Day 1 → Xining to Kanbula Park
Drive 3 hours from Xining to Kanbula National Park
(it is like a mini-Grand Canyon)
Go see Namzong Nunnery inside the park
Do short day hikes to viewpoints and pagodas and see a small Tibetan farmer village.
In the afternoon, Drive to Homestay
Sleep in Homestay in Kanbula National Park.
Day 2 → Kanbula to Labrang
Drive another 3 hours into Gansu Province to Labrang Monastery through the high altitude grasslands. If the weather is nice, we will stop at a high pass with a pyramid of colorful prayer flags. Here, among the lushest grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau, we will discuss nomadic culture and the relationship these herders have with their yaks and sheep.
Eat lunch in Labrang
In the afternoon we will see the monastery of Labrang. Labrang Monastery is at an elevation of 2900m / 9512 feet. Labrang was by far the largest and most influential monastery in Amdo and is Tibetan Buddhism's most important monastery town outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Today it has 1,500 active monks and nuns.
Sleep in a hotel in Labrang
Day 3 → Labrang to Xining
Hike above monastery in morning and then have some free time to explore local markets.
Eat lunch in town
Drive 6 hours back to Xining through a gorgeous narrow red rock canyon
Arrive in Xining by dinner time