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10 Days Kham Hidden Treasures Discovery Tour

10 Days Kham Hidden Treasures Discovery Tour

Chengdu--Xiaojin County--Kangding--Lijiang
Duration: 10 days  Departure: All year around
Highlights:
In western Sichuan of Kham region, a large amount of national hidden treasures stand aloof and primitive, composing a secluded Buddhism Kingdom. To discover this snowy kingdom is like entering a brand new but familiar world of life cycle.
DAY BY DAY
D1-D2: Chengdu-Siguniangshan
D3-D4: Siguniang-Dege
D5-D6: Dege-Palyul
D7: Palyul-La- Garze
D8: Garze-Kangding
D9-D10: Kangding-Lijiang
$ per person

Day1: Chengdu - Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base - Siguniangshan Town (200km)

Schedule today: Leave hotel in Chengdu at about 7:30 AM, drive about 1.5 hours to reach Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base. This base is also known as China Giant Panda Garden. The base is highly simulated to Giant Panda's habitat hidden deep into mountains. Afterwards, we drive towards Mt. Siguniang (2 hours). On the way, we can see the ruined old panda base. The road snakes across the beautiful Wolong Nature Reserve, passing by rivers and gorges till it reaches the Balang Mountain tunnel. It's one of the highest mountain in Sichuan, and sometimes on the mountain, one can see vast spreading clouds-sea. When descending at Maobilang Pass at another side of mountain, one can get the best panoramic view of Mt. Siguniang. In the afternoon, you can choose to rest in the hotel or visit Shuangqiao Valley briefly (sightseeing bus is available) of Mt. Siguniang. Stay overnight in Siguniangshan Town.

Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base Mt. Siguniang

Day2: Explore Mt. Siguniang

Schedule today: Mt. Siguniang consists of 3 big valleys, namely Shuangqiao Valley, Changping Valley and Haizi Valley; as Shuangqiao Valley is possible to visit mostly by sightseeing bus with some good hiking trails, Changping Valley and Haizi Valley are suitable for enthusiastic hikers, both valleys take one full day to explore by foot, horse-riding service (self-paid) is available throughout those two valleys also. Bring yourself with some water and snack on the way because there is no restaurant inside the valleys. If you choose hiking, today must be a tiring day, but the amazing sceneries on the way definitely pay off at end of the day. Most tourists praise that those 3 valleys plus the peaks compose the most beautiful picture s in western Sichuan. Stay overnight in Siguniangshan Town.

Haizi Valley Changping Valley

Day3: Siguniang Town - Danba County - Daofu County (300km)

Schedule today: Leave hotel in Siguniang Town at about 8 AM, drive about 2.5 hours westward Danba County, 11km ahead of the county, we will firstly visit the Zhonglu Tibetan Village, "Zhonglu" means "a desirable place for human and gods" in Tibetan. The scenic village integrates canyons, Holy Mountain, temples, watchtowers, unique dwellings andfertile barley fields, constituting a remarkable cultural landscape. After lunch in the county, drive west towards Daofu County via gorges and grassland, on the way, we could also view famous Yala Holy Mountain from its west face. Today, we will experience a Tibetan family-inn stay in the Daofu County because the beautiful and delicate Daofu Dwellings are exactly the most famous and impressive landmark of the county.

Zhonglu Tibetan Village Daofu Dwellings

Day4: Daofu County - Garze County - Dege County (330km)

Schedule today: After breakfast, leave Tibetan family-inn of Daofu County around 8:30 AM, the first county we will pass is Luhuo County, this only takes 1.5 hours. Another 2 hours' drive brings us to Garze County; reroute, we can have a short stop to view the Kasa Lake. Continue to drive after lunch in Garze County, 2 hours later, visit the holy lake of Xinluhai Lake near Manigange Town, King Gesar's wife was said to bath here once and loved this lake very much. Afterwards, drive to Dege County via Chola Mountain, this mountain used to be the highest and toughest mountain to pass from Sichuan to Tibet, but now a tunnel has been built and opened from May, 2017, so it's much easier now to pass this mountain. Stay overnight in Dege County.

Kasa Lake Xinluhai Lake

Day5: Dege County Exploration 

Schedule today:  Dege means "a kind place" in Tibetan Buddhism. As one of the three major cradles of Tibetan culture, Dege County is the core area of Kham culture, the birthplace of the South Sect of Tibetan medicine, and the hometown of King Gesar, the hero in the world's longest epic Gesar Epic, which is also known as "the Oriental Iliad". In the morning, we will visit the very famous Dege Sutra Printing House, as one of the three major Tibetan sutra-printing houses; Dege Sutra Printing House is the key cultural relics under national protection and the best preserved Tibetan sutra printing house in the world by far. It owns 70% of all cultural books in Tibet and more than 300,000 engraved plates. That's why it's entitled as "the World Encyclopedia of Tibetan Culture". In the afternoon, visit Gonchen Monastery which has been serving as the family temple of Dege Headman's clan since 1448. It was directly controlled by the Headman and played an important role in aiding the political and religious govern of Dege family. According to family's stipulations, no Rinpoche is appointed in Gonchen Monastery and the power of leadership is hereditary within the family. Stay overnight in Dege County.

Dege Sutra Printing House Gonchen Monastery

Day6: Dege County - Palyul County (180km)

Schedule today: After breakfast, leave hotel in Dege County around 8:30 AM, drive south towards Palyul County along the Jinsha River, the border between Sichuan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region. Half way, we choose to visit either Palpung Monastery or Kathok Monastery.

Option 1: Palpung Monastery is the seat of Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhist in Kham region. It is known as one of the most beautiful monasteries in Kham region and is called the "Little Potala Palace". There are many Tibetan paintings and sculptures in Palpung Monastery, with ancient frescos on the walls of the splendid hall.

Option 2: Kathok Monastery was founded in 1159, over 800 years' history makes the monastery the most ancient monastery in Kham, admired as the "mother" of Buddhism in Kham. Padmasambhava (Lotus-Born) personally consecrated the monastery 13 times, the same for Mahabodhi Temple, the Vajra Seat in India, hence the Kthok Monastery is also called "Vajra Seat the Second". There are only three principal Vajra Seats in the world, specifically in India, Kathok and Mt. Wutai. In the late afternoon, visit the Palyul Monastery in the Palyul County. With the monastery buildings covering the entire mountain and huts plus houses for Sanghas arranged in rows, Palyul Monastery looks majestically beautiful in the sunset glow. Stay overnight in Palyul County.

Palpung Monastery Kathok Monastery

Day7: Palyul County - Yarchen Monastery - Garze County (260km)

Schedule today: After breakfast, leave hotel in Palyul County around 9:00 AM, drive east towards Garze County. On the way, visit Yarchen Monastery that was built in 1985, it is as famous as the Seda Larong Wuming Buddhist Institute for its grand scale, now there are over 10 thousand sanghas living here, most of them are nuns. Yarchen Monastery lies on grassy island surrounded by river and mountains. The nearby hills are scattered with box-like max 2 square meters size red meditation-huts built by nuns, in which nuns will spend around 3-5 months long meditation period. On the hilltop, there is a statue of Padmasambhava (Lotus-Born), where tourists can have an overview of the island. Sitting here and enjoying the view appeals to your mind no less than other monasteries in Kham. Stay overnight in Garze County.

Yarchen Monastery Yarchen Monastery

Day8: Garze County - Kangding City (365km)

Schedule today: After breakfast, leave hotel in Garze County around 9:00 AM, drive south towards Kangding City. Have lunch at Daofu County where we experienced family-stay on day three. Further south on the way back, we will firstly arrive at Tagong Grassland which is noted for its stunning nomadic views; a horse riding experience on grassland (self-paid) is possible if you want to try. Afterwards, drive towards Xinduqiao Town that is famed by photographers as the Heaven of Photography, because the autumn color of miles of huge and tall trees on both sides of road in Xinduqiao Town is highly fascinating. Reach Kangding City after pass Zheduo Mountain. Stay in Kangding tonight.

Tagong Grassland Xinduqiao Town

Day9: Kangding - Luding - Hailuogou Glacier Park (110km)

Schedule today: After breakfast, leave hotel at about 8:30. About 2.5 hours later, we can reach the Hailuogou National Glacier and Forest Park with its entrance located at the Moxi Ancient Town. We advise you to buy some snacks or have a quick lunch before entering the national park, because it's inconvenient to have meals inside the national park. Take the sightseeing bus to Camp 3 (1 hour), from there you can either take the cable car (RMB 150, round trip) to camp 4 to view the large icefall of the glacier or hiking downwards to the beautiful glacier relics, to choose which totally depends on weather. If weather is good, to Camp 4 is advised, otherwise, glacier relics are also very good choice. The last cable car from Camp 4 down to Camp 3 departs at 4 PM and the last sightseeing bus leave Camp 3 to entrance departs at 5PM, so make sure you won't miss anything. Stay overnight at Moxi Ancient Town. P.S: There is one 4 star hotel at Camp 3 if you want to stay inside the national park, though it's more expensive, yet you can not only enjoy the famous Hailuogou open air hot spring spa at Camp 2 surrounded by the snowcapped mountain but also view the golden sunrise over the Mt. Gongga next morning just through the window of the hotel.

Hailuogou Glacier Hotel at Camp 3

Day 10: Hailuogou Glacier Park - Chengdu (308 km)

Schedule today: After breakfast, have a short visit of the Moxi Ancient Town and then drive 6 hours back to Chengdu. If you stay at hotel in Camp 3 last night, you can take the sightseeing bus back to entrance of the national park and leave for Chengdu directly. The tour ends at your hotel in Chengdu or airport or train station in Chengdu. But we do not advise you to book your flight or train ticket leaving Chengdu this afternoon or evening, because this section of road often sees traffic control lasts hours long due to road repair, particularly in the rainy season of July and August. So, booking your tickets to leave Chengdu next day in the afternoon is strongly advised, especially in summer of rainy season.

Moxi Ancient Town Moxi Ancient Town
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