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We had a wonderful time in Tibet. We have learned a lot about this unique destination because of the wonderful guide Degyi who is so knowledge and always available towards our tours. We stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa, and we would never imagine a Tibet travel could be so nice and amazing without the help of Degyi.

Also, thanks a lot to our Tibetan driver Mr.Wongdun for his safe driving and a good sense of service along the way.

We shall return Tibet in the near future!

P.B. and A. A - Europe
Tibet Travel

June 2018 (Private Tibet Journey from Kathmandu)

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  You are here: Home > Off The Beaten Track > Trekking and Hiking Tours > Trek Yilhun Lhatso to Derge in Kham
Trek Yilhun Lhatso to Derge in Kham Tour Name:         Trek Yilhun Lhatso to Derge in Kham
Tour Code:          M69D328
Duration:            22 Days & 21 Nights
Destination:        Chengdu, Kangding/ Dartsedo, Lhagong, Garze, Manigango, trek Yihun Lhatso towards Derge, Danba
Features:            Derge is in the cultural and religious center of Kham. This tour brings you to explore the ancient monasteries of Dzogchen, Dsongsar and Palpung, and visit the ancient Scripture Printing House in Derge that give you a deep understanding of Tibetan culture and history. Trip starts at Chengdu traverse westwards to several Tibetan towns in the Kham area, Kangding, Luhuo, and Garze before arrival at Manigango. The trek starts from Yilhun Lhatso near Manigango to the Chola Mountain, through woodland, pasture, white water rivers, alpine lakes, nomad camps and their livestock, to Dsongsar Monastery and Palpung Monastery in the hidden mountain valleys, and finally you get to Derge before transferring back to Chengdu, and the leisure drive back to Chengdu. An epic journey to Kham!
Departure Date:
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Tour Price:          From $ P.P

Trip Summary

Detailed Itinerary

Dates & Prices

 Tour Dates


 Tours & Services





Arrive in Chengdu, be met and transferred to hotel.  N/A

Buddha Zen Hotel


 Chengdu - Kangding

Drive from Chengdu Plain to mountainous Kangding, the gateway to Tibet. B, L, D

Gesar Hotel


Kangding - Luhuo

Driving cross Tsedo Pass to Luhuo, visit Lhagong Monastery enroute. B, L, D

Local Hotel


Luhuo - Garze

Visit Drango Gompa and driven to Garze to visit Garze Monastery. B, L, D

Golden Yak Hotel


Garze - Dzogchen

Driven to Manigango and visit Dargye Gompa, take a trip to Dzogchen Monastery.  B, L, D

Local Lodge


Yilhun Lhatso

Transferred to Yilhun Lhatso and enjoy relaxed time at camp at the lakeside.  B, L, D Camping Tent

Dzen La Camp

Trek starts from Yilhun Lhatso to the camp beneath Dzen La.  B, L, D Camping Tent

Ding Chu

Ascend Dzen La and trek to Ding Chu Valley. B, L, D Camping Tent

  Ding Chu

Trek in the Ding Chu Valley.  B, L, D

Camping Tent


 Dagma Camp

Trek through Redak La and get to Dagma camp. B, L, D Camping Tent


Trek along rivers and Tibetan villages to Rongmai. B, L, D Camping Tent


Walk via Rongmai Karmo Taktsang, and ascend to Rongmei Karmo Pass and get to Dzongsar Monastery.  B, L, D Camp or Lodge


Rest day at Dzongsar Monastery to visit the chapels and nearby village. B, L, D Camp or Lodge

 Shepherd Camp

Walk in the valley, through thick bushes and cross Herd La Pass to Shepherd Camp.   B, L, D Camping Tent

 Pelpung Monastery

Trek to Pelpung Monastery and walk up to camp near Gese La. B, L, D Camping Tent


Walk across Gese La Pass and descend to Shega Village and driven to Derge.  B, L, D Chola Hotel


Rest day in Derge to visit Derge Scripture Printing House and Gonchen Monastery.  B, L, D Chola Hotel

 Derge - Pelyul

Driven along Golden Sand River to Pelyul and visit Pelyul Gompa. B, L, D Local Hotel


Transferred to Luhuo via Garze. B, L, D Local Hotel


Leave for Danba and visit Hui Yuan Monastery, drive to Jiaju Tibetan village in Danba.  B, L, D Village Homestay


Enjoy sunrise over the Dadu River and viewing the ancient Stone Towers, driven back to Chengdu to enjoy a hotpot dinner.  B, L, D

Buddha Zen Hotel



Transferred to airport for your departure flight. Trip ends.  B  N/A

Day01 Arrival ChengduChengdu Cityscape,Sichuan,China
Today you arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Greeted and received by your local guide and escorted to your hotel in downtown Chengdu. The rest of day is at your own disposal.

Day02 Chengdu - Kangding (B, L, D)Kangding,gateway to Tibet from Chengdu
set off in the morning for Kangding. You will have a drive from the Chengdu plain to higher plateau of the Tibetan area. Drive 360km on paved road, into hill country and crossing through the Mt. Erlang tunnel, En-route you will stop to visit Luding Iron Bridge in Luding. Then you will reach Kangding, which is cradled in a narrow gorge along the raging Dzetuo River. The river's continual rumble can be heard in its alleyways where nomads from the west come to sell Tibetan herbal medicine, Khampa knives, traditional Tibetan garments, and the ever-popular yak butter tea. For centuries the town has held the status of "Gateway to Tibet". Enjoy a fine dinner mixed with Tibetan and Sichuan food.

Day03 Kangding - Luhuo (B, L, D)Mt.Minya Konka in distance from Kangding,Sichuan
Leave in the morning for Luhuo. Right out of Kangding, you will start ascending up to Tsedo Mountain which is over 4,000 meters/ 13.125 feet above sea level. The scenery on the pass is amazing. From here we go to Xinduqiao and Tagong (Lhagong) in the valley. We will visit the Lamasery Lhagong Monastery. If weather is good you could have chance to take a good photo to the holy mountain Yala from a higher terrace at Tagong. Later of the day you arrive in Luhuo and check-in hotel.

Day04  Luhuo - Garze (B, L, D)Kasa Lake,Kham,Sichuan
Visit Drango Gompa (monastery) and driven to Garze to visit its Garze Monastery. On the way you will have a short way by the lake of Kasa. Drango Monastery built in AD850 so far it has a history over 1000 years. It was converted from a Black Sect and Nyingmapa Sect School to the Gelupa tradition. The monastery became one of the 13 most influential Gelupa Sect chapels throughout Kham ever since the year 1650. Garze Monastery sits in a hill slope that overlooks the town which is a splendid Gelupa monastery in the entire Tibetan culture realm. You will be astonished from afar by the shinning gilded golden roof of the monastery.

Day05 Garze - Dzogchen (B, L, D)Garze Monastery,Kham
Head north to Manigange, en route by the roadside you will visit Dargye Gompa of Gelugpa School that was once an important 13 Hor monasteries in the Kham region. Walk around the Rock of Dorje Phamo which is often visited by Buddhist hermits. Lunch is arranged at a local restaurant at Manigange, and in the afternoon you will drive north to Dzochen Monastery and stay at its guesthouse.

Day06 Dzogchen - Yilhun Lhatso (B, L, D)Yilhun Lhatso,Derge,Kham
Visit Dzogchen Monastery in the morning. Dzogchen is a large Nyingma monastery founded in 1684. The buildings had some renovation recently; Dzogchen Monastery hosts more than 500 monks, it has more than 300 Subsidiary smaller temples throughout the region and overseas. We will walk for 2 hours from the monastery to those hermitages and caves "Shinji Drupuk" (a powerful protector). Visit the old and new temple chanting hall and chapel. In the afternoon you will drive to Yilhun Lhatso, a turquoise lake beneath the Chola Mountain. Enjoy yourself at the camp at the lakeside.

Day07 Trek to Dzen La Camp (B, L, D)Trek at Derge,Kham
After breakfast you will start trekking. Gathering of yaks or horses and organize the luggages. Walk along the road to the wooden bridge for 2 km. With snow peaks rising from the valley, the trail leads to Dzen La. Encountering with Tibetan nomads. Set up camp near a seasonal alpine lake at 4,350m/14,270 feet at the foot of the pass. Camping for the night

Day08 Trek to Ding Chu (B, L, D)Trek from Yilhun Lhatso to Derge in Kham
After breakfast you will make a ascending up to the Dzen La Pass. We will hike up to the pastures in two to three hours walk. Dzen La Pass (4,960m/16,275 feet) will be covered by light snow. Standing at the pass we could enjoy a stunning view of the Chola Mountain. Then you will walk down hill into Ding Chu valley and have lunch break on the way. The camp in Ding Chu is on an open grassland at 4,200m/13,780 feet. Camping for the night

Day09 Trek at Ding Chu (B, L, D)Tibetan Nomads during Derge Trek in Kham
Walk along the valley of the Ding Chu. We will pass by wooden bridges and small tributaries of Ding Chu. The trail is dotted with nomads' shelters in summer months. The trail finally leads us into the forest until we reach a meadow that is beneath the Redak La Pass. Set up our tents at 4000m/13,125 feet. Camping for the night

Day10 Trek to Dagma Camp (B, L, D)Trekking Yilhun Lhatso to Derge in Kham
Today we will first of all walk steady up to Redak La Pass (4180m/13,714 feet) from where we will see a big open valley ahead. We will descend 800m to Dagma Camp in about 4 hours walking. We will walk through some pastures and coniferous forest. Along way we can find some nomad camps for the summer months. The camp is at a riverside at 3,800 m /12,470 feet. Camping for the night

Day11 Trek to Rongmai (B, L, D)Trek towards Dzongsar Monastery en route to Derge in Kham
Walk cross the Dagma Village and a dirt road leading us to cross several Tibetan settlements along rivers and forests come into sight before arrival the camp at Rongmai. Camping for the night

Day12 Rongmai - Dzongsar Monastery (B, L, D)Trek at mountain pass during Derge Trekking
This will be a rigorous day. We will continue hiking to the hermitage of Rongmai Karmo Taktsang, one of the three "cave of the tiger" of Padmasambhava the Guru Rimpoche who introduced Tantric Buddhism to Tibet. Afterwards you will trek down to cross a thick bush and make a ascending to the sleepy Rongmei Karmo Pass and walk down in the hill and earth ridge before getting to Dzongsar Monastery. Overnight at local guesthouse in the village or camping

Day13 Dzongsar Monastery (B, L, D)Dzongsar Monastery,Derge,Kham
Rest day at Dzongsar Monastery to visit the chapels and nearby village. Dzongsar Monastery of Sakya Sect is founded by Phagpa in 1259AD and built on the hill. Visit this magnificent complex of houses, monks, temples and schools. Today this place is still the most famous School in the whole Tibet for high studies of the Sakya Sect tradition. Overnight at local guesthouse in the village or camping

Day14 Trek to Shepherd Camp (B, L, D)Trek at Derge,Kham
Hike through the forest of conifers and hardwoods where the Tibetan brown bears residing in. We will hike up for 900 m to the Herd La Pass. And descend into a valley of pastures where there are quite a few simple shelters for shepherds. Camp near the river at 3800 m/12,470 feet. Camping for the night

Day15 Trek to Pelpung Monastery (B, L, D)Pelpung Monastery,Derge,Kham
Descend to the confluence of rivers to Pelpung Monastery, one of the most gigantic temples in Kham. Many lamas are studying in their small colorful wooden houses. Visit this great Kagyupa monastic center, built in 1717 by Situ Rinpoche, one of the 4 regents of the Karmapa. Today there are always practical studies in Tibetan Philosophy. We will walk towards the direction of Gese La pass (4620 m/15,160 feet) where the view is magnificent. After crossing the pass, we will walk through forests and pastures. Our last campsite will be near the wooden shelters of shepherds at the foot of the pass at 4500m / 14,765 feet. Camping for the night

Day16 Last hours trek, driven to Derge (B, L, D)Derge Trek,Kham
Climb up the Gese La pass and then will walk down to the village of Shega where we shall meet our driver. We conclude the trekking in the village and thanking our trek crew and say goodbye to them. Drive to Derge along the Golden Sand River. Enjoy some leisure time at your hotel after days in the mountains.

Day17 Derge (B, L, D)Leiure time in Derge,Kham
This will be a rest day in Derge to visit the Derge Scripture Printing House and Gonchen Monastery. Derge (3300m/10,830 feet) is former capital of one of the 5 kingdoms of Kham, located at the bottom of a gorge. The extraordinary "Parkhang" (printing house) has about 217 000 plates woodcuts. Founded in 1729, the printing is still being conducted from the old boards, the "Kangyur" sutras Tibetan Buddhist "tangyurs" sacred texts and commentaries by great scholars. Its current structure dates from 1744 and is the most famous printing of all Tibet (so far 300 people working there). Besides, you will also visit Gonchen Monastery not afar away from the Printing House. The Gonchen Monastery is a large Sakya Tibetan Buddhist monastery which was founded in 1448 by the first Dege King Tashi Sengge and the famous ascetic Tang Tong Gyalpo.

Day18 Derge - Pelyul (B, L, D)Relaxed morning in Derge after trek,Kham
Leave in the morning for Pelyul alongside the Golden Sand River that partitions Tibet and Sichuan Province. In the afternoon you arrive in Pelyul and visit Pelyul Monastery of Nyingma School. Means the place of auspicious and blessing in Tibetan, Pelyul is a lovely county where the Golden Sand River flowing through from north to south and the town is facing Tibet. A leisure walk in the mountainous town of Pelyul is very enjoyable.

Day19 Pelyul - Luhuo (B, L, D)Pelyul Monastery,Kham
Enjoy a tranquil morning in Pelyul before your departure. You will drive cross several high mountain passes alongside nice natural views on the plateau. Sit back and relax and you will have some photo opportunity en route. Have a break in Garze. The lunch today might be a picnic lunch prepared by your guide. Later of the day you will arrive in Luhuo and check in hotel.

Day20 Luhuo - Danba (B, L, D)Huiyuan Monastery in Kham
Leave for Danba and visit Huiyuan Monastery, drive to Jiaju Tibetan village in Danba. Huiyuan Monastery covers 33 hectares of land, and accommodates 200 lamas. The 75 white pagodas that stand before it constitute a wondrous sight that can be seen from afar. Though the monastery is relatively small, it boasts a long and glorious history. The prominence of Huiyuan Monastery was further elevated when the 11th Dalai Lama Kaskhrub Gyamtsho who was born in a nearby village. Driven to Jiayu Tibetan Village in Danba. Overnight homestay at Jiaju

Day21 Danba - Chengdu (B, L, D)Tibetan village in Danba,Kham
In the morning take sunrise at Jiaju Village. Jiaju, 10 kilometers away from the county city, is one of the rare places in China that has preserved complete Tibetan style residences. More than one hundred buildings keep the same architectural style with a complete and unique character of Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetan residences. Under the blue sky, the Tibetan residences decorated in red, white and black are strewed at random but also in order from the bottom to the middle slope of the valley. Leave Danba for Chengdu and not far outside of Danba town you have the chance of viewing the ancient Stone Towers, driven back to Chengdu to enjoy a savory hotpot dinner.

Day22 Depart Chengdu (B)
Transfer to airport for your departure flight. Journey ends.

Tour costing varies upon group size, travel season and hotel accommodation levels etc. For price details please email us at info@splendidchinatours.com.

Price inclusions:
All accommodations based on two persons sharing one room/tent (single occupancy is subject to supplement);
02). China internal flights with airport tax or train as stated in the program;
03). Round-trip transfers between airports or railway stations, hotels, and scenic spots in each city by private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced licensed drivers;
04). All admission fees and activity expenses as listed in the itinerary;
05). Daily meals as specified in the itinerary: B denotes breakfast, L denotes lunch, and D denotes dinner (SD signifies special dinner);
06). Services of a seasoned English speaking local trek guide during the walking and for culture visits in the itinerary (other languages can be arranged upon request, supplement may apply);
07). Adequate packing animals such as horses/or yaks and porters for baggages/outdoor gears during the trekking;
08). Professional outdoor sleeping tents with mattress during the trekking (twin shared basis);
09). Kitchen tent, toilet tent and folding table and chairs during the camping days;
10). Three meals a day prepared by professional outdoor cook during the walking;
). Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour;
12). Governmental taxes and fees.

Price excluded:
01). International airfare to/from China;
02). Chinese Visa fees;
03). Expenses of personal natural such as laundry, telephone, drinks, mini bar etc;
04). Personal shopping, optional activities and excess baggage charges;
05). Gratuities for local tour guides, drivers and hotel bellboy etc;
06). International travel insurance;
07). Services and activities that are not mentioned in the itinerary.


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