Day 1 →
We will start the day leaving from Xining early and drive 2 hours to then spend the mid-morning at the larger and lower YouNing Monastery. After strolling past monks and colorful temple halls, we will then have a picnic lunch in the valley and drive another 8km up a dirt road. From here we will climb 30 minutes up a short hill to the upper and more remote hermitage site connected to the parent monastery. This hermitage only has a few monks in it, but it provides an excellent view of the rugged mountains surrounding us. From here we can have the option to take a day hike from the hermitage meditation site to see an old mud Tibetan nomad home and then to even summit a rocky ridgeline to see the valley stretch below us. The full hike ascends to 3,700 meters and takes about 4 hours roundtrip from the hermitage. Smaller versions of this hike are offered for those not wanting to go all the way to the top of the ridge.
After a full day of adventure we will drive 2 hours back to Xining for dinner.
NOTE: For those more interested in the hiking aspect, we can emphasize this as the major portion of the day. The same is true for those wanting to spend more time in the monastery complex.