Our trips into Tibet are not just for traveling. Rather, they are authentic immersions into the Tibetan way of life. On this route, we are going to take Kora (a Tibetan pilgrimage) with local Tibetans to the one of most important Holy Mountains in Tibet---Mt Amnye Machen.
Mt-Amnye Machen Kora
Day 1: Arrive in Xining
Welcome to Xining! We stay at a local hotel, where you may get settled and orient yourself to one of China’s frontier capitals.
Day 2: Xining to Machen via Ragya Monastery
Our adventure trekking tour starts on day two. We will drive along one of most beautiful roads in Qinghai. Then you will see Lhakyi Mountain, a range of magnificent red clay mountains, sand dunes and the famous Yellow River near its source. We will visit Ragya Monastery and a nomad tent encampment before arriving in Machen, the capital of Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. We will stay at a hotel in Machen for the night.
Day 3: Machen-Tsanak Kamdu trek (6 hours) (alt: 4100m)
After the driver drops us off at the trailhead, we will begin our trek. As you climb over a mountain pass, you will catch the first sight of Mt. Amnye Machen. We will hike to Tsanak Kamdu, where you will meet up with the yak handlers, who will join you on the trek. Altogether, the hike will cover about 15 km (6 hours) along the Yonkhor-chu River to Langri. The Yongkhor-chu River is the place where monks and traditional Tibetan medical practitioners receive blessings from Naga (a water god) after collecting herbs. You will often see the monks by the river doing their medical prayers. Finally, we will continue trekking past some nomadic houses set among sparse juniper woods in the surrounding hills. We will camp for the night.
Day 4: Trek 24 km (8 hours) (alt: 4400m)
Hiking continues through day four. We will pass through Halong Langri-chu valley. Hike over Tamchok Gongkha La Pass (4600 m), the second highest pass on this trek. Again, we will camp for the night.
Day 5: Trek 20 km (7 hours) to the rock valley of Mowatowa (alt: 4300m)
Day 6: Trek 22 km (8 hours) to Deleni (alt: 4300m)
On day six, we reach one of the most unique places we shall encounter during our journey. We will visit the meditation caves and the cliffs of Goku Chenmo, which are said to mark the entrance to the “palace” of the protector Machen Pomra.
Day 7: Trek 14 km (6 hours) to Jomolangra (alt: 4300m)
We will continue by following the gorge of the Qushian River. Along the way, we will stop at the Dolma Gur-chu spring, where we may enjoy the water of a cool mountain spring. This is the famous location at which King Gesar was said to have tied his horse.
Day 8: Trek 15 km (6 hours) to Jiashinongke (alt: 4200m)
On the way to Jiashinongke, we will visit the reclusive Guri Monastery. This temple’s monks belong to the Nyingma school branches of Dzongchen and Dodrub Chode.
Day 9: Trek 18 km (6 hours) to Chablong (alt: 4300m)
On the way to Chablong, we shall enjoy spectacular views of Tibetan grasslands and native flora and fauna. For this night, we will camp outside of the nomadic village of Chablong.
Day 10: Trek 22 km (8 hours) to Halong-Chu Valley
On our way to Halong-Chu Valley, we will cross over the Drakdar Pass (4700m). This vantage point reveals a beautiful vista of the ancient Rikhar Tongshang Glacier.
Day 11: Drive through the Halong-Chu Valley
On the eleventh day of our journey, we will take a rest from hiking. We will meet our driver in the Valley and drive 18 km to Chorten Karpo (White Pogoda) at Chumarna. Along the way, we will pass through various small Tibetan villages.
Day 12: Drive back to Trika (Gui’de) Town
On our way back to Xining, we will once again have the opportunity to view the water-forged landscape of the Yellow River Valley. This early stretch of the river is a jade green color; it reflects the surrounding mountains will mirror-like clarity. In Trika, we will visit the Jokhang Temple and King Gesar Art Center. We will stay in a hotel here.
Day 13: Return to Xining
On our final day of touring, we will stop by the Tibetan Medical Museum. This museum is home to the largest Thangka painting in the world. This Guiness-record setting Thangka was painted by hundreds of individual artists and is over 600 meters long. The degree of detail is dizzying, and its subject matter ranges from Tibetan cosmology to folk tales to Buddhist deities. We will stay in Xining.
Day 14: Depart Xining
Your guide will escort you to the airport.