Day 1 → ARRIVE IN YUSHU AIRPORT AND TRANSFER TO HOTEL
Mid Morning: Arrive in Yushu YUS Batang airport (flights arrive from Xining and Chengdu). We will offer one group airport pickup at 11:15am on Day 1. Yushu (also known as Jyekundo) is seated at 3,700 meters above sea level so we will use this day to rest and acclimatize to the altitude. Transfer to hotel (about 45 minute drive form the airport to our hotel).
12:15pm- Check into 4 Star hotel in Yushu.
1:00pm - Lunch in Yushu town.
3:00pm- We will spend the afternoon walking around Jiegu Monastery which has an excellent view of town
6:00pm- Opening dinner in an authentic Tibetan restaurant as we go over the schedule for the week.
8:30pm- Rest in our hotel in Yushu.
Day 2 → GYANAK MANI STONE PILE, JYEKUNDO
8:30am- Breakfast in the hotel
9:00am - We will spend the morning exploring areas just outside of Jyekundo as our bodies continue to adjust to the altitude. Just outside of Jyekundo is the Gyanak Mani Temple, which is a major Buddhist pilgrimage destination. The temple has the world's largest collection of hand-carved prayer stones. Over 2 billion (yes, billion!) prayer stones are stacked here, which draws Tibetans from across the,
1:00pm- After lunch we will drive 40 minutes to do some light hiking just south of town near the Princess Wencheng Temple area. This is a great place to go learn more about Buddhism and Tibetan culture as we will walk through 1000’s of colorful prayer flags.
5:00pm- We will then return to Jyekundo later in the afternoon.
7:00pm- Dinner in Jyekundo
9:00pm- Sleep in a hotel in Jyekundo (Yushu).
Day 3 → JYEKUNDO - ZADUO
7:30am - We will have breakfast in the hotel
8:30am -We will depart Jyekundo and drive west to the town of Dzadö (Zaduo in Chinese), located 215 kilometers (135 miles) away. Dzadö, at an elevation of 4075 meters (13,370 feet,) is the largest town on the far upper reaches of the Mekong River. The drive along the way is spectacular with amazing mountain scenery that follows the Mekong and its main tributaries. In Dzadö we will stay at a hotel (best in town) in the middle part of town.
12:00 noon - Lunch at small restaurant along the drive
1:30pm- Continue drive to Zaduo, along the way we will we will check for wildlife, in the cliffs next to the Mekong River
6:00pm - Arrive at our hotel in Zaduo
6:30pm- Dinner in Zaduo
8:30pm- We will go back to the hotel and rest for the night.
Day 4 → ZADUO - REMOTE WILDLIFE CAMP
Today, the real adventure begins! Up to this point we will have seen some amazing cultural sites while our bodies have been adjusting to high altitude. But today is when we leave civilization for some of the best wildlife areas in Asia. From Dzadö, we will drive 125 kilometers (80 miles) to a place known locally as "Remote Wildlife Camp", elevation 4340 meters (14,240 feet). The road out here is a rough dirt road, but is highly scenic. When we arrive at our camp, we will set up our camp in an area that is considered one of the best in all of the Tibetan Plateau for viewing snow leopards along with many other different types of wildlife and birds of prey (blue sheep, white-lipped deer, Pallas's cats, gazelle, musk deer, marmot, pika, lynx, Himalayan brown bear, foxes, wolves, Himalayan griffon, Bearded vultures and more). There is a chance that we may mix up camping with homestays with local Tibetan nomads.
Day 5-10 → REMOTE WILDLIFE CAMP
February 1- 6
We will spend 5 nights/ 6 days days at our Wildlife Camp while viewing and photographing snow leopards. We will be doing day hiking in the surrounding mountains each day, but at all times will make sure to not disturb this unique area.
Our schedule each day will likely look at this, but will depend on the weather and the best areas for viewing snow leopards:
7:00am -We will get up and take breakfast.
7:30am - After breakfast we will climb to our snow leopard spotting check point and then start look for wild life in the morning.
12:00 noon- Head back to camp for lunch and then take an afternoon rest as the snow leopards are not very active at this time.
3:00pm- In the afternoon we will start to look for wildlife again.
7:00pm- Dinner and rest for the night.
Day 11 → REMOTE WILDLIFE CAMP - HOT SPRINGS
7:00am - This will be our final breakfast at our wildlife camp.
7:30am- For the last time, we will make our way to our check point and have a last look for snow leopards and other wildlife.
12:00 noon- Lunch at our wildlife camp and then take down the camp area and pack up the car.
3:00pm- After almost a week at our high altitude camp we will make our way to a nice remote hot springs to warm up and rejuvenate.
5:00pm- We will arrive at our hot spring camp and set up the camp
7:00pm- After a nice, clean hot bath, we will have dinner and enjoy the hot springs for the rest for the night.
Day 12 → HOT SPRINGS - JYENKUNDO (YUSHU)
8:00am- Wake up and have breakfast.
9:00am- After breakfast we will take down our hot spring camp
10:00am- In the mid morning and make the drive back to Jyekundo, located 335 kilometers (210 miles) away. In Jyekundo, we will stay at a nice hotel in the center of town; a welcome site after spending a week in the wilderness of the Tibetan Plateau!
12:00 noon - Lunch on the road.
1:00pm- Continue our drive through the beautiful open grasslands towards Yushu.
6:30pm- We will arrive at our hotel and check in.
7:00pm- Our last closing dinner and a celebration on our week together.
Day 13 → DEPART JYENKUNDO (YUSHU), YUS AIRPORT
Today we say our goodbyes as we leave with a lifetime full of memories and hearts aching for more of these beautiful, kind Tibetan people.
After breakfast, we will be transported on one group airport dropoff to the Jyekundo (Yushu) Airport to take a flight back to Xining or to Chengdu (the choice is yours).
The journey concludes with your flight leaving Jyekundo in the mid-morning.