Tibet is combination of three provinces; Utsang, Kham and Amdo. Amdo is located in the northeastern parts of Tibetan Plateau. Amdo is known for their scholastic endeavors in literacy and monastic field. Many scholars and lamas were born in Amdo regions which make it special and holy. 14th Dalai lama and 10th panchen lama were born in Amdo.
Top 10 Places of Amdo
Conscious Journeys has identified 10 Top Places of Amdo are ranked by popularity among travellers and Tibet travel companies. We recommend you to include them in your Tibet tour as well. However, there are many unique places and people including some of our staff’s home villages, it will greatly benefit you to request a customized tour for a truly an authentic Tibet travel experienced led by the best Tibetan guide. After all, visiting Tibet is a once a lifetime trip opportunity for most people and you want to research and prepare ahead of time so you know what to ask to include in your itinerary with a Tibet travel agency.
1. Tso Nyonpo and Bird Island
Qinghai lake is called Tsongopo in Tibetan and 青海湖 in Chinese. It’s 100 km west of the Xining capital in Qinghai province and is the largest salted lake in the people’s republic of China. Tsongopo is not an exaggeration sensational but one of the most sacred holy lake in Tibet with numerous Buddhist myth. Early morning enjoying sunrise and visiting bird island on the northwest of Qinghai lake. The best season to explore the lake is from April-Oct. Qinghai lake has a flat physiognomy and mild climate so thousands of flocks of wild birds will flip their wings on the Bird Island.
2. Kunbum Monastery
Kunbum monastery is located in Xinng, Qinghai province of Tibetan Autonomous Region. Kunbum is one of six largest Gelugpa sect in Tibet and it’s sacred since it was the birthplace of his holiness the eminent Je Tsongkhapa. Kunbum monastery was built by the 3rd Dalai Lama in 1583 and was used as resident for His Holiness the Panchen Lama. Kunbum monastery used to housed thousands of monks.
3. Nyenbu Yurtse
Mt. Nyenbu Yurtse is located in Jigril County of Golok Prefecture in the southeast of Qinghai Province, which is traditionally part of Amdo region of Tibet. For Tibetan Buddhists, Mt. Nyenbu Yurtse abodes deities and is considered to be one of the most sacred holy mountains in Tibet. This region is home for many of Tibet’s wildlife including antelope, Goa, Argali, Blue Sheep and rare birds. The region is becoming a place to escape from urban congestion and population for rising Chinese Middle Class and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Taktser village
Takrser is located in Qinghai province and both current Dalai Lama and the late 10th Panchen lama were born in this province. Since 1935, Taktser village become one of the most sacred village in Tibet. People those came for pilgrimage to Amdo will pay a visit to Taktser village. The local villagers basically are farmer and speaking both Chinese and Tibetan language.
5. Zorgay Meadow
Zorgay Grassland is one of the largest grasslands on the eastern Tibetan Plateau (the border of Gansu and Sichuan Provinces), one of the biggest wetlands in Asia, has been home to thousands of Tibetan nomads and their livestock for generations. Its stunning scenery of vast grasslands, wildflowers, birds, sheep and yaks is one of the last pure lands for experiencing an authentic Tibetan nomadic life.
6. Yellow River
Yellow River Is the third longest river in Asia and sixth longest river system in the world. Its basin was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization and is one of the most significant landmark in Chinese history. The Bayan Har mountains is located in Qinghai,Tibet and is the source of Yellow River.
7. Taktsang Lhamo
Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Gompa and Nyawa Kirti Gompa are part of the larger Kirti Gompa, a historically important institution of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This trip will include a visit to Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Gompa, which houses over 1,000 monks. The gompa is located in Taktsang Lhamo (Ch: Langmusi), a small Tibetan town surrounded by alpine forests and majestic mountains known as sacred sites the area and the head source of a local famous river called Drukkar Tsangpo on the border of Sichuan and Gansu provinces, making it perfect for a fun hike.
8. Labrang Tashi Kyil
Labrang monastery is situated in Xiahe town, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous prefecture in Gansu province. Labrang means palace of Lamas in Tibetan with elevation is around 3,400m. Labrang monastery was founded by Jamyang Shepa Ngawang Tsundue in 1709 that studied in Drepung monastery in Lhasa and was a disciple of Gelugpa sect in Tibetan Buddhism. Labrang monastery was said be housing 4000 monks then and currently housing less than 2000 monks according to government’s restriction. Monastery was closed for twelve years since 1985 and was reopen under the maintenance of seventh Panchen Lama,Chokyi Gyaltsen Thinly Lhundup in 1970. Labrang is the major pilgrimage destination in Amdo.
9. Jiuzhagou National park
Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong are the most of the most popular tourist sites in China which is located in Sichuan Province.Colorful natural lakes, waterfalls, virgin forests and Tibetan villages, and other places around such as grasslands, nomads, rivers, it really makes this area like a fairyland. Jiuzhaiguo is known for its surreal nature and is enlisted in World Nature Heritage in 1992 by UNESCO and Huanglong become world natural heritage site in 1992.
10. Amnye Machen
Amnye Machen is one of the highest and holiest snow mountain in Amdo with 6,280m, located in remote machen county ,Golog prefecture in Tibet. Tibetan used to pilgrimage around the Mt. Amnye Machen and you will find rare western tourist since the infractures in the region is very poor and you will hardly find much tourists but few Tibetan pilgrimage now and then. Trekking around the beautiful and stunning Amnye Machen is possible. This could be life time record for trekking lovers.