Home > Tibet Festival TourFestival Tour in Tibetan Areas Kham and Amdo
18 Days Private Tour Chengdu – Ya'an – Kangding – Tagong – Luhuo - Garze - Manigango - Yilhun Lhatso – Dege – Pelyul - Yarchen Gar – Garze - Xinlong - Litang - Daocheng - Shangri-La Town - Yading - Litang - Xinduqiao - Kangding - Chengdu
Garze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the Kham in West Sichuan, gathers all natural and cultural elements of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and it boasts own uniqueness: Dege Scripture Printing House – the head of three great Tibetan culture centers, Legend of King Gesar – the longest heroic epic in the world, brilliant prayer ceremonies in monastery and folk festivals, and it’s a paradise for birds and wild animals...

On this tour, we will go to Tibetan area Kham. We drive from Chengdu via Ya'an, Kangding to Tagong to experience the Mask Dance (Cham) Festival in Tagong Monastery. Then we drive via Garze, Yilhun Lhatso (Xinlu Hai Lake) to Dege and visit Dege Printing House, the “encyclopedia of Tibetan culture” - the head of the three major Tibetan cultural centers. Afterwards, we go to Baiyu along Jingsha River (the upstream of Yangtze River) to visit the magnificent Pelyul Monastery (Baiyu Si) of Nyingma Sect. The most attracting highlight is the Yarchen Gar that is the largest place for female meditation practice and where we can feel the pure religious atmosphere. After that, we drive via Tsoka Lake and Tsoka Monastery to Litang, the "world highland city" and the culture center of Kham. From there we go to Yading, Daocheng. In Yading we walk among snowy mountains, holy lakes and alpine valleys. Then we drive back to Litang to experience the Horse Racing Festival. On the way back to Chengdu, we will go through Xinduqiao, the "Paradise of Photographers", and climb onto the observation platform to overlook the main peak of Gongga Mountain (Minya Konka, 7556 m).
Highlights
Experience Tagong Mask Dance Festival and Litang Horse Racing Festival 2021
DAY
1

18.07.2021 Arrive in Chengdu

Home town of panda. Kuanzhai Xiangzi, drink tea in People’s Park

Arrive in Chengdu, capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Pick up 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

19.07.2021 Chengdu – Ya’an – Kangding

Bifengxia Panda Base, ancient tea-horse-road, Kangding - gateway to Tibetan area Kham

Leave in the morning for Kangding. Across the Tunnel of Erlang Mountain, the mountain was traditionally the natural borders of Han Chinese villages and the Tibetan communities. On the way visit the Bifengxia Panda Base, it was established at the end of 2003, and has become a paradise for giant pandas, a national treasure, with the function of raising, breeding and rescuing giant pandas. It has over 20 giant pandas. At last arrive in Kangding, the capital of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the important juncture of Tibetan and Han People in history. Next you’ll drive on the zigzag road up to the mountain chain of Hengduanshan, which extends from the north to the south.

299 km
4 hours 25 minutes
Overnight at 4*Love Song Hotel (2560 m)
Breakfast
Panda in Bifengxia
Panda in Bifengxia
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
3

20.07.2021 Kangding - Tagong

Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si), Gyergo Nunnery and the grand mani wall of Hepingfahui

Drive to Tagong to visit the Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si) of Sayka Sect, which is surrounded by three hills symbolizing three Budhisattvas. 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.

92 km
2 hours 26 minutes
Overnight at Duwang Hotel (3730 m)
Breakfast
Gyergo Nunnery in Tagong
Gyergo Nunnery in Tagong
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
4

21.07.2020 Tagong

Mask dance (Cham) festival in Lhagang Monastery, sunset of Yala Mountain

Today is the first day of the Mask Dance (Cham) Festival. Watch mask dance in Lhagang Monastery (Tagong Si) of Sayka Sect. 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.

Overnight at Duwang Hotel
Breakfast
Mask Dance in Tagong Monastery
Mask Dance in Tagong Monastery
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
5

22.07.2021 Tagong

Sunrise of Yala Mountain, Mask dance festival in Lhagang Monastery, visit manual workshop for highland barley sauce and a small community library

If the weather is fine, get up early and go to the hillside next to the Muya Golden Pagoda to enjoy the panoramic view of the Yala Mountain at sunrise. Today enjoy various religious praying activities and mask dances at festival. Then visit a manual workshop where the local Khampa Tibetan highland barley sauce manufacture. And visit a small community library.

Overnight at Duwang Hotel
Breakfast
Mask Dance in Tagong Monastery
Mask Dance in Tagong Monastery
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
6

23.07.2021 Tagong - Luhuo - Garze (3390 m)

Horse racing in Tagong. Kasa Lake. Han-Chinese Monastery

Take part in the horse racing in the morning. The monks in Tagong Monastery chant scriptures and pray for the horse team, and then the horse riders gallop away from the Muya Golden Pagoda toward the holy mountain Yala. 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. On the way visit beautiful Kasa Lake. 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.

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

24.07.2021 Garze - 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

25.07.2021 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 Dongcha Culture Hotel
Breakfast
Dege Printing House
Dege Printing House
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
9

26.07.2021 Pelyul - Yarchen Gar - Garze (3390 m)

Visit Yarchen Gar (Yaqing Si), a big nun’s 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 Gar
A Young Nun in Yarchen Gar
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
10

27.07.2021 Garze - Xinlong - Tsoka Monastery - Tsoka Lake (3800 m) – Litang (4014 m)

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

28.07.2021 Litang – Daocheng (3750 m) – Shangri-La Town (2900 m)

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 is the highlight of this journey - 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

29.07.2021 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 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.

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

30.07.2021 Shangri-La Town – Litang (4014 m)

Bangpu Monastery

Drive back to Litang, on the way visit Bangpu Monastery, which was built by the first generation Gyalwa Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa in 1144.

226 km
4 hours
Overnight at Snow Land Love Song Hotel
Breakfast
Bangpu Monastery
Bangpu Monastery
DAY
14

31.07.2021 Litang

Visit Khampa Tibetan family in the surrounding village

In the morning, visit the surrounding villages to experience how to make butter tea and Zanba (Tibetan staple food). In the afternoon, watch people preparing for the horse racing festival on the Maoya grassland.

Overnight at Snow Land Love Song Hotel
Breakfast
Litang Horse Racing
Litang Horse Racing
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
15

01.08.2021 Litang

Horse Racing Festival in Litang

In late July or early August, a grand horse racing festival will be held in Litang and it lasts about 7 days, which attracts many domestic and foreign visitors. Today take part in the Litang Horse Racing Festival. Currently the traditional festival has further developed. Besides the traditional horseracing, other activities like horsemanship, singing, dancing, national costume show, etc. have become part of the grand festival. Large-scale material exchange also takes place during the festival.

Overnight at Snow Land Love Song Hotel
Breakfast
Litang Horse Racing
Litang Horse Racing
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
16

02.08.2021 Litang – Xinduqiao (3460 m)

Horse Racing Festival in Litang

In the morning take part in the Litang Horse Racing Festival. In the afternoon drive to Xinduqiao, the “Paradise of Photographers”, 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. When the weather is good, you can see the main peak of Gongga Mountain (7556 m, Minya Konka, “the King Peak of Sichuan”) from Xinduqiao.

196 km
3 hours 43 minutes
Overnight at Fanyin Aman Art Hotel
Breakfast
Litang Horse Racing
Litang Horse Racing
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
17

03.08.2021 Xinduqiao - Kangding – Luding – Yaan - Chengdu

Luding Iron Chain Bridge on the Dadu River

Cross over Zheduo Shan Pass (4298 m) to Kangding and Luding. In Luding 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. Keep driving back to Chengdu.

352 km
5 hours 53 minutes
Overnight at 4*Xingliang Hotel
Breakfast
View of Gongga Mountain from Xinduqaio
View of Gongga Mountain from Xinduqaio
Photo by Liu Bin
DAY
18

04.08.2021 Leave Chengdu

Travel to next destination

Today transfer to airport or railway station, leave Chengdu.
Breakfast
Tea House in Renmin Park
Tea House in Renmin Park
Photo by Liu Bin
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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 journeys 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
Tagong Monastery | Photo by  Liu Bin
Debate in Ganzi Monastery | 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
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 Tsoka Lake | Photo by  Liu Bin
Xiannairi and Tara Lake | Photo by  Liu Bin
Yangmaiyong Mountain
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by Wang Lei
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Litang Horse Racing Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tagong Mask Dance Festival | Photo by  Liu Bin
Tsoka Monastery Tsoka Lake | Photo by Liu Bin