4 Day Gateway to Tibet - Small Group Tour

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 offers some of the most authentic, untouched corners of the Tibetan world. While more well-traveled places require enduring the crowds, in Eastern Tibet you will experience little to no tourism traffic along with an untouched natural environment. From low-lying Panda country to high-valley river towns and big-sky grasslands, the landscape of Eastern Tibet is also much more diverse. Enjoy the best of Tibetan culture and hospitality, while taking in the breathtaking mountain vistas and vast grasslands found only on the roof of the world. This quick four-day trip offers you a glimpse into these remote areas that are so close, yet seemingly a world away. 

This trip is perfect for those already in Chengdu and wanting an extended weekend away, or for those who's travel time is limited but wish to see authentic Tibetan culture and lifestyle. Heading out of Chengdu, you will be whisked along to the 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.  

From Kangding you criss-cross your way up to the Zheduo Mountain pass at 4200m, to arrive at the Tibetan Plateau! This truly is the Roof of the World. On the plateau, Tagong introduces you to Tibet’s traditional nomadic lifestyle. At roughly 3800 meters, you will experience the thrill and exhaustion of life at high elevation. After a full day of exploring this "Wild West" town, you will loop back to Kangding for the night, and then reluctantly depart for Chengdu the next day. 

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4 Days

Upcoming Group Trip Dates:

  • April 3 - 6, 2023
    Register by March 20, 2023
Key Destinations

Kangding, Tagong grasslands, Zhanggu village hotsprings


Private commercially licensed vehicle and driver

Starts / Ends

Starts and ends in Chengdu

  • All transport as per itinerary
  • Private vehicle and driver
  • Excellent English speaking Tibetan guide
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Accommodation based on dorm rooms (3 nights)
  • Activities and entrance fees enroute (per the itinerary)
Not Included
  • Any travel arrangments not included in itinerary
  • Medical, travel, and trip interruption insurance
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Activities not included on the trip itinerary
  • Souvenirs, laundry, items of a personal nature
  • Alcoholic beverages


Tibet's Wild Frontier MapKangding and Tagong are at the heart of our

Tibet’s Wild Frontier 11 day private tour.

DAY 1 - Chengdu to Kangding

Accommodation: Nicang Tibetan Hotel, Kangding

This evening you will meet your group and leave Chengdu behind! Heading out of the Sichuan basin and deep into the mountains that guard the approach to the Tibet-Qinghai plateau, you pass through a virtual time warp on your 4.5 hour journey. At 2600m in elevation everything becomes new: landscape, climate, cuisine, language, customs, and of course, the people. Arriving later in the evening, you’ll be welcomed by the small but lively city of Kangding, and its uniquely lit up skyline.

DAY 2 - Kangding

Accommodation: Nicang Tibetan Hotel, Kangding

Today after breakfast, you will take a half day trek to the top of Kangding's grasslands for a scenic view of the city and the seemingly endless mountains beyond town. A picnic and some further exploration will be enjoyed at the top (3100m) where Tibetan horses, cows, and yaks make their pasture. You'll return to town by late afternoon in time for a short rest before dinner at the beautiful Malaya Tibetan Restaurant in the heart of town. After dinner, you’ll pass by the town square where nightly community dances are held. Feel free to join in!

DAY 3 - Kangding - Tagong Loop

Accommodation: Nicang Tibetan Hotel, Kangding

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 as you visit a local homestay where Extravagant yak has been bringing guests for years. Invited in for yak butter tea, you will quickly get a first-hand taste of Tibetan culture and lifestyle. The monastery in Tagong is considered one of the most important outside of Lhasa. You will have opportunity to explore its halls and walk beside pilgrims, many of whom have travelled far to get there. Leaving Tagong, you will visit Ani Gompa, the largest nunnery in the area, home to more than 500 nuns. You will have the opportunity to engage with stone carvers who engrave Buddist scriptures on mani stones for local pilgrims. The day's journey continues as you wind your way around Mt. Yala along the scenic mountain road back to Kangding.  On the way back to Kangding, enjoy an optional dip in the hot springs at Zhanggu village before returning to town for a dinner of delicious Tibetan cuisine.

DAY 4 - Kangding to Chengdu

After breakfast, you will have one last opportunity to explore Kangding. You may enjoy a more active morning hiking to one of the mountain lookouts, strolling along the river and through the markets, or enjoying a quiet moment at a coffee shop before your reluctant departure. Leaving Kangding after lunch will have you back in Chengdu by early evening. As you wind your way back through steep mountain valleys you will be reminded again of why Tibet has remained so cut off from the rest of the world for much of history. This short four-day trip will leave you feeling nostalgic for another time, and wondering what other treasures there are for you to discover in the valleys and vast land of Tibet.