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Overland Qinghai - Tibet Tour


Duration : 17 Days


Places Covered : Peking - Lanzhou- Bingling - Xiahe - Xunhua - Tongren - Xining - Kumbum - Koko Nor - Dulan - Golmud - Tuotuohe - Naqu - Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Chengdu.
Theme : Adventure of the roof of the world
Highlights: Tibetan Buddhism monastery, Yellow sect of Tibetan Buddhism monastery, Labrang Monastery, Kumbum Monastery, Jokhang Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Barkhor, Tashilunpo Monastery, potala Palace, the roof of the world, the third pole of the world

This unusual journey leads you from Gansu province via Qinghai province to Tibet. You visit some very important monasteries of Gelukpa-sect in Tibet Buddhism like Labrang, Kumbum, Jokhang, Drepung, Sera, Barkhor and Tashilunpo as well as the Potala Palace, experience exotic local conditions and customs, and enjoy the natural landscapes: snow-covered mountains, crystal clear highland lakes, broad meadows, emerald-green forests, peculiar plants and rare wild animals in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

Day01 Flight to Peking :


Day02 Peking - Lanzhou flight WH2116 1710/1920 or WH2112 1125/1335 1N in 3*Jincheng hotel :
Today arrive in Peking airport and then fly to Lanzhou. Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province, is in the middle of loess plateau of China and has long been an important city on the Silk Road in history. The Yellow river flows through the whole Gansu province.


Day03 Lanzhou- Bingling - Xiahe 80+280 km 1N in 2*Labrang hotel B/L/D :
After the breakfast visit Thousand-Buddha Caves in Bingling (approx. 80 km) over the Yellow River by boat. The grottos were firstly built in 420 AD and statues here are more older than those in Dunghuang Grottos. In the evening reach in Xiahe, which is 2,900 meters high above sea level and almost exclusively inhabited by Tibetans. In the afternoon visit Labrang monastery, the most important religious centre on the northeast border of the Tibet region. The monastery created in 1710, as one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet area, has served for centuries there to connect the Tibetan and Mongolian Lamaism.


Day04 Xiahe - Xunhua - Tongren 260 km 1N in 2*Huangnan hotel B/L/D :
In the morning visit Labrang monastery nearby Xiahe, the most important religious centre on the northeast border of the Tibet region. The monastery created in 1710, as one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet area, has served for centuries there to connect the Tibetan and Mongolian Lamaism. On the way to Tongren make a stop in Xunhua (the first station in Qinghai province), to visit the hometown of the 10th Pantschan lama and especially the divine lucky tree. In the legend he was finally recognized as the "holy child" by help of recognition of the Pappel tree near the house his family lived. Arrive at Tongren in the evening.


Day05 Tongren - Xining 210 km 1N in 3*Qinghai hotel B/L/D :
Visit Longwu monastery of Gelukpa sect which was initially constructed in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) as a monastery of Sakya-sect, and Wutun village the center of Tibetan Regong-art which is a successful mixture of religious art and folk art. Afterwards go to Xining, the capital of Qinghai province. This city is mainly inhabited with Tibetan but also a home of Uygur, Kazak and Hui minorities.


Day06 Xining - Kumbum - Koko Nor 26 + 160 km 1N in simple tent hotel B/L/D :
While traveling, visit Kumbum monastery (Ta'er Si) of Gelukpa-sect which was built in 1560 in Huangzhong county and also one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. Both Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Lamaistic "yellow hat sect" and the 14th Dalai lama were born here. As Kumbum-monastery has always been playing an important role to connect the Mongolian with the Lamaism, today many Mongolian come to this place for worship. Then cross over Sun-Moon-Mountain (Ri Yue Shan). In 641 Wencheng princess of Tang Dynasty passed by this mountain where today a sun-pavilion and a moon-pavilion are built on the summit for people to have a break. The Sun-Moon mountain has always been a distinguish line between meadow and agriculture area. Arrive at Koko Nor Lake in the late afternoon and accommodate by the lake.


Day07 Koko Nor Lake - Dulan 320 km 1N in simple Xingdu hotel B/L/D :
In the morning drive to Dulan along the Koko Nor Lake, the biggest salty lake in China, with an area of 4,500 square kilometers and an altitude of 3,194 m above sea level. The big lake is acclaimed as "pearl on the highland" and the scenery of which is unusually fascinating and appears different shapes even at the same time. "Koko Nor" in Mongolian language means "blue lake" because of its lunar shape and color. In addition a small island known as "the heaven of the birds" lies in the lake. After a approx. 200 km long driving make a short stopover by the Tsaka salty lake where even the wind should be salty. Late in the afternoon arrive in Dulan.


Day08 Dulan - Golmud 360 km 1N in 2*Golmud hotel B/L/D :
Drive through the Tsaidam basin, among which most part is desert with some oasis dotted in. This basin lies in the north of the Amnyemaqen mountain and the road to Golmud is just along the foot of the mountain. The Xiangride oasis is the last one seen in this desert. Late in the afternoon arrive in Golmud, which is a civilazation center where Tibetan culture and Han culture melt each other.


Day09 Golmud - Tuotuohe 420 km 1N in simple Tuotuohe hotel B/L/D :
Drive through the vast wilderness and Tsaidam meadow on the Tibet-Qinghai-Plateau along the road in the foot of the Kunlun-mountain and go on upwards by steep valley to cross over the 4.837- meter-high Kunlun Pass. Afterwards pass by the First Bridge over the Yangtse River and arrive in Tuotuoheyan, which is lain in the head stream of the Yangtse River.


Day10 Tuotuohe - Naqu 430 km 1N in 1*Naqu hotel B/L/D :
Cross southwards over the Tangra Shan mountain. On the way the eagles, flocks of sheep and cattle, yaks, snow mountains, tents of Tibetan farmers everywhere altogether form a harmonious unity and allow the spirit and soul of people to relax.


Day11 Naqu - Lhasa 360 km 3N in 3*Shambala hotel B/L :
Leave Naqu and continue our trip southwards over the Qing-Tibet plateau. On the way cross the 5,200-meter-high Queer pass while driving through Nyainqentangra Shan mountain. In the late afternoon arrive in the "holy city" Lhasa.


Day12 Lhasa B/L :
In the morning visit Potala, which was constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet and later served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas. Another aim is Dralha Lhupuk (meditation cave) where Pelden Lhamo, the goddess of protection is enshrined. In the afternoon visit Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where innumerable pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street nearby Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties. Then drive to Norbulingka, which means the garden of treasures in Tibetan language. Located in the west suburbs of Lhasa, this palace complex was built in the 18th century and served as the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas.


Day13 Lhasa B/L :
In the morning visit Drepung monastery the sacred land of Gelukpa sect., which was created in 1416 and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in. In the afternoon visit Sera monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called "the court of wild rose". Today still 200 lamas live in there.


Day14 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse 260 + 90 km 1N in 3*Shigatse hotel B/L :
Pass by the Yamdrok-Tso Lake, the third-biggest holy lake in Tibet and a good place for taking photos. Then cross over Kangpa-La Pass (5000 m) to arrive in Gyantse in the afternoon where visit Kumbum Pagoda also called 100-thousand-Bouddha's-pagoda as well as Pelkor Monastery famed with its splendid Buddhist Tibetan art, both of them were built in the 15th century. Afterwards drive to Shigatse, the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet.


Day15 Shigatse - Lhasa 290 km 1N in 3*Shambala hotel B/L :
In the morning visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelukpa sect, the seat of the Panchan Lamas and one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet region. In the monastery the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Bouddha of the future) in China is enshrined. In Tibet Buddism, Panchen Lama is just the embodiment of Maitreya Buddha. After this sightseeing return to Lhasa.


Day16 Flights Lhasa - Chengdu - Peking 1N in 3*Taiwan hotel B/L :
Early in the morning transfer to airport and then fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. After arrival in Chengdu have lunch in the airport and leave for Peking by air. After arrival in Peking transfer to hotel.


Day17 Peking - home B :
Today Transfer to airport and fly back to home.

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