Embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of China’s western regions with our meticulously planned 7-day itinerary. From the bustling city of Lanzhou, your adventure takes you on a winding path through lush grasslands, serene monasteries, and the picturesque landscapes of Jiuzhaigou Valley. This meticulously curated tour guarantees an immersive experience, showcasing the beauty of nature, rich cultural traditions, and hidden gems of the region. Join us as we explore the essence of Gansu and Sichuan provinces, a blend of scenic wonders and cultural richness.
Day 1: Gathering in Lanzhou
Discover Lanzhou’s Key Attractions and Culinary Delights
On Day 1, our journey commences in Lanzhou, the vibrant capital of Gansu Province. After arriving at your hotel, you’ll have free time to explore this captivating city. Lanzhou, nestled alongside the continuous flow of the Yellow River, is a must-visit destination when journeying westward. Uncover the city’s character and beauty as you visit iconic attractions such as Zhongshan Bridge, Waterwheel Garden, the Yellow River Mother Statue, and the stunning night view of Baita Mountain. These highlights capture the essence of Lanzhou, where the Yellow River’s ever-present waters infuse vitality into both the land and its hospitable people.
Important Reminders for Your Journey:
- Ensure you arrive at the departure airport at least 2 hours in advance for check-in.
- Various transportation options are available for your transfer from the airport to the city. You can choose the intercity high-speed rail for 21.5 yuan per person, the airport bus for 30 yuan per person, or our agency’s airport pick-up service for 50 yuan per person. Taxis are also available for a self-paid fare, which is typically around 200 yuan.
- As you venture into the northwest, pack warm clothing, and keep in mind that accommodations in Qinghai may not match city standards.
Day 2: Lanzhou to Langmusi via Hehe City
High-Speed Adventure through Lush Landscapes
After a hearty breakfast, Day 2 takes you on a high-speed journey from Lanzhou to Langmusi. The picturesque route unfolds over approximately four hours and includes a delightful lunch stop in Hehe City. En route, bask in the pastoral beauty of lush grasslands and the sight of herds of cattle and sheep. You’ll also pass the renowned Guomang Wetland, a historical crossroads where the Tang-Tibet Ancient Road, Tea-Horse Ancient Road, and Silk Road intersect.
The day continues as you arrive at Langmusi Town, a border region shared by Gansu and Sichuan, often described as a “land favoured by gods.” Here, you’ll visit the exquisite Gerdi Temple in Sichuan, which houses the body of a living Buddha in its body hall. Keep an eye out for the opportunity to hike the nearby Namo Canyon, the source of the Bailong River. As the day comes to a close, you’ll head to the lower-altitude paradise of Zhagana.
Note: The inn in Zhagana boasts a charming claim to fame, having been featured in the TV show “Where Are We Going, Dad.” If you’re lucky, you might stay in the same room once occupied by Deng Lun. Be sure to secure your spot early, as the inn’s room availability is limited. In the event of full occupancy, an adjacent hotel of equal calibre will be provided.
Day 3: Immersive Exploration of Zhagana
Revel in Nature’s Beauty and Tranquility
The day will unfolds at a leisurely pace, allowing you to immerse yourself in Zhagana’s breathtaking natural beauty. Rise early and ascend to the inn’s rooftop to witness the enchanting sunrise and morning mist, a distinctive hallmark of Zhagana, often featured in cinematic works. As the sun ascends from the east, the skies gradually illuminate, dispersing the enchanting morning fog. The western mountains shimmer with golden light, bestowing upon you the true essence of “the sun rises on the golden mountain.”
Your day can also include a visit to the Locke Observation Deck and Fairy Beach, sites made famous as the “Little Switzerland of the East” during the filming of “Where Are We Going, Dad.” Zhagana Village, enveloped by mountains on three sides, resembles a natural stone citadel, adorned with fluttering Mani prayer flags, where the simple Tibetan way of life is bathed in holy light. As the renowned explorer Joseph Locke once expressed, this place is akin to the Garden of Eden. As evening descends, weather permitting, you can witness the splendour of the sunset, followed by a mesmerizing starry night.
Day 4: Zhagana to Jiuzhaigou via Flower Lake
Explore the Beauty of China’s Most Beautiful Wetland
After a delightful breakfast, Day 4 sets you on a course to China’s most enchanting wetland, Flower Lake. Immerse yourself in the pristine waters and the vibrant lakeside flora. This aquatic wonderland, characterized by colourful lakeside blooms, offers a unique visual experience. In the afternoon, your journey proceeds to Jiuzhaigou Mioukou Zhangzha Town for check-in.
Day 5: A Comprehensive Journey Through Jiuzhaigou Valley
Delve into the Fairyland of Jiuzhaigou
Start your day with breakfast and embark on an exploration of the enchanting Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, a fairyland that appears straight out of a storybook. Upon entering the scenic area, you’ll transfer to a specialized sightseeing car. Jiuzhaigou’s main valley takes the form of a “Y,” comprising three interconnected valleys with a combined length exceeding 50 kilometres.
- Shuzheng Valley: Home to the mesmerizing Shuzheng Waterfall, the first waterfall group in Jiuzhaigou Valley. It spans over 7 kilometres, boasting dozens of waterfalls with multiple steps, creating a magical sea of glistening sparks. When the wind dances upon the waves, golden “sparks” come to life, rendering a spellbinding sight. Don’t miss the remarkable landscapes of the Rhinoceros Sea and Wolong Sea.
- Rize Valley’s Pearl Beach: A colossal crystal curtain graces the Pearl Beach of Rize Valley, immersing visitors in an ambience of “stepping on rolling silver flowers and embracing thousands of hectares of pearls.”
- Wuhuahai: This picturesque location stands as Jiuzhaigou’s pride, often referred to as “the essence of Jiuzhaigou” and “the best of Jiuzhaigou.”
To enhance your experience, the scenic area offers dedicated vehicles, expert guides, and group tours. The stretch from Jiuzhaigou mouth to Changhaizi, including Nuorilang Waterfall, Shuzheng Qunhai, and Shuanglonghai, is currently open for foot exploration.
Day 6: Jiuzhaigou to Ruoergai Grassland via Sunset at the First Bend of Jiuqu Yellow River
Experience the Charms of the Ruoergai Grassland and a Captivating Sunset
Following breakfast, you’ll set off from Jiuzhaigou toward Ruoergai Grassland, a region where cattle and sheep roam freely, and pastoral melodies fill the air. Here, we’ve specially arranged unique experiences, allowing you to capture beautiful photographs in traditional Tibetan attire and savour the distinctive flavours of Tibetan areas, such as yak yoghurt and butter tea. Lunch brings a local hot pot meal (complimentary item; no refund available if unused).
In the afternoon, you’ll arrive at the First Bend of the Jiuqu Yellow River, where you may have the privilege of witnessing a breathtaking sunset. As the sun gently dips below the horizon, casting a crimson hue across the valley, the landscape becomes bathed in golden light, making for an unforgettable photographic experience. Conclude the day in Tangke.
Day 7: Tangke to Lapuleng Monastery, Returning to Lanzhou
Explore Lapuleng Monastery and Return to Lanzhou
The final day of our journey commences with breakfast in Tangke. Departing Tangke, you’ll head to Lapuleng Monastery. This part of the journey offers the opportunity to bask in the splendour of the open skies, the beauty of wildflowers, and the omnipresent herds of cattle and sheep. Lapuleng Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple globally, awaits your visit.
Inside the temple, numerous precious Buddha statues, sculptures, murals, and more await your exploration. After your temple visit, you’ll find the world’s longest prayer-turning corridor, where you can spin ancient prayer wheels for yourself and others, offering blessings and prayers. Following your explorations, the group reconvenes, and the return journey to Lanzhou commences, marking the end of this memorable adventure.
Note: Our group’s final gathering point is the Lanzhou Hotel. Typically, we arrive in Lanzhou around 8 p.m. For your convenience, we recommend booking a flight or train for the following day, as accommodations in Lanzhou on this evening are provided but non-refundable if unused.
As we wrap up this 7-day expedition, it’s time to reflect on the extraordinary journey you’ve just experienced. From the bustling streets of Lanzhou to the serene monasteries and breathtaking landscapes, this adventure has been a testament to the diversity and splendour of Western China. The memories of sunrise over Zhagana, the crystal-clear waters of Jiuzhaigou, and the pastoral tranquillity of Ruoergai Grassland will stay with you for a lifetime. We hope you return home with not only memories but also a deep appreciation for the natural and cultural treasures that this region offers. Until we meet again on another remarkable voyage, we bid you farewell and safe travels.