Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve
(SNNR) Tours

Brief Overview of the Tour

Tour Name: Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve (SNNR) Tours
Duration: 19 days
Locations: Xining, Yushu, Suojia village, Zhido, Suojia, Kham Dege, Khangding, Chengdu
Orignality: Tibet Ecology Foundation
Tour Code: SNNRWT19
Group Size: Minmum 2 people
Cost: $4178.00

Book Now


In this trip, to photograph, track, trace wild animals in Core area of Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve (Zhiduo county, Suojia village or Suojia township) heart of Wild life and River sources . It is possbile that you may watch the snow leopard if luck. Acdording to the local herders and INGO they have advance that snow leopard inhabit in Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve.


Tibet Tours, LLC
Tibet Eco-Tours
Mailing: P.O. Box 32991 Santa Fe,
NM 87594 USA
Phone: 847 772 1430
Email: info@tibetanecology.org
Site: www.tibetanecology.org/tours


| Accommodations | Booking |Brief | Communication | Contact | Culture Shock | Currency Exchange | Departure Date | Emergency Contact | Evaluation | Foundations | Group Size | Health | Important Notes | Itinerary | Laundry | Legal Advice  | Map | Meals | Overview| Papers | Payment | Spending Money | Style & Bonus | Tipping | Transportation | Travel Insurance | VISA |

Your Itinerary 

 Arrival of Xining, visit Kumbum monastery, check in local 4* hotel, overnight in Xining. (B/L/D)
Xinning is the capital city of Qinghai Province. Historically it was part of Amdo regoine of Tibet. Xining lies in the eastern part of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, and the upper reaches of Tsongchu River (Chi: Huang Shui He ). Average temperature is ( F) 32/36 in the winter and ( F) 71/75 in the summer. Xining has a history of over 2100 years. With a total area of 7,665 square kilometers, it has a total population of 2.1 million and an urban coverage of 350 square kilometers and 1.03 million urban populations. Xining is a multiculture-religion city, consisting of 36 nationalities such as Han, Hui, Tu, Tibetan, Mongolian, Manchu and Salaretc, which constitute 25% of the total population. Xining is the only city whose population exceeds one million.
Kumbum monastery is one of the very important monasteries for Gelugpa sect of Tibetan budism it has about 700 years of history.


Drive to Qinghai lake, visit bird island, hotel(B/L/D)
Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland salt-water lake is at 3200 meters above sea level. It is situated at the east of Qinghai province; around 2.30 hours drive from Xining. The lake occupies an area of 4456 kilometers, having a perimeter of more than 360 kilometers and it is over one time lager than the famous Tai Lake in Wuxi, China's east Jiangsu Province. The ellipse-shaped lake looks like a huge white poplar leave setting among alpine prairie. Scenery in Qinghai lake varies according to seasons. Summer and autumn, with most comfortable weather condition and most beautiful lake scenery is the best time to visit the lake. Bird Island is an interesting and charming place on the western shore of Qinghai Lake. The island is a paradise for varieties of birds. The protection policy of the local government makes island even more popular among birds. Each March and April, when ice covering the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau begins to melt, more than 20 kinds of migrating birds fly to the island to breed. During that period, flocks of birds shelter the whole island and bird eggs can be found everywhere. Visitors can hear birds twitters far away.

Drive to Yushu,check in local 2* hotel for night. (B/L/D)
Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures an autonomous prefecture in Qinghai, China. Largely inhabited by Tibetans, the prefecture has an area of 188,794 km² and its capital is Gyêgu(or Jyekundo) township in Yushu county, which is the place of the old Tibetan Kham trade market of Jyekundo. The official source of the Yellow River lies within the prefecture. This is the town hardhearted by 7.1 magnetite earthquake in 2010. 


Drive to Zhiduo (Dritu), visiting Gongsa monstery with its living blue sheep and white lipped deer and some other wild animalsZhiduo is the capital of Zhidduo County which  is a county of Qinghai Province. It is under the administration of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Also visit some of the local Tibetan environmental activist and office of Plateau Prospective. You will have about house or two to talk with the representative of PP. , overnight in local hostel.(B/L/D)


Drive to Deer Plants Park to tracking wild white lipped deer, overnight in local hostel.(B/L/D)

Day 06:

Drive to Suojia village township for night in hostel or camp.(B/L/D)
Drive 264Km to Suojia village and the whole township has lots natural wetland and it has lot species of birds and mammals. You called call this is the heart of Tibetan plateau ecosystem. It rich with wildlife. SNNR is the source of Yangstz, Yellow and Mekong River. But in this trip we are not going to visit the source of the rivers. If you like you should book the customized tour or have an additional tour.

Day 07-Day 08:
, Eexplorations
Full day tracking the footprint or trace any signs of wild snow leopard, watch Tibetan antelope chiru and other rare animals in Yaqu Zhangka Snow Leopard Protected area and Suojia wetland area. In general with the experienced local assistant service, we can find the snow leopard's scrapes, footprints, feces, even scent spray and hair or claw rake. Overnight in local hostel or camp.(B/L/D)
Plateau Perspectives an environmental organization have token pictures of snow leopard in the wild with the local herders.

This is one of the Tibetan Snow Leopard picture in wild at night in SanjiangYuan National Nature Reserve.

Day 09: Drive to Yushu via Zhiduo (Dritu) for night.(B/L/D)
We will drive to the Temple of Princess Wencheng which is 30km outside of Jyekundo. According to legend, princess Wencheng spent one month here on her way to Lhasa and carved the future Buddha maitreya on the cliff, an image that is still preserved in this temple. B/L/D

Day 10:
Jyekundo (Yushu)/ Sershul
Today we will cross into Sichuan Province, a boundary that is marked by a stone plate at a mountain pass. The bumpy road leads us through rolling grasslands packed with thousands of yaks and nomads. This is such a fine grassland area, we naturally won’t be able to resist stopping for a picnic lunch. We also will stop along the way to visit SershulGonpa which belongs to the Gelukpa school but combines many different traditions.

Day 11:
Sershul / Dzogchen B/L/D
Today We will visit Sershul monastery on the way and then drive to Dzogchen Monastery, one of the five most important Nyingmapa monasteries in the Kham region of Tibet. It was founded in 1735 by Drangchen Rabjam II. The first Drangchen Rabjam was a student of the great 5th Dalai Lama and this monastery holds the highest authority over Kham and Amdo regions within the Nyingmapa sect. The monastery complex is divided into three sections. We will stay at the very simple guest house in the middle of the monastery and will visit the lower section in the afternoon.

Dzogchen / Dege
Drive south to Manigango. Today will be a very exciting drive. We will pass a very beautiful lake, Yilhun Lhatso, which is surrounded by huge Mani stones. Then we will cross one of the highest mountain passes at an elevation of 5035m. Then we will drive down to the famous town, Dege, in a deep river gorge . Dege is regarded as the cultural center of Kham. B/L/D

Day 13:
Dege / Pelyul
Morning visit Derge Parkhang (Derge Printing Press), This is the biggest traditional printing press in in Tibetan, which
was founded by Derge King in 13th century. After visiting this amazing press, Walk to a Sakyapa monastery which is
loosely located from the press. After noon free time to explore the area.
Dege Parkhang was built in 1729. This is the biggest wood printing press with the most collection of wood printing blocks in the world today; Dege Edition wood printing blocks for Kagyur and Tengyur are the only edition of this Sutra to had survived the disastrous cultural revolution in Tibet. After lunch in Dege, we will drive to Pelyul along the Yangtze River in its great gorge. B/L/D Over night at the same hotel.

Pelyul means the hiding place in Tibetan. It is a good place to recover from this long journey of high plateau driving, as the elevation in Pelyul is only about 1800m. Today we will drive 50km to visit Katok Gonpa, a very traditional and beautiful monastery high up in the mountain, founded in 1159 by Katok Dampa Deshek. It has barely been influenced by outside sources due to its remoteness, yet it still holds great fame among the five main monasteries of the Nyingmapa sect together with Pelyul Gonpa which we will visit the next morning. B/L/D

Day15: Pelyul / Kandze
Visit Pelyul Gonpa in the morning. Pelyul Gonpa was founded in 1665 by the King of Dege. We have now visited the three biggest monasteries of the Nyingmapa sect  in Kham: Dzogchen, Katok and Pelyul. Then we will drive to Kandze. We will stop for a picnic lunch along the way and visit DorkhoGonpa. Kandze is an important farming area in Kham, where the locals grow barley and rapes. It is a very important cultural and religious centre in Kham. The great KandzeGonchen belongs to the Gelukpa School and the nunnery just behind is the most charming place in this county. We also will take some time to visit the old temple in the center of town which has lots of slogans on the wall that were painted during the Cultural Revolution. B/L/D

Day16, Kandze / Luhuo / Dawu 170Km, hotel .B/L/D
Daofu or Tawu(in Tibetan) is a small town situated in a narrow basin along the Zhe-chu river. As you approach the town you will see a huge chorten& an immense 10 m-sq pile of mani prayer stones nearby. Nyitso Gompa, is an important Gelukpa Monastery. At an abservation point beyond the gompa you can see the 3 sacred mountains (Rigsum Gompo), to the south over the river.
On the way you can see beautiful Tibetan houses and some monasteries.

Dawu / Kangding ,214Km, B/L/D
Kangding, a twon famous for its love songs.. Visit DorjeDrak Monastery (a branch of the DorjeDrak Monastery in Lhasa), LhamoTsering Monastery &NgachuGompa (a branch of the DrepungLoseling Monastery). Hotel.

Day18, Kangding / Chengdu 152km. hotel ,B/L/D
Drive 152kmto  Chengdu via Mt Er`lang mount. Hotel.

Fly to other cities. (B) End the service.


In the larger cities of Lhasa, Shigatse, and Chengdu we use standard two or three-star hotels. In many counties and townships, we use guesthouses for our accommodations. In most places these guesthouses are the best we can find in the remote areas on the Tibetan Plateau.  If camping is in your itinerary, we provide tents, but please bring your own sleeping bag. You can also buy one in Lhasa.  Hot water will be available in hotels and guesthouses.  Please note that you are sharing rooms with other members of the group. If you don’t want share a room, please let us know; we will have to charge you the supplement.

Back to Content


Please book your tour one month ahead or at least two weeks before your departure date. To apply for your Tibet Entry Permit and to buy some of your monastery entrance tickets, we need some time for processing. To book your tour, we require a deposit of $200. The deposit is NOT refundable.  Full payment must be complete one week before your departure. Some of the wildlife tours require an 8-week advance booking because of paperwork and scheduling guides and drivers.


In Tibet many cities have internet cafés. Some of the guesthouses and hotels have internet access in their business centers.  In most places, you will be able to find an internet source, but it may not be available in very remote areas.  You may need some extra cash to use the internet.
You can bring your cell phone but it will be very expensive to use.  Almost every accommodation will have a phone that has international service.  If you need to find a phone or internet, ask your guide for assistance.


Tibet Tours, LLC
Phone: 847 772 1430
Email: info@tibetanecology.org
website: www.tibetecotours.com
Mail: P.O. Box 32991 Santa Fe, NM 87594 USA

Culture Shock

English is not commonly spoken in this part of the world. Often you will encounter comfort issues like an open toilet. Some of the local customs may shock you, but be aware that you are a stranger to the people in Tibet.

Currency Exchange

The exchange rate changes often. You may want to change money in the Bank of China or in hotels and restaurants that have exchange service. We don’t recommend carrying traveler’s checks because they are difficult to exchange in China.  The best currency we recommend is US dollars and EUR (euro). We recommend you bring $500 USD for personal expenses during the trip. ATMs are available across the country but one thing you must be wary of is the fee for overseas withdrawal.  Every bank or ATM is different.
You may check exchange rates before you depart at: http://www.xe.com/ucc/

Emergency Contact

Please provide your detailed emergency contact in case of an accident or death.  We will give you our emergency agent's contact information after you book a tour with us.
You may consider seeking information about traveler’s insurance independently.


After your trip has ended, we would like to receive your evaluation of the tour and suggestions on how can we improve your next trip. Any comments on our guides, drivers and local agents will be appreciated.

Back to Content

Departure Date

The departure dates are effective from where your trip begins in China or an airport—NOT your departure from your home country.  Sometimes the departure may change. If so, please contact your agent at info@tibetanecology.org

Tibet Tours, LLC & Tibetan Ecology Foundation

Tibet Tours, LLC was established to promote Tibet Eco-Tours as a Limited Liability Company to support the Tibetan Ecology Foundation. Ten percent of your payment goes directly to benefit the work of the Tibetan Ecology Foundation. TEF is non-profit 501 (c)(3).
Tibetan Ecology Foundation is an environmental education organization that promotes the conservation of Tibet’s natural ecology. Ecotourism is one of our awareness programs, offering on-the-ground exposure to the beauty of Tibet and bringing awareness to the threats to its ecosystems—beyond what you might learn from the news. Tibet Eco-Tours will allow you to experience Tibet firsthand. Our Ecotourism partners are local Tibetan tour companies run by Tibetans, and your participation greatly supports the livelihoods of these individuals and their communities. It will also help TEF to continue our educational programs. Please visit www.tibetanecology.org for more information.

Group Size

The group size will vary. There is no limit on the number of travelers. Please notify us if you are a student or a research group of more than 2 people.


Tibet Eco-Tours require that all the travelers be in good health. You must be physically capable of hiking and handling cold weather. You must enjoy camping and trekking. Additionally, you must be mentally comfortable traveling or working with a diverse group of people. Please be open-minded and respectful of others’ boundaries, beliefs and traditions. People with special heart conditions or respiratory ailments are advised that the Tibetan Plateau lies at an average elevation of 5,000 meters or 16,500 feet.
You may experience altitude sickness for a few days, which is normal. We recommend that you take time to adjust to the altitude before doing any hiking and trekking, even in Lhasa. If you are seriously ill, we will provide transportation to a medical clinic for free, but any other expenses related to your health care will be your responsibility.

Important Notes=Paper

Before you enter Tibet (Tibetan Autonomous Region) we will need to acquire your Tibetan Entry permits and border permit. Also, some areas require applying for a special permit. Please send us copies of both your passport and Chinese visa. If you are entering Tibet through Nepal, you will need a few copies of a passport-sized color photo. The Nepali border officials will ask for this when you apply for a Nepali visa at the border, whether entering or exiting the country.


The itinerary on the site is final. The trip will proceed according to the itinerary, barring unforeseen obstacles due to nature or government policy. Otherwise, your guide will not deviate from your itinerary. You may print out the itinerary for yourself. Changing your itinerary during the course of the trip will not be possible. To extend your trip after your booking, please contact us before starting your permit process.  


Often, there will be a laundry service for a fee available in the hotels where you will be staying. You may need to change currency (Chinese Yuan/RMB). Sometimes, a laundry business will be available near the hotel.  Most of these businesses are not self-serve and your laundry will be taken and returned to you. 

Legal Advice

Illegal drug use is prohibited. Drug offenses will be subject to the Chinese court process. It will also put the entire group and travel agency at risk. Marijuana, opium and other drugs are culturally unacceptable. Also, political expression against the Chinese Government is strictly prohibited. We will not be responsible for violation of these rules.

Back to Content


Tibet Tours

Names of the locations on our trip maps are based on National Geographic maps and Google maps. You may find different spellings on different websites. Most of the maps we use show locations that you will pass throughout the trip but are not necessarily where you will stay overnight.



Your payment must clear one week prior to your departure. You may pay by check, credit card and cash. If you are writing a check, please make it payable to the Tibet Tours, LLC. For cash, please do not send by mail, but hand deliver it to a representative of Tibet Tours or Tibetan Ecology Foundation.
Tibet Tours will donate 10% of your payment to Tibetan Ecology Foundation. If you would like to deduct that money from your taxes, please speak to a representative about making two separate payments—one to Tibet Tours, LLC and one to TEF.

Spending Money

We suggest that you bring some spending money for shopping, bars or entertainment. Some may want to make an offering to the local monastery and having extra change on hand is a good idea.

Style and Bonus

The tour style is customized by the Tibetan Ecology Foundation in order to share an inside look at traditional life among wild nature, snowy mountains, great rivers and their sources. Tibet Eco-Tours also organizes tours to the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau to visit people living off the land in a traditional way—a lifestyle that has changed little over millennia in spite of modernization. It is also a chance to see the ancient architecture of cities and monasteries and a variety of art forms and folk crafts. Tibet Eco-Tours will invite you into an exotic and inspirational world of life and culture. 
Mostly, we will let you have ample time to arrive at your destination, take pictures, and write notes. We limit your travel time to no more than 8 hours or 500 kilometers a day. This way, your trip will be safer and more comfortable. If you are a writer or blogger, we invite you to share what you have learned about Tibetan ecology or culture with us. We offer a refund of 5% of the tour payment to anyone who writes an article relating to Tibet’s ecology. 

We would like to know what you think about Tibet, its culture, people and its natural and built environments.


Usually tipping is not customary in this part of the country, but in the tourism business it is. Please feel free to tip, but please do not tip less than ¥1 (20 cents). We suggest a minimum tip of ¥5 for a hotel porter, restaurant waiter or waitress. You may tip your local guide and driver more than ¥10 a day. You may tip your trekking cook and assistant at the end of the trek. 


Travel Insurance

We recommend you buy International Travel Insurance if you don’t already have it. We cannot be responsible for accidents, injury or death. We cannot be responsible for loss of personal valuable items, cash, camera, laptop, phone, etc. Insurance agreement form


Please apply for a Chinese visa from your home country or nearest Chinese embassy. For further information, please visit http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84246.htm  For your Tibet Entry Permit, please send a copy of your Chinese VISA to us so we are able to apply for your TAR permit ahead your arrival.

Back to Content