Upon arrival in Xining, your driver will welcome you. According to your arrival time, you’ll visit Kumbum monastery, where the great explorer Alexandra David-Neel stopped for 3 years between 1918 and 1921; there, she perfected her knowledge of Tibetan language and Buddhist scriptures. You may also visit the Tibetan traditional medicine museum, where splendid ancient thankga paintings are exhibited.
This morning, you’ll drive to Guide in the south of Qinghai province. You’ll follow the twists of the Yellow River, and go up in altitude to Laji pass. Admire the view on the Yellow River and its huge prayer wheels, before reaching Guide national park. You’ll hike through the park, and stay for the night in Guide.
This morning, you’ll explore Kanbula national park and its majestic red cliffs. You’ll visit the Three Wise Men’s temple, and go on to the meditation caves above Achong Namdzong nunnery. These caves have been in use for more than a thousand years, and they still display some beautiful murals. Perched in altitude near Namdzong peak, the nunnery offers a wonderful panorama on the valley.
In the afternoon, you’ll keep driving to Tongren, an old thangka painting artistic center. You’ll visit the lower and upper parts of Wutong monastery that was renovated recently. Walk around to have a look at the Tibetan thangka shops around: these paintings will find their way in a temple or at a rich Chinese collector.
This morning, you’ll visit Rongwu monastery (Longwo in Chinese), the town’s other monastery, perched above it. This monastery is known all over Tibet for its very fine and precise mural paintings. Finally, your driver will take you back to Xining airport, and you’ll take your flight back.