Amdo Tibet: overland Lanzhou, Xiahe, Langmuse, Songpan, Chengdu

Tibetan monastery monks

Amdo Tibet

Lanzhou – Xiahe – Langmuse – Songpan – Jiuzhaigou – Chengdu. Start in Chengdu or Lanzhou 4-7 days.

Experience the unique and colourful Tibetan way of life

The area south of Lanzhou (Gansu province) is part of Amdo Tibet. It’s a beautiful mountainous area with grasslands, nomads and Tibetan monasteries. The Tibetan people in this area are friendly, hospitable and above all very curious. Don’t be surprised if locals invite you into their house or tent for some tea. Sit back and enjoy the relaxing and humorous Tibetan way of life.


7 or 8 days from Lanzhou to Chengdu (or other way around): Lanzhou- Xiahe – Langmusi – Songpan (horseriding) optional, extra costs: Jiuzhaigou and/or Huanglong – Chengdu

7 days Lanzhou- Xiahe (3 n)- Langmusi (2 n)- Xiahe (1 n)- Lanzhou

4 days Lanzhou- Xiahe- Lanzhou (3 n Xiahe).

Day 1 arrival in Lanzhou (Gansu province)/ drive about 5-6 hours to the pittoresque town of Xiahe. The landscape changes dramatically from a desert-like dry area into green mountains where you’ll find Xiahe at 3,000 m altitude.

Day 2 Xiahe is a predominantly Tibetan town which centres around the huge Labrang monastery. The first day in Xiahe is spent exploring the monastery. You will see many monks, often in prayer or busily debating each other on religious issues. All year around you’ll meet the many pilgrims in town wearing their splendid traditional clothing and jewellery. In the morning you will join a group tour organized by the monastery. In the afternoon you go with a private guide to see the printing monastery where the sutras are still printed by using wooden blocks. You can also climb up the Golden Stupa for a bird’s eye view of the whole complex.

Day 3 Today you will explore the grasslands around Xiahe where nomad families live in tents. When invited in their homes you cannot refuse their infamous Tibetan milk tea and barley “tsampa”. The grasslands are also a beautiful area for hiking. In summertime the flowers are like a carpet on the meadows.

Day 4 First we visit Hezuo to admire the nine-floor-temple. Inside are beautiful handpainted decorations of Tibetan buddhist gods and deities. We will arrive in Langmusi at the end of the afternoon.

Day 5 In Langmusi the ancient Tibetan custom of sky burials is still practised. Sky burials are now limited only to a very small area in Tibet and are a rare sight nowadays. The town of Langmusi is half in Gansu province, and half in Sichuan province, divided only by a small river. Each place has its own moanstery and you can visit both of them. In the afternoon you go hiking through a beautiful gorge where you can see eagles and vultures soaring above your head.

Day 6 Full day ride from Langmusi to Songpan. You can stop several times for taking pictures.

Day 7 You can do a full day horse riding trip in the beautiful mountains surrounding Songpan. The horses are tame but the slopes are sometimes quite steep. However, you can do this trip even if you’re not an experienced horserider.

Day 8 long day driving to Chengdu airport, railwaystation or hotel. Or you can fly from Jiuzhaigou airport to Chengdu (45 min flight). Jiuzhaigou airport is 1,5 hrs ride from Songpan.

Prices on request

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