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Itinerary Name: 11 Days Nine-Color Shangri-la Tour to Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Qinghai Province (Lanzhou, Hezuo, Maqu, Diebu, Langmusi, Gahai Lake, Xiahe, Longwu, Xining)
Day 1
Arrive in Lanzhou (capital of Gansu Province) at Noon, Lanzhou-Hezuo (Capital of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Hezuo

On your arrival in Lanzhou city for your exciting journey you will be met at the airport or train station by your personal guide, who will take care of you during this journey. If you need any advice, tips or help please just ask your guide.


In Lanzhou, you will visit Gansu Provincial Museum to know more about the Silk Road and Gansu Province, one of the most important roots of Chinese civilization. 


Afterwards you will drive to Hezuo city - the capital of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (around 230km/3.5 hours drive). The altitude of Hezuo city is around 2800m. Overnight in Hezuo city. 


Gansu Provincial Museum

Gansu provincial museum has rich collection (totally 355,364 pieces) of cultural relics, fossils and specimens with distinguished feature . Those with most unique characteristics are painted pottery of the Neolithic Age (10000-5000 BC), the documents of wooden and bamboo strips of the Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220), documents, and treasures of the Han and Tang Dynasties from the Silk Road and Buddhist artworks  (202 BC–AD 907). The most famous and precious exhibits are: 


Bronze Gallopping Horse with a Hoof on a Flying Bird

Eastern Han Dynasty, AD 25-220,Unearthed at Leitai, Wuwei,H: 34.5 cm L:45 cm.

It was sculptured in the shape of "Liangshi Horse" (Liangshi means Good) which combines the advantages of Middle Asia Horse and Mongolian Horse. With ingenious design, refining ornamental mould and excellent copper casting technology. It is considered as the symbol of the cultural exchanges between the East and the West. So now it is the symbol of Chinese Tourism.    


Bronze Honored Guard of Horsemen and Chariots, Eastern Han Dynasty, AD 25-220 

Unearthed at Leitai, Wuwei. Totally there are 38 horses, 1 ox, 1 axe chariot, 4 light carriages, 3 honorable chariots, 2 small chariots, 3 big chariots, 1 ox chariot, 17 warrior figures with spear and 28 slave figures. This set of bronze horsemen and chariots is impressive to every visitors, they represent the outstanding achievement of the bronzes sculpture arts around 1900 years ago.


Painted sculpture of Buddha flanked by Bodhisattvas, Tang dynasty, AD 618----907,
Originally located at Tiantishan Grottoes, Wuwei. Buddha is 130 centimeters tall. 


A Tomb Brick with Picture of Postman (Wei and Jin Dynasty AD 220–420): 35cm long and 17cm wide. Originally located at a tomb at Jiayuguan city. Now it is the symbol of Chinese Postal.


More details about Gansu Provincial Museum at its official website and Wikipedia:                         Https://

Day 2
Hezuo city - Maqu County Town by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Maqu County Town

You can get up a little late this morning. So that you can get refreshed and help you to get used to the climate of 2800m altitude city. Today you will visit Milarepa Buddha Pavilion in Hezuo city. The Milarepa place itself is a very unique structure with 9 stories. Each floor is like a separate temple with Buddha figurines, Thangkas, precious stones, urns etc etc. It is dark and calm (and calming) as only the inner sanctum of a Tibetan Buddhist place of workship can be. 


After lunch, drive south to Maqu County (around 210 km/3 hours). The altitude of Maqu County is around 3450 m. 


Marvel at the stunning scenery of the green prairie and the turning river around the No.1 Bridge on Yellow River (the bridge nearest to the origin of the river) by the side of Maqu County Town. Afterwards check in your hotel in theTown. 


The Yellow River is the 2nd longest river in China and also the mother river for Chinese. In Tibetan, Maqu means Peacock River. Here, the Peacock River means Yellow River. Yellow River runs east from Qinghai Province to Maqu County (Gansu Province). But turns back to west at the east border between Maqu County and Sichuan Province. Yellow River gets into Maqu County from west at the south side of Maqu County and turns back west to Qinghai Province at the north side of Maqu County.  With plentiful rainfall, good prairie vegetation and very large area wetland, Maqu is called Yellow River Cistern and Chinese Water Tower.

Day 3
Tour in Maqu County
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Maqu County Town

Today you will take one day tour to visit Awancang Wetland and Ximeiduohetang Flower Prairie


Awancang Wetland located around 54 km to the south of Maqu County Town. Yellow River which gets here from Qinghai Province in the west becomes many braided rivers and marsh due to poor water flow. Thus it makes this immense wetland with abundant water and dense grass and fat herds of sheep and cattle. The scenery here is fabulous, it is one of the most picturesque prairie wetlands in China. 


Ximeiduohetang Flower Prairie is famous for its endless all kinds of colourful flowers on this immense green prairie in June, July and August. No wonder Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is widely known as "9-Color Shangri-la ".This kind of stunning scenery is very hard to be found in other grasslands in China.


Day 4
Maqu County - Diebu County by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Diebu County

Today you will drive for around 190 km/4 hours to Diebu County. After lunch, drive to Zha Ga Na Valley (at 3970 m altitude) which is located around 28km to the north of Diebu County Town (at 2300 m altitude).  


Zha Ga Na Valley

Between June 1925 and March,1927, Joseph Charles Francis Rock (1884 -1962), an Austrian American explorer, botanist and geologist, made several expeditions into Diebu area including Zhagana Valley. He exclaimed that ” I have never seen the magnificent scenery before. If the writer of the book of Genesis had seen the beautiful in Diebu, he would have put the birthplace of Adam and Eve here. I’m amazed by Diebu, an expansive forest like a natural botanical Museum,  absolutely a maiden place. It will become a mecca for those who love nature.”. Dibu boasts the unique conifer trees. 


In 2009, China National Geography sponsored an activity of looking for Top 10 “Non-famous Mountains in China” and Zhagana Valley was listed as No.4. Zha Ga Na, literally”Stone Box” in Tibetan, is a complete natural “stone city” at the altitude of 3970 m. North of the massive Zhagana Valley is the grand and bright treeless rock peak known as “Stone Mirror Mountain”; Zhagana Valley in is ringed by the steep rock peaks on its east and south. The Zhagana Valley Scenic Area is totally natural and unfurnished.


Day 5
Diebu County - Langmusi Town by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Langmusi Town

Today in the morning, you will visit Duoer Valley. Now the Diebu Duoer Panda Nature Reserve was established here by the central government (But it is hard for normal tourists to find a panda here.).


After around 3 hours drive, you will arrive at Dayi Village (Another name of it is Yangbu Village) to enjoy the 300 years Old Dayi Village Watermills Group - Now there are 11 watermills on the Duoer Stream and they are still working now. It is "the Key Historical Site under the State Protection". Dayi Village is a Tibetan Village with around 1300 years history. With unique beauty that goes beyond any words, the scenery around this village in Duoer Valley never disappoints any visitor. Tourists would find time is suspended here. The folklore in this village is still quite like its old time. The breathtaking scenery here is definitely the perfect representation of the mythical and legendary Shangri-la. Although now it is not very famous, it will get recognized by outside society and get more and more fame all over the world.



After soaking up in the Shangri-la surroundings, you will drive for around 180km/4 hours to another lost paradise - Langmusi Town. The drive is long but the views outside of window are unique and extremely charming.  


Sitting at an altitude of 3325m and located in a border area between Gansu and Sichuan Provinces (In fact, the provincial border right in the middle of the town), Langmusi Town is known as "Oriental mini-Switzerland" with its mysterious Tibetan Buddhist culture and picturesque primitive landscape. 


Named after the Tibetan lamasery of Langmu built in 1748 in the town (in Tibetan, it spelled as Taktsang Lhamo, or just Lhamo), the town is very famous in the world for a foreign churchmans propaganda. In the 1940s, an American missionary James and his wife arrived at Langmusi Village. They ate, lived with grazing for over 10 years here, were fully integrated into the local Tibetan society. The beautiful mountains and bold rough herdsman life in Langmusi left an indelible mark on their life. They know from the heart that this nation had a long history of magic. The wife died in Langmusi. After returning the Sates in 1957, the missionary wrote a book named “Tebitlife”  (means “Tibetan life”).  This book was published in the United States. Just as the great sensation which the “Vanishing Horizon” caused in western society, from this book, Westerners know the mountains, grasslands, monasteries and the Tibetan people life at the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Thus, generation after generation, Western tourists have dreamed of getting here, to find the mysterious fascination of the “Tibetan life” in this small town. 

More detail about Langmusi at Wikipedia:


Day 6
Langmusi Town - Gahai Lake – Xiahe County by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Xiahe County Town

Visit the Langmusi Monastery and explore the mysterious Lanmusi Gorge behind the monastery in the morning. 



After lunch, drive for around 36km/45m to Gahai Lake. With an average altitude of 3,480m, Gahai lake and its wetland, occupying an area of 120 square kilometers, serves as a rest stop and hatching destination for tens of thousands of migratory birds from spring through fall. Named as a pearl on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the lake is home to 95 species of 28,000 birds, including the black-necked crane, white swan, grey crowned crane and pintail. Due to ecological protection, the area of the wetland has expanded from 480 hectares in the early 90s to 2,200 hectares. The area around Gahai Lake is very fertile with lush grassland. In summer,All kinds of flowers in full bloom spreading on the grassland make it like a flower blanket. 


After sightseeing here for around 1.5 hours, drive north for around 200km/3hours to Xiahe County (around 2900m above sea level). Overnight at Xiahe County tonight. 

Day 7
Tour in Xiahe County
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Xiahe County Town

Today the first place you will visit is the famous Labrang Monastery. Founded in 1709 by the Yellow Hat Sect (Gelukpa) of Tibetan Buddhism, Labrang Monastery is one of the six very important Yellow Hat Sect monasteries in China. In terms of size it is second largest one, only next to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. In Tibetan, Labrang means the place where the Buddhist Palace stands. The present head monk, 3rd in religious importance behind the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, is the sixth incarnation of the Jiemuyang. Within the monastery there has been built 6 Sutra Halls, 84 Buddha halls of different size and period. 


When entering Labrang you are able to appreciate the supernatural and recondite Tibetan Buddhism, you can visit the relics with long history, enjoy recitation of the sutra and find out thousands of monks, pilgrims and learners in an endless stream. Labrang also has voluminous Tibetan sutra and is home to six famous colleges. Labrang Monastery happens to be the largest Tibetology university in the world. 


Afterwards, you will drive north for around 20 km to the charming GanJia Prairie. a Shangri-La like area covered with pretty and dense grass. Without any commercial development, the picturesque and mysterious Ganjia Prairie a flat and vast pasture on plateau and a piece of clean land where human beings and the nature coexist peacefully and harmoniously.


Tourists can enjoy the natural but extremely enchanting wild scenery, White Stone Cliff Hills, and the mysterious ancient Octagonal City, White Stone Cliff Cave and White Stone Cliff Temple. This grassland mainly distributes in Maqu, Xiahe and Luqu counties. The vast Maqu prairie is the largest ecological wetland located at the first curve of the Yellow River as the paradise of the local Hequ Horse, ack-necked crane, swine, goa and spotted deer. You can enjoy fascinating scenes decorated by various flowers and birds on the lush grassland in summer and autumn. Blue sky, white cloud and clear water deliver a beautiful picturesque view of prairie with the snowy mountains standing afar.



Day 8
Xiahe County in Gansu Province - Longwu Town in Qinghai Province by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Longwu Town

In the morning, drive west for around 120km / 3 hours from Xiahe County town, cross the border between Gansu Province and Qinghai Province, to Longwu Town, the capital town of Tongren County, at 2500 m altitude. You will visit the famous Longwu Monastery in the town.


Longwu Town, the capital of Huang Nan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, is a small monastic town situated on Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai Province that attracts great number of pilgrims and art-oriented travelers. There are three temples inside the town: Longwu Monastery, Yuantong Temple, and the Mosque (which serve Tibetan Buddhism, Han Buddhism and Islam respectively), but it’s Wutun Monastery, located just outside of the town, that attracts most visitors. It’s famous for producing some of Tibetan world’s best Thangkas – religious paintings that depict Buddhist deities, scenes from the sutras or mandalas. 


Here is the land of Regong Arts, UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, including paintings (murals and scrolls called "Thangka" in Tibetan) clay and wooden sculptures, barbola, color paintings on buildings, patterns, butter sculptures, and so on. Among these, the paintings, sculptures and designs are most famous. 


This area is also the birthplace of Regong Arts which is a successful mixture of religious arts and local folk arts by the local Tibetan and local Tu ethnic minorities. It is the birthplace of Anduo Tibetan Plays which is presented at many local festivals. 


Named after Longwo River upon which the monastery was built, Longwu Monastery is situated at the southwestern end of Longwu town, about 180km away from Xining, capital of Qinghai. As one of the oldest and largest Gelupa monasteries in the world, the Rongmu Monastery was initially established in 1301. 


The Longwu Monastery faces to the east and with a large architecture scale. Tourists can visit many halls including the main prayer hall (Grand Sutra Hall) and Great Golden Pagoda in it to enjoy the valuable cultural relics and find arts, including numerous Buddha statues, Thangka paintings, architectural arts and so on in the monastery. 


More about Longwu Monastery at Wikipedia: 

More travel guide of Tongren County at Wikipeida:


Day 9
Longwu Town - Xining City by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Xining City

In the morning, Visit Wutun Monastery which is around 7km to Longwu Town to enjoy the master pieces of famous Regong Arts. After lunch, drive to Xining city at 2280m altitude, the capital of Qinghai Province (around 180km/3 hours).


Wutun Monastery

With a reputation unequalled in the Tibetan world, many visitors come here exclusively to see the monasterys collection of centuries old Thanka paintings and watch the resident artists continuing the tradition. Though the art is undoubtedly the headliner, the rebuilt grounds are a fine example of modern Tibetan architecture elaborately decorated with brightly painted wood carvings. The complex is divided into upper and lower monasteries, each with its own set of prayer halls, courtyards and artist studios. Some say upper feels more authentic and holds the best art but the lowers towering gold-tipped gompa is quite impressive. Please note: In Summer (July to early September), women are not allowed to enter the monastery.



Day 10
One Day Tour to Qinghai Lake (at around 3200m altitude)
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Xining City

Today, you will drive for around 150km/3 hours to Qinghai Lake, the largest lake in China. On the way, you will pass the endless grassland and the famous Sun & Moon Mountain. 


Classified as a saline and alkaline lake and at 3,205 m (10,515 ft) above sea level, called West Sea in ancient time, Qinghai Lake has a surface area of 4,317 sq km (1,667 sq mi); an average depth of 21 m (69 ft), and a maximum depth of 25.5 m (84 ft) as measured in 2008. The lake is surrounded by 4 high mountains with height of 3,600-5,000m, which is like 4 high natural barriers closely encircling Qinghai Lake.  


Look out on the side of Qinghai Lake, you can see the distant green mountains encircling each other; green lake water, wave ripping; green grassland, sheep group like clouds. Around Qinghai Lake is the boundless grassland. With the flat topography, enough water resource, and temperate weather, the lake is a natural pasture with lush grasses. Prairie in summer and autumn is very green just like a blanket. The titian rape flowers emanate fragrance towards wind; tents of herdsmen spread all over the place; herds of cattle and sheep move like clouds. The charming scenery of sunrise and sunset is full of poetic and pictorial splendor, which makes people carefree and happy. 

More detail about Qinghai Lake at Wikipedia:


Day 11
Tour in Xining, Leave Xining
Meal:Not included in the quotation

Today in the morning, you will visit Ta’er Monastery which is around 25km to the southwest of Xining city. Standing in an imposing manner according to the gradient of the mountain, the Taer Lamasery is a wonderful architectural complex that embraces 9,300 structures, including scripture halls, Buddha halls, lamas residences, and Buddhist pagodas. Built in 1622, in the center of the entire complex, the Great Hall of Gold Tiles is the core structure of the lamasery. The ridges of the halls roof are decorated with auspicious objects such as treasure bottles, gold streamers, and gold deer. In the center of the hall is a silver pagoda built around a pipal tree; and a statue of Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the founder of the Yellow Sect (Gelug Sect) of Tibetan Buddhism, is placed in the pagoda. In the hall there also exists a collection of hundreds of works by Tsongkhapa and his disciples as well as hand-written copies of scriptures in Tibetan and Mongolian.  

More detail of the Taer Monaster, you can visit: 


Afterwards, transfer to the Xining Airport or railway station. Your guide will look after you until your safety at the correct airport check-in desk or railway station check-in channel to complete your amazing tour.