Dzongsar Trek

Discover the fascinating territory of Kham

Dokog valley

Dupu Valley

One of our camping sites during the trek


Trip intorduction

      Derge is located in the valley with rich plantation, its average elevation is from 3400 m – 4000 m. Comparatively, it is a warm area in Tibet, with plenty of oxygen from the forestry, herbs, fields, and clean water.  It is a great place for hiking. The landscape features with the beautiful snow-capped mountains, forestry, sparkling waters running through, nomads’ pastureland, fields of barley, and colorful wooden houses.

Summer is as pleasant as any corner of the Tibet plateau can get. Autumn color here is stunning. We will have a light hiking day, picnic and camping at the spots of your choice. 

      What so special about this place, is not just in its natural beauty. The area is a cultural center, with the prominent century-old religious institutions and the handicraft arts which are kept well and still very vibrant today. We will select two monasteries to visit. Sakya Dzongser monastery located on a mountain top, was built in year 746. Its medical branch holds a very high esteem across Tibet for its unbroken lineage in medical studies and effective medicines because of the abundant herbs, pollution-free environment and local climates. Gagu retreat is a hidden hermitage on Mt. Gagu, home to nearly 1000 of nuns and monks.

     We will stay with the villagers or a local-run hostel. Tibetan black pottery making, carpet weaving, incense making, wood carving, Thangka painting, these arts and techniques are preserved very well here. We will visit the workshops, talk with the artisans, and get hands-on and learn from the masters. The highlight of all is Derge Parkhang Chemo (the Great Derge Print House). This world-biggest traditional printing house and library using over million wooden blocks, has produced and are still producing numerous Tibetan texts of religions, philosophy, astronomy, medicine and history.

Trip Information

Trip itinerary

Day 01 – The City of Chengdu 

  • Highlights: Meet your tour guides; historic tea houses; and spicy Sichuan Chinese foods.

  • Approximate travel time: 1 HR

Day 02– Ya’an & Kangding, Historic Cities Connecting Mainland China
      & Tibetan Areas

  • Highlights: Experience spectacular natural views along China’s famous Highway 318; sightseeing at a historic iron chain bridge across the longest river in Asia.

  • Approximate travel time: 6-7 HRS​

Day 03 – Palmo Snow Mountain & Minyak Tibetan Villages

  • Highlights: Visit Palmo Snow Mountain at sunrise; tour Tibetan religious sites & villages; picnic on Tibet’s famous grassland plains

  • Approximate travel time: 3-4 HRS

Day 04 – Wela Nunnery & Pilgrimage Walk

  • Highlights: Explore Tibetan Buddhist temples and Khampa villages; join a meditative Kora walk with local pilgrims

  • Approximate travel time: 1-2 HRS

Day 05 – Southern Kham’s Rocky Peaks & Narrow Gorges

  • Highlights: Discover breathtaking views of the Kham Region’s gorges, forests, and grasslands; interact with Mani Gango nomads

  • Approximate travel time: 1-2 HRS


Day 06 – Derge Printing house, Tibetan Market-Zongsar village.

  • Highlights: Tour a historic printing house; experience Tibetan street food & an open marketplace

  • Approximate travel time: 2 HR

Day 07 – Mesho – Tashi-Tang – Dupu Valley.

  •  Highlights: trekking, enjoy the view Gagu pass, remote retreat.

  • Approximate trekking time: 5-6 HRS

  • Average altitude: 4200m

Day 08 – Dupu Valley-Turuma pasture

  • Highlights: trekking, enjoy the view of Ngadra Gongri mountain, holy lake.

  • Approximate trekking time: 6-7 HRS

  • Average altitude: 4500m

Day 09 – Turuma pasture – Rongme Karmo Taktsang retreat – Gyalgong village.

  • Highlights: trekking, enjoy the view of Ngadra Gongri mountain, remote scared retreats.

  • Approximate trekking time: 7-8 HRS

  • Average altitude: 4300m

Day 10 – Gyalgong village – Derge – Mani Gango – Sershul County.

  • Highlights: Rich nomadic lands, opened grassland. Picnics.

  • Approximate travel time: 6-7 HRS

Day 11 – Sershul County – Yushu.

  • Highlights: Rich nomadic lands, monasteries, Yangtse river.

  • Approximate travel time: 2-3 HRS

Day 12– Yushu – Xining – home cities.