Winter is the low season of most Tibetan regions, however, you can expect lower costs of air travel and accommodation, to see more indigenous, primitive Nomad Tibetan life. Only a few hours bus ride from Lanzhou or flights from several major cities in China, you’ll find yourself under the bright sky and glowing sunshine, surrounded by golden monasteries, red robes of monks and colorful prayer flags flowing in the snow land. A perfect setting for some stunning winter photography. Landscapes, buildings and customs shine in the brilliant snow, sun and ultra blue sky.
Visit Shachong monastery, admire the magnificent view of a range of snow mountains and a deep valley with Yellow River winding through
Explore the Red Canyon and Nomad life on grasslands in Machen, Golok
View the highest Mt. Amnye Machen in Amdo and the sister lakes in Mato
Skate on the Qinghai Lake, the largest inland salt lake of China
Tour Labrang Monastery, the most comprehensive Tibetan Buddhism university
View the first of the Yellow River’s nine bends in Machu grassland, Tibetan nomad home visit.
Stroll around Langmusi, a remote mountain town with red and white temples nestling among ever-green forests and snow-clad peaks.
Route 1: Holy mountains and lakes along the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau
Xining, Shachong Monastery
On arrival in Xining, a driver-guide will take you to see the prayer flags at Laze Pass. Afterwards, you will head to the oldest monastery in Amdo, Shachong Monastery, which is located on the cliff with a stunning view. Stay overnight at Shachong Monastery.
Admire the morning views at Shachong, before driving through the Red Canyon and Rabgya monastery and grasslands in winter. Stay overnight in Machen, and enjoy Tibetan meals including fresh mutton and yak meat.
Mt.Amnye Machen, Ngoring and Kyaring lakes.
Pay a morning visit to the 6282m Mt. Amnye Machen. See the sister lakes from the mountain high above. Stay overnight in Mato, and taste fishes caught from Kyaring Lake.
Qinghai Lake, return Xining
Get an overview of Qinghai Lake from above, and you may have a chance to skate on the vast lake during the winter before returning to Xining.
Route 2: Tibetan villages and monasteries hidden in grasslands and valleys
Xiahe, Labrang Monastery
On arrival of Xiahe, a local English-speaking guide will lead you to the longest pilgrim path around the Labrang Monastery, and show you around the six colleges covering philosophy, astrology and medicine.
After getting an overview of Labrang Monastery in the morning from nearby hills, make your way to Machu to watch the winter grasslands with black Nomad tents and various animals.
Admire the morning views of the first bend of Yellow River in Machu, before heading to Langmusi. Stroll around the tranquil mountain town to take photos of colorful buildings and local people.
You’ll have the morning to relax or hike around Langmusi, before heading to Tarkganang Via Cho-ne. Stay overnight at local wooden cottages.
Taking photos of Tarkganang valley in morning mists, afterwards return Cho-ne. Visit Cho-ne Monastery, and enjoy delicious local food including Tibetan Potentilla Pork and smoked meat.
Return home from Xiahe/Lanzhou