14 Days Kham Tibetan Highlights Tour from Chengdu to Gansu through Primitive Tibetan Area Tour

This 14 days Kham Tibetan Highlights Tour from Chengdu to Gansu starts from Chengdu, the homeland of Giant pandas and land of abundance. You will pass Jiuzhaigou Valley & Huanglong Scenic Spot, and traverse Zoige grassland, where you can visit famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery- Langmusi, located in Sichuan and Gansu provinces. Then head towards Xiahe to visit a significant monastery in Amdo Tibet – Labrang Monastery, and finally arrive in Lanzhou, where the tour ends. This itinerary is at the edge of northeastern Tibetan Plateau, and owing to its unique topography, one can appreciate spectacular landscapes, including plains, lush forests, snow-capped mountains, lakes, grasslands, pasture, farmland, loess landscape and so on.


  • Visit the top attractions of Chengdu – Panda Breeding and Research Center .
  • Lose yourself in the beautiful Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong Scenic Spot.
  • Experience Tibetan Buddhism in significant monasteries on the way.
  • Meet the tranquil lakes, white snow mounatians, shimmering rivers and rare animals along your way.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Chengdu Arrival
  • Day 2: Chengdu-Mianyang
  • Day 3: Mianyang-Jiuzhaigou
  • Day 4: Jiuzhaigou
  • Day 5: Jiuzhaigou-Songpan
  • Day 6: Songpan Horse Riding
  • Day 7: Songpan-Ruoergai Grassland
  • Day 8: Ruoergai Grassland-Langmu Monastery
  • Day 9: Langmu Monastery
  • Day 10: Langmu Monastery-Xining
  • Day 11: Xining-Lanzhou
  • Day 12: Lanzhou Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Chengdu

Sightseeing and Activities:Arrive in Chengdu

Transfer to your reserved hotel after arriving in Chengdu airport. Stay overnight in Chengdu.

Day 2 Chengdu-Mianyang

Sightseeing and Activities:Panda Breeding and Research Center, Sanxingdui Museum
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

We will start our driving today. First drive to the Panda Breeding and Research Center to see the Giant Panda and then drive to visit Sanxingdui Museum on the way. We will explore the mysterious ancient civilization of Yangtze drainage in Sanxingdui Museum (Three Star Garden Museum). Every excavated ware is a marvelous art craft for us. Then drive further to Mianyang. Stay overnight in Mianyang.

Day 3 Mianyang -Jiuzhaigou

Sightseeing and Activities:Sightseeing on the way
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, drive to Jiuzhaigou. We will have lunch in Pingwu, a nice small county with an ancient temple. If the traffic is fine, we will arrive in Jiuzhaigou in the late afternoon. Stay overnight in Jiuzhaigou.

Day 4 Jiuzhaigou National Park Excursion

Sightseeing and Activities: Jiuzhaigou National Park Excursion
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

We will explore scenic areas of Jiuzhaigou to the full: Mirror Lake, the Pearl Shoal Waterfall, the Five Colored Pond and the Panda Lake. At the end of the visit, you cannot agree more with the old Chinese saying, which goes: ‘just as one will find it worthless seeing a mountain after he has already visited the Yellow Mountain and he will also come to the conclusion that every lake is dull after he has seen the lakes in Jiuzhaigou’. Stay overnight in Jiuzhaigou.

Day 5 Jiuzhaigou- Huanglong-Songpan

Sightseeing and Activities:Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) National park, Songpan old town
Accommodation: Songpan Old Town
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Drive to Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) National park in the morning in about 3 hours. Small ponds, waterfalls and dense forests scatter in a spectacular canyon, which is between 3,000 m-3,500 m (9,843 ft-11,483 ft) above sea level and interspersed with colorful flowers in Spring. Then drive to Songpan Ancient Town. Stay overnight in Songpan Ancient Town.

Day 6 Songpan Horse-riding

Sightseeing and Activities:Songpan Horse-riding
Accommodation:Camping tonight
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

You will have a two-day horse-riding trip in the beautiful mountains surrounding by Songpan. Visit Muni Valley, where there are some peaceful lakes and an elegant waterfall. The horses are tame but the slopes are sometimes quite steep. You can do this trip even if you don’t have experience with horse-riding. Camping.

Day 7 Songpan-Ruoergai Grassland

Sightseeing and Activities:Flower Lake, Ruoergai grassland
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

The first half of the drive is in mountainous area, and then we will climb over to the high altitude grassland, where the jade like Yellow River and the Flower Lake located. The Flower Lake is a wetland located in the center of the Ruoergai Grassland, a good place for wild bird-watching and sunset-watching. (the best time to explore grassland is from June to August) Stay overnight at hotel in Ruoergai county(Zoigê County).

Day 8 Zoigê County-Langmu Monastery

Sightseeing and Activities: Langmu Monastery
Accommodation:Langmusi Hotel 
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

The highlight of today is the tour to Langmu Monastery, located on the border of Sichuan and Gansu, a long-hiding village and temple where the time seems stand still. This village is unique for it is a mixture of Christianism, Buddhism and Islamism in their villager’s life and architecture. Stay in Langmusi Hotel or the similar.

Day 9 Langmu Monastery

Sightseeing and Activities:Huagai mountain, Langmu Monastery
Accommodation:Langmusi Hotel 
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Huagai mountain is the highest mountain around Langmusi and also the sacred mountain for Tibetan people from Gansu Sichuan and Qinghai province. We will hike on this mountain and its Fairy Valley near the Monastery called Namo. Standing on the top of the mountain, you will see yellow river and big grassland. Stay in Langmusi hotel or the similar.

Day 10 Langmu Monastery-Xiahe-Labuleng Monastry and the grassland

Sightseeing and Activities:Sightseeing on the way, Labuleng Monastery
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s driving is long, but you will see yaks, herd and beautiful landscapes on the way. We may be invited to a nomad’s tent to drink the fresh yak milk on the way. Arrive in Xiahe in Gansu province and spend a half day visiting the Labuleng Monastery and the grassland around. Stay in the best hotel in the small town.

Labuleng Monastry is one of the biggest Yellow Head Sect Monasteries in China. We will hike onto the top of the hill to have a bird view of the whole Monastery. We would watch the impressive gathering of the monks (at 12:00 everyday) in the courtyard of the monastery with the call of “alphorn”. Once the monks are doing their chanting, they will walk the Kora, surrounding the whole monastery complex and count the prayer wheels you are turning. We would also explore the village of Xiahe with local shops and the grassland around Xiahe, where nomad families live in tents. Stay in Xiling Hotel or the similar.

Day 11 Xiahe-Lanzhou

Sightseeing and Activities:Bingling Caves
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

The high way makes the drive much easier and faster. Visit Bingling Caves at the Yellow River, where we will first take a boat and then pass muddy trail to reach the site of unique Buddhist Caves, sculptures and paintings hiding from most of the tourists. Stay overnight in Lanzhou.

Day 12 Lanzhou to Beijing/Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities:Departure from Lanzhou

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Beijing or Shanghai and then take the flight for home.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Chengdu Crowne Plaza Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Garden City Hotel
Mianyang Peach Blossom Island Hotel Shunhui Century Baden Hotel Kefa Exhibition Hotel
Jiuzhaigou Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou Liwan Resort Hotel Hanlin Sunshine Hotel
Xining Sofitel Xining Mehood Hotel  Home Inn Plus
Lanzhou Gansu Ningwozhuang Hotel Hampton by Hilton Apsaras Boutique Hotel

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

Travel Tips:

  1. Tibet Permits

There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)

  1. Available Months to Visit Tibet

Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.

  1. High Altitude Sickness

The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.

  1. How to Go to Tibet

Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa. Kathmandu also has several flights to Lhasa each week.

If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).

  1. Packing and Wearing Ideas

Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended. As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.