All, Cultural Trails, Wild Trails

Small group:Dharma Shaman Festival with Silkroad Trail

All, Cultural Trails, Wild Trails

Small group:Dharma Shaman Festival with Silkroad Trail

All, Cultural Trails, Wild Trails

Small group:Dharma Shaman Festival with Silkroad Trail

  • Destination

    Gansu & Qinghai

  • Trip duration

    9 days, 8 nights

  • Price

    From 9500 cny

  • Availability period

    10 Aug. 2020 - 18 Aug. 2020

  • Min/Max travelers

    Min. 10

  • Transport

    Van

  • Accommodation

    Hotel

  • Visit Labrang Monastery, one of the six great monasteries of the Gelukpa (Yellow Hat) Sect, with special experience of joining Tibetan monks in their pre-dawn kora.
  • Experience the Dharma Festival celebrations by deep into the Tibetan cultural villages
  • Trail to the silkroad in Gansu Province, explore the Nature beauty and sacred Buddhist paintings of Mogao Caves.
  • Private Van and professional guide service
  • Well selected 4-5 star hotels

This 9-day program takes guests to witness this rather unusual event, followed by a trail into the Silk Road, to explore Gansu’s deep culture and spectacular sightseeing.

Gansu, China

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Day 1

ARR LANZHOU

Upon arrival at the airport, we will be met by our guide and driven to the hotel for check-in, with the rest of the day at leisure to relax in the room or set off on a solo exploration of the city which sits on the banks of the Yellow River. Once a key point on the ancient Silk Road, today this area is home to a series of attractions, including Maiji Caves, Bingling Temple Grottoes, Labrang Monastery and Dunhuang Mogao Caves. We recommend visiting the Temple Of The White Cloud before strolling along the riverside and through the park of the White Pagoda and across the first bridge on the Yangtze.

Food

-/-/-

Accommodation

4 star hotel

Day 2

LANZHOU – XIAHE

After breakfast, we check-out of the hotel and hit the road.

First stop on our tour is the Bingling Temple which means ‘ten thousand Buddhas’ in the Tibetan language. This features a network of grottoes and caves containing stone sculptures and clay carvings. We reach this fascinating attraction on a boat along the iconic Yellow River. We then continue to Xiahe, in the Gannan region on a 280 km, four hour journey, stopping en route for lunch. Upon arrival, we check-in to the hotel, with the rest of the day free to explore the town, which is home to the highly-revered Labrang Monastery, the town’s major draw for pilgrims.

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

4 star hotel

Day 3

XIAHE – TONGREN

An early rise is rewarded with the special experience of joining Tibetan monks in their pre-dawn kora. At about 4.30 am, we will join the pilgrims and monks to partake in a meditative ceremony in Labrang Monastery. At 8 am, we enjoy breakfast and explore the monastery followed by the nunnery, the printing house and a school where delicate Buddhist images are painted on silk. We will then head into the hills to enjoy a picnic lunch, followed by a drive to Tongren on a 120 km, three hour journey. After check-in, there is the chance to visit the impressive Wutun monastery and view some thangkha exhibitions or workshops.

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

4 star hotel

Day 4

TONGREN

After breakfast, we set off on our travels around the Tongren area to delve into Tibetan culture at various villages that dot the landscape. The festival involves many events to test the physical strength and endurance of participants, plus there are colourful traditional parades and religious ceremonies. We stop to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant away from the revelry, before re-joining the rich cultural manifestations. Afterwards, we return to our hotel in Tongren in time to refresh.

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

4 star hotel

Day 5

TONGREN-TAER-XINING

Today’s road trip takes us to Xining, where we explore the famed religious site. After breakfast, we hit the road on a four hour, 260 km drive to Xining, the capital of Qinghai province and the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau. After lunch, we head to Ta’er Monastery, home to 9,300 structures, including Buddha halls, scripture halls, pagodas and residences. Also known as the Kumbum Monastery, this is the birthplace of Lamaism shamanism founder Tsongkhapa and it is one of the country’s six main large lama temples, with a combination of Tibetan and Han artistic styles. It is also where famed Buddhism teacher Zongkapa Lobsang Zhaba is buried. We have plenty of time to admire the collection of buildings and stunning architecture before returning to our hotel.

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

4 star hotel

Day 6

XINING - ZHANGYE

After breakfast, we check-out and head to the train station to catch an express train to Zhangye in central Gansu. Here, we stand in the shadows of the reclining Buddha at Dafo Temple. This is China’s largest reclining Buddha and the 12th century statue stretches an impressive 35 meters. We then drive in a private minivan to Danxia Landform Geopark on a 45 minute, 39 km journey. This destination is home to incredible ‘rainbow mountains,’ layers of different coloured sandstone and minerals that rise and fall like waves. The colourful rolling hills span about 300 sq-km and they are an incredible natural phenomenon formed over 24 million years. We then drive back to the city, with time to refresh.

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

5 star hotel

Day 7

ZHANGYE-JIAYUGUAN

After checking out of the hotel, we head to Bingou Danxia to view the incredible natural sculptures. Translated as ‘ice valley,’ this site is comprised of towering rock formations that rise dramatically from the ground. We have time to walk around the expansive site and observe the magnificent structures that were formed over millions of years. Next, we drive to Jiayuguan and visit Jiayuguan Pass, the first frontier fortress at the west end of the Ming-era Great Wall of China. We then explore Weijin Tombs, home to 1,400 tombs built between the 3rd and 5th centuries.

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

4 star hotel

Day 8

JIAYUGUAN/DUNHUANG

After breakfast, we check-out and set off on a two hour, 180 km, drive to Dunhuang. Here, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and check-in at the hotel, with some time to relax and refresh. In the late-afternoon, we drive to the geopark which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Global Geopark for its importance as a major historical point on the Silk Road and also its unique landscape. We will explore the 398 sq-km park by Jeep to admire the fascinating collection of Yadan landforms that rise from the Gobi Desert. In the evening we enjoy dinner at lively Shazhou Night Market which offers an array of tasty local delicacies (at your own expenses).

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

4 star hotel

Day 9

DEP DUNHUANG

Rise early and be rewarded with the sound of the sand ‘singing’ before leaving Dunhang.

We can choose to rise at leisure and enjoy breakfast overlooking the dunes, or wake earlier and take a road trip to Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. The park opens at 6 am and we recommend arriving at this time to avoid the rising desert heat. Also called Mingshan Mountain, this area features rolling mountains of golden sand that sit close to a striking emerald crescent lake. We then enjoy breakfast before the hotel check-out and then drive to Mogao Caves. Also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, this area features an incredible collection of 492 temples carved into cliffs. After lunch, we drive to the train station or airport and depart from Dunhuang.

Food

B/L/-

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