Gateway to Tibet

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 travelled 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. 

*For those wishing to see more of Chengdu, and optional full day can be added to this tour which includes a visit the Giant Panda Research base, and an evening at the Sichuan opera.

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4 Days

Dates: Private Tour (Yours to choose)
*pricing based on a private group of 4

Key Destinations

Kangding, Tagong grasslands, Zhanggu village hotsprings


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
  • Accommodation based on double occupancy (3 nights)
  • 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 - Chengdu to Kangding

Accommodation: Ningcang Boutique Guesthouse, Kangding

Leaving Chengdu early today, you head 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 four hour journey. Everything becomes new: landscape, climate, cuisine, language, customs, and of course, the people. Arriving in Kangding (elev. 2600m), the first thing you notice is that everywhere you look goes up! Kangding is perched on the edge of the plateau. After lunch, you have many options as you explore this mountain city. Visiting Ngachu monastery will give you an introduction to monastic life; a walk (or optional cable car) to the top of Paoma Mountain look-out will give you a good view of the city; and a stroll through the markets will show you why this town remains a key historical trading center between Tibetans and the Chinese. Community dances are held in the town square every evening in Kangding. Feel free to join in!

DAY 2 - Kangding

Accommodation: Ningcang Boutique Guesthouse, 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). The afternoon activity will involve a cultural visit to Dordrak Monastery followed by a tour of the Tibetan Museum of Cultural History, for a fascinating historical, natural, and cultural overview of this new land you've just encountered.

DAY 3 - Kangding to Tagong

Accommodation: Ningcang Boutique Guesthouse, 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 it's halls and walk beside pilgrims, many of whom have travelled far to get there. On the way back to Kangding, enjoy a dip in the hotsprings at Zhanggu village before returning to town for a dinner of delicious Tibetan cuisine.

DAY 4 - Kangding to Chengdu

This morning marks the reluctant departure from the mountains. Winding your way back through steep mountain valleys will remind you again why Tibet has remained so cut off from the rest of the world for much of history. This short three-day trip will leave you feeling nostalgic for another time, and wondering what other treasures there are for you to discover in the vast land of Tibet.