Day 01 Arrival in Chengdu Arrival in Chengdu, capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Picked up by the local guide at the airport and transfer to the hotel. 2N at 4*Holiday Inn Express Wuhou
Day02 Chengdu BLD In the morning drive to the Giant Panda Base of Breeding and Research. Founded in 1985, today there are over 50 giant pandas living there. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a walk at the Broad and Narrow Lanes (Kuan Xiangzi and Zhai Xiangzi). It consist in 3 alleys: Kuan Alley, Zhai Alley, and Jing Alley. Experience the typical lifestyle of the old Chengdu. Here you can experience the traditional spring festival of Chengdu.
Day 02 Chengdu – Yaan – Luding BLD In the morning drive along Chengdu-Yaan Express Way to Yaan, the famous Rainy City. On the way enjoy the rural scenery in western Sichuan Plain. Highlights of Yaan are Bifengxia Panda Base and Shangli Ancient Town. Bifengxia Panda Base is famous for the forest coverage, waterfalls, river and breathtaking landscapes. After the violent earthquake in Sichuan, the panda base in Ya'an became the largest panda reserve in the world, with over 80 giant pandas. There are over 20 research laboratories and feeding centers including Panda Breeding Spots, Panda Kindergarten, Panda Hospital and the Research Centers. Then we drive to Shangli Ancient Town. Old Town of Shangli is called an “ink and Wash Landscape” painting. Situated in the Western Sichuan Basin, the town was an important post on the South Silk Road and the Ancient Tea-Horse Trail in history. In the mid afternoon drive crossing the tunnel of Erlang Mountain to Luding, the mountain was traditionally the natural limits of Han Chinese villages and the Tibetan communities. 1N at 3*Ludingqiao Hotel
Day04 Luding – Danba BLD Drive along Dadu River to Danba (1900 m). The local people in Danba are called Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetan. Danba is claimed to be the Kingdom of Thousands of Ancient Blockhouses. Visit of the ancient block towers in Suopo. They were made of clay and block and look fine from outside with solid thick walls. Then visit the village Jiaju. More than one hundred buildings keep the same architectural style with a complete and unique character of Jiarong Tibetan residences. Under the blue sky, the Tibetan residences decorated in red, white and black are strewed at random but also in order from the bottom to the middle slope of the valley. 1N at 3*318 Hotel
Day05 Danba – Rangtang BLD Drive to Rangtang. In Tibetan Rangtang means the Treasure God’s Flat Land. On the way visit of Kargyuepa Monastery Sirin Kar (Zengke Si), whose sign is the three nine storey „Milarepa Stone Tower“. 1N at 2*Rangtang Hotel
Day06 Rangtang – Aba BLD In the morning drive to Rangtang (Dzamthang) Monastery in the valley of the Dzi Chu. It is the main lamasery of the entire Rangtang area and the chief institution of the Jonangpa order. Then drive to the nearby Nyingmapa lamasery Bangtuo. The monastery was established during the Mongol Yuan reign of China (1274-1368). Bathong Gompa or Bangtuo Si is famous for the throngs of choerten built from the 17th century up to 1910. Three of the choerten at Bangtuo Monastery are said to exhibit murals of or near the time of construction. The oldest of the Bangtuo choerten was built in 1618 and shelters a small number of 17th century murals. Late in the afternoon reach Aba (Ngawa). Aba means people coming from Ngari in Tibetan. In this area all the sects of Tibetan Buddhism remain and exist in harmony. 5N at 2*Nianbao Yuze Hotel or similar
Day07 Aba BLD In the morning visit of Kirti Monastery (Ge’erdeng Si) of Gelug Sect. Originally built in 1870, it has become the biggest monasteries in Kham-Amdo region of Sichuan after more than 100 years of development. After lunch drive to Nangshig Monastery, located at a hillside to the northeast of the Aba County. Nangshig Monastery is one of the biggest Bon monastery in China and has a history of about 900 years after it was built in 1107. The monastery is very strong in economy and the temple halls are built and decorated magnificently. Besides, its differences from Buddhism in religious rituals and taste of art have a great appeal to people. Then visit of Jomo Gompa nunnery . Located at the Mami Mountain of Siwa Town six kilometers to the west of the county seat, the nunnery of Gelug Sect is the biggest one of its kind in Amdo-Kham regions. It was built in 1894 and has a history of more than 100 years.
Day08 Aba BLD From today onwards we will join the new year festival Losar at Aba. At about 09:40pm, a ceremony for Sunning the Buddha begins and a big Tangkha of Tsongkhapa displays in front of Assembly Hall in a quite different way from other Gelupa monasteries in Amdo area. The ceremony of Buddha Sunning initiated from 1468AD in the rein of the 1st Dalai Lama, and much bigger sized Thangka paintings of Buddha has been used from the time of the 4th Dalai Lama to this day. In the afternoon go and see the monks of Kirti who are participating in the Buddhist Debates.
Day09 Aba BLD In the morning drive to Kirti again. Enjoy the performance of monk wearing masks when dancing. In the afternoon visit of Ngayul Monastery (Saige Si), a Jonangpa order temple in the vicinity of Aba Town. See how they are sunning the Buddha and turning the Buddha.
Day10 Aba BLD Drive to Nangshig Monastery again. In the morning, we can see the circling dance in the monastery. The monks walk around the temple while playing religious musical instruments. It is an amazing exotic experience for all of us. After the visit we drive back to the town. On route pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and see how the life of the locals is nowadays.
Day11 Aba BLD Experince the Losar at Nangshig Monastery again. Today we will see the grand prayer ceremony at the Guardian Deity hall. Many locals gather around there and what they like to do is burning the pine twigs, Tibetan joss-sticks or tsamba. They share the faith that the smokes they burn will open the `sky gate' and will carry their prayers to the deities. It is a good chance to view the traditional costume of the Tibetans as they will put on the most beautiful ones to the monastery. For them, it is indeed the big feast. The monks today at Nangshig will perform their traditional mask dance. A big treat for us today!
Day12 Aba – Taoping - Chengdu BLD Drive back to Chengdu. On the way we will visit Taoping Qiang People’s Stocked Village. The ancient Taoping Village has a great appeal for the numerous experts and tourists with its odd and wonderful fortress buildings. 1N at 4*Holiday Inn Express Wuhou
Day13 Leave Chengdu B Transfer to airport and see off.
Special note: The above stated program during the Losar festival is subject to change without prior notice by the local monasteries. We will make the most of Losar festival per the actual available program on the spot.
This journey is an adventure and only succeeds if you show understanding, patience and flexibility for the possible delays and program changes or imponderable situations. It requires the participants to have the sense of community and a cooperative spirit, and be ready to face very simple living conditions. Despite the careful planning, the program might change, sometimes in a short term, which may result in possible program modifications and the cancellation of some visits. Of course, the best for both our team and you is to respect the intented program. Besides we would like to point out that you are responsible for your own for all the possible dangers during the journey.