Tibet Tsurphu to Yangpachen trekking is an excellent choice for those who want to get a close look at the Tibetan herders (drokpa) and their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Although they have permanent winter homes they spend much of the year camping with their animals.Beginning at Tsurphu Monastery this rugged walk crosses several alpine valleys before emerging into the broad and windswept Yangpachen valley. This is a high elevation trek exceeding 4400m for the entire duration and a maximum elevation 5400m at the Lasar-la. Combining alpine tundra and sweeping mountain panoramas with visits to monasteries and a nunnery, this trek nicely balances cultural and wilderness activities. The Best time for this trek is from Mid- April to Mid of October.
If you are interested in the Tibetan herders and their semi-nomadic lifestyle, this trek tour would be an excellent choice. Imagine the vistas of nomadic children picnic on the plateaus as they watch their sheep graze, it’s amazing!
Day 01:Arrival at Lhasa [3,658m]
Upon arrival at Lhasa airport or train station, to be met and transferred to your hotel / hostel in Lhasa. Afternoon have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa. (B)=breakfast
Day 02:Lhasa City sightseeing, visit Potola Palace & Jokhang Temple (B)
Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so we have purposely arranged only to visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is the most scared shrine in Tibet which was built in 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, the circuit around it called Barkhor street, which is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Overnight at Lhasa.
Day 03:Lhasa City sightseeing, visit Drepung monastery, Sera monastery(B)
Today you will be arranged to visit Drepung, Sera monasteries. Both monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 10,000 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice, the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see. Norbulingka is the summer palace of Dalai Lama, you can visit the residences of different lineages of the Dalai Lama. The park is crowded with picnickers and traditional activities during the Shoton (Yogurt festival) in August. Overnight at Lhasa.
Day 04:Lhasa/ Tsurphu Monastery[4,500m] (79km, 2-3hrs drive) (B)
The drive from Lhasa to Tsurphu Monastery takes about 2-3 hours, and the altitude will increase up to 4300m. When you arrive you will spend time acclimatizing further and visiting Tsurphu Monastery. Overnight at Tsurphu monastery guesthouse.
Day 05:Tsurphu Monastery/ Leten, (trekking 4 hours, 11km)
A spectacular first day of trekking ascent up in a green valley crisscrossed with mountain streams. Be on the lookout for various species of mountain goats disguised in gray rocks. Several small nomadic communities camp here for the summer herding months, and you may have a stop into a yak-hair tent for a cup of salt butter tea or some fresh yak milk! Crest the ridgetop four hours later, emerging onto a high plateau with a scattering of rock-enclosed huts, and look for a flat area for camping. From day one, the scenery is breathtaking, the landscapes are classic Tibetan beauty.
Day 06:Leten/ Bartso, (trekking 5-6 hours, 15km)
Have your first small pass, the Damchen Nyingtri, bear to the left at the cairns at the crest, and descend into a magical valley of lichen-coated boulders, meandering streams and expansive, powder-blue sky. Three hours later, you will cross the Lasar La and descend into the Yangpachen valley, with its wide open plateaus, spiky grass hummocks and tundra-like parched, cracked patches of earth, and head towards Bartso. The views of Brize (translated as female yak herder) and Tarze (horse keeper) are superb, and you will feel safe in the care of the local mountain god, Nyenchen Tanglha. Camp near Bartso, a drokpa (nomad) village of five or six houses, surrounded by the juniper used for incense all over the Tibetan world.
Day 07:Bartso / Dorje Ling Nunnery, (Trekking 4 hours, 15Km)
Leaving the village of Bartso behind, head towards a wide trail leading across the valley and over another ridge, from where you will be rewarded with views of Nyenchen Tanghlha (7111 m), the holiest mountain in central Tibet. Emerge at Tajung village, and then climb gently up rolling hills where young nomadic boys and girls picnic on the plateaus as they watch their yaks and sheep graze. The vistas are, again, just amazing! Mid-day, you should reach the small Djore Ling Ani Gompa (nunnery), near which you will set up camp. It’s possible that these nuns, some of the friendliest in Tibet, will drag you into the gompa’s tea-house and pass around a heaping plate of yak meat (use the bowie knife provided to hack a piece off) before getting into the requisite photo session.
Day 08:Dorje Ling Nunnery / Yangpachen Monastery / Yangpachen Hotsprings / Lhasa, trekking 4 hours, 14km
Today walk for three or four hours, following the ox-bow Nyango Chu River snaking its way through the grassy valley, and head for Yangpachen Gompa. This old Kagyupa monastery, with Tibetan mastiffs keeping guard, overlooks part of the Trans-Himalaya range. Landcruiser will wait for at monastery, pick up to have a hot springs at Yangbachen, then drive back to Lhasa.
Day 09:Lhasa airport /train station send-off (B)
Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, end of the trip.