Tibetan Sichuan to the "Four Maids" Siguniang Mountain

From 16300RMB / person 10 Days

Tibetan lands

Tibetan culture is spread all over the western part of China, overflowing the borders of the administrative region of Tibet. The gates of Tibet have nothing to envy to the Tibetan mountains themselves, and it's easier to get accustomed to the (a bit) lower altitude! With this trip that mixes cultural discoveries and day hikes, you'll get to know more about the Tibetan traditions and sometimes still nomadic lifestyle of the west of Sichuan. From the Four Maids Siguniang Mountain to the magnificent grasslands of Lhagang, through the stunning Khampa villages of Danba region, you'll experience a complete change of scenery. Be prepared as well to feel totally amazed by the landscapes on your way!

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Khampa Villages

On the foothills of Tibet stand more beautiful mountain ranges inhabited by Tibetan people for centuries. We suggest to take you there, in Sichuan province to the west of Chengdu. You'll discover Tibetan Khampa people's specificity: they are known for the special architecture of their villages in Danba region, where they also built high watchtowers to guard the surroundings.

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Itinerary

From Chengdu you will reach Rilong, a town at the foot of the Four Maids Mountain (mount Siguniang) and a great starting point for stunning day hikes. Then you'll get to Tronang, higher in the mountains, Depuis Chengdu, a surprising Khampa village where homes look like fortresses and stone watchtowers stand high in the sky. Finally, you'll explore the beautiful grasslands of Lhagang, hiking on foot or horse riding. After a short visit of Kangding on the way back, you'll end this trip in Chengdu.

Itinerary

Day 1: Chengdu arrival – Rilong (D)

Upon arrival in Chengdu, you’ll meet your driver and guide and hit the road towards Rilong (3200m high), in the Tibetan foothills of west Sichuan. This town is called Siguniang in Chinese, as it is the access point for the Four Maids (Siguniang) sacred mountain. On your way, you’ll see the landscapes change: climate, vegetation, buildings, homes, people and their culture. When you arrive in Rilong (~4.5hrs drive), you’ll check in at your hotel and stretch your legs walking around the town.

Day 2: Rilong – Changping Valley (B, L, D)

Today, you’ll enjoy a first day hike in Changping valley, one of the three valleys approaching the Four Maids mountain. The valley is covered with forest at first, then you’ll walk past a beautiful waterfall and a monastery to get a breathtaking point of view on Siguniang mountain. After your walk, you’ll get back to your hotel.

Day 3: Rilong – Haizi Valley (B, L, D)

Today, you’ll keep exploring the surroundings with a hike in Haizi valley, on the eastern side of the Four Maids mountain. In this valley the walk is a bit steeper but it will also give you the most stunning views on mount Siguniang and on the valley. After your walk you’ll get back to your hotel.

Day 4: Rilong – Danba – Suopo – Tronang (B, L, D)

This morning, your driver will take you to Tronang, a charming and authentic village on the slopes of abrupt and fertile mountains (~2.5hrs drive and 110km). On the way you’ll stop in the beautiful town of Bamei to visit Garthar monastery, where the 11th Dalai Lama was born.

Then you’ll reach a narrow valley known for its surprising Khampa villages (~2hrs drive). Tronang village is one of them; you’ll discover its stone houses that look like little fortresses and its watchtowers scattered across the mountains (some of them reach 60m high). From the village (2100m high), you’ll get a wonderful view of mount Yala (5820m), a sacred mountain for Tibetan people. The village is listed among the 25 most beautiful villages of China. You’ll also discover the village of Suopo.

Day 5: Tronang (B, L, D)

Today you will hike around Tronang (4-5hrs walk). You’ll reach the top of the village to get a great panorama above it and at the heart of mount Gyalmo Murdo, the most sacred in the region. You’ll explore the surroundings and climb up an old watchtower.

Day 6: Tronang – Lhagang (B, L, D)

Today, you’ll hit the road again to get to Lhagang, a small village of 8000 inhabitants and a bit higher in altitude at 3700m (~2.5hrs drive). On your way, you’ll drive through Zheduo pass (4298m) and enter Kham region. Then you’ll drive down to Ragnaka (Xinduqiao in Chinese), seen as the photographers territory. Youcan snap some pictures too, and keep going to Lhagang. Discover its vast grasslands as well as Ser Gyergo nunnery. If the weather is clear, you can still see mount Yala (5820m high).

Day 7: Lhagang (B, L, D)

Today, you’ll hike around Lhagang (5-6hrs walk) and reach a nomad family camp in the higher grasslands. If the weather is clear, you can see mount Gonga, the highest Tibetan summit outside of the Himalaya (7556m). Mount Yala will also still be there. Enjoy a picnic in the nature before getting back to your hotel.

Day 8: Lhagang – Xinduqiao (B, L, D)

This morning, you’ll get more familiar with the horses that you’ll mount for a day of horse riding. Then you’ll set forth for a horse riding adventure in the mountains, to Nyelum monastery or Gyergo nunnery. In the end of the afternoon, you’ll enjoy another charming hotel in Xinduqiao.

Day 9: Xinduqiao – Kangding (B, L, D)

Today, your driver will take you to Kangding, capital of the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Garzê (~2.5hrs drive). Kangding is the historical frontier town between China and Tibet and used to be a big trading town (people exchanged Chinese tea for Tibetan wool for example). If you have time, you’ll visit Dordrak monastery that exists for more than 400 years. In the evening, you can join the groups of people dancing on the main square!

Day 10: Kangding – Chengdu Departure (B)

This morning, you will leave the mountains. Your driver will take you to Chengdu airport (~5hrs drive) where you’ll take your flight home.

Information

Inclusions:
  • Hotels and guesthouses with breakfast (B)
  • Lunch (L) and dinner (D)
  • Driver
  • English-speaking Tibetan guide
  • Entrance fees
Exclusions:
  • Visa
  • International and domestic flights
  • Other meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to the driver, guide and local families
  • Travel insurances
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