Enjoy a Tibetan homestay in the nomadic and farming communities or monasteries of Tibet. You will learn first hand from the local Tibetans about their culture, history, customs and traditions in the intimacy of their homes and daily lives, one of the best ways to experience Tibet.
Travel to Tibet and Stay with Tibetan Families
Tibet can be divided into three distinct cultural regions: Utsang in central Tibet, Amdo in northeastern Tibet and Kham in eastern Tibet. Each region has its own unique dialect of the Tibetan language. Cultural customs vary as well and travel through the diverse regions of Tibet reveals a variety of architectural style, food, clothing, craftwork, art and music.
Minyak is a region located in the southwestern part of Kham. Tibetans who live here have a very local dialect that differs greatly even from the regional Khampa Tibetan dialect. Minyak is known for its mountains, including the holy mountain called Minyak Gangkar. There are also many traditional monasteries, ancient murals, and historical sites, including 600 year old watchtowers. Currently, few tourists travel to the area, thus requiring no special permits. Minyak is also ideal for cultural immersion and free exploration. Conscious Journeys offers homestays and community visits for travelers interested in this less traveled region of Tibet.
- Day 1-2: Chengdu
- Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan, China's southwestern province, and a major hub for all Tibetan areas. The city has a large Tibetan population with a Tibetan Quarter which is very much a “little Tibet” on its own. Chengdu is famed for its Sichuanese cuisine, especially the hotpot. This is an excellent opportunity for visitors to taste the local flavors of Sichuan. Chengdu is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where you can view the endangered giant pandas in their natural habitat. This is a major highlight for anyone touring China and is not to be missed!
- Day 3-4: Dartsedo
- Dartsedo Ch: Kangding) was the ancient trading center of the Kham area. Today, it is a thriving city with a blend of Chinese and Tibetan culture. The route to Dartsedo follows the ancient Tea-Horse trading route. The city has several large Buddhist monasteries and a Tibetan museum. Nearby, the Paoma Mountain is a sacred site for the Tibetan Buddhists. Travelers can explore the mountain’s park and view the surrounding scenery.
- Day 5-6: Lhagong
- The drive to Lhagong (Ch: Tagong) passes through nomadic valleys. Travelers can stop to explore the sights and scenery of the area. Guests will stay in Lhagong at the home of a local monk and his mother, who have converted their home into a guesthouse. At the heart of the town, there is an ancient monastery that holds the second most important Shakyamuni statue in Tibet. Travelers can participate in temple activities, including mediation and daily kora (circumambulation).
- Day 7: Dora Village
- Dora is the hometown of Conscious Journeys' guide Tenpa, where he and his family hosts guests at their homestay. Tenpa will give a short, hands-on lesson in Tibetan cooking. Guests can relax in the warm family environment and explore the surrounding fields and villages.
- Day 8-9: Yoloshi Village & Minyak Gangkar
- Yoloshi is a village at the foot of sacred Mount Minyak Gangkar (7556 meters/24,790 feet). Guests will stay with a local host and spend a day trekking on the mountain and in the Color Lake Nature Reserve.
- Day 10-12: Dartsendo
- Guests will stay overnight in Dartsedo with time to stop at scenic sites and go souvenir shopping, and then drive back to Chengdu the next day.