On this journey you will discover the highlights of Tibet. Starting from Lhasa we trek through one of the most beautiful Himalaya valleys of central Tibet. We stay two nights in tents, visit Tibetan villages and monasteries and the Everest base camp on the foot of the highest mountain on earth. The second part of this journey begins in Lanzhou – the capital of Gansu province serves us as a starting point for our expedition along the Silk Road, the Yellow River and the Tibetan grasslands. You discover ancient Buddhist cave temples, nature reserves, the center of Tibetan Thanka art and one of the most important monasteries of the Tibetan world. We spend a lot of time in nature, with nomads, have time for a horse ride and and for makinf fire on camp days. The last stop of this amazing trip is Xi´an where we will visit the Terracotta Army of the first emperor of China and take a bike ride along the old city wall.
Travel Part I Tibet:
Travel Part II Qinghai & Silk Road:
Google Maps only gives a basic overview of the itinerary.
Many smaller roads which we will take are not listed.
Daily itineary: Tour Tibet, Qinghai & the Silk Road with Trekking & Camping
Travel Part I Tibet:
Flight to Lhasa: Pick-up service from the airport and transfer to the hotel in the old town of Lhasa near the Bharkor market and the Potala Palace.
Lhasa visiting day: Walk with pilgrims in a clockwise direction around the Jokhang temple in the old town. The Jokhang is the most important temple for Tibetans. Visit the chamber and main prayer halls of the temple from the inside. Walk to and visit of the Potala Palace.
Lhasa – Xigaze – Shalu monastery (trekking day 1): This three day trek leads you through Tibetan farmland, nature and canyons. This ancient trading route was once the only land connection between the two important monasteries of Shalu and Nartang. The trail brings you to many small villages, and is relatively easy concerning the level of difficulty. Most of the hike is between an altitude of 3500m and 4000m and we stay twice overnight in tents. Beside walking you can take a horse for riding in one of the villages as well. Not only your guide will accompany you on this trek but as well a chef who is in charge of all meals and who will prepare fresh food for you.
Drive from Lhasa to Xigatze where we will obtain the trekking permit. We start the trek at Shalu monastery which was founded in 1040. For many centuries it was a central place for scholastic learning. The historical wall paintings were the most beautiful in all of Tibet. We stay overnight in tents near the monastery.
Shalu – Lungsang (Trekking Tag 2): We trek 6-7 hours on moderate terrain around 20 kilometers. Overnight stay in tents.
Lungsang – Ngor Monastery – Lhatse (trekking Tag 3): This part of the trek brings you to small villages, farmland and soft countryside scenery. In the afternoon we will reach Ngor monastery where nowadays 25 monks live. The monastery has a beautiful Sanskrit library in which you can see the entire Tibetan Buddhist scripture compilation. 4 hours, 9 kilometer. At the monastery your 4×4 is waiting for you to pick you up. You will continue to Lhatse which lays on the way to everest base camp. Lhatse has a ancient fort on a hill nearby from where you have a view on Lhatse canyong – which is longer and deeper than the Grand Canyon in the U.S.
Lhatse – Everest Base Camp – Shegar: Early in the morning we drive from Lhatse to the EBC. The last few kilometers to the EBC you can either take a public bus, since private vehicles are forbidden, or walk. We have enough time to wait for pictures opportunities and an extendet break there. After visitng he EBC drive to Shegar nearby for the night.
Shegar – Xigatze: Drive from the EBC to Xigatze. Visit of the Tashilhunpo monastery in the afternoon – one of the largest and most important monasteries in all of Tibet.
Xigatze – Lhasa Airport: Transfer to the airport and flight to Lanzhou where the second part of this journey begins / flight and end of the tour.
Travel Part II Qinghai & Silk Road:
Arrival in the afternoon in Lanzhou: Transfer to the hotel and acclimatization. In Lanzhou are some sight which can be visited / free time.
Lanzhou – Binglingsi – Xining: Drive to the cave temples in Binglingsi at the Silk Road. The 183 caves with many Buddha statues were built by artists 1600 years ago into the rock face. The entire area is exemplary for the art of the Silk Road age. More than 1000 years this cave complex was build on and extended. We drive further to Xining, the capital of the Tibetan province of Xining.
Xining – Qinghai Lake (Kokonor): After three hours of driving we reach the shores of one of the largest salt lakes on earth: Qinghai lake. On the way we stop at the famous Ta´er monastery which is one of the most important monastries of the Tibetan Amdo region. Arriving at the lake we pitch our tents near the sandy beach like lake shore and a small monastery.
Qinghai Lake – Yellow River: The road which leads away from Qinghai Lake brings us into the Tibetan grassland and the country of the Amdo nomads and we soon cross a 4000m high pass. The view on the “ocean” below is really stunning. We continue and take a break at a nomad´s family tent before we reach the nature reserve at the Yellow River. From here the source of this mighty stream is only a few hundred kilometers away. On its shores are many deserted sand stone houses and farms which seem nowadays to belong to a entirely different world. The river is zick-zagging through a bizarre lime stone landscape a take in here its yellow color. We stay in tents on the river´s shore.
Yellow River – Xiaqiong Monastery – Grassland: The curvy road brings us to the Xiaqiong monastery whicb elongt to the largest Yellow Hat monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built in 1349 and one of the founding figures of Tibetan Buddhism, Tsongkhapa, was born here. The monastery was built on a cliff and overlooks the Yellow River. We drive further and soon see grassland again. Here we surely find a stay with local Tibetans.
Grassland – Achung Namdzong – Tongren: Before we reach the center of Tibetan Thanka art, Tongren, we stop at the monastery of Achung Namdzong. This monastery belongs to the Byingmapa school of Buddhism and is one of its most important. In Tongren we have time to circumbulate the local temple together with locals and to buy handmade Thankas which depict Buddhist deities and symbols. A Thank master has to study at least 7 years to learn the skills required for this art since not only technical qualities are important but as well mental one like meditation and recitation of holy texts.
Tongren – Xiahe (Labrang): Labrang is a huge monastery (one of the biggest of the Gelugpa schools worldwide) which es surrounded by grasland in amount of 2800m. Also today the monastery is very important for Tibet. In the 18. century it became an trading center. One of the reason was the geographic location next to the Silkroad and Tibet. The monastery lays in a fluvial valley and it has great opportunies to go camping. Tongren and especially Labrang also invites to go for a horse ride.
Xiahe – Lanzhou – Xian: In the morning we continque to Lanzhou. In the last evening we wil fly to Xi`an. The flight takes 1 hour. Airport pick up and transfer to the hotel.
Xian – Shanghai: Today in the morning we will visit the terracotta army. Afterwards we bicycling along the town wall which is especially for Bicycletours interesting. The distance is about 12 kilometers and we will stop by the most importsnat attractions on our way. This tour ends in the afternoon. Transfer to the airport. If you want to stay one more night in Xi`an or you like to visit other parts of china, Tibetmoto would love to arrange that.
9 Übernachtungen in Hotels und Gästehäusern, 6 Übernachtungen im Camp
Reiseleitung, Englisch und / oder Deutsch sprechend
GGeländewagen mit Fahrer, Treibstoff
Mahlzeiten (Frühstück und Mittagessen), Mineralwasser, an Camptagen auch Abendessen
Hilfestellung bei der Visumsbeantragung