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GW-AD-001 ] Chengdu to Kunming with Hiking in Yading Nature Reserve
Litang -Daocheng -Yading(Hiking or horseriding )
-Daocheng-Xiangcheng -Zhongdian-Lijiang-Kunming ,11 days
Western Sichuan's Yading Nature Reserve is undoubtedly one of China's
most awe-inspiring nature reserves, the scenery at Yading Nature
Reserve easily rivals that found in North America's most famous
national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone. Regarded as a sacred
area by Tibetans - every stunning vista here (of which there are
many) is celebrated with a small gompa, prayer flags or mani stones.
On this adventurous trip you will take in relatively remote areas
of Tibetan culture - small towns reminiscent of the wild west, rolling
landscapes characterized by wheat and barley fields and Tibetan
countryside homes, and the spectacular natural beauty of Yading
nature reserve's snowcapped mountain peaks. We will also pay our
respects to two of the area's most renowned monasteries: Litang's
Chang-Qing-Chun-Ke'er-Si, home to 1400Yellow Hat sect monks, and
Zhongdian's Ganden Sumsanlin monastery, Yunnan's largest monastery.
will meet you at the airport and begin our journey to Kangding directly.
Kangding, a former outpost on the trade route to Tibet, is a fairly
large city tucked within a river valley. The sidewalks of Kangding
are crowded with Hui, Chinese Muslims, and Tibetans who have come
down from the highlands to sell wild mushrooms, vegetables, yak skins
and various paraphernalia. Today's drive will take approximately 6
2 Kangding- Litang
We'll have an early start today so we can have more time to explore
this picturesque remote Tibetan town. At an altitude of just over
4000m, this is one of the highest towns in the world (Lhasa is 3700m).
Situated high on a grassy plateau, Litang has the feel of a rough
and tumble 'Wild West' town. Khampas - dressed in yak skin coats,
bedecked in colorful necklaces and hair ornaments, long daggers hanging
from their belts - from the surrounding areas amble into town to stock
up on food and supplies, play pool on the streets and hang out in
the local teahouses. This small town is great for people watching
and just strolling around. We will also visit the famous Chang-Qing-Chun-Ke'er-Si
monastery and pay homage to the living Buddha with a personal interview.
The monastery here is now home to 1400 Yellow Hat sect monks. Once
a hotbed of Tibetan dissent, this monastery was destroyed in the 1950s
but has since been completely rebuilt. Today's journey from Kangding
to Litang will take us approximately 5 hours (306km).
3 Litang-Daocheng -Yading
we will reach the highlight of this journey - Yading nature reserve,
home of three sacred Tibetan mountains - Chenresig (Avalokitesvara,
6032m), Jambeyang (Manjusri, 5958m), and Chanadorje (Vajrapani, 5958m).
Tibetan Buddhists believe that making a kora (pilgrimage) around these
mountains brings great merit, and that the three mountains represent
compassion, wisdom and energy - attributes one must cultivate on the
path to enlightenment. The scenery here easily rivals that of national
parks of the west such as Yellowstone and Yosemite in terms of spectacular,
pristine mountain scenery. The drive from Litang to Daocheng will
take approximately 4 hours (180km), and the trip from Daocheng to
Yading (60km) will take approximately 3 hours as much of the road
to the park is dirt track. We will spend the night in tent hotel.
4 Hiking or horseriding in Yading
the reserve entrance we will traverse a beautiful wooded pathway leading
to a valley set at the foot of the spectacular Mt. Chanadorje. We'll
pass piles of mani stones by the side of the pathway and at the base
of the Reserve's most stunning vistas. We'll also visit Tshonggo Gonpa
(Chonggu Si in Chinese) - a small Tibetan temple, which Joseph Rock
nicknamed 'Bandit Monastery.' (Joseph Rock, a botanist and explorer,
conducted extensive explorations of northwest China and Tibet for
Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology and National Geographic in
1924.) We will continue our hike to the foot of Mt Chenresig, where
we'll ascend a small but steep hill to view a beautiful mountaintop
emerald green lake. Local lore has it that this magical lake can reveal
your future if you spend a few moments in quiet contemplation by its
side. We'll return to the meadow at the foot of Mt. Chanadorje and
spend the night in a tent hotel.
5 Yading -Daocheng
will spend the morning doing a shorter hike or horseride around the
reserve. In the afternoon we'll drive back to Daocheng where we'll
spend the night.
we will take a long (5 hours, 290km) but scenic drive to Zhongdian
(3,300m, 10,000 ft), a small town on the Tibetan Plateau. We will
visit Ganden Sumsanlin monastery, the largest monastery in Yunnan,
built in the 17th century. This impressive monastery was established
under the instruction of the 5th Dalai Lama, and is home to over 700
7 Zhongdian to White Water Terrace
a Tibetan Family in Zhongdian and the Market in Zhongdian, then we
continue on by car, driving 3-4 hours to White Water Terrace. We will
spend the night at White Water Terrace, where the Naxi culture originated.
The village's name comes from the white rock formations shaped like
small rice terraces located just above the town.
8 White Water Terrace - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang
to Lijiang, on the way visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge of Yangtze River,
one of the world's deepest gorges tucked between Yulong Snow Mountain
and the Haba Mountains. Nestling in a beautiful valley against the
backdrop of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the old town of Lijiang
is a maze of cobbled streets, rickety wooden buildings and vibrant
9 Lijiang -- Kunming
Naxi tribes people are a matriarchal society. The women, who wear
traditional costumes of blue and black, inherit property, have affairs
and generally run things while the men are kept busy as singers, dancers
and musicians. There will be an opportunity to hear Naxi music played
on traditional instruments. We visit the Black Dragon Pool, offering
a marvellous view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain,, and Buddhist
temples before exploring the lively street of the Old Town.
Morning flight to Kunming "City of Eternal Spring", the
Yunnan provincial capital. Many visitours travel to Kunming just to
see the Stone Forest, which consists of thousands of narrow, fantastically
shaped pillars of rock scattered over an area of over 100 sq.miles.
of trip. Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.
Arrive in your country on the same day.