Surmang Pilgrimage is designed as an Add-on Trip, after finishing your main trip, for those that do not have much time to explore a longer trip in Tibet. This will be an ideal trip for followers of Chogyam Trungpa, the spiritual master who played an integral role in bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West and established the Shambhala International. Unlike past years, now people can fly to Yushu and then spend a night to acclimatize before exploring the town and driving into Surmang.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
We have few great Tibetan guides in Yushu but some of them do not speak fluent English. If you would like to take one of our staff from the office with you, as people often do, be sure to request one early. This will make a difference with your experiences in Surmang in terms of communication and trust around Trungpa Tulku and local community members.
Our Tibetan guide will receive you at the Yushu Airport, along with a car and driver and you will be escorted the hotel. A family of Khenpo Tsering of Surmang Dutsi Til operates a small guesthouse in Jyeku and this will be a lodging option for you. We recommend you to rest in the hotel and do not do much as the certain increase in the elevation may cause you altitude sickness.
If you have arranged your schedule ahead of time, it is possible that Trungpa Tulku or other monks from Surmang Dutsi Til might be in Jyeku as they often come to Yushu for business affairs. You will have a full day to explore the town and we recommend you visiting Trangu Monastery, Jyeku monastery and the largest mani stone as part of the pilgrimage experiences.
Surmang Dutsi Til is located about 120 km south of Jyeku and it takes about 4-hours for locals. However, we recommend treating this journey as a more of an overland drive and stop along the beautiful scenic spots: yaks, nomads, mountain pass and wildflowers. We will either stay in the monastery or with a family as lodging option is very limited in Surmang at the moment. Camping is always an option too.
For most Shambhala Buddhist Practitioners, an audience with Chokyi Senge Rinpoche, the twelfth reincarnation of Trungpa Rinpoche, is the main reason for traveling to Surmang. We do everything we can to arrange an audience ahead of time. However, please do understand that Rinpoche’s schedule is often unpredictable as he is being pulled in many directions such as a death in a family that requires his blessings, unscheduled meetings and delay of his arrival into Surmang. Surmang Dutsi Til is Chogyam Trungpa’s main monastery for your pilgrimage and be sure to practice meditation with other masters there, mingle with monks and hike up to Dorjee Kyungdzong and the caves.
Surmang is one of these places where you can spend 3-months, which some friends from Boulder have done that, or few nights might be too much as you won’t have confort of hot shower, comfortable beds and choices of gourmet food. However, locals will do everything receive you, care for you and invite you to stay as long as you like. Since Trungpa Rinpoche do not have a Chinese passport yet for him to travel to the West, he appreciates your visit and may even travel back to Jyeku with you as a way.
As the Chinese government continues to develop Yushu as one of the key travel destinations, after the earthquake reconstruction, there are more flights available to Yushu from several cities: Lhasa, Xining, and Chengdu. We will make sure you get a flight back to Chengdu and arrange an airport pick-up so you have time to prepare for your flight home or wherever you might be traveling next day.