Amdo Tibet Tours
Amdo Tibet Tours：Have a full understanding about religion, local customs, and natural scenery in Amdo, Tibet.
As an important part of vast Tibet, Amdo is located at the edge of Tibetan area. Historically, it has been a multi-ethnic area and formed unique Amdo culture with Tibetan culture being its foucs in the process of national integration. Many celebrities came forth in large number from here, such as Tsongkhapa, Gendun Chopel, 10th Panchen Lama, 14th Dalai Lama and other academic masters and senior monks. You can explore the splendid religious culture, exquisite paintings, stunning natural scenery, and unique nomadic culture here.
What to see
Located at the edge of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Tibetan Amdo has abundant topography and diverse ethnic culture. There are many prestigious Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, such as Taer monastery, Labrang monastery, Longwu monastery, Langmusi,etc. Still there is unique and integrated national culture, including Tibetan, han, hui, Mongolian, Qiang and other minorities, who coexist with Amdo culture. In addition, there are Grand glacier and snow-capped mountains, Mt. Kunlun, Yuzhu peak, and rushing headstream of rivers, such as Yellow River, Yangtze River, Yalong River, and Salween River are also situated in here. There are vast prairies, such as Qiangtang grassland, Kekexili grassland and Zoige grassland; stunning scenery of mountains and rivers like Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong scenic spot. You are expected to gradually unveil the mystery of Tibetan Amdo.
When to go
Amdo features plateau inland climate with long and freezing winter but short summer. Overall, the highly recommended travel season is from April to November, particularly from June to September. The accessibility of Amdo region has been greatly improved in recent years. Most roads are paved roads, and only several scenic spots may still have parts of dirt roads. Overall, the road conditions are not bad.
Private Amdo Tibet Tour Packages
You can control over the tour pace, budget, and what’s included by taking a private tailor-made tour, discovering the Tibetan culture, religion, people and lifestyle in a deeper way with personal tour guide and vehicle. All at a reasonable price!
Route: Xining-Tongren(Repkong),(hometown of 14th Dalai Lama)
This short tour from Xining to Tongren is designed to experience Tibetan life roughly, witness the producing process of Tibetan traditional Thangkas.View Details
Route: Xining-Xunhua-Tongren(Repkong) Longwu monastery Tour
This short Amdo Tibet tour from Xining to Tongren will take you to experience nomad’s life, explore Tibetan traditional paintings, and enjoy beautiful Tibetan plateau scenery.View Details
Route: Xining-Qinghai Lake, Ta’er & Serdzong Monastery
The short Xining tour takes in the highlights of Xining, like Taer Monastery, Qinghai Lake and Serdzong Monastery. Choose this tour, you can enjoy both natural beauty and cultural feast of Xining.View Details
Route: Xining-Qinghai Lake-Serdzong-Huashixia- Mt. Amnye Machen Tour
This Amdo Tibet tour starting at Xining will take you to visit the beautiful Qinghai Lake, ancient Serdzong Monastery, holy Mt. Amnye Machen and experience nomadic life on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.View Details
Route: Xining-Tongren(Repkong)-Rongwu-Xiahe-Langmusi Tour
The tour from Xining to Tongren, Xiahe and Langmusi will take you to explore ancient monasteries in the Amdo Tibet Area and nomadic life on the Tibetan plateau.View Details
Route: Xining-LijiaXia-Tongren(Repkong)-Xiahe-Lanzhou Tour
This tour from Xining to Lanzhou is designed for you to visit Amdo Tibetan area. No Tibet travel permit is required. Amdo alongside with U-Tsang and Kham make up the three traditional Tibetan areas.View Details
This tour from Lanzhou to Chengdu via famous Jiuzhaigou takes in several famous tourist sites, Labrang Monastery - the largest Tibetan Monastery outside Tibet, Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou Scenic Areas. At last, you can get close to lovely Pandas in ChengView Details
FAQs about Planning an Amdo Tibet Tour
1. Where is Amdo Region?
Amdo was originally one of the three main regions of the ancient and vast Tibetan Empire, the other two being U-Tsang and Kham, and covers almost all of what is now known as Qinghai Province in northwest China, and some small parts of south-western Gansu Province and northwest Sichuan Province.
The area once covered a massive tract of lands, from the Yellow River to the Yangtze River, following the expansion of the Tibetan Empire from the 7th to 9th centuries. Ungoverned by the Dalai Lamas since the mid-eighteenth century, this huge area of ancient Tibet still has a large number of Tibetan inhabitants in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures of the province.
2. Why choose to take an Amdo Tibet tour?
There are many reasons to take a tour in Amdo Tibet, not the least of which is the ability to experience the traditional Tibetan culture with less restrictions than that in the Tibet Autonomous region for international travelers. With around 21 percent of the total population of the province being of Tibetan origin, and four out of six autonomous prefectures where Tibetans make up the majority of inhabitants, a trip to Amdo Tibet is the best way to see Tibetan culture without the need for additional permits.
Traditionally a place of learning and scholars, Amdo contains many of the prime monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism, including the Kumbum Monastery near Xining, the Labrang Moastery near Lanzhou, and the many Kirti Monasteries of the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, not to mention the Taktsang Lhamo in Dzoge County.
Amdo is also a great place to see lower-altitude Tibetan landscapes, as it lies on the northeastern edge of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. The plateau area starts as you leave Golmud, and rises up to the Kunlun Mountains, which stretch across the northeastern corner of the plateau. From there, the scenery gets even better, as the province also includes the Kekexili Nature Preserve, a vast area of grasslands between the Kunlun and Tanggula Mountain Ranges.
Experiencing a Tibetan nomadic life in Amdo is possible as the region is well known for having a host of Tibetan nomads, herding their yaks across the plains following the lushest grass and the changing seasons. A unique people, the Tibetan nomads live in their yurts, yak-hair tents, throughout the summer season on the grasslands, moving on when they need to find fresh grazing for their animals.
3. What travel documents are needed for Amdo Tibet Tour?
Documents for Visiting Amdo Area Only:
If you are planning a trip to the old Amdo area of ancient Tibet, now in Qinghai Province, then the required documents are relatively simple. While it is an area where Tibetan’s live in the traditional manner, there is no requirement to have all the documents that are needed for the Tibet Autonomous Region. All you need in order to visit Amdo is the standard Chinese Entry Visa.
To get the visa, you need to make an application to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in your home country. The application needs to include your passport, itinerary, two passport photos, proof of onward or return flights out of China, proof of your hotel booking in China, and the relevant fee, which can be found on the website of your local Chinese Embassy.
Documents for Visiting Amdo and Tibet:
For those traveling to the Tibet Autonomous Region, you will need additional documents, on top of the Chinese Entry Visa. Known as the Tibet Travel Permit, this document is required for all international visitors to Tibet, and can only be obtained after booking a tour to Tibet with a registered tour operator.
You will need to send the tour operator scanned copies of your passport and visa, and once your tour is booked, the application will be made with the Tibet Tourism Bureau on your behalf. Processing currently takes around 15-20 days, so make sure that you book your tour with enough time to process the permit application.
4. When is the best time for Amdo Tibet tour?
Known as the “Summer Vacation Capital’ of China because of the cooler climate, Amdo is best visited in the summer months, when the weather is at its best for travel in the region. While the summer runs from June to September, you can actually get good weather from May to the end of October, and with temperatures reaching around 18 degrees at most, it is the perfect time to take in the stunning scenery of Qinghai’s Amdo region. Winter in this region can be quite cold, especially in the areas that are on the plateau, and can even be blocked by snow in the depths of winter.
5. How about the accommodation conditions in Amdo Tibet?
Tourism in Amdo Tibet is already well developed, and the hotels there are much the same as can be found everywhere else in mainland China. Hotels range from economical three-star hotels to the luxury of good five-star hotels, mostly found in Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province. In the outlying areas of Qinghai Province, in the areas around Tongren and Golmud, and further up onto the plateau, some of the accommodations can be poor to be basic, but there are plenty of places to stay in almost the entire province.
6. The most classic and recommended food in Amdo Tibet?
Cuisine in Amdo Tibet is exceptionally diverse, thanks to the variety of ethnic minorities that reside in this region, so you can find a wide range of cuisines in one place. Most of the great cuisines of China can be found, while the local flavors more reflect the Muslim influence from the west, and include a variety of mutton dishes, noodles, and the traditional Muslim flatbreads.
Mian Pian is a delightful noodle dish that is popular in Qinghai’s capital, Xining, and when served with beef, it is a great way to warm up on a cold day. Mutton is a popular dish on the Qinghai grasslands, and is often served as “Mutton Eaten With Hands”, while in much of the province, you can find the best in fresh lamb kebabs.
7. What are the must-sees for Amdo Tibet?
There are a multitude of places to visit and things to see and do in Amdo region. Qinghai Lake, which lies just outside Xining, is the largest salt lake in China, and is known locally as Koko Nor, an old Mongolian name. With 23 rivers and streams emptying into the lake, it is a surprise that it retains its saline waters.
Ta’er Monastery, also known as the Kumbum Monastery, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery that was constructed more than 400 years ago, and lies around 25 kilometers from Xining. A magnificent temple with halls and lhakhangs in a mix of Han and Tibetan architecture, this beautiful gompa is the pinnacle of monasteries in Qinghai Province.
Labrang Monastery, Amdo’s largest and most famous Buddhist monastery located in the small town of Xiahe. Siting at an elevation of 2900 meters, the monastery is surrounded by high mountains and alpine forests. It is a popular pilgrimage destination for Tibetans and is home to over 1700 monks.
On the boundary of the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau and the Loess Plateau, lies the 4,000-meter Sun and Moon Mountain. Lying between the monsoon and non-monsoon areas, the eastern side is filled with farms and crops while the western side lies in the vast grasslands of the Qinghai area of the Tibetan Plateau, with its nomadic herders and the yak and sheep that graze there.
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