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Yilhun Lhatso to Derge Trekking   Tour Code:TIB004

Derge is a prefecture located in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region. For those looking to fully saturate themselves in the Tibetan Buddhist culture of eastern Tibet, this is the ultimate trip. Our trek includes Gelupa monastery in the town of Ganzi, Nyingmapa strongholds such as Dzogchen and Katok(the oldest in Sichuan) monasteries, the great Kagyu monastic complex of Palpung, and the remote Peyul monastery.  Other highlights include trekking from Yilhun Lhatso Lake to the Chola shan mountains, Whether your interest in Tibet is religious, anthropological, or simply to hike and interact in an environment unique on the planet today, the trip to Derge is sure to be the experience of a lifetime. 

Day 1 Chengdu
Arrive in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. met and taken to your hotel. Time allows we will stroll around Renmin Park and sample the tea at one of tea houses.

Day 2 Chengdu to Luding (300 KM, 6 Hours)
We will leave for Luding and visit the nature reserve center of the Giant Pandas at Bifeng Valley. Overnight at Luding Qiao Hotel.

Day 3 Luding to Bamei(220KM, 5 Hours driving)
Drive to Bamei via Danba, we will stop at Danba have possibly two hours walking tour visit the towers and also the Jiaju Tibetan Village. Afterwards we will drive to Bamei and visit Huiyuan monastery. The monastery covers 33 hectares of land, and accommodates 200 lamas. The 75 white pagodas that stand before it constitute a wondrous sight that can be seen from afar. Though the monastery is relatively small, it boasts a long and glorious history. The prominence of Huiyuan Monastery was further elevated when the 11th Dalai Lama Kaskhrub Gyamtsho was born in a nearby village. Stay at a Tibetan style guesthouse in Bamei.

Day 4 Bamei to Ganzi (250 km 5 Hours driving)
Road to Ganzi, Lunch at Luohu in a wide valley where they grow barley. We will visit the monastery of Ganzi, completely renovated, one of the greatest Gelugpa monasteries in Kham. It is the cultural and religious center for Tibetans living in Sichuan. Walk through the old Tibetan town with colorful houses. Overnight at a hotel in Ganzi. 

Day 5 Ganzi to Manigange (131 KM 2-3 Hours driving)
Head north to Manigange, en route, we will visit Dargye Gompa Gelugpa School and School Begena Kaguypa where lived and hosted by Kalu Rinpoche. Walk around the Rock of Dorje Phamo visited by hermits. Lunch at Manigange, we will have a side trip to a small monastery built on the hill above the village. It is the Subsidiary temple of Dzogchen Monastery that we will visit tomorrow. Afterwards continue to Yihun Lhatso "Lake of the soul" at 11 km. We will set up our tent at 4 100 m. In late afternoon we will stroll along the lake with a magnificent view of the solid glacier of Trola Mountain. Overnight Camping.

Day 6 Dzogchen Monastery (2 hours walk)
Excursion to Dzogchen (50 km - 3 660 m), a large Nyingma monastery founded in 1684. The buildings had some renovation recently; Dzogchen Monastery hosts more than 500 monks, it has ed more than 300 Subsidiary smaller temples throughout the region and overseas. We will walk for 2 hours from the monastery to those hermitages and caves "Shinji Drupuk" (a powerful protector), a 
forest at the foot of a glacier. Visit the old and new temples chanting hall and chapel. By late afternoon, we drive back to our camp site.

Day 7 Trek Day (4-5 Hours trekking)
After breakfast we will start trekking. Gathering of yaks or horses and organize the luggage. Walk along the road to the wooden bridge for 2 km. With snow peaks rising from the valley, our trail leads to Dzen La. Encountering with Tibetan nomads. Camp near a small lake at 4350 m on the foot of the pass. Overnight Camping.

Day 8 Trek Day (5 Hours trekking)
Ascending to the Dzen La Pass. We will hike up to the pastures gaining 600 m in two to three hours walk. Dzen La Pass(4960 m) will be covered by light snow. We will have a view of Trola Mountain. Descending into Ding Chu valley with grasslands covered by flowers where we will set up out tents. Camp at 4200 m. 

Day 9 Trek Day (5-6 Hours trekking)
Walk along the valley of the Ding Chu. We will pass by wooden bridges and small tributaries of Ding Chu. The trail is dotted with nomads¡¯ shelters in summer time. The trail finally leads us into the forest. Approaching to the grassland beneath Redak La Pass. Camp at 4000 m. 

Day 10 Trek Day (6-7 Hours trekking)
We will walk steady up to Redak La Pass (4180 m) from where we will se a vast valley ahead. We will descend 800m to Meshoe in 4 hours walk. Descending through the pastures and coniferous forest. Along way we will see the summer camps of the nomads. Camp on the side of the river at 3800 m. 

Day 11 Trek Day (6 Hours trekking)
Descend to the village of Dagma we will continue hiking to the hermitage of Rongmai Karmo Taktsang, one of the three "cave of the tiger" of Padmasambhava Guru Rimpoche, the "very valuable master" who introduced Tantric Buddhism to Tibet. Visit this sacred place and do a "khora (circumambulation of the site). Camp at the foot of 
rock on a grassy platform at 4300m. 

Day 12 Trek Day (6 Hours trekking)
We will hike up to the pass gaining 500 m in altitude, and then crossed over the ridge to another hermitage site Pema Shelphuk (4510 m), a site visited by many locals, also associated with Padmasambhava, which is a meditation cave for the hermits. Picnic and visit the site, afterwards we will descend into the valley. Camp outside the villages at 3700 m. 

Day 13 Trek Day (4 Hours trekking)
Walk into the Meshoe valley, the agricultural center in the region of Derge. Passing the small villages with beautiful decorated houses in the barley and cornfields and gardens. Make a visit to the great Dzongsar Monastery of Sakya Sect, founded by Phagpa in 1259 and built on the hill. Visit this magnificent complex of houses, monks, temples and schools. Today this place is still the most famous School in Tibet for high studies of this Sakya Sect tradition. We will spend the afternoon in the village and rest. Overnight in a village lodge 

Day 14 Trek Day (5-6 Hours trekking)
Hike through the forest of conifers and hardwoods where the "Drepung" brown bear of the Himalayas were sighted. We will hike up for 900 m to Herd La Pass. And descend into a valley of pastures where there are quite a few simple shelters for shepherds. Descend to the confluence of rivers to Pelpung Monastery, one of the most gigantic temples of Tibet, competing only with the Potala Palace. Many lamas are studying in their small colorful wooden houses. Visit this great Kagyupa monastic center, built in 1717 by Situ Rinpoche, one of the 4 regents of the Karmapa. Today there are always practical studies in Tibetan Philosophy. Drive to Derge and overnight in a hotel.

Day 15 Derge
Visit Derge (3300 m), former capital of one of the 5 kingdoms of Kham, located at the bottom of a gorge. The extraordinary ¡°Parkhang¡± (printing house) has about 217 000 plates woodcuts. It was destroyed during Cultural Revolution. Founded in 1729 by Sakya, the printing is still being conducted from the old boards, the "Kangyur" sutras Tibetan Buddhist "tangyurs" sacred texts and commentaries by great scholars. Its current structure dates from 1744 and is the most famous printing of all Tibet (300 people work there). The buildings are beautiful and well restored. Visit also the great Sakya monastery completely rebuilt and the chapel of Tatong Gyalpo in the old city. Afternoon an easy trip to the hill opposite the town where we will have a great view. Overnight in Derge.

Day 16 Derge to Peyul (160 km - about 4 h)
Departure for Pey¨¹l on a difficult dirt track. The trail goes along the Shi Chu coalesce with the coming Yangtze. Visit the old town of 
the monastic complex, one of six major centers of the Nyingma Schools of Tibet, fully rebuilt and still practicing. This will allow us to see the work of artisans of all trades. This large study center was founded by the Nyingmapas during Fifteenth century by Guru Rimpoche Ratna Lingpa. Overnight in guest house 

Day 17 Peyul to Ganzi (230 km ¨C 8 Hours)
Long road trip back to Ganzi . Overnight at a hotel in Ganzi. 

Day 18 Ganzi to Kanding (380 km - about 8 h)
Road to Tagong (Kangding). On the way visit Tawu Lhagang and very beautiful monastery of Sakya. Arrive late afternoon and overnight in a hotel.

Day 19 Kangding to Chengdu
Flight o Chengdu.Overnight in a Hotel. 

Day 20 Onward Flight
Transfer to airport and take a flight back home.

--Most meals

--All entry fees and sightseeing

--All overnights in hotels and guesthouses with double occupancy

--First Aid Kit

--Private Transfers

--one way flight

--English Speaking guides

--Camping Staff

--Tents, sleeping mattress, dinnning tent and chairs

--Pack animals


--All services not mentioned and all items of a personal nature

--Sleeping bag and personal camping equipment

--Tipping or gratuities to guides and drivers

--Mandatory international travel insurance

--Excursions other than those specified in trips

--Extra cost if  tour is delayed or changed due to reasons beyond control


        Trekking in Eastern Tibet Yilhun Lhatso to Derge
GROUP SIZE : 2 - 12
START/FINISH: Chengdu/Chengdu
DURATION: 20 days, trekking and camping
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotels, guesthouses, camping
HIGHLIGHTS: Chengdu city, giant panda, ganzi monastery, Yilhun Lhatso, Derge monastery, peyul monastery, pelpunng monastery, kham
EXTENSION TRIPS: Beijing Extension

Map of this Trip

"It's my fourth time leading trekking groups in this area, the trips have always been well organized. ActiveChina provided the best services as usual. We have very very good guides and yakmen. I have to come back again to visit my Tibetan friends." 

Luis Azua - 
French Tour Leader

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