Pilgrimage and Discovery
A Sacred Journey to
Khawakarpo

 

Hosted by Kesang Tashi, with Songstam Linkha & Lodges

This trip is a rare opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse regions of the Tibetan Plateau in a personal and intimate visit to one of Tibet's sacred mountains, Khawakarpo. Mt. Khawakarpo is the snow capped mountain in Eastern Tibet that represents the mind or deep wisdom aspect of the Buddha. This trip travels through lush forests and fascinating Tibetan villages high above the deep gorges and sub tropical rains forests of Asia's three great rivers- the Yangtze, Mekong and Salween- snaking far below.

Crossroads Adventure's Khawakarpo trips are led by highly experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the rich cultural and natural heritage of this region. Our trip leaders will lead you through the monasteries of the region, introduce you to local food and music, show you traditional arts and crafts and introduce you to the fascinating people who live in this part of Tibet. Crossroads Adventure is delighted to collaborate with Songtsam Lodges to provide a once- in- a- life- time experience at Songtsam's elegant and well appointed Tibetan styled lodges. Songtsam Lodges www.songstam.com offer Tibetan hospitality in a five star setting and have been identified as one of the "10 Best Hotels in the World" by Tattler as well as being on the Conde Nast Traveler's "Hot List 2012".

Crossroads Adventure is responsible for all planning and logistics and can customize itineraries to accommodate special interests or needs of its guest. The Khawakarpo itinerary is appropriate for travelers of all ages and operates from May through October.

Day 1 - Kunming

Arrive in Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, whereblack necked crane napa lake shangrila a Crossroads representative will welcome you and escort you to your hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free to relax or explore the city on your own. Enjoy the flavor and color of Kunming with a visit to the Bird and Flower Market in the old part of the city, or Green Lake Park with its elaborate network of winding paths, waterways and lotus pools. Green Lake Park hums with the excitement of street theater, young families at play, and people of all ages practicing tai chi.
L,D. Grand Park Hotel

Day 2 – Early morning flight to Gyalthang

Check in Hotel for a leisurely walk through the old town of Gyalthang; former gateway to the famed Tea Horse Caravan Trade Route that connected China, Tibet and India. We will spend a relaxed day adjusting to the higher altitude and exploring some of the popular village squares with community folk dancing and lively local culture.

B,L,D...The New Songstam Linkha & Lodges

Day 3 - Gyalthang

After breakfast we will visit Sumtsamling Monastery. This monastery was built by the Fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century and is one of the thirteen largest Gelukpa monasteries in Eastern Tibet, Kham. The monastery currently houses about 500 monks. It is often called the "Little Potala", for its stylistic similarity to the Dalai Lamas' traditional residence in Lhasa. We will visit the Grand Assembly Hall (Dratsang), and one of the colleges (Khamtsen) of the monastery where we will meet with monks from all parts of the Gyalthang region. We will have an audience with a high Lama to visit his residence and talk about monastic life.

We will return to the old town to visit the Shangrila Association of Cultural Preservation where we will meet the Thanka Master and owner, Dakpa, to learn about the centuries old tradition of Thanka (painted hanging scroll) painting in Tibet. Later, we will drive to the traditional farming and pastoralist village of Trinyi, where people continue to live and work as they always have. In the evening, we'll enjoy a traditional hotpot dinner, made from delicious local ingredients, followed by traditional dancing and singing by the villagers
B,L,D...The New Songtsam Linkha & Lodges

Day 4 - Ringa Pilgrimage Trek

The day starts with a 5 -6 hour trek that begins near Gyalthang's Shidag Mountains. Ascend, to cross the first pass and enter Tsalang Village. Tsalang's small community of 8 families is surrounded by picturesque, rolling valleys. Proceed over a second higher pass and gradually descend to the sacred Ringa Valley with beautiful views of the Gangdreng Mountains. We will walk through the Kochi villages and stop for a visit with a local family before continuing up a gentle hill of colorful prayer flags and the scent of incense and juniper.
Ringa is one of the oldest Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Eastern Tibet, and is believed to hold the sacred key to the famous Buddhist pilgrimage around Mount Chicken Foot and Erhai Lake near Dali (Yunnan). The secluded valley is comprised of six hamlets whose close knit communities are made up of highland farmers and yak herders. Little has changed in the six years since the road reached this valley and these villages are excellent examples of traditional Tibetan culture and their longstanding commitment to the environment and the natural world they live in.
After visiting the temple, you'll visit the Ringa Community Nursery where Khampa Caravan's Yeshi and his monk brother have created a local center for early childhood education and sustainable community development. Picnic lunch today and return by car in the afternoon.
B,L,D...The New Songtsam Linkha & Lodges

Day 5- Pudatso National Park

 Today we will drive to the Pudatso National Park. "Pudatso" comes from the local Tibetan word for the divine assistance that ensures boat passengers a safe journey across the many lakes that dot the area. Foremost among lakes in the Park are Bita and Shudu Lakes. 057These extend into a wetland area that is covered with lush, forested mountains, river valley grasslands and many rare plants and animals. Although the Pudatso Region comprises only 0.7 percent of China's land mass, it contains more than 20 percent of the country's plant species, one-third of its mammal and bird species, and nearly 100 endangered species.
B,L,D...The New Songtsam Linkha & Lodges

Day 6 - Dechen/ Namka Tashi

pilgrims the sound of dharmaAfter driving out of town, we will walk around the Napha Marshlands; the wintering grounds of the Black Neck Crane. We will then cross the Tsebula Pass and proceed to Nishar District, whose villages are rich in folklore and the arts. Descend through rugged and beautiful landscapes to reach the Gonjo, a village of artisans and the upper Yangtze gorges. After lunch at Kungzera, we will drive along the Yangtze and ascend to the Dhondupling Monastery. We will continue driving to Baima Snow Mountain and finally, Dechen. With weather permitting we can expect a good view of Mt. Khawakarpo from the hotel.
B,L,D...Feilaisi Guanjing Tiantang Hotel

 

 

Day 7- Namka Tashi to Mingyong

songtsam meili and meili snow mountains

We begin with a stunning view of sunrise over the Snow Mountains. After a 30 minute drive to Mingyong village, we will proceed by foot up to the Mingyong Glacier. This glacier is sacred to the Tibetans and is fed by snow which falls on Mount Meili (22,107 ft ), also known as the Meili Snow Mountain . The glacier is located at the lowest elevation and latitude of any glacier in China. In the afternoon drive from Mingyong to Namka Tashi
B,L,D...Feilaisi Tiantang Hotel
Minggyong Glacier.

Day 8-Gyalthang

Today we will drive back from Namka Tashi to Gyalthang. On the way, we will pay a visit to the Dundrupling Nunnery at Shusong village. This nunnery is located in a peaceful land surrounded by the corn fields. We will meet one of the Nun leaders to talk about their lives and one's own story about becoming a nun. Return to Gyalthang.

B,L,D...The NewSongtsam Linkha & Lodges

Day 9 –Tsowaka Trek

After breakfast, drive to Tinyi Village where we will begin our hike to Tsowaka, a nomadic settlement at 3600 meters in the high plains of Gyalthang. F104ollowing a packed lunch, we will trek for 5-6 hours to Troyan where we will overnight in a fully supported camp. For those who prefer to remain in Gyalthang, we can make alternative plan for them.

B,L,D...The NewSongtsam Linkha & Lodges

 

 

 

 

Day 10 – Relax in the Old Town and Farewell dinner

This is our final day in Gyathang where we relax, visit with new friends and walk around the old town. We will also have an informal Khampa square dance contest as we join the Gyalthangpas who do their daily folk dance at the Chunyi Dance Square . By this time, some of you will have become accomplished dancers and be ready to show off your own distinctive style. Enjoy a farewell dinner, and get ready for our journey home. Overnight in Gyalthang.

B,L,D...The NewSongtsam Linkha & Lodges

 

PRICE

Land cost: $4,850 per person based on double occupancy*
Option for 12 days available: $485/day additional
4 person minimum up to maximum of 12

Price includes:

• All accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, double occupancy.
• All meals
• All transportation
• English speaking guides
• All entrance fees
• Cook and cook helper
• Horses and horse man for luggage
• Mineral water and snacks
• Tents, dining tent, Toilet tent, mattress and cooking equipment

Price Excludes:

• Personal expenses
• Airfare
• Tips
• Sleeping Bags

For more information please contact:
Crossroads Adventure
Khawachen/InnerAsia
15 South Main Street
Hanover, NH 03755
(603) 643-7847
www.innerasiarugs.com
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