Dates: Private Tour (Yours to choose)
*pricing based on a private group of 4
Kangding, Tagong grasslands, Zhanggu village hotsprings
Private vehicle with driving distance 850 KM
Starts and end in Chengdu
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!
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.
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.
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.