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5 Days Amdo Tibetan Culture Experience Tour $829

Authentic Tibetan Culture


You may have no idea that the whole Tibetan Region includes there separate areas - Tibet, Kham and Amdo. Each of them shares the same tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, but also has own features. This 5 Days tour takes you to explore the famous Tibetan monasteries in Amdo areas, such as Taer Monastery, Rongwo Monastery, Labrang Monastery, and enjoy picturesque plateau lake - Qinghai Lake as well as experience local Tibetan living culture.

Highlights of this tour

  • Visit major religious centers in Northwest China and learn more about Tibetan Buddhism culture and customs in fancy monasteries;
  • Be enchanted by the beautiful and largest salt lake in China - Qinghai Lake;
  • Travel back to ancient China’s dynasties; wonder around in Bingling Temple, a pure land of Buddha full of gorgeous Buddhist artworks.

Basic Trip Information

from $829
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Xining - Tongren - Xiahe - Linxia
Travel Length:
5 Days and 4 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Xining Arrival

Welcome to Xining, Qinghai, a famous ancient commercial hub on Hexi Corridor. Once morning arrival at airport/train station in Xining, you tour guide will pick up you and escort you to your hotel by a private vehicle.

In the afternoon, drive about 1 hour to visit the celebrated Taer Monastery (Kumbum Monastery), which is the birthplace of Tsongkhapa - the prestigious Tibetan Buddhism master and founder of Gelug school (Yellow Hats, a sect of Tibetan Buddhism). Built in Ming Dynasty (1377), Taer Monastery is best known as one of the six great Gelug monasteries in China and the religious center of Tibetan Buddhism in Northwest China. When admiring exquisite architectures, you can also enjoy three art wonders of Taer Monastery - colorful and vivid butter sculptures, massive religious murals and fantastic barbola.

Drive back to your hotel and have a good rest.

Taer Monastery
Day 2 Xining - Qinghai Lake ( B, L )

After breakfast, drive around 2.5 hours to see the picturesque Qinghai Lake from Xining via Huangyuan County, Riyue Mountain, Daotang River, etc. You won't feel boring along the driving journey since fascinate scenery of green grassland, blue sky, white clouds, clustered flocks and herds unfold like a photo gallery.

You will stop at the Erlang Jian Scenic Area to enjoy the beauty of Qinghai Lake. As the largest inland and salt water lake in China, Qinghai Lake (3,200 m) stretches 105 km at length, 63 km at width and occupies a water area of over 4,500 square kilometers. Attracting thousands of photographers to take photos every year, this plateau lake was elected as the Most Beautiful Lake in China by China’s National Geographic. Surrounded by harsh mountain ranges in the distance, the lake has amazing blue waters, endless beautiful green grassland and distinctive white nomad tents dotted on vast “Sea of Rape Flowers” by the lakeside. The natural water and pastureland scenery and color scheme make it a truly magnificent painting. Meanwhile, Qinghai Lake is a sacred site where the Mongolian nomads who live nearby and devoted Tibetan Buddhists coming from afar to worship the lake each year.

After the sightseeing, you will drive back to Xining to accommodate.


1. Qinghai Lake is famous as the Paradise of Migrant Bird. If you are planning a bird watching tour, you are suggested visiting the Bird Island during May and June; 2. From late July to early August is the best time to view the vast golden rape flower fields surrounding the Qinghai Lake; 3. If you are interested and time allows, you can take optional visiting to some interesting attractions along the driving between Xining and Qinghai Lake, such as Dangaer Ancient City, Riyue Mountain, Jinyintan Prairie, etc.

Qinghai Lake Qinghai Lake walking
Day 3 Xining - Tongren - Xiahe ( B, L )

Today, you will drive to Tongren County in southeast of Qinghai, which is the place where the famous “Regong Art” originated. Thangka painting, statue, stone caving are the best highlights. First, visit the holy temple - Rongwo Monastery, the third largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in south northwestern China, right after Labrang Monastery in Xiahe and Taer Monastery in Xining. Being changed from a Sakya monastery to a Gelug one, Rongwo Monastery played a very important role during the history of Tibet Buddhism in northwestern China. Few tourists visit the quiet temple but some pious Tibetan Buddhists. Take your time to enjoy the Buddha statues, pilgrimage trail and marvelous religious art inside the temple. And, many famous Buddhist master, scholars lived and studied Buddhism here once, now you may see some young monks.

After the visit, drive about 2.5 hours via beautiful Ganjia Grassland to Xiahe, a small town in southwest Gansu and a very important Buddhism center of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan.

Stay overnight in Xiahe.

Rongwu Monastery
Day 4 Xiahe - Labrang Monastery - Linxia ( B, L )

This morning you will go to visit Labrang Monastery, the most influential monastery outside the Tibet Autonomous Region and also one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug (Yellow Hat) school of Tibetan Buddhism. It is also famous for having the most complete Tibetan Buddhism teaching system in China. The monastery is large in scale and magnificent in architecture style, enshrining a lot of huge Buddha statues and various exquisite sculptures, murals and magical instruments. Its pilgrimage corridor has over 2000 prayer wheels, as the longest of its kind in the world. In the southwest corner of Labrang Monastery, there is an ancient wooden bridge. Walking crosses the bridge and walking up to the hill, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Labrang Monastery and surrounding.

In the afternoon, you will take an excursion to Sangke Grassland which is a natural pasture of Tibetan nomads. The grass is lush like a blanket in summer and the cattle and sheep are herding in groups under the blue sky and white clouds. What a pastoral scenery. Every year on July 13th of the lunar calendar, the seven tribes of Sangke region will gather at Sangke Grassland and hold a horse racing festival here.

After Sangke Grassland visit, drive about 2.5 hours to Linxia, the capital of the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture. Check in to your hotel. The rest time is your free time to explore this beautiful city full of Muslim culture.

Labrang Monastery Sangke Grassland - a natural pasture of Tibetan nomads
Day 5 Bingling Temple - Linxia Departure ( B )

Today you will drive about 2.5 hours to visit the Bingling Temple, a Buddhist cave with a long history of over 1,600 years. First, you will drive about 1.5 hours to Liujiaxia Dam, a big national hydroelectric reservoir on the upper Yellow River. From the dock, you need to take a speed boat to get to Bingling Temple. During the 40-50 minutes’ boat ride, you can see a different section of Yellow River, very limpid and clear unlike the muddy sights in Lanzhou, and layered, red-colored huge Danxia landforms along the river side, without coverage of any plantations.

After getting off from the boat, walk several minutes to the entrance of Bingling Temple. The temple is actually a site of Buddhist grottoes filled with ancient Buddhist frescos and sculptures caved into the rocks, along a long narrow valley of Yellow River. Dating back to West Qin Kingdom, the cave preserves about 183 caves, 694 stone statues, 82 clay sculptures and more than 900 square meters murals. You will tour the most spectacular Lower Temple Area, seeing the 27-meter giant sitting Buddha, many colored Bodhisattvas in different gestures and remaining murals from Wei, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Though some figures have been damaged by earthquakes, erosion, these relics are unquestionably outstanding Buddhist artworks revealing previous Buddhism prosperity and remarkable architecture and carving art of ancient China.

After sightseeing, leave Bingling Temple and drive back to Lanzhou to catch your flight or train to next destination.

Tips: 1. Bingling Temple in remote mountain area can only be reached by waterway in summer and autumn via Liujiaxia Dam. 2. Additional fees will be charged for visiting special caves. 3. Be careful when walking up the serpentine plank trail on the cliff.

Take a boat on Liujiaxia Dam to visit Bingling Temple Grottoes Bingling Temple Grottoes Bingling Temple Buddhist Mural

Recommended Add-on Options

+2 more days to explore cultural and natural miracles in Dunhuang

Located in the northwest of Gansu and the westernmost of Hexi Corridor, Dunhuang is the most brilliant pearl along the ancient Silk Road. The city has sealed huge art treasury and created oasis in the desert. You can closely see the fantastic Buddhist sculptures, murals in World Cultural Heritage - Mogao Caves, visit Crescent Lake surrounded by Mingsha Mountain, view unique Yardang landform, ancient passes and more impressive scenery here.

You can take a 2-day brief trip to Dunhuang covering top highlights. On the day 1, you can go to Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent LakeE together, witness the wonder of nature, try some exciting activities, like desert camel riding, sand sliding, motorcycling, etc., later return to Dunhuang city to hunt for local flavors at Shazhou Night Market. Day 2 is fully for your Mogao Caves tour. First watch introduction movies about the caves in the Digital Exhibition Center, and then visit specific caves in Mogao Grottoes one by one, learning Buddhist story, Chinese culture and history, which you can’t help admiring this precious land of art.

the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
+2 more days to see the rainbow mountains in Zhangye

Zhangye is located in central Gansu along the Hexi Corridor between Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. It is full of history and legends, and diverse in natural scenery. Here you can see the world famous Rainbow Mountains (the Danxia Landform), beautiful deserts, mysterious canyons, vast grasslands, lofty snow mountains, etc.

You can take an in-depth Danxia landform exploration with morning visit to Binggou Danxia and afternoon visit to Danxia Geopark in the Day 1; On the Day 2, you can visit the Giant Buddha Temple first, then go to visit Matisi Temple. After that, you still have enough time to take a flight or train to next destination.

Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains

Recommended or Similar Tour Packages You May Also Like

Taer Monastery
3 Days Qinghai Short Stay Tour

Xining / Qinghai Lake

Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture
7 Days In-Depth Northwestern China Silk Road Tour

Dunhuang - Jiayuguan - Zhangye - Xining

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    +2 more days to see the rainbow mountains in Zhangye

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