Our East Tibet Kham Derge Trekking tour is one of the best in Kham region. On our journey, we will pass through stunning landscapes, and stay with nomadic families. We will also have the chance to enjoy natural hot springs in a glorious mountain setting.
Day 1 - Chengdu to Dartsedo(Kangding), Drive Time: 6 hours, Elevation: 2300m / 7550ft
On our first day, we will leave and drive toward Dartsemdo, a famous Tibetan trade center in the ancient times, now it is the main capital city of Kardzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture with population of 96687, mostly are Tibetan people, and place of 18 counties.
Day 2 - Dartsedo to Drakgo(Luhuo), Drive Time: 6 hours, Elevation: 3250m / 10,660ft
Lhaghang Monastery, Lhaghang is set around 3750 meters above the sea level. This monastery belongs to the Sakya tradtion of Tibetan Buddhism, and it was built by King Songtsan Gampo during 7th century. Lhagang Monastery houses the most important statue of Shakyamuni. It is said this statue has the same spiritual blessing as the one in Lhasa, and, because of this, Llaghang Monastery is an important pilgrimage destination for many Tibetan Buddhists.
Day 3 - Drakgo to Derge(Dege), Drive Time: 7 hours, Elevation: 3188m /10,460ft
Today we will drive to Derge. Along the way, there is one place we must visit -- the sunning lake Yulung Tso. It is bordered by carving rocks and pagodas. After a photography stop at the Lake, we will continue to Derge, passing Mt Chola pass (5050m). Derge was a cultural and political center for Kham Tibetans in ancient times.
Day 4 - Derge to Palung(Babang), Drive Time: 3 hours, Elevation: 3500m / 11,485ft
In the morning, we visit Dege Barkhang Printing Press. This printing press is one of the star attractions on our route. The printers still use wood block printing methods. We will witness the fast, skillful, local printers printing Buddhist scriptures. After lunch we leave for Palpung monastery, built in 1729，This monastery was built by Sudu Chogyi Jongne and Derge King Danba Tsering, and is famous for teaching Tibetan medicine, as well as a classic Tibetan painting style called Karma Gadru.
Day 5 - Palpung to Ponyonwa, Trekking Time: 5.5 hours, Elevation: 3700m / 12,140ft
We will start at 8.am and hike along the forests and streams of Nyinglong, arriving in Nyinglong Tang around noon. After lunch there, we will continue for another an hour and half. We will arrive at bottom of Halong Mountain, and set camp for the night in Ponyonwa Tung.
Day 6 - Ponyonwa to Dzongsar, Trekking Time: 6 hours, Elevation: 3800m / 12,470ft
Start time will be around 10:00am. We will hike on Mt.Holong. This is a strenuous hike requiring patience and effort. After an hour walk, we will be able to reach the peak. We will spend some time here, and give offerings to the Mountain deity. Continuing along the ridge of this mountain, we will reach Tagyuk La(Horse racing Lope) and have lunch there. We will have a clear view of Khayul Monastery on the other side of the Mountain. Following the track of Khatso Gon, we reach Dzongsar in the afternoon.
Day 7 - Dzongsar, Elevation: 3800m / 12,470ft
In the morning, we have a chance to visit special Thangka school, as well as a wood carving school. Lastly this morning we will visit Dzongsar Tibetan Medicine Factory. After lunch in this town, we will visit Dzongsar Monastery, which was built in the year of 746; this monastery is famous for keeping its Tibetan philosophy teaching system even today. The current Lama for this monastery is world‐known teacher, His Holinness the Dzongsar Jamyang Kyentse. In the late afternoon, we visit local handicrafts center, where we can buy souvenirs for our families and friends.
Day 8 - Dzongsar to Tashi Thang, Trekking time: 4 hours, Elevation: 4000m / 13,125ft
This day, we will drive a little distance to the start of out Trek. We will then walk three hours to Tashi Tung, where we spend the night. After lunch, we walk to a place named Dontwo, to visit nomadic families.
Overnight: Tashi Tang
Day 9 - Tashi Thang to Karma Tagtsang, Trekking Time: 6 hours, Elevation: 4255m / 14,000ft
Start about at 10:00am, we will hikes on Shamo Lha( Sharshen). This will be a difficult hike, so plan accordingly. We should reach the pass around 2pm. After lunch, we will trek along with some nomadic families at Torawe Valley toward out destination of Kharma Tagtsang. Here we can visit Kharma Retreat Cave, the place where famous Kham scholar Gyi Mupum meditated for 13 years.
Overnight: Karma Taktsang
Day 10 - Karma Taktsang to Nyagye La, Trekking Time: 5 hours, Elevation: 4130m / 13,550ft
We will begin trekking about 9:00am and pass Tso Gomo Lake on the route, eventually arriving in Rongme Village in the valley. We will passing through another small village, and reach Ponpon Valley. Finally we will get to our campsite at Ngaje Lha, around 2:30pm. We will spend afternoon washing and relaxing.
Overnight: Nyagye La
Day 11 - Ngaje to Holo Valley, Trekking Time: 4 hours, Elevation: 4130m / 13,550ft
Start time will be 9:00am. We will climb up Kawo Lha, and it will take us about 2 .5 hours to get to the top. After lunch, we will have abotu an hour and a half of walking to our campsite, where we will have time to rest and relax and enjoy the scenery.
Overnight: Holo Valley
Day 12 - Holo Valley toTsachu Kha, Trekking Time: 5 hours, Elevation: 4125m / 13,535ft
We will begin hiking at 9:00am, walking to Kapo Monastery. Along the way, we will visit Sangwo Palace, a famous historical residence for a local king. We will get to Ngamona khapo Monastery around 12pm. After lunch there, we still have two hours of walking ahead to reach our campsite, Tsa Chukha. We will then spend the afternoon in Dzitsa Hot spring, where you can enjoy the hot spring surrounded by stunning scenery.
Overnight: Tsachu Kha
Day 13 - Tsachu Kha to Dzila, Trekking Time: 4 hours, Elevation: 4550m / 14,930ft
If you can make time to come on the tour in spring, this portion of the tour offers you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this landscape in full bloom. We will begin walking around 10:30am, trekking along Dzichu river for 2.5 hours, before we stop for lunch. We will then continue on Dzila lope for about an 1 hour and a half, before making camp for the night.
Day 14 - Dzila to Dzitso, Trekking Time: 6 hours, Elevation: 4990m / 16,400ft
We will start trekking at 9:00 am. It will take us 2 hours to the mountain top (Dzila Pass), at 4990m. We will break to take photos and, then descend on the other side of the mountain. We should arrive at Dzitso Lake around 1:30pm. This is our last campsite, as the trekking portion of the tour concludes here.
Day 15 - Dzitso to Garze(Ganzi), Drive Time: 5 hours, Elevation: 3390m / 11,125ft
Today we will leave for Garze. This small Tibetan town is surrounded by beautiful mountains and stunning landscape. The villages, temples and monasteries here are perfect for photographers!
Day 16 - Garze to Rongdrak(Danba), Drive Time: 6 hours, Elevation: 1860m / 6100ft
This day we will explore the unique Gyarong region of Danba, which has different dialect, architecture, dressing, and local customs compared to other Tibetan areas. The region is well known for its huge, castle-like homes and tall stone watchtowers.
Day 17 - Rongdrak to Chengdu
Our Great Kham Trekking Tour comes to an end today as we arrive back in Chengdu. We hope you enjoyed the tour! We wish you a safe journey back to your home.