poems. Some experts believe that he once fell in love with a girl from Litang and then wrote the following poem:

    “White cranes flying in the sky,
    Please lend me your power to fly,
    I won’t fly far,
    But just go to Litang and come back.”

    After your exploration of Litang, drive to Shangri-La Town.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Driving Distance: 228 kilometers, 4 to 5 hours
    Overnight: Ramada Encore Hotel (4 star)
    Altitude: 2,900 meters
    Duration: 16 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Ramada Encore Hotel (4 star)


    Day 11: Whole day exploration of Yading Nature Reserve

    Stop At: Daocheng Three Holy Mountain, In the Yading Natural Reserve, Daocheng County 627750 China
    After breakfast, we will take a sightseeing bus for about 1.5 hours to arrive at the beautiful Yading Nature Reserve. On the way, we’ll see the spectacular views of snow-capped peaks. Then we’ll take a battery car to reach Luorong Pasture, which is about 4,100 meters (13,451 feet) above sea level and is also the beginning of the hiking trip to the Milk Lake (4,500 meters / 14,764 feet above sea level) and Five-Colored Lake (4,600 meters / 15,092 feet above sea level).

    At Luorong Pasture you can see holy snow mountains worshipped by local Tibetans. Those who would like to take the challenges of alpine hiking will start the 6-kilometer (3.7 miles) hike from here. While those who prefer a relaxing visit might just do some hiking around, or maybe just sit down for a cup of coffee or tea while enjoying the scenery of the holy snow mountain called Yangmaiyong. In the late afternoon, we’ll take the sightseeing bus down the mountain to our hotel.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Overnight: Ramada Encore Hotel (4 star)
    Altitude: 2,900 meters

    Duration: 7 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Ramada Encore Hotel (4 star)

    Day 12: Day 12: Continue to explore Yading Nature Reserve, drive to Daocheng

    Stop At: Daocheng Three Holy Mountain, In the Yading Natural Reserve, Daocheng County 627750 China
    We’ll take the sightseeing bus to the nature reserve again and do a short hiking to see the beautiful lake at the foot of Xiannairi, another holy snow mountain worshipped by locals.

    In the late afternoon we will drive to Daocheng and stay overnight there.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Driving Distance: 75 kilometers, about 1.5 hours
    Overnight: Daocheng Sunshine Hotel (4-star)
    Altitude: 3,700 meters

    Duration: 3 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Daochengdu Sunshine Hotel, 4-star standard

    Day 13: Daocheng- Xinduqiao

    Stop At: Xinduqiao Town, Kangding County 626002 China
    After breakfast, we will leave Daocheng and we make our way through the stunning scenery of the grasslands to Xinduqiao. Dubbed a ‘photographer’s paradise’, the scenery and lighting here are fantastic. In the afternoon we will spend some time here enjoying the beautiful rolling hills, mountains, streams and pastures.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Driving Distance: 342 kilometers, around 6 hours
    Overnight: a 4-star standard hotel in Xinduqiao
    Xinduqiao Altitude: 3,400 meters

    Duration: 16 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at a 4-star standard hotel in Xinduqiao

    Day 14: Xinduqiao - Kangding -Chengdu

    Stop At: Chengdu, Chengdu, Sichuan
    Leaving the Tibetan Plateau behind us, we will make our way back to the bright lights and modernity of Chengdu. On the way, we will break in Kangding – a gateway city for Tibet, historically being an important trade post.

    We will get back to Chengdu in the late afternoon. After some time to refresh we will hold a farewell dinner to reminisce on our journey and have a final feast on the delights of Sichuan food.

    Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Overnight: Chengdu Buddha Zen Hotel, a 4-star standard traditional Chinese style boutique hotel.
    Chengdu altitude: 500 meters
    Driving distance: 390 kilometers, about 6 hours
    Duration: 16 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Buddha Zen Hotel, a 4-star standard ancient Chinese style boutique hotel

    Day 15: Chengdu departure

    Pass By: Chengdu, Chengdu, Sichuan
    Your last day is free for you to relax and enjoy as you wish in Chengdu. Of course, please let us know if you have any special requests and we will always do our best to accommodate you. After spending your day enjoying the remaining time you have in Sichuan, we will take you to the airport and bid you farewell!

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Traveler pickup is offered
    We will pick you up from Chengdu airport and then send you to the hotel in Chengdu's city area. The trip starts the next day. Airports
    • Chengdu Airport, Chengdu China
    Departure Time :
    8:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    -
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • If you cancel at least 4 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
    If you cancel within 3 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

Language

English - Guide

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

15

Organised by Sichuan Adventure

Activity ID: V-44384P25

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