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7 Days Exploration & Photo Camp of Litang Horse-racing Festival

Price ¥​1000/人(Deposit) September 17, 2021



With its parallel mountains and violently rolling terrain, Hengduan Mountain Range has the highest density of stunning natural landscape. It is called the Grand Shangri-La area, which has been dreamed of by lots of travelers. Located in western Sichuan, this area features snow mountains, gorges, forests, grasslands, and numerous lakes. Known as the most beautiful driving way in China, the G318 winds its way through this area. Living within this beautiful natural environment are the Khamba people known for their strong physical body and frank personality. The Kham Tibetan girls compete for their beautiful singing voices, while the men race on the back of their galloping horses.


▲ Xinduqiao——the paradise for photographers

Led by a senior bilingual ecotour leader and nature photographer, we will go into the heart of the Grand Shangrli-La to explore the rich natural resources and unique Tibetan culture in the Kham Tibetan area and photograph the ultimate natural and cultural landscape in the western Sichuan. Under this beautiful environment, we will have our language classes in which we will learn to express ourselves in English or Chinese under the guidance of our teachers and feel the fun of language learning. During this trip, we will follow the landscape driving National Highway G318, unveiling the trip highlights one by one. At Kangding, which is known as the hometown of love songs and a key city along the Tea-and-Horse Trade Route, we will observe and photograph the unique plateau birds. At Xinduqiao, known as the paradise for the photographers, you will see how the local houses perfectly match the environment. At Litang, known as one of the highest plateau towns, you will see spectacular horse racing by Kham Tibetans in their traditional costumes. At Genie Mountain, the sacred mountain of the surrounding Tibetan area, we will feel its unique charm naturally and culturally in the Tibetan area. Here we will also look for delicious wild mushrooms with the help of local experienced people who know local mushrooms very well.


▲ Litang Horse-racing Festival

Trip Targets

1. Acquire geographical knowledge of western Sichuan:Learn the diverse geographical environment in the plateau area in western Sichuan and explore how the unique geographical environment in western Sichuan was formed in history through comparing the different geographical environment between Sichuan Basin and the Plateaus in western Sichuan;

2. Explore the rich Tibetan culture:Experience the unique Tibetan life styles in western Sichuan, learn how to do field surveys, explore through group discussion how cultural and economic development is related in different geographical areas, learn some basic knowledge about anthropology and ethnology;

3. Discover the natural beauty of the western Sichuan:Learn the natural observation and photography methods, enjoy the rich animal and plant resources in the western Sichuan, improve our observation capability and sensitivity, feel the beauty of biodiversity in western Sichuan;

4. Enhance our field capability:Enhance our field capability, feel how our body adapts to the change of elevation, experience the arduousness and fun from hiking in the wild, learn the basic surviving skills in the wild to improve our capability of surviving in the wilderness, and cultivate strong personal character.


▲ A bird-view of the plateau in western Sichuan

Trip Highlights

1. Feel on-spot the spectacular scenery of hundreds of horses galloping together during Litang Horse-racing Festival:In Litang, known as the town in the sky, we will experience the largest, and the most influential horse-racing, where we will enjoy the manliest sport, the poetic festival, the joyful dances, and get the best shots;

2. Enjoy and photograph the plateau birds and alpine flowers:Led by our experienced leader, we will observe bird species including White Eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Tibetan Partridge, Himalayan Vulture, and Giant Laughingthrush, and photograph alpine flowers such as orchids and blue poppies;

3. Experience the daily lives of Tibetan people living around Genie:Led by a local Tibetan guide, we will go to the forest, looking for local edible mushrooms, and visit a local Tibetan family to experience their daily lives, if you have interests you can sample Yak Butter Tea and Zanba;

4. Enjoy the spectacular natural scenery and explore the unique Tibetan culture:Along the G318 Sichuan-Tibet Road, we will observe Gongga Snow Mountain, which is known as the King of Mountains in Sichuan, search for the world's largest tree of M.dawsoniana, visit some natural scenery such as Yajiageng Red Rock Beach, famed as the world red rock park, and a beautiful alpine lake on the way. During the trip, we will gain an in-depth understanding of the unique Tibetan culture including the costumes, architectures, religions, and food;

5. Language learning in bilingual environment:Communicating with your teammates in a bilingual environment and enjoy the fun of language using in the process of natural and cultural exploration in the Tibetan area.


▲ Wildlife in West Sichuan

Dates & Prices

Date:July 27th-August 2nd, 2024. Other time can be customized by appointment

Trip size:12-24 pax/group(proportion of teacher and student is 1:5, we will adjust the number of teachers according to the size of the group)

Expected Participants:Children aged above 9 and have strong interests in nature and culture in the Tibetan area



▲ Trip Map

Day 1:First exploration on the West Sichuan Plateau.

In the morning, we will meet in a designated place in Chengdu to take our tour bus to drive to Kangding, in route we will visit the largest Kangding Magnolia tree (M.dawsoniana) in Yuejinping followed by a visit to the Red Rock Beach in Yajiageng, where we will also search for alpine flowers such as blue poppies and orchids and study the surviving wisdom of alpine plants. After that, we drive on to Laoyulin and search for birds there.

Day 2:Nature photography class in Xinduqiao and learn about the lives of Kham Tibetans.

In the early morning, we will have a morning birding, searching for alpine birds such as Himalayan Vulture, Giant Laughingthrush, and Elliot's Laughingthrush before we drive to Xinduqiao, which is known as the paradise for the photographers. We have lots of photography opportunities, vast grasslands, winding streams, lines of poplar trees, rolling mountain ridges with Tibetan houses scattered below, and grazing yaks and goats. This is a typical picture of the lives of Kham Tibetans.

In the afternoon, we head on to Yajiang, where we will see the typical Kham family houses with strong local flavor and rich Tibetan character. Here we will also study the lives of local people and learn the unique agriculture in this area.

Day 3:Natural photography along the best part of Sichuan Tibet Road and experience local Tibetan lives.

During the day, we will drive from Yajiang to Zhangna Village, witnessing the beautiful scenery along National Way G318, known as the most beautiful driving road in China, feeling the unique art of the winding road and photographing breathtaking views along the way. We will stay in a local family house, where we will experience the lives of Tibetan people including sampling Zanba and Yak Butter Tea. We will talk with local Tibetans in their beautiful family house to know how the lives of local Tibetan people relate to their environment.

Day 4:Explore Genie Mountain and mushroom-picking experience.

In the morning, we will drive to the mountain foot of Mt. Genie, a holy mountain in the heart of local Tibetans, searching for birds and mammals on the way such as Tibetan Partridge, White Eared Pheasant, White-browed Tit-warbler, Streaked Rosefinch, Kam Pika, Woolly Hare, and Blue Sheep. We will also hike to the old Lenggu Monastery to enjoy the beautiful scenery en route and learn about Tibetan Monastery architecture and Tibetan Buddhism, which will help us understand why Tibetan people live harmoniously with wildlife.

In the afternoon, we will experience mushroom-picking under the guidance of a local Tibetan guide to know some edible mushrooms followed by a group discussion about the balance between mushroom-picking and conservation.

In the evening, we will drive to Litang County and check-in at our hotel followed by evening sharing and a report of our discovery in Tibetan natural and cultural exploration.

Day 5-6:Litang International Horse-racing Festival.

With a history of over 400 years, Litang Horse-racing Festival has a long history and came from the tradition of the June Zhuanshanhui Festival, in which people walk around a holy mountain as a way of religious practice. Now every August, there is a grand horse racing festival, which is the largest and the most influential of its kind in Litang to celebrate the harvest.

On the vast grassland, we will see Tibetan boys in their costumes coming on their horseback, dancing with their friends. During the festival, we will also see a tug of war by the handsome Kham Tibetan boys, a fashion show of the costumes from different parts of Tibetan areas, and an exhibition of their handicrafts. On day 6, we will drive on to Xinduqiao after watching the activities.

In the evening, reports and photo-sharing of West Sichuan natural and cultural photography trip followed by stargazing if the weather is good.

Day 7: Camp-closing ceremony and return to Chengdu.

We spend the day photographing beautiful scenery in Xinduqiao and then we will have a camp-closing ceremony in which the participants will share their gains. After that, we drive to Kangding and visit the famous mushroom markets in Kangding before we drive back to Chengdu.


▲ A corner of old Lenggu Monastery at the foot of Mt. Genie


▲ Participating in the Horse-racing festival in their most gorgeous costume


▲ Litang Horse-Racing Festival


▲ Kangding Mushroom Market


Hotel Stay:local hotels(one twin-bed room for one family, for children without a parent, arrange room-sharing according to the actual situation. In principle, we do not use one room for one single child. If parent hopes to use a single room, the single supplement is 230USD/pax).

Transportation:We will use a registered tour bus for the whole trip.

Food:Meals at local popular restaurants with a balanced selection of vegetable and meat dishes. We provide purified water and some simple snacks for the whole trip.

Safety Measures

1. All around process control and safety check before the start of the trip.

2. Staff with AHA first aid certificate and first aid kit during the whole trip.

3. Detailed rules and reminders for the trip and ensure all the participating parents and children know them.

4. Measures for epidemic prevention: we will prepare epidemic prevention materials such as surgery masks, pure alcohols, hand sanitizer, and thermometer. We will have a temperature check before the start of our trip activities.


What kind of special preparations we have made for this trip featuring lots of activities in the high-elevation areas?

Our teachers have guided lots of trips to the places we are going to visit. They will constantly check with our participants about their actual feelings. We also have prepared oxygen bottles and most of the time our car stays at the closest possible place with us. So in the time of emergency, we can quickly drive to the hospital. We will also try our best to provide well-balanced food so that every participant can enjoy and have the good physical capability to adapt to the elevation change. We will control the length and strength of the activities so that everybody gets enough rest and sleep.

Shall we pick wild mushrooms during our trip?

We will have local people who know local mushrooms very well as our guide during our mushroom-hunting and identification experience. To ensure the absolute safety of the trip, we will not pick any wild mushrooms. However, on the last day of the trip, we will visit Kangding Wild Mushroom Market and learn more information about wild edible mushrooms.



Philip       A trilingual nature guide, photographer and co-founder of AbsoluteWild

Philip is a nature photographer guiding Chinese, English, and Japanese bird-watching trips, and wildlife safari.

With more than 20 years of working experience in the field of ecotours and over 10 years of wildlife photography, Philip is a senior nature guide at ApandaTour. In his guiding career, he has worked with many professional bird-watching trips and photography trips organized by European and American companies. As a native Kangba Tibetan, he is happy to share his well-grounded knowledge and rich working experiences from his deep love and profound understanding of natural and cultural resources in the Tibetan area.


Bella zhang        A bilingual nature teacher, culture interpreter, guide for birds and mammals

Being born and nurtured in a Bai family in Dali of Yunnan Province, Bella has shown strong love and curiosity toward nature at a young age thanks to the excellent ecological environment in her hometown. She joined our company after graduation from Sichuan Agriculture University and became a nature guide for ecotour trips, which were planned for nature and wildlife lovers from home and abroad. She is widely respected and loved by her clients because of her fluent English, profound knowledge, and great service. In the past five years, she has traveled to most places in Yungui Plateau, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and mountains in southwest China and built up her rich knowledge in the birds, animals, and cultural resources in these areas. She is happy and good at sharing her knowledge. She hopes to help both old and young travelers of ApandaTour to seek fun from nature and enjoy it, reconnect themselves with nature.



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Questions? Call +86 15636053178 ; +86 28 8521 4086



+86 15636053178 ; +86 28 8521 4086