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9 days Tsurphu to Yangpachen Trekking

Tsurphu to Yangpachen Trekking

The Tsurphu to Yangpachen trek is an excellent choice for those who want to get a close look at the Tibetan herders (drokpa) and their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Although they have permanent winter homes they spend much of the year camping with their animals.

Beginning at Tsurphu Monastery this rugged walk crosses several alpine valleys before emerging into the broad and windswept Yangpachen valley. This is a high elevation trek exceeding 4400m for the entire duration and a maximum elevation 5400m  at the Lasar-la. Combining alpine tundra and sweeping mountain panoramas with visits to monasteries and a nunnery, this trek nicely balances cultural and wilderness activities. The Best time for this trek is from Mid- April to Mid of October.

Trip Outline

Day1: Arrival /Acclimitization

Day2: Lhasa sight seeing

Day3: Lhasa sight seeing

Day4: Lhasa-Tsurphu Monastery

Day5: Tsurphu-Leten

Day6: Leten-Bartso

Day7: Bartso-Dorjeeling Nunnery

Day8: Dorjeeling Nunnery-Yagchen Monastery-Yangpachen Hotspring-Lhasa

Day9: Departure from Lhasa Airport/Lhasa Trainstation


Trekking Itinerary Day to Day

Day1: Arrival at Lhasa

Upon your arrival at Lhasa airport or train station our representative will meet and transfer to your hotel in Lhasa. Afternoon have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa.

Day2: Lhasa City sightseeing visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street

 The Potala Palace in  Lhasa was the primary residence of the Dalai Lama until 1959. Today the Potala Palace is a state museum, a popular tourist attraction, and a UNESC world heritage site. It was also recently named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" by the television show Good Morning America and the newspaper USA Today. The Potala Palace is made of two main parts, easily distinguished by their color: the Red Palace and White Palace. The two are joined by a smaller, yellow-painted structure that houses the sacred banners hung on the exterior for the New Year festivals. The rooms inside the palace are identified by numbers as well as names. Jokhang Temple ("House of the Lord") in lhasa is the holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism, attracting crowds of prostrating Tibetan pilgrims and curious foreign tourists every year. It hosts the annual Great Prayer Festival, as well as all ceremonies of initiation for the Dalai Lama and Panchen Llamas. Jokhang Temple was founded in 647 by King Songtsen Gampo (r.617-49), the first ruler of a unified Tibet, and his two foreign wives who are credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. The king's first wife, Princess Bhrikuti (married in the 630s), was the sister of the Nepalese king, while his second wife, Princess Wencheng (married 641), was the niece or daughter of the Chinese emperor. Barkhor Street is a very important pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists. Pilgrims come from all corners of Tibet, usually on foot and often performing austerities for penance along the way. The most devout pilgrims cover the last several miles prostrate on the ground. More prostrations are undertaken in the plaza in front of the temple. Before entering, most pilgrims circumambulate the temple on the Barkhor, a sacred path that is also lined with market stalls selling yak butter and jewelry.

Day03: Lhasa City sightseeing visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery 

Drepung Monastery is founded in 1416. Drepung Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa was once Tibet's largest and most influential monastery, with over 10,000 monks. Today, Drepung houses about 700 monks and attracts pilgrims and visitors from around the world. Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamyang Choeje. It was the home of the Dalai Lamas before the Potala palace was built in the 17th century. Resembling a heap of white rice from a distance, it was dubbed "Monastery of the Collecting-Rice" (Drepung Gompa) in Tibetan. The Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. It is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung monastery  and the Ganden monastery The Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built. The monastery is magnificent and covers an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres). Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa's other famous monasteries.

Day4: Lhasa-Tsurphu Monastery  

The drive from Lhasa to Tsurphu Monastery takes about 2-3 hours, and the altitude will increase up to 4300m. When you arrive you will spend time acclimatizing further and visiting Tsurphu Monastery. Overnight at Tsurphu monastery guesthouse. Tsurphu Monastery lying to the northwest of Lhasa at Tolung, Tsurphu Monastery was founded by the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa in 1189. In 1263, it was rebuilt by the Karmapa II, Karma Pakshi. It is the main monastery of the Kamtsang Kagyu Tradition. This tradition is among the four major Dagpo Kagyu lineages directly deriving from disciples of Gampopa. Tsurphu has been the traditional seat of the Activity of the Karmapas. From the II up to the IV, all the Karmapas had visited China and Mongolia. They also taught the Mongol Emperors of China. In North China there are numerous monasteries found by them. They also found the place what the Manchus many centuries later called "Inner Mongolia." Khochiti Khambo is the main Kagyu Lineage monastery of Mongolia. It is located in the Shilinggol District of Inner Mongolia. It was also a branch of Tsurphu Monastery.

Tsurphu Kora It takes two hours to walk the Tsurphu kora. But it could be hard if you have not got used to the altitude yet. If you have, then it will provide you with a beautiful view of past springs, shrines and meditation retreats, as well as the view of Tsurphu below.?If you want to see more, you can follow the kora, taking the track from the west of Tsurphu. The track leads up to a walled garden. On the way, it also foes past walls of many stones. There is a sky burial site . And you can also follow the cains that goes up the hill to a small pass marked by prayer flags. Here you can sew all the the colorful kora dancing with the winds in all directions, just on the ridges above the monastery. And finally, you can go up to the Samtenling retreat. It is recommended that you pay a visit there before descending eastward. Because after the descending, you will go into a gully locating to the chorten at the northeastern corner of the monastery.?After visiting all the sites at and around Tsurphu Monastery,  trekking from tsurphu to Yangpachen  will add more interests to your trip. This rugged walk cross several high valleys before emerging into the broad and windswept Yampachen valley. The best time for this trekking is from April to October.     

Day5: Tsurphu Monastery-Leten

A spectacular first day of trekking ascent up in a green valley crisscrossed with mountain streams. Be on the lookout for various species of mountain goats disguised in gray rocks. Several small nomadic communities camp here for the summer herding months, and you may have a stop into a yak-hair tent for a cup of salt butter tea or some fresh yak milk! Crest the ridge top four hours later, emerging onto a high plateau with a scattering of rock-enclosed huts, and look for a flat area for camping. From day one, the scenery is breathtaking; the landscapes are classic Tibetan beauty.

Day6: Leten-Bartso

Have your first small pass, the Damchen Nyingtri, bear to the left at the cairns at the crest, and descend into a magical valley of lichen-coated boulders, meandering streams and expansive, powder-blue sky. Three hours later, you will cross the Lasar La and descend into the Yangpachen valley, with its wide open plateaus, spiky grass hummocks and tundra-like parched, cracked patches of earth, and head towards Bartso. The views of Brize (translated as female yak herder) and Tarze (horse keeper) are superb, and you will feel safe in the care of the local mountain god, Nyenchen Tanglha. Camp near Bartso, a drokpa (nomad) village of five or six houses, surrounded by the juniper used for incense all over the Tibetan world.

Day7: Bartso-Dorje Ling Nunnery

Leaving the village of Bartso behind, head towards a wide trail leading across the valley and over another ridge, from where you will be rewarded with views of Nyenchen Tanghlha (7111 m), the holiest mountain in central Tibet. Emerge at Tajung village, and then climb gently up rolling hills where young nomadic boys and girls picnic on the plateaus as they watch their yaks and sheep graze. The vistas are, again, just amazing! Mid-day, you should reach the small Djore Ling Ani Gompa (nunnery), near which you will set up camp. It's possible that these nuns, some of the friendliest in Tibet, will drag you into the gompa's tea-house and pass around a heaping plate of yak meat (use the bowie knife provided to hack a piece off) before getting into the requisite photo session.

Day8: Dorje Ling Nunnery, Yangpachen Monastery, Yangpachen Hotsprings, Lhasa 

Today walk for three or four hours, following the ox-bow Nyango Chu River snaking its way through the grassy valley, and head for Yangpachen Gompa. This old Kagyupa monastery, with Tibetan mastiffs keeping guard, overlooks part of the Trans-Himalaya range. Land cruiser will wait for at monastery, pick up to have a hot springs at Yangbachen, then drive back to Lhasa.

Yangpachen, world-famous for its spectacular phenomenon of hot springs boiling on the cold plateau, features all kinds of hot springs including highest-temperature hot springs, boiling springs and geysers as well as common hot springs, the area of which totals more than 7,000 square meters.

 There are many hydrothermal wells distributed in the Yambajan hydrothermal area for generating electricity. And the Yambajan Hydrothermal Power Plant, jointly developed and constructed by China and the United Nations and completed in 1977, is currently the biggest hydrothermal power plant in China. The hydrothermal energy in the hydrothermal wells, transported by the pipeline, propels the turbines in the hydrothermal power plant to generate cheap and environmental electricity for Lhasa and the areas nearby.

 The early morning in Yambajan is the most beautiful. In the cold morning, the hydrothermal fields are always suffused with white haze and the lake surface is always covered with great steam agglomerations, which is really fascinating and makes Yambajan a wonderland. If you are lucky enough, you may have a chance to witness the fantastic and splendid scene: the boiling water is erupting to the sky from the mouth of hot spring.

 The hot spring in Yambajan, which contains high content of sulfureted hydrogen, is therapeutic to many chronic diseases. The bathing place is an open-air swimming pool. The hot spring, the temperature of which is too high, needs to be cooled in two open-air cisterns before it is available for bathing. With the snow-capped mountains in the distance, it is really an enjoyment to have a hot-spring bath in the swimming pool. Especially in winter, it is very pleasant and romantic to enjoy the heavy snowfall by bathing in the hot spring.

Day9: Departure from Lhasa Airport /Train Station 

Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, end of the trip. Tibet warm heartly welcome you back home. We would love to send you all the best wishes for your continue happy journey.




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