Feel as if you’ve adopted a nomadic lifestyle, as you experience this eight-day journey from China’s Qinghai province, through Xining, Xinghai, Maduo, Huashixia, Maqen, Qabqa and Gui'De, sleeping in simple guesthouses, trekking through stunning landscapes enveloped by some of the world’s freshest air, and interacting with local nomads whose lifestyles have remained relatively unchanged over the centuries. This thrilling journey will no doubt inspire you and give you a new perspective on what life is like for these traditional people.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
Arrive in Xining, the capital of China’s Qinghai province, and home to over two million people. You’ll be greeted at the airport, and taken to your vehicle. From here, you’ll embark on a scenic drive (about 90 minutes) to the south shore of China’s largest lake, Qinghai Lake. Marvel at the lush, colorful vegetation that surrounds it, and the thriving fish population it contains. Visit the nomadic herders, with their yaks and sheep, and learn about their traditional way of life.
Today you’ll be driven up the verdant hills that surround the lake, where you can enjoy incredible views. Get back on the road, to Dredzong Monastery, which contains plenty of hermitages and meditation caves in its remote, mountain setting, over 3,600 meters above sea-level. If you feel up to it, explore more of the surrounding areas on a hike through the mountainside.
Leave Dredzong today and head to Maduo, a small town at lofty heights, 4,350 meters in the sky. Once you check in to your simple guesthouse or hotel, spend some time exploring this remote area, particularly the plethora of prayer flags that blanket the hillside.
Wake up to the fresh, mountain air today. You’ll be traveling to Kyaring/ Ngoring Lake, which feeds the mighty Yellow River. Here, you’ll catch sights of wild donkeys and Tibetan antelopes, so make sure to have your camera ready. The afternoon will consist of a short hike along the hill between the two lakes, where you’ll get spoiled by even more incredible views from your spot 4,500 meters above sea-level. Overnight in Huashixia at a simple but comfortable guesthouse or hotel.
Today, your journey will take you to the north side of Amnye Machen, the highest peak of the incredible mountain chain by the same name, also known as the holiest and most beautiful snowcapped mountains in the area. Say hello to the nomads who inhabit the surrounding grasslands. Check in to a simple guesthouse for the night.
Depart Maqen this morning, and hit the open road once again, passing fields upon fields of rolling grasslands. Today’s destination is Qabqa - a trading town. Here, you can explore the town, which isn’t particularly large or particularly small, heading to the markets, and enjoying a bite to eat, before checking in to your guesthouse for the night.
Leave Qabqa today, heading towards Gui'de, an ancient city once part of the Ming Dynasty. Here, you’ll be treated to incredible views of the Yellow River, said to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. Check in to a guesthouse in Gui'de for the night, and relax for the evening.
Today will be the last day of your journey, and you’ve still a few sights to visit before you depart. Stop by Kumbum Monastery, the famed birthplace of the man known for reforming the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Upon arrival in Xining, you will be transported to the airport in time for your onward journey.
Guests may enjoy their time at Qinghai Lake, the largest inland and salt water lake in China, with a stay at the Qinghai Lake Hotel. Situated steps from the lake’s south shore, the hotel features stunning views and a prime location for those looking to soak up the sun. About a three-hour drive to Xining Caojiabao Airport, the hotel is an easy drive off the main highway. While guests should not expect much English to be spoken, the hotel’s staff provide excellent service and help as best they can. After days exploring the lake and surrounding areas, guests can head back inside and enjoy traditional Chinese cuisine in the on-site restaurant.
Experience Chinese remote village life in a charming guesthouse. Visitors are welcomed warmly to the humble and simple guesthouses here, which are sometimes no more than a small number of very basic rooms. Accommodation, while not sumptuous, is cozy, comfortable and clean; the twin and double rooms are well appointed. Though conditions are certainly not luxurious, the adventure through remote China and meeting its local people certainly make it worth it.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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