Tibetan Holy Lands
long tour guided roadtrip from chengdu
We have all imagined “paradise” before – a land of heaven. Well, this is the trip that is actually going to take you there. As we live and breathe, this a journey into the real Shangri-La – Yading Nature Reserve in Daocheng County.
Stay in a Tibetan ethnic minority stockade, see their life from the inside, take a wander in the “photographer’s holy grail” of Xinduqiao and visit Sichuan’s glacial Conch Gulley.
An uplifting roadtrip journey to Daocheng Yading Reserve through the colossal landscapes of the Tibet. Meet up and Tour End in Chengdu, Suchuan.
Meet up in Chengdu city
capitol of Sichuan
Meet up in downtown Chengdu.
Meet up day. Welcome, everyone, to Sichuan’s capitol – the city of Chengdu.
explore chengdu cbd landmarks.
Arrive early. This way you will have some time to explore.
Tourist landmarks and activities in the downtown area of Chengdu include the Temple of Marquis, the thatched cottage of a famed ancient poet named Dufu, the Jinsha Site Museum and the Chengdu Giant Panda breeding Research Base. Alternatively, see Kuanzhai Alley, Jinli Ancient Street or Qintai street.
Sichuan is known for being a laid-back kind of place. Feel the vibes strolling and exploring through the old alleys, with a drink at a teahouse by the river, or sitting for a satisfying professional earwax cleaning – a local specialty.
Chengdu is also a food capitol. Try Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan style hotpot, the local snacks.
Chengdu - Mount Siguniang - The Jiaju Tibetan Stockade in Tanba County
Breakfast. Hit the road for siguniang mountain.
Eat breakfast. Meet up. Hit the road.
Our first destination: the Natural World Heritage Reserve of Siguniang Mountain.
Siguniang Mountain Natural World Heritage Reserve.
Arrive around noon. Eat lunch at the Reserve entrance.
Finish eating, enter the Reserve. Wander through the monolithic landscape of the ‘Twinbridge Trench’.
About Twinbridge Trench: 34 kilometers long, 400-meters above sea level, decorated on its lower points with rich, often colorful vegetation. 52 mountains over 5000 meters tall gather along either side. If “majestic super-scale scenery” exists, this has to be it.
Finish exploring. Head back to the entrance. Board the coach.
guest house b&b Check-in: Jiaju Tibetan Stockade in Tanba County.
From here we depart for the Jiaju Tibetan Stockade of Tanba County - a place raised by ‘National Geographic China’ as one of “China’s six most beautiful villages.
Check in. Stay the night.
Jiaju Stockade - Kangding Autonomous Prefecture - Dagong Grasslands - Xinduqiao Town
Morning light Jiaju Stockade. Ride out.
Finish breakfast, then head out to explore.
In the village, houses have unique Tibetan design. Built onto the rise and fall of the mountainside, they climb from low in the Dajin River valley, all the way up to the just under the Kapama Peaks, scattered like pearls amongst the hillside green.
Look out and see peaks capped with white snow, the valleys deep and green, the pristine hillside streams trickling, with the thin white trails of woodsmoke that wind from village chimneys into the clean, mountain air. This place is visual inspiration.
Jiaju Stockade experienced. Board the coach and depart.
Traverse the Dagong Grasslands. Check-in: Photographer’s dreamland of Xinduqiao Town.
Ride along through the picturesque windswept grass meadows of the Dagong Grassland. We approach the photographer’s dreamland of Xinduqiao Town.
Arrive at the hotel. Check in.
3300 meters above sea level, this must-visit patch of Tibet is nothing but free and open land under a heavenly sky. No photography enthusiast can leave here unsatisfied.
Xinduqiao Town - Litang County - Daocheng County - Shangri-La City
Depart Xinduqiao at dawn.
Depart from Xinduqiao as the sun rises.
Highway 318: ROATRIP THROUGH LITANG COUNTY & DAOCHENG COUNTY.
Today we ride Highway 318. Cut through the landscape - Gao'ersi Mountain, Yalong river, Yalong County City, Scissor Bend Mountain. Climb upwards until we arrive on the alpine grassland meadows 4000 meters above sea level.
In the afternoon, transit Xiaomaoya Dam, Wuliang River, Tu’er Mountain (4696m above sea), then the site of the largest glacier in the entire Qinghai-Tibetan plateau – the Haizi Mountain Nature Reserve.
By dusk, cross the thresholds of 10000-Acre Green Poplar Forest Park, Se’la Grassland, then over Bowa Mountain (4513m above sea) and down into the Redearth River valley. The route down in the river valley is a different world – scenically amazing.
Arrive at Shangri-La City.
In the evening we reach Shangri-La City.
Check in. Get some rest. Tomorrow we use our feet.
DISCOVER Shangri-La: Yading scenic reserve's breathtaking sights
Yading Nature Reserve. Hotel check in.
Depart the hotel first thing in the morning on Day 5. Hop onto the Yading Nature Reserve park shuttle buggy and enter the scenic zone.
Inside, the first stop is tonight’s hotel.
Get checked in, drop your bags, then head out – it’s time to experience some of the best natural scenery in the world.
Luorong cattle ranch. Buddhist holy mountains of Yangmaiyong & Xialuoduoji.
Luorong cattle ranch. Choose to hike there and you can be patting cows in around 3 hours. Alternatively, save time and energy with self-paid shuttle cart rides at 80RMB/person [return] or 50RMB/person [one-way].
Two colossal Buddhas sit watching over the earth from beside the Luorong ranch's grounds – the Buddhist holy mountains of Yangmaiyong* (Manjusri Bodhisattva – the Buddha of insight) and Xialuoduoji* (Vajrapani Buddhisattva – the protector and guide of the enlightened one). Stand before them. See them up close.
*The mountains are thought to be incarnates of Manjusri Bodhisattva – the Buddha of insight, and Vajrapani Buddhisattva - the protector and guide of the enlightened one. What makes the locals feel this way? Experience it!
niunai hai & wuse hai: the mountaintop ‘Milk’ & ‘Five-colored Sea’ Lakes.
Return to the hotel at your own pace. Settle down in the evening for a satisfying rest.
Return to the Yading Nature Reserve Hotel.
Return to the hotel at your own pace. Settle down in the evening for a satisfying rest.
Yading scenic reserve day 2: Shangri-La City - Daocheng County
Sunrise in Yading.
Sunrise in Yading. If you’re awake, nature photography in the early morning light is an option.
explore more of yading: Chonggu Temple, Zhenzhuhai ‘Pearl Sea’ Lake, Yading’s highest Holy Mountain – Xianrengri.
Eat breakfast. Meet up with the others waiting outside. There’s more Reserve to explore, in a different direction this time. Head off on the park shuttle.
End-of-the-line. Step off at Zhaguanbeng at roughly nine o’clock.
Today’s line-up is simple.
Lightly equipped, hike to Chonggu Temple.
Continue on. An hour beyond the temple is the ‘Pearl Sea’ – Zhenzhuhai Lake. The lake’s still waters are a mirror for the Yading’s highest Holy Mountain – Xianrengri (6032m above sea).
Back to the yading hotel. Check out.
From the lake we take the trail back to Zhaguanbeng, arriving at [14:00]. Shuttle buggy ferries us back to the hotel.
Gather your bags. Take the sightseeing shuttle. Leave the park.
depart for Daocheng City. Check in.
Meet up at the Tourist Center outside to board a coach bound for our hotel in Daocheng City.
Check in for the night.
Sunrise on Haizi Mountain - highway 318: Kangding - Yajiageng Nature Reserve - Mo’xi Town
Haizi Mountain sunrise.
Rise before dawn in Daocheng. Depart the hotel bound for Haizi Mountain.
Arrive. Wait. Watch at sunrise as the sun first bundle of sunlight flood over the horizon on the sprawling alpine landscape.
Highway 318: roadtrip to arriving in mo'xi town
Hit the road. Kazila Mountain, Scissor Bend Mountain, past Yajiang County City, over Gao’ersi, through Xinduqiao Town. Depending on the time we will stop at either Yajiang or Xinduqiao for a meal.
Ride Highway 318 East. Cross the 4200m Zheduo Mountain pass. We will come to the Yajiageng Red Stones. See the snow mountain waterfall, grasslands and the river of red stones.
Arrive in Moxi.
Finally arrive. Check in at the town of Moxi.
half-day in mo'xi town - tour end in chengdu.
Moxi free-roam (Sightseeing at Conch Gulley recommended).
Today is a day for you to free roam in Moxi.
Below are some suggestions, but in the end, you can spend today however you would like to.
1 - Sightseeing at Conch Gulley (admission self-paid):
Head to the Scenic area in the morning. Arrive, board the sightseeing shuttle, enter. Arrive at the “Number 3 Base” 40 minutes later. Hike 40 minutes from the base to the second shuttle point. Take this sightseeing shuttle until the Dry River Dam Cableway.
From here there are three options:
A) Cross the glacier gulley via Cableway: Ride a cable car out of the Number 4 Base for a view of the glacier river. Tickets are 150RMB/person [return, self-paid];
B) Hike the glacier gulley. Follow the sightseeing foot-road from Base Number 3 up to the lookout platform. The walk takes you through beautiful virgin alpine forest. See it from up high.
Want a closer look? From the platform, you have the option to descend to the base of the glacier. See it up close.
Note that these walking routes are physically demanding. There is also no way to make it to Base Number 4 on foot, meaning you won’t be seeing the best scenery the glacier has to offer. However, if weather and visibility is poor, this route may be the better option.
C) Hiking mixed with the traditional Sichuan ‘huagan’ people-powered transport to reach the lookout platform: the same up-close immersive scenery as the foot-road, but considerably less demanding physically. Recommended for older travelers who aren’t tip-top shape. You are free to hop-on, hop-off riding the huagan. Price ranges from 50-150RMB per person.
Three to four hours is adequate to complete any of the 3 routes suggested above.
[12:00] Reboard the sightseeing shuttle. Exit the park.
2- Relaxed easy morning in Moxi Town:
If you would prefer an easy, relaxed day, then go back to sleep.
Wake up late, then take an easy wander through the town of Moxi.
Regardless of how you choose to spend the early hours, our group meet-up time is [13:00].
Return to Chengdu. Tour End.
Gather with the others outside the hotel. Board the coach. Depart for Chengdu.
We are estimated to arrive at [20:00].
Our arrival marks the end of our round trip through heavenly Shangri-La.
Until we meet again.