Three Mask Dance Festivals in Kham of West Sichuan
Three Mask Dance Festivals in Kham of West Sichuan

Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan

14 days

Tsoka Monastery by Tsoka Lake TibetYarchen Gar Buddhist monastery in West SichuanHomes in Yarchen Gar in West SichuanKatok Monastery Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanMonks of Yarchen Gar Buddhist monastery in West SichuanHuiyuan Temple Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanDancing in Tagong Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanTraditional Drummers at Huiyuan Temple Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanTraditional dancers at Katok Monastery Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanCrowd around Tagong Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanHuiyuan Temple Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanTraditional costume on dancer in Tagong Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanTibetian traditioanl dance costumes Tagong Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanTibetian Tagong Mask Dance Festival in West SichuanTsoka Monastery by Tsoka Lake in West SichuanBrass chalise and dish in Dargye Monastery in West SichuanColorful Dargye Monastery in West SichuanRobed Monks debate in Ganzi Monastery in West SichuanGold ornaments atop roof of Dege Printing House in West SichuanDege Printing House in West Sichuan TibetLocals walk by Huiyuan Temple in West SichuanPelyul Monastery in West Sichuan Tibet

Immerse in the fascinating scenery and culture of West Sichuan on this 14-day tour

The high altitude area of West Sichuan is home to many sects of Tibetan Buddhism. On this 14-day exploration, you will learn about several tenets of this culture by visiting many monasteries and nunneries and watching their dance festivals to celebrate their cultures.

This tour is especially mystical and spiritual, not just for the cultural performances you’ll see but also for the scenery surrounding you. With majestic peaks abounding in West Sichuan, there’s no doubt your spiritual cup will be filled after two weeks on this tour.

The Tibetan Buddhist population that inhabit this region of China will surprise you with their unique beliefs ranging across different sects. Get insight into the spectrum of tenets practices by the monks and nuns here.

If you’re looking for a relaxing, spiritual, cultural experience of West Sichuan where several monasteries and nunneries are built for daily worship, this tour should be on your list.

Highlights of the Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan

Be witness to mystical mask dance festivals among Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
Stroll ancient village roads that were once a part of the Silk Road.
Explore the largest concentration of monastics in The City of Nuns high in the mountains.
Experience different sects of Tibetan Buddhism as you stopover in small villages and visit many religious sites.

Prices

From $1,650USD
14 days
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels
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Three Mask Dance Festivals in Kham of West Sichuan

Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Chengdu

Welcome to China! You will be picked up from the airport or railway station, depending on how you arrive in Chengdu. Head to your hotel to settle in, and if you have time, take a stroll around the area to get acquainted with the city.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Chengdu
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Explore Chengdu + Wolong Nature Reserve

This morning, you will take a walking tour of the old part of Chengdu to see the traditional and ancient houses. Many of the ancient houses have been converted into pubs, teahouses, and restaurants with very eclectic styles. Pass through the People’s Park in the centre and indulge in a tea ceremony with the locals. After the city tour, the group heads to the UNESCO-protected Wolong Nature Reserve, an enormous area that encompasses ancient forests and bamboo groves. It’s home to many species including the iconic panda. Continue into the mountains by car until reaching Siguniangshan Town, a town surrounded by several 5000-metre peaks, and settle in for the night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Siguniangshan Town (3,160 m / 10,367’)
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 3 Maobiliang Sunrise + Jiaju Tibetan Village

Wake up among the moments and look out the window in time for the sunrise. You’ll see epic shades of pink and orange across the range, and get a panoramic view of Siguniang Mountain. After breakfast, hop in for a transfer through winding mountain roads and make a stop in Jiaju Tibetan Village. Note the traditional architectural style of the houses decorated red, white, and black. Continue to Bamei amid alluring landscapes to settle in for the next two nights.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Bamei (4,507 m / 14,786’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Mask Dance Festival + Bamei Stone Forest

After breakfast, jump right into today’s activity of the Mask Dance in Huiyuan Temple. This monastery, built in the 18th century, has cultural significance being the place where the 11th Dalai Lama was born. Learn about the fascinating traditions here through dance. When the performance ends, you’ll walk through the Bamei Stone Forest before returning to the hotel to sleep.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Bamei (4,507 m / 14,786’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 Visit Han-Chinese + Garze Monasteries

Today you’ll experience the pulsing centre for Tibetans in the West Sichuan area by visiting two significant monasteries in the area. The Han-Chinese Monastery symbolizes the connection between the Tibetan people and the Chinese established in this area in the 13th century. Later, you’ll visit the Garze Monastery, built by the Qosot Mongols in 1662. It sits atop a hill overlooking their castles. You’ll see monks who live there and have a unique opportunity to witness their practices. Stay the night in a hotel near the Garze Monastery.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Garze (3,400 m / 11,154’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Dargye Monastery + Yihun Lhatso Lake

Once you finish breakfast, you’ll be heading into higher altitudes to spot some gorgeous scenery and visit another mountain monastery. This monastery, founded in 1642 and built on a hillside, will offer set the tone for a spiritual day of visiting attractions. After the monastery, drive to a breathtaking vivid blue alpine lake, Yihun Lhatso, at the base of Chola Mountain. The lake sits at 4040 m / 13,255 ft, with wild native species of trees dotting its perimeter—keep your eyes peeled for white-lipped deer sauntering by for a drink. Spend a bit of time strolling around the lake, taking pictures, and soaking in the magical scenery before getting back in the car to continue to Dege.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Dege (3,100 m / 10,170’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 Dege Temple + Printing House

Rise early in the morning and meander through the Dege Temple, a monastery of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism where about 300 monks live. The other main attraction in Dege is its Printing House, a cultural icon in the area, and one of the most prominent buildings in the town centre. When you’re not exploring the monastery or printing house, stroll the market place for souvenirs or grab some veggie and meat kebabs for a snack.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Dege (3,100 m / 10,170’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 Pelyul Monastery

Wake up with the cool mountain air and pack up to continue the journey into the mountains towards Pelyul. As you drive through the peaks and valleys, you’ll be awarded stunning views of vast, untouched landscapes. Approaching the valley village, you’ll notice the Pelyul Monastery perched on a hilltop overlooking the town. Spend the afternoon and evening strolling the narrow streets.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Pelyul (3,025 m / 9,924’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 Mask Dance Festival

After filling up on your first meal of the day, take local transportation to Katok Monastery to witness the Dance Festival, where the monks dance with traditional Buddhist masks, chanting to expel evil spirits. They will unveil the Thangka, a painting of a deity upon cotton or silk when the sun is at its peak at noon. Relax in the afternoon and stay in Pelyul another night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Pelyul (3,025 m / 9,924’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 Yarchen Gar Nunnery

Continue your journey through the snow-capped peaks of the Tibetan Plateau to stop at Yarchen Gar, considered one of the largest concentrations of monastics in the world, the majority being nuns associated with the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It’s also known as “The City of Nuns,” earning its name by the sheer size of the complex that houses 10,000 nuns. Explore the complex at your leisure, taking time to see the enormous religious statues, monuments, and temples among the tranquil gardens. Be respectful as you walk past nuns deep in their practices of meditation, reading scriptures, or accomplishing daily duties. After a few hours of wandering through this palpably mystical complex, your soul will be filled, and you may feel like you’re floating to your hotel for the night in Luhuo.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Luhuo (3,400 m / 11,154’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 Mask Dance Festival + Gyergo Nunnery

Wake up refreshed among the vibrant green fields of Luhuo and prepare for another spiritually-packed day. At the Lhagang Monastery, you will be audience to another Dance Festival performed by monks of the Sakya sect. Upon completion of the performance, you’ll head to the Gyergo Nunnery with its sacred walls around it. You’ll reach a vantage point from where you can catch sight of Yala Mountain. Stick around here until sunset to admire the sky’s colorful spectacle as a backdrop to the gold-roof temples.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Tagong (3,700 m / 12,139’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 Mask Dance Festival

Enjoy your breakfast, and head outside for a casual stroll around Tagong. Spend the day experiencing various spiritual activities of praying and dancing at the festival in the Lhagang Monastery. Immerse in complete relaxation, sipping tea, and admiring the mountain landscapes around you. Perhaps take this quiet time to write thoughts down in a journal, or go for a photo walk.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Tagong (3,700 m / 12,139’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 Tagong Horse Racing + Xinduqiao

Wake up with extra enthusiasm because this morning, you will see a traditional horse race. From the Tagong Monastery, the monks chant their scriptures and pray for the horses, then the riders will hit the path in the direction of the holy Yala Mountain. Don’t forget to take pictures! Pack up into your transportation and head along the Sichuan–Tibet Highway and stop at Xinduqiao for an uninterrupted panoramic view of Gongga Mountain, known as the “King of the Mountains in Sichuan”—that should give you an idea of its might and majesty. Get back in the car and continue driving through high altitudes, including Zheduo Shan Pass at 4298 m / 14,101 ft, then through the 4.1-km tunnel of Mount Erlang to Ya’an, a city renowned for its rain. Get a great night’s sleep after nearly two weeks of spiritual exploration.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Ya’an
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 Departure

Enjoy your final breakfast with the group and take a short morning tour around the old town of Ya’an, a significant post on the Silk Road. Pack up and receive your transfer to the airport or railway station in Chengdu to bid farewell! Zaijian!
Overnight Location: None
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan Price and Dates

This guided tour in China is always run as a custom tour for your group only and the price always depends on the number of people in your group.
This tour starts on July 11th as it’s the optimal date to be able to visit all 3 festivals. Prices below are per person sharing a double or a triple room.

  • Guided Groups of 2: $2,875 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3: $2,295 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4-5: $1,825 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: $1,650 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7+: on request
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Accommodation on Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan

This tour is based 3- and 4-star hotels with modern amenities for a comfortable stay. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $445 USD to have a private room in a hotel while traveling with your group. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Xinliang Hotel in Chengdu ★★★★

Enjoy the modern amenities offered at this upscale hotel: WiFi, restaurant, spa, sauna, and breakfast buffet.

Yunshang Inn in Siguniangshan Town

Bask in total relaxation at this charming hotel, and take advantage of the bar, coffee shop, WiFi, massage services during your stay.

Night 3-12

Hotels in villages along the route

Stay in one of the cozy hotels along the route. Some of the hotels are more basic, while others offer more convenient amenities.

Holiday Inn Express in Ya’an City Centre

Enjoy sleek, modern décor and fantastic service at the Holiday Inn Express in Ya’an. The cleanliness and comfort will impress you during your stay.

What’s included in the Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan?

Meals

12 breakfasts are included.

Accommodations

Accommodation for 13 nights is included in the tour.

Transportation during the Tour

Transport for your luggage is included throughout the tour. Airport or railway station transfers are also included.

Also Included

  • Entrance and sightseeing fees
  • Local English-speaking guides

Not included

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in itinerary
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Visa for China
  • Anything not mentioned as “Included”
  • Tips + personal expenses

Optional Extras

  • Extra nights in Chengdu or Ya’an

Frequently Asked Questions about Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan

Based in Chengdu (Sichuan province, China), with an affiliated agency in Lhasa (the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region), Greatway Tour organizes China tours since 1994. They specialize in adventure and trekking tours in Western China, covering Tibet and the eastern Tibetan area Kham - Amdo in provinces Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai, and Gansu. Since 1995, Greatway Tour began to organize self-driving tours across China for individuals and agencies abroad, whether they drive their own vehicles/motorcycles/bikes brought from their own country, or if they need help with renting the kind of vehicles they wish to start their China self-driving journey.

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Festivals & Cultural Tour in Tibet and Sichuan Map

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 2 / 5. You should be comfortable for long journeys on poor roads and in high altitudes.

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