Tibet’s Wild Frontier

Attention: by choosing this selection, you are paying to book a private room on top of what you have already purchased previously (i.e. paying to not share a bedroom with another tour guest).
Eastern Tibet’s cultural and scenic riches remain a well kept secret to the mainstream tourism industry in China and Tibet. Spend a day exploring the treasures of Chengdu. Then, head to the Eastern Tibet gateway town of Kangding. Perched on the Eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau, this historic trading town remains a city of commerce and communication between Han Chinese and Tibetan peoples. At 2500m, it is the perfect place for acclimatization for the days ahead.

From Kangding you criss-cross your way up to the Zheduo Mountain pass at 4200m. You have now arrived to the Tibetan Plateau! This truly is the Roof of the World. The days ahead will maximize both the cultural and natural aspects of this majestic land and it’s people. Tagong introduces you to Tibet’s traditional nomadic lifestyle on the plateau. At roughly 3800 meters, you will experience the thrill and exhaustion of life at high elevation. Eventually, you descend through some beautiful, narrow valleys off of the plateau and into Danba. Also known as, Valley of Beauties, the lush, steep mountains of Danba offers a stark contrast to the flat grasslands of Tagong. Get an up-close look at their farming lifestyle that has been dug out of these mountain valleys for centuries.

The diversity offered over 11 days makes this our most popular tour in Kham Tibet.

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11 Days

Dates: Private Tour (Yours to choose)

Key Destinations

Kangding, Tagong grasslands, Danba, Zhonglu village


Private vehicle with driving distance 850 KM

Starts / Ends

Starts and end in Chengdu

  • All transport, including airport pick-up and transfers
  • Private vehicle and driver
  • Excellent English speaking guide
  • All meals with wine included at dinner (as selected by Extravagant Yak)
  • Complimentary use of a cell phone with local number for the duration of the trip
  • All accommodation based on double occupancy
  • All activities and entrance fees enroute (per the itinerary)
Not Included
  • International airfare
  • Medical, travel, and trip interruption insurance
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Activities not included on the trip itinerary
  • Souvenirs, laundry, items of a personal nature

DAY 1 - Arrive in Chengdu

Accommodation: Fraser Suites, Chengdu

The heart of Western China welcomes you as your driver navigates the throngs of cyclists which mix with the rhythm of a modern city. After check-in and a rest at the beautiful Fraser Suites, you're off to dinner and a visit at China's historical Three Kingdoms era Zhuge Liang Memorial Temple and Jinli Ancient Street.

DAY 2 - Chengdu

Accommodation: Fraser Suites, Chengdu

Your private guide will escort you to the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Center for close up viewing of these curious creatures who are more native to Sichuan than the people themselves. In the afternoon you'll enjoy a stroll into the past on a visit to Chengdu's oldest and best preserved Buddhist temple: Wenshu Yuan. An afternoon rest will be followed by an evening's entertainment at the Sichuan Opera.



DAY 3 - Chengdu to Kangding

Accommodation: Zhilam Hostel, Kangding

Leaving Chengdu, today you head out of the Sichuan basin to penetrate deep into the mountains that guard the approach to the Tibet-Qinghai plateau. You pass through a virtual time warp on your six hour journey. Everything becomes new: landscape, climate, cuisine, language, customs, and of course, the people. On the first evening in Kangding (elev. 2600m) you'll visit Ngachu monastery, followed by a community dance (feel free to join in!).


DAY 4 - Kangding

Accommodation: Zhilam Hostel, Kangding

The first thing you notice the next morning is that everywhere you look goes up! Kangding is perched on the edge of the Tibet-Qinghai plateau. A cable car (or optional walk) to the top of Paoma Mountain look-out will follow breakfast. The afternoon will include a fascinating introduction to this new land you've encountered with a visit to the Tibetan Museum of Cultural History. And a stroll through the markets later in the day will give you an idea of why this town has been a key historical trading center between Tibetans and the Chinese.

DAY 5 - Kangding

Accommodation: Zhilam Hostel, Kangding

Today a forty-five minute drive will take you out of town to the scenic mountain pass of Ya Jia Gen. Along the way, scenery of rural Tibetan life in still-ancient villages mixes together with panoramic views from the top of the pass to become a visual extravaganza. An alpine lake at the top will provide a surreal location for a picnic lunch, followed by exploration of the surrounding ridges by foot. You'll return to town by late afternoon for a Tibetan dinner.

DAY 6 - Kangding to Tagong

Accommodation: Jya Drolma and Gayla's Tibetan Homestay, Tagong

This morning is up, up, up… and over the Zheduo Mountain pass (4200m) to the renowned nomadic trading village of Tagong (3700m). Weather permitting, you'll see the peak of Gong-ga Mountain (7566m) along the way - the highest peak in China outside of the Himalayas. This high altitude grassland area is home to many nomadic families who spend their days herding yaks. The warmth of Tibetan hospitality awaits you at a local homestay where Extravagant yak has been bringing guests for years.

DAY 7 - Tagong to Zhonglu Tibetan Village (Danba)

Accommodation: Zhonglu Village Tibetan Homestay, Danba

After a visit to a local monastic community, you'll enjoy one of the most scenic drives on the Tibetan plateau. The drive from Tagong to Danba is breathtaking in its rugged beauty. The route provides stunning views of one of the most beautiful mountains in Eastern Tibet, Mt. Yala , as you follow a seemingly endless mountain canyon down to the tucked away town of Danba (elev. 1900m). High up on one of the surrounding hills lies your destination for the next two nights: the quaint Tibetan village of Zhonglu.

DAY 8 - Zhonglu Tibetan Village

Accommodation: Zhonglu Village Tibetan Homestay, Danba

Today a relaxing hike on the surrounding slopes will offer stunning views of the valley along with beautiful terraced farms where the locals have cultivated an existence for generations. This area is also famous for its ancient tower ruins that date back hundreds of years to the warring period between Tibetan clans. In the afternoon your host will treat you to an historical and cultural tour of his 700 year old home complete with cultural relics from hundreds of years ago.

DAY 9 - Zhonglu Village to Four Sisters Mt.

Accommodation: Metok Light Inn, Changping Village

Descending from the terraced heights of Zhonglu, this morning follows a tight canyon valley for three hours on a gradual climb to Changping, the gateway village to the alpine wonderland of Four Sisters Mt. The village is a quaint mountain community of local Tibetans who make a living off of serving mountaineers and trekkers who come from around the globe to adventure in the breathtaking mountains known as the Four Sisters (Siguniangshan, in Chinese). Following lunch, enjoy an afternoon photographic walk through the village and surrounding valley. An optional climb to the adjacent ridge for images of the sunset on the mountains will precede a later dinner.

DAY 10 - Four Sisters Mt. to Chengdu

Accommodation: Fraser Suites, Chengdu

This morning marks your reluctant departure from the mountains, but not before crossing one more 4,000m+ pass (Balang Mt.) for a final view from the Roof of the World. Descending the countless canyons and switchbacks through mountain villages will remind you again why Tibet has remained so cut off from the rest of the world for much of history. After a half day of travel you'll pull into Chengdu in the afternoon to enjoy rest and refreshment in your Fraser Suites room. Enjoy an optional bamboo bike ride along Chengdu's Funan River to feel the vibe of the city before a farewell dinner.

DAY 11 - Depart