OverviewClassical Amdo Tibet Tour runs from Lanzhou to Lanzhou, passing extraordinary beautiful and ancient Tibetan monasteries and best Tibet tour experiences with lots of Tibetan farmer’s villages and nomad camps on the vast grassland. This Tibet tour lead you to the cultural heart of Tibet’s Amdo region, visiting Kumbum Jampaling monastery which is the largest and one of the oldest monasteries in Amdo and the largest lake on the Tibet plateau,4456 m in area, known in Mongolian as Kokonor and in Tibetan as Tsongon (in Chinese Qinghai lake, means blue lake ), gives it’s name to the present-day province of Qinghai. Our recommended Tibet tour discovers the beautiful nature reserves of the Qinghai lake, Amnye Machen range and Drakar Tredzong. The Classical Amdo tour will discover the natural landscape and the great yellow River source in Mato county, doing a day excursion to Ngoring-tso and Kyaring-tso and one of the most revered rocky caves of Drakar Tredzong which once used to be blessed by Guru Rinpochen and it is considered that Guru Rinpoche came to Drakar Tredzong in the 8th century and meditated in the cave. Nowadays, it is a pretty big monastery with many caves around and you can have a great Tibet hiking in the mountain and at the same time, visit the sacred caves during your Tibet tour.
Continue Tibet travel and drive back to Xining, the capital city of the Qinghai province. Drive further to Rebkong county ( Tongren in Chinese ) and Labrang ( Xiahe in Chinese ). On the way during your Tibet tour, visit Jakhyong or Jahkyung Shedrubling monastery lies to the south of the Zawa-Zhongshen road on a ridge overlooking the Yellow River. Jakhyung Shedrubling monastery is one of the most historic and renowned Gelukpa monasteries of Amdo,founded in 1349 by Lama Dondrup Rinchen, the teacher of Tsongkapa. Rebkong county is also the birthplace of Gedun Chopel and Dondrup Gyel who were one of the most famous Tibetan poem and history writers. Visit Rebkong monastery and Continue Classical Amdo Tibet Tour to Labrang monastery via passing beautiful Tibetan grassland, villages and Tibetan nomad camps. Labrang monastery is the largest Gelukpa monastery in Amdo and it is one of six biggest Gelukpa monasteries in Tibet and finally you will end your Tibet tour in Lanzhou.
Arrival at Lanzhou airport and transfer downtown city at the distance of 70Km. Lanzhou is the capital city and the largest city of Gansu province and it is located to the northwest China at the bank of yellow river. Historically, it has been a main link on the northern silk road. Lanzhou is home to 3,616,163 inhabitants and it has different ethnics living in the city including Tibetan, Chinese, MuslimHui etc.
Lanzhou to Drotsang monastery at Ledu Xian 160Km from Xining to Ledu and from Ledu to ‘Drotsang monastery, 21Km..Drotsang monastery was built 6 hundred years back by one of the famous Lama called DrotsangDorje Chang who was born in the village near by Lhasa. The main object of Drotsang monastery is the statue of Dorje Chang. The monastery was built in mostly in Chinese styles with more wood achitecture. They have very beautiful typical architecture. Nowadays they have around 10 monks. There is a very big ancient Dram which was 600 hundred years history and there is rock made Mandal which has 4 hundred years history. The site of GonlungJampa Ling was originally chosen by the 3rd Dalai Lama SonamGyatso and then the 4thDala Lama on wards started to build the monastery. The monastery used to have many famous Tibetan scholars such as Changkya Rope Dorje, etc. There is the most beautiful landscape of pies of mustered fields, blooming in yellow followers. The monastery is located in the Huzhu Xian and the majority population is Tu tribe. From Ledu to Pingan Xian is 60Km and from Pingan high way to Martsang Dark is one and half Km. From Martsang Dark to GonlungJampa Ling is 40Km. From Pingan Xian to the point to go to Xining and Huangzhong is 40Km and from there to Hunagzhong Xian is 30Km.
Kubum Monastery has the statue of Jowoshakyamuni, Maitreya, GyelpoKungachaples, a statue of a white horse in the GyalpoKungaChaple which was used by the 9thPenchen Lama, the Golden stupa of Tsongka in which they preserve the original sandal wood which appeared one hundred thousand GyalwaSengeNagro when Tsongka pas was born. There are eight stupas in the big court yard of Kubum when we enter the main entry gate. Those are the eight enlightend stupas and proir to the construction of Kubum monastery, Tsongka pa pitched the tent there and later the pillars of the tents used as the pole of the stupas and in each of the stupas, they have the pillars of Tsongkapa’s tent. There is a chaple of Buddhas of the present, past and future. In the outer courtyard of the chaple, there is a rock which resembles to the water tank which Tsongkapa’s mother used to carry water. From Huangzhong to Doba town, 20Km and then to Qinghai highway ( G315 ) 167Km to Tsoshar. We come through son and moon mountain ( Riyue ) which is the mark of the pass when Princess Wencheng missed her family and wanted to return to China instead of coming to Lhasa. There is a Xian called Huangyuan which is just around 20Km from the hgih way. From Son and moon mountain, climb down to the town called Ringmo which is the junction to go to Chabcha, Kyegundo and Mato.
Drive along the beautiful grassland and Tso Ngonpo. We can have yogurt stop on the way at beautiful nomad camp which is located at the shore of the lake.
Start the tour from Tso Ngonpo and drive for 50Km to Ringmo which is the junction to turn to Chabcha from the G109 to Xining. Just after you turn from the main high way, drive up across the small pass and down to Chabcha. From Chabcha hospital after 200mts, turn right and drive to KyamruGompa. KyamruGompa is a beautiful monastery located at the distance 22Km from Chabcha. The monastery has around 170 monks nowadays and it is a Gelukpa monastery. Unfortunately most of the monasteries were re-built recently so most of the statues, images or chaples are new. From Chabcha to Samthang la town is 50Km and we drive over three small passess which are called First, second, third Samthang la respectively. From Samthang la, we drive on the left side from the intersection to AtsokGompa at the distance of 42Km. The AtsokGompa is located at the bank of Yellow river bend. It is also a Gelukpa monastery. From Samthang la to the junction to Xinghai Xian is 20Km and then 27Km to Xinghai. From Xinghai to DarkarTerdzong is 30Km and we need to drive over the mountain and will see some beautiful nomad camps.
Visit DarkarTerdzong in the morning. DarkarTerdzong was originally a sacred mountain where there is a big cave of Guru RinpoChe. As a history goes, Someevila spirits escaped from Tso Ngonpo and admitted in DarkarTerdzong and they did many evil deeds. By the time, Guru RinpoChe transformed into a man with a monkey head and took meditation in the cave. When he completed the meditation, miraculasly hit his Vajra to the roof of the cave and made a hole. He got out of the cave through the hole and defeated those evil spirits and since then it became a very sacred cave and mountain. DarkarTerdzong means a man with a monkey head. After that in around 15th Century, Tsongkapa also came to the site and used to give teachings there. We could see a big rock throne of Tsongkapwhile we are doing outer Kora. There are a no of sacred caves around the outer Kora and if we visit all the caves, it will take us around 5 hrs to complete the outer Kora. Drive over the pass from the junction where you get to the main road from Xinghai. This side of the pass is full of beautiful nomad camps and flocks of Yaks, Sheep. After we descend the pass for a while, we will see Mt AmnyeMachen in the distance. We reach Wenchuan after this and just before reaching Wenchuan, there is a beautiful pile of prayer flags formed into a stupa in different colours and they are building more than 20 stupas which is donted and directed by one Lama there. After Wenchuan, there is a small beautiful lake which is called Gutso.
Drive to the southwest of Mato through a grassland. You will get to the ticket checkpoint after 30Km from the county capital and there is also a small high droelectronical power station. After 25Km,, you will get to Ngoring Tso and then continue to the monastery and all the way to the viepoint. From the viepoint, you can see Kyaringtso in the other valley. Both of those two lakes are the source of the Yellow river. You can sometimes see wilde animals such as Kyang-Antelopes, Fox etc.
We drive along the same way back from Mato to Tsogyenrawa at the distance of 80Km. We will see some wild animals such as ibex, ofx etc. From Tsogyenrawa, we drive along the rich beautiful nomad camps on the beautiful grassland. We will always confront flocks of Yaks and Sheep. We stopped at a point where we can see AmnyeMachen Snow mountain and had a yogurd from a nomad family and when we asked the father of the family how many of the Yaks his family has. He said he has over 200 Yaks. Arrival in Xining which is the capital city and the largest city of Qinghai province. It has several differnet kinds of ethnic groups including a lot of Tibetan nomads, Chinese Muslims etc. Afternoon, You will visit the museum of culture and Tibetan medicine. This great museum presents an exhibition of Thangkhas and materials on traditional Tibetan medicine On the upper floor you can admire a remarkable thangkha 618 m long, showing systematic , detailed and most artistic components of Tibetan culture . You can then walk around the city, discovering the small temples and the Great Mosque of Xining.
After breakfast, start our journey towards Rebkong county in Qinghai. On the way, we drove to Jakyong monastery through the hill side road but the road condition is quite good and it is around 70-80Km distance from Xining. We arrived in Jakyong monastery which is considered one of the biggest monastery in Rebkong area after the Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong. Jakyong monastery was originally built by Je DundrupRinchen who came from Sakya region to Amdo when he was 41 years old and he lived till 70 years old. . After eight years of the monastery construction, the Je Tsongkapa was born in Xining Kubum. When Tsongkapa was 3 years old, his mother came to Jakyong and offered Tsongkapa to Je DundrupRinchen by Tsongkapa mother by saying this son must be a very special and something special person so I would like to offer you. Je Tsongkapa become Rabchungpa when he was 7 years old inn Jakyong monastery. There is a chapel in Jakyong monastery called Arapaza which is the place where Tongkapa used to meditate Jampelyang and saw Jampelyang by himself in real. It is also the chapel where Tsongka got natural Arapaza, JowojeAtisha etc. The most important object of the monastery is the golden tomb stupa of Je DundrupRinchen. In Amdo it is considered that there are three very sacred goldenn stupas, one is the golden tomb stupa of Je DundrupRinchen, another one is the golden stupa of Kubum monastery in which the Sandal wood of the Kubum are in and another is the golden stupa of Ganden monastery. The Jakyong monastery has around 350 monks nowadays and it is one of the most important Gelukpa monastery. Today, they are building a giant Tsongkapa statue made of bronze outside the courtyard of the chapel of Neljorma and DorjePagmo. After Jakyong monastery,, we continuously drove to Rebkong with more than around 130Km. The road condition is ok and we drove along the Yellow river in the gorge similar to the gorge from Nyemo to Chushur. We passed by the village of DundrupGyel Poet. It is a very small village otherwise of a small river. We arrived in Rebkongcounty by around 3.00 Pm and it’s elevation is around 2500Mts. We directly went to visit RebkongRongwoGonchenDechenChoekorling. It was a Sakya monastery originally and later it was converted into Gelukpa. The monastery has a Lama called RebkongKyepgon Rinpoche he was the 8th reincarnation of RebkongKyebgon Rinpoche. The monastery has around 720 monks nowadays. The monastery has a chapel of TamdrinLhakang, Assembly hall, dedicated to the statue of Tsongkapa, Kedrupje and Gyeltsabje as the main object of the monastery. The wall was covered by the cloth wall painting which depicts the life story of the Bhuddha. There are many more chapels of Manjushiri, protector daities, several college, 11 meter maitreya outside the courtyard of the monastery. To finish all the visit of the monastery, you need more than 4 hrs. The Rebkongcounty is a pretty big county and it has more trees, more warmer than Xining. It is said that it is very popular to Tibetan Thangka arts and in Amdo area, it is said that it’s bread is also very popular in Amdo area.
After breakfast, Visit Gomar village, Sengeshong monastery and Thangka art school. In the morning, You will go to visit the Sengeshong monastery, visit Sengeshong, see the Thangka painting school to see how Tibetan traditional Thangka is built. Walk around the town and interact with locals. After lunch, you will drive to Labrang monastery through many villages including the GedunChoepel’s home town village. There is also a middle school called GedunChoepelschool built by the supporters of Gedunchoepel from outside the world. We will stop and visit the school and get some knowledge of this great master GedunChoepal. The average elevation of the places through out the whole way, it is just over 3000mts. The villages are all farmers and it also grows some Juniper tree. The road condition is very good that it only took us 2hrs drive for 105 Km distance from Rebkong to Labrang. On the way, we passed a small pass and then a monastery with a Tibetan medical college. After that, they are all nomads and a beautiful grassland if it is summer. Eventhough the elevation is just around 3000mts, it is much more cold than in the central part of Tibet. Afternoon, walk around Labrang monastery and enjoy staying with locals and pilgrims.
After breakfast, we will visit Labrang monastery which was founded in 1709 by JamyangShepa. Labrang is the most important Buddhist site in Amdo region and it is one of the six largest Gelukpa monasteries in Tibet.Labrang Monastery is situated at the strategic intersection of two major Asian culture, Tibetan and Mongolian. In the early 20th century, it housed several thousand monks. Labrang was also a gathering point for numerous annual religious festivals and was the seat of a Tibetan power base that strove to maintain regional autonomy through the shifting alliances and bloody conflicts that took place between 1700 and 1950.In April 1985 the Assembly Hall burned down. It was replaced and the new building was consecrated in 1990. The monastery has 1400 monks nowadays and it has two main high Lama, KunkyenJamyangShepa and Gungthang Rinpoche and the present reincarnation of the Gungthang Rinpoche is 11 years old, living in the monastery. The elevation of Labrang is over 2900mts. Labrangmonatsery has main assembly hall, medical college, SengeNagro chapel, Tsongkapa chapel, Manjushiri chapel, Tara chapel, Dukkar chapel, Avaloktasvara chapel, Protector chapel, Tara chapel and Gungthang Rinpoche stupa etc. After visiting Labrang,
After about two hours away, you take a boat (30 minutes) which takes you to the site of the caves of KumbumJampa meaning " 100,000Jampa " in Tibetan ( Jampa is the name of the Buddha of the future) . This site is called Binglingsi in Chinese. You will discover a site of great artistic value : from the 5th century to the last Chinese dynasty , artists have carved in caves and cliffs Buddhas of different sizes and different artistic styles . The frescoes are also wonderful . A statue of 27 meters high is particularly impressive. After visiting this site, you go to a small Tibetan temple , where there are only three monks and where one would spend hours having tea and chatting with the passing pilgrims . Road to Lanzhou in the afternoon.
In the morning , visit the temple of white cloud , a small and quiet Taoist temple. You then walk up the hill of the white pagoda park overlooking the city and the Yellow River before heading to the airport for your return flight .
- Accommodation as mentioned in the Tibet tour program above
- All entry fees to the sites and monasteries mentioned in the Tibet tour program
- Breakfast for entire Tibet tour
- 1 Local Tibetan English speaking travel guide
- Tibet tour transportation by one good conditioned mini van or bus according to the group size
- Qinghai lake conservation fee
- Oxygen inside the tourist vehicle incase needed
- Both international and domestic flight ticket
- Lunch and dinner for entire eastern Tibet tour
- China Tibet visa fee
- Insurance including personal, medical, travel and evacuation insurance
- Personal expenses such as (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc
- Any extra cost in the event of landslides and personal nature expenses need to be paid by clients themselves