Dates: Yours to choose
Munigou Village, Zhaga Waterfall, Songpan
7 seat Buick mini-van
Starts and end in Chengdu
Departing your Chengdu hotel at 8:00am, today’s journey offers scenery that is surpassed only by the beauty of the destination. Much of the drive is spent ascending a relentless mountain canyon that takes you through countless tunnels and switchbacks up to your final elevation at 3000m. The turn off of the main highway that marks the final ascent up to the village is simultaneous with an automatic adjustment to the pace of life characterized by village life. Upon arrival, enjoy a walk through the valley to help quench your curiosity and prepare your appetite for a delicious dinner prepared by your Tibetan host and partly consisting of wild vegetables picked from the surrounding mountains
After your morning coffee and breakfast, it is time to get on your bamboo bike for an 8km gentle descent to the entrance of Zhaga Waterfall Park. The beautiful 3km park is set in old growth forest similar to what you find in the Pacific Northwest. The forest naturally draws you in to the central feature of the park: a 100m high limestone cliff with cascading falls thundering down to the river below. A short hike to the top of the falls takes you to 3200m elevation, the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch. Following lunch and departure from the park, a further descent down the valley by bicycle will take you to the local monastic community for an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism . For those with steam still left in their legs, the return trip to the village can be made by bicycle or, optionally, by vehicle.
After a 5km easy bike ride over to an adjacent valley, this morning enjoy a fascinating introduction to the history of Amdo Tibet as you visit the county seat of Songpan and take a walk on the remains of the city wall that was used to repel invaders 600 years ago. The old town features goods for sale that indicate this town was a key trading center for nomads from the surrounding grasslands for centuries. This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two as you try your own hand at bargaining in the market. After some muslim style noodles for lunch, return to the village and join your host for an optional walk on the hillside to harvest some wild vegetables for dinner.
A full day ahead, you make an early start after breakfast to cycle (optional of course) 7km further up the gentle ascent to Muni Valley Park at the very end of the valley. Surrounded once again by old growth forest, the meandering walkways take you past iridescent turquoise pools with views of the towering mountain ridges above. Return to the village for an early lunch before embarking on your return trip to Chengdu. You can plan to reach your hotel between 6:00 - 7:00 depending on traffic.