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Amdo Tour
HomeChina Tours Amdo Tour Amdo Tour : Explore Amdo Geographer Program

TIBTE travel, without Tibet travel Permit
— Why not travel to Amdo ?

For foreign tourists, travel to Tibet( Tibet Autonomous Region ) is required a TTP ( Tibet travel Permit ). Since 2012 May, only the group with
than 5 person of same nationality can apply the TTP. why not travel to Amdo? The Amdo and Kham regions, also considered to be TIBET
to the Tibetan people, make up 50% of the land mass of the Tibetan Plateau and are home to 60% of the total Tibetan population. In many
regards, the Amdo and Kham regions are better places to go to experience traditional Tibetan culture. Most repeat travellers to Tibet agree
that Amdo are the best regions of Tibet to travel to.

Amdo Tour
AmdoSituation of the east Tibetan region of Amdo ( Chinese: 安多), is one of the three
traditional areas of Tibet, the other two being U-Tsang and Kham. Amdo was and is the
home of many important Tibetan Buddhist monk scholars or lamas who had a major
influence on both politics and religious development of Tibet, including the 14th Dalai Lama
, the 10th Panchen Lama, and the great reformer Je Tsongkhapa. It was traditionally a place
of great learning and scholarship and contains many great monasteries including Kumbum
Jampa Ling (Ta’er Si) near Xining, Labrang Tashi Khyil south of Lanzhou, and the Kirti
Monasteries of Ngaba and Tewo (Taktsang Lhamo).
There are many dialects of the Amdo language due to the geographical isolation of many
tribal groups. The (Tibetan) inhabitants in Amdo call themselves Amdowa (Amdo pa), and
not Böpa (Bod pa), which is the Tibetan word of Central Tibetans. The region of Amdo is
distributed mainly among the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. Amdo is
a large area of northeastern Tibet, it encompasses the section from the Yellow River
northeastward to Gansu province in China. As Amdo is a large area and consists of a number of different regions, it is difficult to accurately
summarize the history of the entire region of Amdo. Each smaller district/region has its own unique and long history.

[ Tour Code: EL-AMT-004 ]
Xining-Lijiaxia-Xiahe-Tongren-Maqing-Guide-Qinghai Lake-Xining (13 days / 12 nights)

Explore Amdo Geographer Program

This adventurous journey leads you to some important monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism in east Tibet. You will be very impressed by the dense
religious atmosphere, exotic custom, snow mountains, lakes, peculiar plants and rare wild animals in this highland.

Day01    Arrive in Xining
Arrive in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Transfer to the hotel. (D) 

Day02    Xining-Lijiaxia
Drive to visit Kanbula National Forest Park in Jianzha County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, situated about 131km away from Xining.
Kanbula National Forest Park faces the Yellow River and is close to Lijiaxia Hydropower
Station. The park is featured with its stone peaks of Danxia landform (Danxia landform is
named after Danxia Mountain situated in the border area of Renhua and Qujiang counties, the
northeast environs of Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province.), forests and man-made sight. It is
a “historical documentary” of the evolvement of the rise of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and its
climate, carrying a precious value of research on west China’s environment evolvement since
Cenozoic. Then proceed 40km to Lijiaxia. (B,L,D)


Day3    Lijiaxia-Xunhua-Linxia We drive through a landscape dotted with villages inhabited by Tibetan and Muslim farmers who grow wheat,
barley and rape, as well as fruit and vegetables. Here is considered as one of the best
area for Tibetan agriculture along the Yellow River in Amdo. The Salas live in the
Xunhua Sala Autonomous County, with a population of 900,000. They have their own
national spoken language, but no written language. Their ancestors were a branch of
the Saruks who lived in the 13th century, belonging to the west Turki Oguz tribe in
Samarkand. A chieftain named Kharmang led the clan men believing in Islam
eastwards to Xunhua, Qinghai, and settled down there and lived and intermarried with
the local Tibetans and Hans and multiplied, and becoming an ethnic group. The Salas
are mainly engaged in farming and take animal husbandry and gardening as sideline
industries. They have preserved much beautiful folklore. Duiwina (camel game), a
traditional game showing how their ancestors came to Xunhua from central Asia, is
very popular among the Salas. We will enjoy our lunch in Sala’s restaurant, then drive
along the Yellow River to Mengda Heavenly Lake Nature Reserve. Jishixia Gorge is
mysterious with its winding roads and towering mountains on both sides. Mengda
Tian Chi, the Heavenly Lake, surrounded by forests, is at the top of the mountain. Then along Yellow River to Dahejia, a tiny town of Jishi county in
Gansu province, drive 120km (3hours) to Linxia Hu Nationality Autonomous Prefecture (Alt: 1500m), which is horned as “Small Hong Kong” by
local people as you can buy anything you want in this Moslem city. It’s a major congregating area of Chinese Muslim Hui nationality, with many
Mosques along the roadsides. (B,L,D)

Day4    Linxia-Xiahe-Ganjia Grassland From Linxia to Xiahe needs more than an hour, obviously, we will come from Chinese Muslim culture area
to Tibet Buddhism culture area. Via Tumen pass, which is the intercommunion of two culture. Visit
Labrang Monastery. Built in 1709, now it has 1000 monks. It is one of the six most important
Gelukpa (the Yellow Sect) monasteries in whole Tibet and a center of Tibetan learning in Eastern
Tibet. Our Tibetan guide will show us the impressive interior of the Assembly hall and other
temples. We will be introduced to the Buddha images and numerous protective deities. The
importance of textiles on the interiors and exteriors of the monasteries will be brought home to us.
You can explore the Tibetan antique shops as well as the shops providing for the needs of monks
and the monastery. One finds for sale religious Tangkhas, Buddha statues, prayer flags, a range
of monks clothing, rolls of cloth, hand-printed sutras as well as a nomadic jewelers. Many of the
shopkeepers are Muslims; know locally as Hui Hui, so bargaining is the order of the day. We can
also find many Tibetan nomads who come here for pilgrimage and after their religious practice
they buy textiles for their clothing and jewelers along numerous Tibetan shops. Than we drive
about 40km to Ganjia Grssland and for tented camp. Ganjia is one of the best grassland in Amdo.

Day05    Ganjia Grassland-Tongren   About 2 hours to Repkong (Alt: 2400m).
On the way, we pass grassland, forestry, agricultural land and
beautiful red mountain valley, we visit the famous Tibetan art school, Sengeshong
Magotsang which was funded during the 15th century and after 16th century Repkong
became the hometown of Tibetan art in Amdo. All monks here have good training of painting
and sculptures and are often invited to make fine art works in many monasteries or private
houses by Tibetan in whole Tibet even nowadays. We will visit some of monks’ houses. We
also visit the Repkong art Museum, the best Repkong art collections will be appreciated.
Then, visit Gomar monastery built in 1741 and now it has 160 monks inhabited. This small
but beautiful monastery is famous for its colorful 7-storey Astronomy (Tib: Dhekor; Sanskrit:
Kalachakra) stupa, mainly used for monks to realize and understand time and space to
work out every year’s new Tibetan calendar and relationship between our globe with
universe. The monks and the village people are also renowned for their handcraft
application. (B,L,D)

Day06    Tongren-Zeku-Maqen
Drive 300km (8hours) to Maqen County(Machen County)(Alt: 3800m). Another wonderful day for picturesque landscape while we drive: grassland
with yaks and sheep, nomadic black and white tents. Along the Yellow River valley we will experience the red and blue Mountains with colorful
flowers and some barley land and forestry. The scenery is fantastic changeable geographically at every short distance. Maqen in Tibetan means
“The highest Mountain of the Yellow River”. The county is the homeland of the Tibetan Golok people, another strong tribe of Tibetan. The Golok
means “Marching strait ahead and never turn back your head”. (B,L,D)

Day07-08    Maqen-Anemaqen Mountain 
Anemaqen Mountain (Mount Anymachen, Alt: 6282m), is a very holy mountain in Amdo, and is regarded as a guardian of the Tibetan people. They
believe that all suffering and disaster may be avoided by making a holy pilgrimage around this mountain. There are spectacular views of the main
peak as well as many different kinds of terrain along this trekking route including riverside meadows, wooded valleys, high passes, interesting rock
formations, and highland grasslands.
Trekking route: snow mountain township - climbing base - Anemaqen - climbing base. Camp at night. Meet with your driver and drive back down
from the mountains into Maqen. Visit the local marketplace and explore the town. Stay in Maqen. (B,L,D)

Attention: round the Anemaqen Mountain needs 1 week, for this group, it’s only a trekking experience.

Day09    Maqen-Guide

Drive 80km to Rakya (Rabgya) Monastery, which is located just at the Yellow River
Bank, at foot of Mount Amnye Chunggo (Blue Garuda, a mythological bird normally
depicted with an owl-like sharp beak, often holding a snake, and with large powerful
wings.). From a distance, the mountain just looks like a huge eagle that protects the
monastery. Rabgya monastery is an important branch of Sera monastery in Lhasa,
founded at the advice of Dalai Lama 7 in 1769 by a Mongol from Kokonor named Arik
Geshe. For centuries, this important monastery along the Yellow River emerged many
great lamas and their books have given great achievements to the Tibetan Buddhism.
Before 1958 the monastery had more than 1300 monks and now has 500. Guide is a
beautiful town on the bank of the upper Yellow River. Visit the Jade Temple which was
built during the Ming Dynasty. Stay in Guide. (B,L,D)

Day10    Guide-Qinghai Lake 
Visit Kokonor (Qinghai Lake), the biggest holy lake in Tibet and largest
salt lake in China, covers an area of 4581 Square KM, four times big as
Hong Kong. As early as three thousands years ago, Mongolia and
Tibetan nomadic people believed that a hundred per cent of the holy
lakes and the holy mountains contain unique treasures or minerals
underneath. Those minerals give out a kind of magnetism or spirit to a
few special sensitive Masters, like Shaman or Living Buddha, through
whom to teach people on how to respect and protect natures in order to
receive the good luck waves from those holy mountains and lakes to
have a good fate of life. In May of 1578, King of the Mongols, Altan Qan
gave the title Dalai Lama 3 to Sonam Gyatso at east shore of Lake
Kokonor. The Living Buddha system of Gelukpa started since then.

Day11     Qinghai Lake-Xining   

Return to Xining from Qinghai Lake. Then drive to visit Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si) of
Tibet Buddhism Gelukpa-sect, one of the biggest monasteries in Qinghai, which has been
well-known for many centuries all over Tibet. It was founded in 1560 to commemorate the
birthplace of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelukpa-sect. This will be our first opportunity
to see how rich brocades and silks are used as wall hangings in the monasteries as also
are appliqué Thangkas. Here, too, we find a large trading area where one can buy
everything needed for monastic life, as well as antiques and tourist trinkets for the visiting
pilgrims. We stay once again in Xining. (B,L,D)

Day12    Xining-Beijing
Take flight Beijing-Xining, Transfer to Hotel for rest. (B)


Day13    Depart from Beijing
Transfer to the airport and prepare for boarding on your homebound flight. TOUR ENDS! (B)


Note: B(breakfast)  L(lunch)  D(dinner)

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