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Sacred Buddhist Land

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8 Days
Spring, Summer, Fall
Xining
Lanzhou

Be enchanted by China’s lesser-known Tibetan regions of Qinghai and Gansu, where elderly monks create intricate thangka artworks to the flicker of yak-butter candles, and locals herd livestock across pristine grasslands. “Glamping” among nomads, you’ll enjoy a magical blend of cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-track adventure.

About this Journey

Experience how Tibetan Buddhism has manifested itself outside of Tibet on this adventure to the remote provinces of Qinghai and Gansu. Fairly unknown to the outside world, these provinces are rich in Tibetan Buddhist culture and tradition. Qinghai was the hiding place for many of Tibetan Buddhism’s most sacred scripts and artifacts when Buddhism was under threat in China during the 12th century. Gansu’s Xiahe Country is home to the famous Labrang Monastery, which hosts the largest number of monks outside of Tibet. The hidden monasteries and colorful murals in these regions offer an opportunity to experience Tibetan Buddhism in some of its purest and most original forms.

What we love
  • Exploring Labrang Monastery, where pilgrims perambulate and monks engage in hand clapping debate
  • Embracing nature by following the way of the nomads and camping out in verdant grasslands as yaks and sheep graze around you
Where you're going
Sacred Buddhist Land Map
Itinerary

Day 1 Xining

Arrive in Xining, capital of Qinghai province and home to over 35 nationalities • Admire the frescoes, multicolored thangka paintings, and figurines carved out of yak butter in Kumbum Monastery • Explore the sights and sounds of Xining’s night market.

Day 2 - 3 Tongren

Explore the Dalai Lama’s former home in Dangcai village • Drop by Xunhua town to get to know the local Muslim community and see the former home of the Panchen Lama • Visit Longwu Temple, founded in the 12th century • Visit the intricately decorated Upper and Lower Wudun monasteries, whose monks are highly skilled at the art of thangka painting • Explore the art of Nianduhu and Guomari monasteries.

Day 4 - 7Labrang

Drive from Tongren to Labrang • En route visit Garter Gompa Monastery • Enter the vast Gyenjia grasslands, a rolling landscape of endless green during the summer months dotted by nomadic campsites • Do as the nomads and spend two nights in a local Tibetan campsite • Explore the Norlha textile workshop and hike at your leisure through the surrounding area • Admire Labrang Monastery’s red walls and elaborate gold and copper colored roofs • Follow the pilgrimage trail around Labrang Monastery.

Day 7 - 8 Lanzhou

En route to Lanzhou, visit Linxia, which has been dubbed the “little Mecca of China” for its numerous mosques and minarets • Arrive in Lanzhou for a traditional lamian (“pulled noodle”) dinner.

Recommended Hotels

Norden Camp Gansu

Camp

Norden Camp, situated outside of Labrang in verdant surroundings, offers the opportunity to experience Tibetan culture and the outdoors in style and comfort.

Details

Recommended seasons

Spring

Summer

Fall

What’s Included

  • All overland transfers with private chauffeur and in-transport refreshments
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide
  • Private chauffeur service to and from airport at start and end of your trip

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers
Why WildChina

We’re on the ground with you

Our team of advisors will design every detail of the trip with you through close consultation, then orchestrate your entire journey while on the ground. We’re in the same time zone as you, so we can fulfill requests and handle issues without a hitch. With over 40 staff in Beijing and an expansive network of operational partners across the country, we have the manpower to ensure your journey is safe, reliable and comfortable from beginning to end.

Your trip, your way

Flexibility is our highest-ranking compliment. We pull off journeys for pioneers with a 6-hour layover to Hollywood’s elite, and everywhere in between. Our team regularly pulls off unprecedented logistical feats; nearly any time frame or budget is within our realm. No matter how you wish to experience China, we are here to bring that dream to life.

We embody passion

WildChina guides are carefully handpicked for their knowledge and charisma, then meticulously trained to maintain our exceptional service standards. They are expert storytellers and passionate natives of the regions where they guide, having the perfect combination of local insights and service know-how to bring you seamless once-in-a- lifetime moments all across China.

The little things, the big picture

Supporting inspired local economies allows you to experience the soul of the destination, while also protecting and cultivating China’s artisanal culture. From watching artisans hand make shoes in Yunnan, to picking organic vegetables for dinner on a local farm in Fujian, our tours are designed to showcase and protect China’s heritage, both natural and human.