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Xining Tongren Xiahe Lanzhou Golmud Lhasa Tour - 14 Days

Destination: Qinghai, Tibet
Duration: Fourteen Day
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Transportation: Vehicle & Train
Best Travel Time:All year
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This journey leads you from Amdo area to Tibet by Tibetan Amdo, instead of exploring the monastic side of Tibetan culture it explores a cultural festival of the local people that dates back to pre-Buddhist influences. It is a traditional folk festival which takes place in many of the small villages around Tongren presided over by each village's local shaman. There are numerous ceremonies and activities including ritual dances, the beating of holy drums, the singing of folk songs, and mask dances etc. Some people find this festival exciting and exotic and enjoy watching the ritual killing the ghosts in the temples, It is a little mystic and very different from most other festivals people have TAR(Tibet Autunomous Region),you visit some very important monasteries of different sects in Tibet Buddhism like 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. If you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan cultural and landscape, this tour will be your best choice.
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$2100/persons 2100USD/Person

Day 01: Xining Arrival

Arrival in Xining, capital of Qinghai Province. Xining situated on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau at 2200m and retains little trace of the old walled town that once was the main tea and horse trading post between Tang(China )and Tubo Kingdom(Tibet). It was through ancient Xining that Princess Wen Cheng traveled to become the bride of Tubu King Songtsan Gambo in 641. The Princess was sent to cement good relations by her father the Tang Emperor. Princess Wen Cheng took tea and so began the import of tea to Tibet. It was known as Border Tea and it was traded for Tibetan horses. Also known to be a major stopping point on the ancient Silk Road, Xining is therefore a historically significant city worthy of some reflection.

Day 02: Xining / Kumbum /Tongren
This morning we drive to visit the famous Kumbum Monastery ,this monastery is one of the 6 largest Gelukpa monasteries in Tibet. Kumbum was built in 1560 by the 3rd Dalai Lama and is the birthplace of Gelukpa's founder, Tsongkhapa. His two major disciples, Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, later on became the ancestors of the Tulku(Living Buddha) system. Tibetan art such as Butter Sculpture, Frescos and Appliqu¨¦ from this monastery are famous. Today Kumbum houses 500 monks. Following this we will drive through the beautiful Ma Chu valley (Yellow River valley) to Repkong (Tongren). You will see unique landscape dotted with Tibetan, Chinese and Muslim villages where the farmers are immersed in a festival mood. Repkong is a charming Tibetan town with several monasteries in the immediate vicinity. Repkong is known to be the learning center for Tibetan Tangkha painting and the famous artists of this area are commissioned as far away as Lhasa and Shenyang in China, India, Burma and Mongolia to produce frescos and tangkas for the most important monasteries.

Day 03£ºTongren
Drive to Upper Wutun monastery (Tib: Sengeshong Yago), a famous monk art school set up in 16th century. Now it has 90 monks, the youngest is 7 years old and all of them have a good training to be artists in this monastery. You can find their art works such as paintings and sculptures throughout Tibet. Masks dance (Cham) by monk artists here is wonderful. The main theme of the performances is to describe how all the Protector Deities kill the devil spirits that is made of barley flower in a box (Tib: Tukchuwa, meaning bad things need to be thrown away). The best part is to see when monks burning the devil things at the end of Dance in the field near the monastery. You can not imagine how happy the whole village people is when seeing the Tukchuwa is burning and hundreds of village men let off countless firecrackers together¡­ The moment in this atmosphere, can arouse you a strong feeling of self-confidence towards New Year. It seems no any difficulties can stop your steps to a bright future. 

Day 04: Tongren
In the morning, we visit some important monasteries in different villages including Longwu ( Rongpo Gonchen ) Monastery, an important and the local biggest monastery, built in 1301. It once was the political and administration center in Repkong area. Now it has 450 monks. Then to visit Gomar monastery built in 1741 and now it has 160 monks inhabited. This small but beautiful monastery is famous for its colorful 7-storey Astronomy Stupa (Dhekor Kalachakra). Afternoon we go to take part in the ceremony of a big Appliqu¨¦ Tangkha Display (Khakhl Sham) in Lower Wutun (Sengeshong Mago) starting from about 12:30pm to 2:00pm. Prostrating with pure mind in front of this big Tangkha is believed to receive auspicious power from the Buddha and makes people happy with great satisfactory.

Day 05£º Tongren

This morning we drive to Guomar moneastry again to enjoy the New Year ceremony of Butter Tea and Bread which were blessed in the monastery and offered from different tribes in this village then follows a big ceremony of Displaying a big Tangkha. The whole procession is exiting. As this grand event happens only once a year, all the village people is eager to do prostration in front of big Tangkha of Buddha which is 40m long and 20m wide, at the beginning of the year to thank Buddha for the passed year and to pray for good things in the coming year.

Day 06£º Tongren/Xiahe(Labrang)
Drive through a very nice valley to Labrang monastery. The valley looks like ¡°Grand Canyon¡± but afterwards we will drive into the beautiful grassland where we can see yaks and sheep and visit to Nomads families on the way. Labrang monastery is one of six great Gelukpa (Yellow hat sect) monasteries in Tibet, was founded in 1709, housing now 1000 monks. As Labrang and Kumbum (Ta'er si) are considered as important institution of higher learning in East-Tibet, during the New Year Festival time, here attracts thousands of Tibetan people for pilgrimage, among them a lot of nomads families from far away. After lunch we enjoy a guided Labrang monastery tour.

Day 07£ºXiahe/Lanzhou
Enjoy more festivals in other places in Xiahe if possible,or pay a visit to the local families,Drive to Lanzhou,the capital city of Gansu province,visit yellow river bank garden,etc.

Day 08£ºLanzhou/Golmud/Lhasa  

Free in the morning and take the afternoon Tibetan train to lhasa via Mountains and grassland ,a lecture of Tibetan buddism and Tibetan history will be arranged in the dinning car of the train while coffee break starts.Overnight in the train.

Day 09£ºLhasa Arrival

Arrive at Lhasa (3650 m), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. The city is situated on the bank of the Kyichu River and has long been the "Holy Land" of Tibet.

Day 10£ºLhasa  

In the morning visit Potala Palace, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures altogether creative a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon visit Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of 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 surrounding Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties. 

Day 11£ºLhasa/Gyantze/Shigatze
In the morning drive to Gyantse. After lunch continue the drive to the holy lake of Yamdrok Tso (4441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. Have a sunny Picnic lunch at some wonderful scenery place.There enjoy the unforgettable vista of its spear-shaped expanse of turquoise water, with the mysterious Mt. Donang Sangwari (5,340m) on the peninsula beyond, and the snow peaks of Nojin Gangzang (7,191m) in the distance. The lake and the Yarlungtsangpo River (3570) are separated by a mountain and the shortest distance between them is only 6 kilometers. The 800m-high difference contributes a rich water resource to this region. Many Tibetans believe that the life of Tibet will no longer continue when the lake dries up. Walking by the lake and then drive to Gyantse (approx. 4.070 m). In the afternoon visit Pelkor Chode Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both of them built in the15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse. This typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the only one large building complex in Tibet that old monastery and stupas are completely preserved and characterized as a monument. It is recorded 14,000 kilograms of copper was used to make the 8-meter-high sitting statue of Sakyamuni Buddha housed in the grand hall of the temple. The 8-storey stupa is 42m high and 62m in diameters contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world. Then drive to Shigatse (3900m/12,793ft), the second largest town with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang. 

Day 12£ºShigatze
In the morning visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelug Sect, the seat of the Panchen Lama built in 1447 and one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in China, and a tomb of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of jewels and gold. In Tibet Buddhism, Panchen Lama is just the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha. Today 600 monks live in the monastery.In the afternoon ,visit the Shigatse free market.

Day 13£ºShigatze/Lhasa
Driver back to Lhasa and free in the afternoon.

Day 14£º Lhasa Departure

Transfer to Gongar airport and fly back to Beijingto connect with your flight home, the tour ends.


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