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15 Days Private Tour Chengdu – Dujiangyan – Wolong – Siguniang Shan – Danba – Tagong – Luhuo - Garze - Manigango - Yilhun Lhatso – Dege – Pelyul - Yarchen Gar – Garze - Xinlong - Litang -  - Yajiang - Xinduqiao - Kangding - Yaan - Chengdu
Highlights
Rental Car Tour to Discover the Essence of Tibetan Area Kham
DAY
1

Arrive in Chengdu

Enjoy Chengdu leisurely daily life, Kuanzhai Xiangzi, drink tea in People’s Park

In the morning arrival in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, home town of giant panda. Picked up by the local guide at airport and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon stroll in the beautiful old block of Chengdu - Wide Alley and Narrow Alley (Kuan Xiangzi and Zhai Xiangzi), they are the relics of the Manchurian garrison since 1718 and consist of 3 parallel lanes with the old classical houses, which are unique in southern China just like the northern Chinese architectural style presented by Hutong. After a careful renovation in June 2008, the pubs, teahouses, restaurants and guesthouses concentrate here, and in no time at all, it becomes the "lobby of leisure capital Chengdu". A walk here gives you a first impression of the "city of loafers". Then visit the People’s Park in the city center, have a seat in an old teahouse, enjoy your covered-bowl tea in a comfortable environment with bamboo chair and bamboo table, the tea culture of Chengdu is well known throughout China.

Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Kuanzhai Xiangzi
Kuanzhai Xiangzi
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
2

Chengdu

Completion of the administrative formalities for self drive with rental car

In the morning transfer to the hospital for a short physical examination, and get your temporary Chinese driving license.

Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Breakfast
Jinli Old Street
Jinli Old Street
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
3

Self drive Chengdu - Dujiangyang - Wolong - Siguniang Shan Town

Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Panda in Wolong, sunset of Mt. Siguniangshan

In the morning pick up the car in the hotel and then drive to Dujiangyan to visit the Irrigation System, which was built around 250 BC by Li Bin, a governor of Shu Prefecture in Qin State. The great project still works well today after more than two thousand year’s function, which not only puts an end of the water disaster to the local people but also makes Chengdu Plain “the land of abundance”. While visiting the water conservation work, you may find that the methods of harnessing the river the ancient people used are so simple but useful. In 2000, Dujiangyan became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After that drive to Wolong National Nature Reserve. 52 km long from east to west and 62 km wide from south to north, the whole area is 200,000 hm². It is one of the China earliest natural reverses, which is rated the preservation zones network of “mankind and living beings” by the Organization of Education, Science and Culture of United Nations (UNESCO). The virgin forest, second bush forest and bamboo groves are very green. There are over 4,000 kinds of high-level plants, 24 kinds of them are valuable plants, such as Gongtong (Chinese dove tree), red China fir, Lianxiang and so on. There are more than 450 kinds of vertebras, 45 kinds of them are rated national focal preserved animals, such as giant panda, golden monkeys, antelopes, white-mouth deer etc. The natural beautiful scene is quiet and secluded. Visit Shenshuping Panda Base in Wolong, about 50 pandas live here, it is the largest breeding center for giant pandas, integrating scientific research, feeding, breeding, reproduction, wildness training, etc. Then drive to Siguniang Shan Town (former Rilong) through the Balang Tunnel, if the weather is good, enjoy the beautiful landscape of sunset of Siguniang Shan Mountain (Four Sisters Mountain) at the Maobiliang.

221 km
4 hours 10 minutes
Overnight at Yunshang Hotel
Breakfast
Sunset of Siguniangshan Mountain
Sunset of Siguniangshan Mountain
Photo by Min Zhao
DAY
4

Self drive Siguniang Shan Town – Danba

Sunrise of Mt. Siguniang, Shuangqiao Valley, Wori Tusi Manor, Tibetan village Jiaju

If the weather is good, you’ll get early to enjoy the great panoramic view of Mt. Siguniang Shan at Maobiliang at sunrise. The Siguniang Shan Mountain (also Four Sisters Mountain, Four Girls Mountain, Four Maidens Mountain) has four over 5000 m peaks, legend has it that each peak represents a girl of the 4 sisters. The highest peak, Yaomei Feng, the youngest girl and at 6250 m, is also known as the “queen of Sichuan's peaks”. Soft hiking in the Shuangqiao Valley (Double-bridge Valley) of the Siguniang Shan Mountain, the scenery is concentrated and charming. Afterwards drive to visit Wori Tusi Manor, the former official residence of the local Tusi, a kind of imperial kingship leader. After that drive to visit Tibetan village Jiaju, the most beautiful village of China. In Danba, the local people are called Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetans. Walking and visit in the Jiaju village. There are more than one hundred buildings with the same architectural style, a complete and unique character of Jiarong Tibetan residences. Under the blue sky, the Tibetan residences decorated in red, white and black are strewed at random but also in school from the bottom to the middle slope of the valley.

110 km
2 hours 26 minutes
Overnight at Mantuoluo Hotel
Breakfast
Jiaju Village, Danba
Jiaju Village, Danba
Photo by Min Ke
DAY
5

Self drive Danba - Bamei – Tagong

Block towers in Suopo, Huiyuan Temple, Lhagang Monastery, Gyergo Nunnery and the grand mani wall of Hepingfahui, sunset of Yala Mountain

Danba has long been acclaimed as the Kingdom of Thousands of Ancient Blockhouses. In the morning visit the ancient block towers in Suopo. They were made of clay and block and look fine from outside with solid thick walls. Then drive to Bamei, on the way visit the Huiyuan Temple and the beautiful villages. Upon arrival at Tagong, visit the Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si) of Sayka Sect, which is surrounded by three hills symbolizing three Bodhisattvas. It is said that the blessing of a reserved Jowo Shakyamuni image left by Wencheng Princess in this monastery to the pilgrims resembles the Lhasa Jowo Shakyamuni image in Lhasa. Then visit the impressive Gyergo Nunnery and the grand mani wall of Hepingfahui. From the hillside next to the Muya Golden Pagoda, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Zhara Lhatse (5.820 m, also Jara or Yala), when the weather is good, the scenery at sunset is especially spectacular.

117 km
2 hours 43 minutes
Overnight at Duwang Hotel
Breakfast
Gyergo Nunnery in Tagong
Gyergo Nunnery in Tagong
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
6

Self drive Tagong - Luhuo - Kasa Lake - Garze (3390 m)

Sunrise of Yala Mountain, Kasa Lake, Han-Chinese Monastery

From the hillside next to the Muya Golden Pagoda, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Zhara Lhatse (5.820 m, also Jara or Yala), when the weather is good, the scenery at sunset is especially spectacular. Then drive to Garze (Ganzi), the real cultural and religious center for the Tibetans living in Sichuan. In Tibetan "Garze" means "white and beauty", named after the famous in 1552 built temple of yellow sect (Gelukpa) in the county. In Garze visit the Han-Chinese Monastery. It is the oldest architecture in Garze built by Han-Chinese in 1274, the Han-Chinese and Tibetan buildings symbolize cultural integration and solidarity of Han-Chinese and Tibetan people.

227 km
5 hours 3 minutes
Overnight at Highland Barley Hotel
Breakfast
Kasa Lake
Kasa Lake
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
7

Self drive Garze - Dargye – Manigango (3866 m) - Yilhun Lhatso (4017 m) - Dege (3270 m)

Debate in Garze Monastery, Dargye Monastery, Yilhun Lhatso, rock sculpture frescoes in Keluodong village

In the morning visit the Garze Monastery of Gelukpa school, it was originally constructed by the Qosot Mongols in 1662 on a hilltop overlooking their castles of Mazur and Khangsar. The monks will usually debate at around 9 am, it lasts about 40 minutes. Then drive via Manigango to Dege. On the way visit Dargye Monastery. The Dargye represents the Gelukpa school and was founded in 1642. Pass by Manigango to visit Xinlu Hai Lake (Yilhun Lhatso), located at the foot of Chola Mountain (Que’er Shan). It is 4040 meters above the sea level, with an average depth of 10 meters and a maximum depth of 15 meters. There are plateau spruces, firs, Chinese weeping cypresses, azalea trees and meadows around the lake. It is also a preserve for wild animals like white-lipped deer. Short walking by the lake Yilhun Lhatso. Keep driving through the Chola (Que’er Shan) Tunnel, visit the rock sculpture frescoes in Keluodong village.

183 km
3 hours
Overnight at Ling Gesar Hotel
Breakfast
Debate in Ganzi Monastery
Debate in Ganzi Monastery
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
8

Self drive Dege - Pelyul (3006 m)

Dege Printing House, Dege Gonchen, Pelyul Monastery

In the morning visit the Dege Printing House which has always been well reputed as the cultural treasury at the foot of the snow mountain. It is the biggest printing house in Tibetan area. Another program is visit the Dege Gonchen, meaning “temple”, a monastery of Sakya sect. It was built in 1448, today about 300 monks live here. In the afternoon drive to Pelyul and visit Pelyul Monastery (Baiyu Si) nearby the county seat. This famous Nyingma Sect monastery had played a great role in history and held many subsidiary temples. Then enjoy the grandiose panoramic view of Pelyul Monastery from a hillside when the weather is good.

97 km
2 hours
Overnight at Kunrui Hotel
Breakfast
Dege Printing House
Dege Printing House
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
9

Self drive Pelyul - Yarchen Gar - Garze (3390 m)

Visit Yarchen Gar (Yaqing Si), a big nuns’ world

Today drive back to Garze (Ganzi), on the way visit the Yarchen Gar (Yaqing Si) of Nyingma sect, a big nuns’ world! About 20000 nuns live, learn and meditate here. With 4000 meters above sea level, Yarchen Gar is the largest meditation place for women in the world. After reaching parking lot at Yarchen Gar, walk about 10 minutes to the hillside at the north of Juemu (a title for nun in Tibetan) Island. There is a vast Padmasambhava statue, and in the southwest orientation, you can overlook the grand panorama of whole Yarchen Gar and even Juemu Island. Then go downhill to riverside along small wooden houses where nuns practice meditation. One the way, everywhere you can see that these nuns are sitting in meditation, or scripture debating, or reading quiet, or chatting and relaxing. Yarchen Gar is divided by river into areas for Zhaba (monk) and Juemu (nun). River bank area is for Zhaba, island for Juemu. Cross the bridge on the river and get into Juemu Island, the core zone of Yarchen Gar. Here, the nun’s low and small meditation houses are very intensive and covered the whole peninsula. You can have a walk here and immerse yourself in the pure religious atmosphere of nuns' meditation place.

240 km
6 hours
Overnight at Highland Barley Hotel
Breakfast
A Young Nun in Yarchen
A Young Nun in Yarchen
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
10

Self drive Garze - Xinlong - Tsoka Monastery - Tsoka Lake (3800 m) - Litang

Tsoka Monastery, Tsoka Lake

Tsoka Monastery (Cuoka Si) and Tsoka Lake (Cuoka Hu) in Mari Village, Xinlong County are our destinations today. Tsoka Monastery has inherited the tradition of Karma Kagyu Sect and Nyingma Sect, and Tsoka Lake, a freshwater lake with only 3 square kilometers, is meaning “the black lake water in rubbles” in Tibetan. The lake water is very clear as jasper and reflects the blue sky, white cloud, greenery, green hill, red and white monastery buildings. And after “processing”, it will reveal in a more charming condition. You will be affected by its splendid appearance and spiritual power. Afterwards drive to Litang which is known as "world highland city" with an altitude of 4014 m above sea level. Litang is the homeland of 7th Dalai Lama, and some other living Buddhas were also born in Litang. In late July or early August, a grand horse racing festival will be held in Litang and last about 7 days, which attracts many domestic and foreign visitors.

270 km
6 hours
Overnight at Snow Land Love Song Hotel
Breakfast
Tsoka Monastery and Tsoka Lake
Tsoka Monastery and Tsoka Lake
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
11

Self drive Litang - Daocheng – Shangri-La Town

Litang Monastery

In the morning visit Litang Monastery (Changqingchunke'er Monastery) lying in the western suburbs of the city. The monastery was originally under the control of the Bon religion but converted into a Gelug Sect monastery in 1580 in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) by the third Dalai Lama. Today, it is the largest monastery of the Gelugpa in south Kham. Keep drive over Mt. Haizi and pass by Daocheng to Shangri-La Town, where the highlight of this journey is - Yading nature reserve, home of three sacred Tibetan mountains - Chenresig (Xiannairi, Avalokitesvara, 6032m), Jambeyang (Yangmaiyong, Manjusri, 5958m), and Chanadorje (Xianuoduoji, Vajrapani, 5958m). The scenery here easily rivals that of national parks of the west such as Yellowstone and Yosemite in terms of spectacular, pristine mountain scenery.

226 km
4 hours
Overnight at Holiday Inn Express Daocheng Yading
Breakfast
Litang Monastery
Litang Monastery
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
12

Shangri-La Town - Yading - Shangri-La Town

Walking to the three holy mountains in Yading Nature Reserve

Full day explore the natural beauty of Yading. Drive 30km to Longlongba – the entrance of Yading Nature Reserve. Start trekking tour to Chonggu Monastery and next proceed to Xiannairi Mountain with a mystery Dumu Lake at its mountain foot. Then trek to Luorong Cattle Farm, which is located among Yangmaiyong, Xianuoduoji and Xiannairi Mountains. Finally, back to Longlongba and drive back to hotel.

69 km
1 hour 45 minutes
Overnight at Holiday Inn Express Daocheng Yading
Breakfast
Xialuoduoji Mountain in Yading
Xialuoduoji Mountain in Yading
Photo by Wang Lei
DAY
13

Self drive Yading - Daocheng - Litang - Yajiang - Xinduqiao

Xinduqiao, panorama view of Mt. Gongga

Today drive to Xinduqiao via Litang and Yajiang, a small town on the road juncture where the northern route of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu - Lhasa) and the southern route of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu - Lhasa) meet. If the weather is good, enjoy the panorama view of Mt. Gongga (7556m) from the viewing platform.

417 km
7 hours 16 minutes
Overnight at Black Highland Barley Farm Hotel
Breakfast
View of Gongga Mountain from Xinduqaio
View of Gongga Mountain from Xinduqaio
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
14

Self drive Xinduqiao - Kangding – Luding - Chengdu

Luding Iron Chain Bridge on the Dadu River

Drive back to Chengdu via Kangding, the capital of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. On the way visit Luding Chain Bridge. Luding Chain Bridge (Iron Chain Bridge) on the Dadu River is a treasure of Chinese ancient architecture. The bridge was built in the 44th years of Kangxi in Qing Dynasty (1705) in order to enhance the connection of Tibetan culture. On May 29th, 1935, the Chinese Red Army reached Luding Bridge during the Long March. Facing a hail of bullets, the Chinese Red Army, with 22 warriors as the pioneers of the commando, destroyed the bridge’s guards in one fell swoop, which is an important historical monument of the Communist Party of China. Late in the afternoon arrive in Chengdu, and return the car at the hotel.

352 km
5 hours 53 minutes
Overnight at 4*Xingliang Hotel
Breakfast
Luding Bridge
Luding Bridge
DAY
15

Leave Chengdu

Travel to next destination

Today transfer to airport or railway station, leave Chengdu.
Breakfast
Renmin Park in Chengdu
Renmin Park in Chengdu
Photo by Liu Bin
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This trip can also be tailor-made, please let us know your travel idea: travel date, duration, number of travelers, child (2 - 12 years old), baby (0 - 2 years old), other travel destinations, meals, accommodation category, boutique hotel, special interest ...

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With individual China Tibet travel, you can decide when, where and how you go on tour by yourself. What's more, you can choose the length of travel and whom you go with.

Information
Hotel, program and itinerary are subjected to change with prior notice.
We must point out that you counter a basic tourism infrastructure in this region. You stay overnight mostly at simple hotel/guesthouse. Long driving on bad roads and on high altitude and delays require good physical fitness, resilience and flexibility of the participants. Program and route changes due to unforeseen events are expressly reserved. If you desire the unknown and have an understanding of contingency, this is the right trip for you.
More Impressions
Panda in Wolong | Photo by Liu Bin
Jiaju Village in_Danba | Photo by Liu Bin
Tagong Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Grand Mani Wall in Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Gyergo Nunnery in Tagong | Photo by Liu Bin
Sunset of Yala Mountain | Photo by Liu Bin
Han Chinese Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Ganzi Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Debate in Ganzi Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Old Khampa Tibetan | Photo by Liu Bin
Dargye Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Dargye Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Dege Printing House | Photo by Liu Bin
Dege Printing House | Photo by Liu Bin
Dege Printing House | Photo by Liu Bin
Dege Printing House | Photo by Liu Bin
Dege Printing House | Photo by Liu Bin
Dege Printing House | Photo by Dr. Ningmei Chen
Pelyul Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Yarchen Gar | Photo by Liu Bin
Yarchen Gar | Photo by Liu Bin
Yarchen Gar | Photo by Liu Bin
Tsoka Monastery and Tsoka Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Tsoka Monastery and Tsoka Lake | Photo by Liu Bin
Tsoka Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Tsoka Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Litang Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin
Xiannairi Mountain and Tara Lake in Yading
Yangmaiyong Mountain in Yading | Photo by Wang Lei
Tagong Monastery | Photo by Liu Bin