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Overland from Xining to Chengdu

You will begin in the city of Xining, located on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Xining has a diverse population of Muslims, Tibetans, Mongolians and Han Chinese. From Xining, you will travel to Repkong (Tongren), which is famed across Tibet for its artists who paint Buddhist tapestries and for the 3 large monasteries nearby. From Repkong, you will drive across the nomad grasslands filed with yaks to Sog Dzong, a small Mongol enclave in eastern Tibet. From there, your next destination is Labrang, home to the largest monastery in the Amdo region.

From Labrang, you will go to the fantastic small town of Lhamo (Langmusi) where you will spend 2 days exploring Buddhist monasteries and hiking in the spectacular mountains that surround you. From there, you will go to Jiuzhai Gou National Park. Jiuzhai Gou is regarded as one of the most beautiful national parks in Asia. It is covered in clear, turquoise-colored water, forests and amazing mountains. The next destination is the pleasant town of Barkham, where you can see many castle-like Tibetan homes. From there, you will go to the famous Tao temple located at Qingcheng Mountain. Then you will spend a full day in Chengdu while visiting the panda breeding center and the Tibetan Quarter. For more information, please send an email to:

Day 1: Xining—Rebkong  Distance: 170 kms  Elevation: 2500 meters

From the city of Xining, you will travel south to the large town of Rebkong, known in Chinese as Tongren. Along the way, you will stop at Shachung, one of eastern Tibet's most important Buddhist monasteries. Rebkong, along with nearby Labrang, is the cultural center of the Amdo region of the Tibetan Plateau. There are 3 large Buddhist monasteries in the region that you will explore and hike around.

Day 2: Rebkong

In the morning, you will explore the large monastery of Rongwo, which was established over 700 years ago and is home to over 500 monks. From there, you will go to Gomar Monastery and see one of the largest and most colorful stupas (Buddhist pagoda) in Tibet. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to see some of the best artists in Tibet as they paint thanka, or Buddhist tapestries

Day 3: Rebkong—Sog Dzong  Distance: 135 kms  Elevation: 3530m

After breakfast, you will drive across the Tibetan grasslands to the unique town of Sog Dzong, known in Chinese as Henan. This region is inhabited by ethnic Mongols who have lived in the area since the 13th century. This area is covered with high grasslands that are filled with yaks and sheep. This is an excellent region to experience nomadic culture.

Day 4: Sog Dzong—Labrang  Distance: 175 kms  Elevation: 2935m

You will take this day to explore the monastery of Labrang, known in Chinese as Xiahe, and  do some short hikes above the town. Labrang is the largest monastery in eastern Tibet with nearly 2000 monks. On the far end of Labrang is a small Tibetan nunnery as well as another small Buddhist monastery to visit. Labrang is the best place to experience Buddhist culture in eastern Tibet.

Day 5: Labrang to Lhamo (Langmusi)  Elevation: 3325m  Distance: 195 kms

This day will take you from Labrang to the beautiful small town of Lhamo, known as Langmusi in Chinese. This town has two large monasteries and is surrounded by stunning mountains that are perfect for hiking! Kerti monastery was built in 1413 and has over 700 monks. Behind Kerti, you can continue hiking a few hours through the beautiful Namo Gorge. This is a pleasant, relatively easy hike that is a lot of fun. You can also hike up above Serti Monastery, located across the valley from Kerti.

Day 6: Lhamo

You will spend a full day exploring the beautiful Lhamo area. You can go hiking, explore  Buddhist monasteries or, another option this day is to take an all day horse trek across the grasslands to the source of the White Dragon River. Along the way, you can have lunch with a Tibetan nomad family (late spring through early autumn).

Day 7: Lhamo to Jiuzhai Gou National Park Distance: 360 kms  Elevation: 2000m  

After breakfast, you will depart Lhamo for the amazing national park of Jiuzhai Gou. Along the way, you will drive through the expansive grasslands of the Zoige region, which are some of the largest and most beautiful grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. These grasslands are filled with tens of thousands of yaks and during the summer months and many thousands of Tibetans can be found living in traditional style yak wool tents. You can stop and meet some of these hospitable families to learn more about Tibetan nomadic culture. In the afternoon, you will arrive near the main gate of Jiuzhai Gou National Park.

Day 8: Jiuzhai Gou National Park

You will spend all day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jiuzhai Gou, one of the premier national parks on the Tibetan Plateau. The park is filled with clear, turquoise-colored waters, dense forests and spectacular mountains. In addition, there are several fun Tibetan villages to explore. Jiuzhai Gou National Park will certainly be the highlight of your overland journey from Xining to Chengdu!

Day 9: Jiuzhai Gou—Barkham  Distance: 500 kms  Elevation: 2625m

In the early morning, you will depart Jiuazhai Gou for the small city of Barkham, known in Chinese as Ma'erkang. Along the way, you will have more opportunities to experience traditional Tibetan nomad culture. Before reaching Barkham, you will wander around the pleasant Buddhist monastery of Mewa. In and around Barkham, many local people live in huge stone homes that look like castles. 

Day 10: Barkham

You will have a full day to explore the the small city of Barkham, elevation 2625 meters. In addition to walking the pleasant streets, there is a great hiking trail that leads far above town that you can take. 

Day 11: Barkham—Qingcheng Mountain  Distance: 285 kms  Elevation: 900m

This day, you will descend off of the Tibetan Plateau to the famous Tao monastery of Qingcheng, which lies along a scenic mountainside. You will arrive at Qingcheng Mountain in the late afternoon and then explore the temple the next day.

Day 12: Qingcheng Mountain—Chengdu  Distance: 75kms  Elevation: 500m

After breakfast, you will begin exploring the fascinating forest-covered Qingcheng Mountain and the Taoist temples that are located there. Qingcheng has numerous temples that date back to the Tang Dynasty in the 8th Century, but has been a retreat center for about 2000 years. In the late afternoon, you will arrive in the mega city of Chengdu.

Day 13: Chengdu

You will spend a full day exploring the city of Chengdu, capital of central China's Sichuan province. You will begin by visiting the panda breeding center where you can see China's most famous animal up-close! Next, you will wander the streets of Chengdu's Wu Hou Ci Tibetan Quarter where you can pick up some final Tibetan souvenirs before your journey ends. 

Day 14: Depart Chengdu

Your journey officially ends after breakfast. You will then be transported to the Chengdu Airport to continue on to your next destination.

All of our travel routes are built with altitude acclimatization in mind to reduce the risks of altitude-related illness. Contact us today to begin arranging your journey from Xining to Chengdu through the Amdo region of the Tibetan Plateau! Send your inquiries to:

Overland from Xining to Chengdu

The journey from Xining to Chengdu through the Amdo Region can be done anytime of the year, however, the months that offer the best opportunities to see nomad Tibetans and lush, green grasslands is from June through September. 

For a price quotation for this journey, further questions or info on how to book this tour, send an email to:

Included in the price:

  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy)
  • Breakfast each morning
  • All ground transportation
  • All entrance fees for the itinerary listed
  • Local Tibetan guide fees
  • Chengdu Airport transfer on last day

Not included in the price:

  • Passport and Chinese Visa fees
  • International airfare to/from Xining and Chengdu
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Travel vaccinations
  • Insurance (travel, medical, etc)
  • Souvenirs or personal items such as laundry, snacks, alcohol drinks, etc
  • Photography fees inside temples and monasteries
  • Gratuities to the Tibetan guide and driver

Travel Gear: Upon joining, each participant will be sent a list of required and recommended gear for this journey that they will be responsible for.

Accommodations: Accommodations in the Amdo region of the Tibetan Plateau are clean and comfortable, however, in remoter regions quality can be slightly below international standards. Most of the hotels for the journey are  locally rated as  3 Star. Hotel upgrades available in Xining and Chengdu upon request.

Meals: Breakfast is included in the price for each morning you are on this journey Lunch and dinner are not included in the price.

Eligibility: Participants must be in good health and be able to spend each day walking around towns, villages and monasteries. Though you will be doing a lot of walking each day, no trekking is required. Most of this tour will take place in mountainous terrain between 2300 meters and 4000 meters (7500 feet to 13,100 feet) above sea level. 

Responsible Tourism: Himalaya Journey is foreign-owned, but Tibetan staffed. All of our guides and drivers are local Tibetans who have been working in tourism for many years. It is a top priority for us to support as many Tibetan-owned businesses as possible. During this tour, all of the hotels you will be staying at in Tibet are locally-owned. The preservation of the culture of Tibet, as well as the protection of the environment of Tibet, are extremely important to us. In fact, when we are not out leading and arranging journeys across Tibet, we are working with local Tibetans in numerous eco-tourism and conservation projects.