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9 Days Amdo Area Tour, Tongren( Repkong), Hometown of the 14th Dalai Lama

9 Days Amdo Area Tour, Tongren, Hometown of the 14th Dalai Lama

(ATT001) Xining-LijiaXia-Tongren(Repkong)-Xiahe-Lanzhou Tour

Overview

Our tour starts from Xining, an important provincial capital city of Amdo. As the largest Gelug Sect monastery in Qinghai province, Taer monastery is also one of the most important monasteries in whole Tibetan areas (other monasteries are Drepung Monastery, Sera monastery and Gandan monastery in Lhasa, Tashilhunpo monastery in Shigatse, and Labrang Monastery in Xiahe county, Gansu province). Murals, barbola and butter sculptures are known as three wonders of Taer monastery.

As the birth place of 14th Dalai Lama, Tongren is the core of Tibetan Amdo region, and known as “the hometown of Tibetan painters”. Xiahe county in Gansu province is famous for Labrang Monastery, which used to be religious and political center of Gannan region.

Labrang Monastery is one of the six monasteries of Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and keeps the best teaching system of Tibetan Buddhism in the world.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Xining by train or by plane

Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, is known as the east gate of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is widely considered to be a perfect summer resort combining the brilliance of nature and culture. The rest of the time is free for you to have a good rest.

Stay overnight in Xining

Day 2: Xining day tour: Qutan Temple, Gonlung Jampaling

Drive about 96km to Qutan Temple, which is one of the most important Buddhist temples in China and under state-level protection. Within 51 rooms, the complex contains a series of well-preserved murals that reflect the life of the Buddhist goddess Sakyamuni.

Then drive another 96km to Gonlung Jampaling, a monastery that is tucked away in far northeastern Amdo about 70kms from Xining. The monastery was set on the base of a mountain at an elevation of 2900m (9515 feet), and built in the early 17th century especially for the local Tu People, a very rare and small nationality.

At last, drive back to Xining.

Stay overnight in Xining

Day 3: Xining-Lijiaxia

In the morning, drive 30km to visit Taer Monastery, the birth place of Tsongkhapa who was born in 1357 and became the great founder of the Gelukpa (Yellow sect) of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was built by the third Dalai Lama in memory of this great master in 1560. The high level art works of its old frescos and butter sculptures are known as three wonders of the monastery.

Then, drive for 120km to visit Shachong Monastery, which is one of the most historic and renowned Gelukpa monasteries of Amdo, founded in 1349 by Lama Dondrub Rinchen (1309-1385), the teacher of Tsongkhapa. At last, drive 40km to Lijiaxia, a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Yellow River.

Stay overnight in Lijiaxia

Day 4: Lijiaxia Reservoir –Kanbula National Forest Park

Visit two famous sites, Lijiaxia Reservoir and Kanbula National Forest Park.

The Lijiaxia Reservoir is a major hydroelectric dam on the upper Yellow River. The dam houses a hydroelectric power station with 5 x 400 MW generators for a total installed capacity of 2,000 MW. It took 8 years to finish this great project from 1988 to 1996.

The Kanbula National Forest Park covers a total area of 4,774 hectares and borders on the Yellow River in the north, abutting against the famous Liajiaxia Hydroelectric Power Station. Lofty mountains extend far away with trees covered resembling a forest sea. The unique Kanbula red-cloud landforms are mainly featured by wonderful peaks, high mountains, caves, precipitous cliffs and many rock peaks, stone columns and stone walls in shapes.

Stay overnight in Lijiaxia

Day 5: Lijiaxia-Tongren

Drive 90km (about 2 hours) to Tongren (Repkong) to visit Longwu Monastery, an important and the local biggest monastery, built in 1301. At beginning it was Sakyapa monastery, after 17th century, the Fifth Dalai Lama changed it into Gelukpa and once was the political and administration center in Repkong area.

In the afternoon, visit Gomar Monastery, built in 1741 and now it has 160 monks inhabited. This small but beautiful monastery is famous for its colorful 7-storey Astronomy stupa, mainly used for monks to work out annual new Tibetan calendar and relationship between our globes with universe. The monks and the village people are also renowned for their handcraft application.

Stay overnight in Tongren

Day 6: Tongren Day Tour

In the morning, visit the famous Tibetan art school- Sengeshong Magotsang, which was founded during the 15th century and after 16th century Repkong became the hometown of Tibetan art in Amdo. All monks have good training of painting and sculptures and are often invited to make fine art works in many monasteries or private houses in whole Tibet even nowadays.

We will not only visit some of monks’ houses, but also the local Museum, Repkong art Museum, which enshrined a lot of Repkong art collections.

Stay overnight in Tongren

Day 7: Tongren-Xiahe

After breakfast, drive about 4 hours to cover 130km to Xiahe. On the way, we will pass grassland, forestry, agricultural land and beautiful Red Mountain valley.

Upon arrival, we will visit Labrang Monastery, one of the leading Yellow sect monasteries, well-known as a great monastic university. It was built in 1709 and now has 1000 monks. It is one of the six most important Gelukpa (the Yellow Sect) monasteries in whole Tibet and a center of Tibetan learning in Eastern Tibet.

In the afternoon, explore the Tibetan antique shops as well as the shops providing for the needs of monks and the monastery, including religious Tangkhas, Buddha statues, prayer flags, a range of monks clothing, rolls of cloth, hand-printed sutras as well as a nomadic jewelers.

Stay overnight in Xiahe

Day 8: Xiahe-Hezuo Monastery-Lanzhou

Drive 90km to visit Hezuo Milarepa Monastery. It was first built in 1777, and is one of the most lamaseries in Amdo Tibetan area. There are 1720 Figures of Buddha including Jin Gang and four secret Cheng as Bodhisattva.

Keep driving to Lanzhou to visit the White Pagoda or the Gansu Provincial Museum, which housed collections of various color-painted potteries of Neolithic Age and treasures of ancient grottoes.

Stay overnight in Lanzhou

Day 9: Depart from Lanzhou

You will be transferred to the airport, and fly to your next destination.

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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