There are nearly 3-million Tibetans living in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and north-west of the Yunnan, namely the vast central, northern and eastern Tibet plateau. More than half of them are herders, and many still live as nomads as they have been living for hundreds of years. The best place to experience and discover the lands and life of the nomads is in Qinghai, southern Gansu and western Sichuan on the summer and autumn pastures. Horse riding is the best way to reach their lands and discover some of these less travelled regions. The experience will be amazingly pleasant as if the time clock has been rewinded. The landscapes are as strikingly beautiful as the nature can provide. The nomadic life in the remote area which you will get a chance to not just glance over, but to take a few days to experience, will be as grounded and refreshing as one would expect to be.
Why we do horse trekking in Tibet?
Tibetans, as the other steppe people or the nomads of the world, are very very fond of horses. Though time is changing, there are still many Tibetans living in the traditional way of life as nomads. Horse riding is still an important way of transportation in this part of the world. It's for fun, for competition, for rituals and mostly for herding. The culture of horse riding -- the accessories, stories, names, taboos are well kept with some efforts. After all, the time is changing. It is therefore, a privilege to be able to ride the horses and stroll on the ancient horse treks. There's no way to compete with a trip riding on a breezy day. On the plateau, everything is high-resolution, the crystal clear sky, the mountains, the grasslands and animals. After a day of the riding, you'll set up the camp tents next to the camp sites of the nomads.
Admittedly, horse riding is addictive. It wakes up our ancient memory, no matter where you are from.
Horse trekking is a fun and exciting way to spend quality time with each other.
The treks take you to the top of high mountains for picnic and great panoramic view.
Camp in the mountains and enjoy the sunrise with fresh coffee or tea.
Can we do horse trekking, cultural stuff and or hiking in one trip ?
Tibetan Connections has organized the private small group tours throughout the Tibetan and Silk Road regions for more then twenty years. We have selected some great locations for horse trekking in Qinghai and north-western Gansu province. Within these two remote provinces, we will customize your amazing horse trekking with other activities, such as cultural visits of monasteries and museums, hiking and kayaking, homestay in the villages, strolling in the local markets and tasting delicious foods, to name a few. What we are good at, is to tailor-make your trip according to your preference and time frame.
What we need to know about this Trek?
This is 1 or 2 days of horse trekking and one-night camping at the remote place. It's an accompanied and full-board service trip, which provides the horse, guide, all camping facilities (except for the sleeping bags), and all meals during your horse trekking. There will be professional guide who gives you the detailed tips and tricks of the riding and trekking. Wether you are a first-time horse rider or experienced rider, we will select the horses according to your experiences. You will carry your packed lunch and water in your saddle-bags. We will stop occasionally at any scenic spot for photography and rest (gaze).
Riding with Tibetan nomads to celebrate our festivals
Each valley has its own water and each region has its own custom. -- a Tibetan proverb
In each region where you travel, there might be some local traditional festivals you will come across and be able join the celebration. One frequent of ritual is called Labtse offering, an incense offering to the mountains deities. In the summer month of June, men from the village get together and ride up to the top of the mountains -- Neri where the deities reside, to replace the poles and flags with the new ones. Hundreds of ridders wear in fine traditional dresses for the annual event, set up the poles and flags, burn the incense, chant the prayers, and pray for the victory of the gods and defeat of the obstructions. The ritual is serene, dignified and joyful with warrior sprits. This ritual, the Incense Prayer for the World, takes place in the Tibetan calendar on 15th of May, which will be in late June or early July. Each year the exact date varies a little bit. If you are interested in joining the celebration, let us know your time frame in advance, so we can arrange your trip date for the event. To find more, email us.
Most of the horse trek trips are a week trip including in/out. These trips will start from Lanzhou city in Gansu province and end in in Xining city in Qinghai province. It will take to you to visit the nomadic regions and the prominent Buddhist monasteries. Camp with the local Tibetan nomads and enjoy the life of nomads, while with possible joining of the unique festivals of horse ridings. The horse-riding can combine with our other featured travel activities, such as hiking, kayaking and culturally oriented tours in the Tibetan areas, as well as along the Silk Road in the Hexi Corridor.
Itinerary and trip cost details
Arrive in Lanzhou. Orientation dinner at local Tibetan restaurant.
Cultural orientated tour. Meeting with local people and tasting their home made cuisines.
Horse trek . Camping, picnicking
Visiting sites, join festivals. Fly back home
$ 1280 per person (group booking minimum 4 people )
$ 1180 per person (single booking )
The best month for this trip
June through Oct