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

Tibetan monastery monks

Tibetans 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.

From Lanzhou airport or trainstation you drive in about 5 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. Xiahe is a predominantly Tibetan town which centres around the huge Tibetan buddhist Labrang monastery. All year around you’ll meet the monks and the pilgrims wearing their splendid traditional clothing and jewellery. Around Xiahe grasslands you can visit nomad families living in their 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. The next Tibetan small town is Langmusi where the Tibetan people still bury their people in the traditional way, the sky burial. Sky burials are these days limited and therefore a rare sight. Langmusi lies at an altitude of 3325 m and has its own colourful Tibetan monastery. Another highlight in Langmusi is to hike the nearby beautiful gorge, flanked by huge, grey rocks and ending in a gorgeous valley. During the ride to Songpan you enjoy the magnificent views over the grasslands dotted with yaks and nomad tents. In Songpan you can do a 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 as special horse guides will help you. From Songpan you can fly to Chengdu. Near Songpan lies Jiuzhaigou, the splendid national park with its turquoise lakes and made famous in the amazing Ang Lee movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Unfortunately Jiuzhaigou was hit by an earthquake in 2017 and it remains unclear when the park will be open again. From Chengdu you can fly to other Chinese towns or Amsterdam, Paris or other numerous destinations abroad.

These are the Amdo tours from 4-8 days:
4 days: Lanzhou- Xiahe 3 nights – optional: visit Binglingsi grottoes- Lanzhou
6-8 dagen: Lanzhou- Xiahe 3 nights- Langmusi 2 nights- Songpan 1 or 2 nights- flight to Chengdu
If you don’t want to go horseriding you can return to Xiahe from Langmusi. On the way back you’ll have a stopover in Xiahe.
New trip, 5 days to Tongren and Xining: Lanzhou- Xiahe 3 nights- Tongren- Xining
Prices on request
Tibetan monks