Upcoming Group Trip Dates:
Kangding, Tagong grasslands, Zhanggu village hotsprings
Private commercially licensed vehicle and driver
Starts and ends in Chengdu
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.
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!
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.
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.