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The north & east are a world apart from central and western Tibet. The dramatic landscapes of forested hillsides, deep gorges and thundering rivers have contributed to the long-maintained political and cultural independence of Kham and Kongpo. If scenery is your passion you cannot surpass the mountains and deep river gorges of this region.
To the northeast lies Amdo - a region of vast grasslands and active monateries and villages dedicated to traditional Tibetan arts - regarded by many Tibetan's as their true spiritual heartland and birthplace of many great religious leaders.

Despite popular impressions, Tibet has not been a unified region for most of its history - and today is not exception. There are great regions which are historically and culturally Tibetan that are within China, but outside the TAR. These are fantastic places to visit and, in many cases, are not subject to the permit restrictions controlling travel in the TAR.

Amdo to Kham - grasslands to mountains
12 days
Xining - Qinghai Lake - Ta'er Si (Kumbum) - Repkong - Xiahe (Labrang) -
Sangke Grasslands - LangmuSi - Songpan - Chengdu

Travel through still-traditional villages, vast grasslands and huge monasteries - Labrang is one of the most important in the Tibetan world and, just south of Xining, is Kumbum (Ta'er Si) -birthplace of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa School. A beautiful monastery, quite Chinese in architectural style, Kumbum is particularly famous for its elaborate butter sculptures.

A journey of incredible contrasts - both geographical and cultural. Rugged mountain ranges are separated by deep forested river gorges and high alpine pastures give way to the vast grasslands of Amdo.

A distincly different Tibetan experience.

Amdo Heartland
8-10 days
Xining - Qinghai Lake - Ta'er Si (Kumbum) - Repkong - Xiahe (Labrang) -
Sangke Grasslands - Lanzhou

Amdo is the realm of the Tibetan nomad. Evolving from a centuries past intermingling of Tibatan, Mongol and other Turkic peoples, they have roamed this vast fertile grassland for generations.
Two of the greatest monasteries of the Gelukpa order are here, indeed the founder of the Gelukpa sect was born here as have been a number of important Tibetan religious leaders.

Travel here will introduce you to the Tibetan world without the hassle of permits.

Heatland of the Khampa
10 days
Chengdu - Luding - *Danba - Tagong Grasslands - Luhuo - Gantse -
Litang - Kangding - Chengdu

*or add a day andvisit the Giant pandas at Bifengxia Panda Base

The Khampa have always been the warriors of the Tibetan peoples; fiercely retaining their identity as separate from central Tibet and often rejecting the political authority of Lhasa. They fought a guerilla war against China from the 1950's through to the early 70s. These tall, proud men are easily recognizable by the red or black braid (Dashe) worn wound through their hair; and a Khampa man would never be seen without a knife at his waist. The peoples of Kham more commonly follow the older Nyingmapa and Kagyupa schools of Tibetan Buhhism.

This is a green, rugged, mountainous region roughly the size of Ireland, divided by the great river valleys of the Mekong, Yalung, Yangzi and Salween offering sights and experiences which will stay with you a lifetime.

Discover Sichuan
4-11 days
Chengdu - - Danba - Tagong
Danba - Luhuo - Dege - Litang - Baiyu - Tagong

Giant & Red Pandas, Tibetan village & monasteries - an area culturally, ethnically and historically Tibetan, although always distinct and separate from the political power of Lhasa. If you don't have time to travel to Tibet this short trip will take you into some very special parts of the Tibetan world - or add one to your itinerary before flying to Lhasa for a very different Tibetan experience.

If you have more time venture furtehr into this reagion, travelng through the heart of Kham and north to Amdo - trekking and horseriding are options for the actively inclined or joing locals in a tea house, swinging a prayerwheel and leaning local card games.

 

Kongpo, Kham and the Great River Gorges
Lhasa- Chengdu 15-18 days
Lhasa-Zhongdian (Shangri-la) 12-16 days

**unfortunately govt regulations are not currently permitting foreign tourists to travel
these routes through eastern Tibet.

An incredible adventure from the spiritual heart of Tibet through some of the harshest and most dramatic landscapes the world has to offer. Isolated valleys, tribal villages and remote monasteries - an unforgettable and unique glimpse of a rapidly changing world.

Travel eastwards into Kham, one of the most isolated and least visited areas on Earth. This is a stunning journey of breathtaking beauty: snow capped mountains, deep, forested valleys, crystal-clear lakes, rivers, and incredible grasslands. Here the great rivers – Brahmaputra, Salween, Mekong, Yangzi, Irrawaddy - descend from the Tibetan Plateau, carving deep gorges through the mountains. The roads are rough and winding and the vista around every corner will make you gasp anew.

 
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