Each year, in partnership with tour agencies abroad, we offer several set-date horse rides which are combined with full service airport-to-airport logistical and interpretation service.
- Experienced and dedicated English language Tibetan guides
- Top level horse and yak handlers — skilled nomadic yak herders
- Yak packing enables a more comfortable living standard
- Traditional style dining and living tent
- Variety of campfire cooked meals — Tibetan noodles, Chinese veggies, Steaks
- Simple sleeping tents
- Local stories, legends, and games. Our focus is on building relationship between you and your guides
Long set-date trips range from 11-15 days and can accom0date 4-8 guests. Customized dates and small groups are also available. 5 day short breaks available on request.
June 22-July 5, 2021 July 7-July 15, 2021
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu, meet at Chengdu Airport. Visit the Wenshu Yuan Buddhist Temple. Amazing vegetarian food for dinner and massages if wanted. Chengdu is the traditional capital of the region of Shu in China, and a city full of history.
Day 2: Drive to Kangding. This small mountain city is at an altitude of 2600m and is mainly ethnic Han Chinese with a notable Tibetan presence and flair, particularly in its shops, restaurants and temples. For centuries it has been the meeting place of Tibetan and Chinese culture, and has served as a tea and yak hide trading center.
Day 3: Big race day! Drive to Lhakang, a small Tibetan town built around the Lhakang Monastery, surrounded by high grasslands. Mt Zhakra majestically overlooks the mountains and green plains. Attend the horse festival above the town, with morning horse blessings, and then spectacular races of the town, with long races, short sprints, and stunt races.
Day 4: Acclimatization day. Ride 3 hours to Khampa Nomad Ecolodge, meet your horse, and prepare to enter the wilds.
Day 5: Take a 20 minute car ride to the trailhead at Gyergo Nunnery. Then ride over high Griffon Pass (4900 m) with stunning views of sacred Mt. Zhakra, 5900 m). Then walk down into the back valley to camp at the Zhakra Hotsprings.
Day 6: Ride and hike to Zhakra Turquoise Lake. Situated below stunning glaciers, this sacred lake is fed by a waterfall. We will do a traditonal kora of the lake (a walk-around), and see the shrines and hermitages nearby.
Day 7: Ride back to Gyergo Nunnery via “Empty Valley”, where we should pass some nomad camps. Arrive tired to Gyergo in time for afternoon chanting with nuns.
Day 8: Back in the saddle, ride up into the high nomad areas. Another lovely day on the horse to end at the home yak camp of our guides. We’ll watch as the herders bring in the animals, catch and tie the calves, and do the evening milking.
Day 9: After the morning in the camps, trying yak milking, butter making, and rope spinning, ride to Yibei Lake, a high sinkhole (cenote) lake. This is a short 3 hour ride across the high plateau where we will see many nomad camps dotted across the area. Yibei is a Great Lake for swimming, but cold!
Day 10: Ride to high lookout to the west, across wolf and gazelle country and the Lhagang plateau’s highest area. Lunch at the lookout, at 4600 m, with views of isolated hermitages nestled in mountains, after mountain, after mountain. Then drop down to see sacred Ragni Lake, home of lammergeier birds in cliffs and the site of many legends.
Day 11: Ride across the Lhagang Plateau’s most populated nomadic area. Some years we happen upon a religious festival in this area. Arrive after lunch to high Genup Gompa, an old nomad temple, and then catch a car to Zhonglu Village, near Danba.
Day 12: Drive to Chengdu over Jia Jin Shan Pass, where the first Giant Panda was discovered. This is a lovely road that passes through pine forest, high mountains, and then down into “Edge Tibetan” villages. This drive gives one a sense of the cultural continuum from Tibet into China proper, as well as rural China.
Day 13: A free day in Chengdu. Possible optional activities include visiting the Giant Panda Breeding Center (which usually has babies in the summertime), the QingYangGong Daoist Temple, and the Tibetan quarter.
Day 14: Sendoff to the airport.
For pricing, availability, logistical details & reservation: