Day 1 → Arrive in Xining airport and transfer to hotel

  • Morning or early afternoon - Transfer to Hotel (about a 1 hour drive from airport)
  • 3:00pm - Arrive at Hotel and check in. Settle into hotel and rest
  • 4:30 pm - Meet in the lobby of the hotel/guesthouse and go out for dinner
  • 5:00pm - Eat dinner and introduce the schedule for the week
  • 8:00pm - Return to Hotel to sleep and rest

Day 2 → Depart Xining in the morning, camp near Laji Shan

  • 8:30am - Eat breakfast at or near hostel or hotel.
  • 9:30am - Drive 1.5 hours to LaJI Shan Mountain - a 14,000 foot (4,267 meters) craggy peak with surrounding red rock bluffs and cliffs.
  • 11:30am- Hike to base camp and eat packed lunch
  • 12:30pm-Set up tents and camp
  • 2:00pm - From the base camp, day hike to tall mountain past red rock formations for a great view of the valley. We will not be summiting the mountain itself but a nearby peak.
  • 5:00pm- Cook dinner
  • 6:00pm - Eat dinner
  • 7:00pm - Clean dinner
  • 7:30pm - Watch the stars and talk about history and stories of the area as well as the nomadic culture around us and it’s dependence on the yak.
  • 9:30pm - Sleep in tents overlooking beautiful red rock formations.

Day 3 → Kanbula National Park and Tibetan Homestay

  • 8:00am - Start breakfast
  • 8:30am - Eat breakfast
  • 9:00am - Break camp and pack up and hike down
  • 10:30am - Drive 1.5 hours to Kanbula National Park and the gorgeous red rock formations in the park (it is like a mini-Grand Canyon)
  • 1:00pm - Go see Namzong Nunnery inside the park
  • 3:00pm - Do short day hikes to viewpoints and pagodas and see a small Tibetan farmer village
  • 4:30pm - In the afternoon, drive to Homestay
  • 6:30pm - Arrive in Homestay in Rebkong, eat with our homestay hosts
  • 8:00pm - Debrief day
  • 9:00pm - Sleep in Tibetan Homestay with an excellent view of the National Park

Day 4 → Rebkong Monastery and hike

  • 8:30am - Eat breakfast in homestay
  • 9:30am - In the morning, explore the labyrinthine alleys of the monastery to find out what life as a monk is really like. Then hike above the Rebkong Longwu Monastery for an excellent view of the town.
  • 12:30pm - Eat lunch in town including some freshly made yak yoghurt
  • 1:30pm - Drive 3 hours back to Xining Sofitel
  • 4:30 pm - Arrive in Xining for dinner. Clean up at hotel
  • 6:00pm - Final closing dinner. Final debriefs

Day 5 → Fly out of XNN in the mid morning or later

2 thoughts on “Red Rocks and Monasteries

  • This was an amazing and wonderful trip, combining the outdoor experience of the open and magisterial Qinghai/Tibetan plateau with a first-hand look at Tibetan culture, life an religion, away from the usual crowds of tourists. Ben is a truly outstanding guide, fun, knowledgeable and caring. Ably assisted by Sanji, his Tibetan colleague. I will definitely be looking for other trips with Ben, who has provided the best experience I have had in exploring and discovering the remoter parts of China.

  • Ben recently guided a group of us through some lofty places around Qinghai and I can confidently say it is a trip I won’t soon forget. Everything we saw was amazing! From a campsite on Laji Shan, to a homestay in Kanbula National Park, and ending in an epic monastery–each location was scouted for its beauty, history, and cultural significance. Ben is a great guide and has an effortless way of making you feel like old friends. He’s encouraging, knowledgeable and facilitates not only a unique trip, but the growth of those who are on it.

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