Colourful flags and horse in China
China

The Kham Riders (Tagong Festival)

A trail ride in the heart of Kham in eastern Tibet, home to the proud Khampas warriors. After visiting an amazing equestrian Tibetan festival, spend 8 days on horseback riding through high grassy plateaus with your belongings carried by a team of yaks.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Pack Trip
15 days / 8 days riding
From £2,690

From the horse’s mouth

  • The Kham Riders (Tagong Festival)
    ADELE, aged 36, AUSTIN
    This trip was my first on horseback, and I think I might be hooked! This trip went far and above all my expectations. From the support I received initially in getting my visas, to the local folks running the trip and the incredible guides I could not have had a better experience. The landscape itself was stunning, and...
  • The Kham Riders (Tagong Festival)
    Elke Hilda H., aged 46, ANTWERPEN
    The Kham Riders was un unforgettable experience: being immersed in the Tibetan culture of the Kham region with its warmhearted people, its gorgeous landscapes and brilliant horses.The local team is superb: perfect combination of an American guide, Angela, who accompanied us during the non-riding days -who is very...
  • Horseback riding trail in Tibet
    Pack yaks and mules are used
  • Tagong Festival and horse race
    An impressive display of horsemanship at the Tagong Festival
  • Horse riding trail to the Tagong Festival, Tibet
    Imerse yourself in the real Tibet
  • Horse riding pack trip and Tagong Festival Tibet China
    Explore the Tibetian culture with the Tagong Festival
  • Holidays on horseback to the Tagong Festival in Tibet China
    Awe-inspiring mountains surround you
  • Horseback trail riding and Tagong Festival in Tibet
    The Tagong horse racing festival
  • Horses crossing a river in Tibet
    A river crossing in Tibet
  • Horses in China, Tibet
    Decorated horses at the Tagong Festival
  • On horseback in china
    Ride through unspoilt countryside
  • Prayer flags in Tibet, China
    The equestrian guide with the traditional prayer flags

Itinerary

Highlights

- Unique chance to be involved in the equestrian Tagong festival amongst the Tibetan highlands, where Khampas horsemen dress in their finery to race
- Complete immersion in local culture as we work directly with Tibetans in the Tagong valley
- Spend two nights with a family of nomadic herders in their camp
- A variety of accommodation: camping, nomad camps, Buddhist monastery, mountain retreat and guesthouse
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE - CHENGDU - No riding

    International flight from Europe to Chengdu. It is likely that you will need to change planes at least once. Flights are not included but we can advise you on the best flights to take.
  • Day 2 2 : CHENGDU - No riding

    BUDDHAZEN HOTEL
    You will arrive into Chengdu, nicknamed the City of Hibiscus, and be met at the airport.

    Considered the fifth largest Chinese city, Chengdu has a relaxed atmosphere and retains some of its historic buildings. As well as being the traditional capital of the Shu region in China, it is also home to the largest Tibetan population in all of China, outside of the Tibetan regions.

    You will meet your guide who speaks Tibetan and lives in Tagong amongst the highlands of eastern Tibet. In the evening, you will enjoy an amazing vegetarian dinner and get to know the rest of your group before spending the night in a small, charming central hotel such as the BuddhaZen (or a hotel of an equivalent standard).
  • Day 3 3 : CHENGDU - KANGDING - 6-8 hours transfer

    You will be transferred by car to Kangding at 2,600m. This journey takes about 6-8 hours, depending on the conditions of the road, but it is an experience not to be missed!

    Kangding is a small mountain city and its inhabitants are mainly Han Chinese although there is a notable Tibetan presence and flair, particularly noticebable in its shops, restaurants and temples. For centuries it has been the meeting place for Chinese and Tibetan culture, and has served as a trading centre for tea and yak hide. It is also seen as a final outpost before the wild Tibetan mountains and passes of the Chengdu-Lhasa highway and the Tibetan region of Kham.

    Your first night spent in a hotel in Kangding is the first step in your acclimatisation en-route to the plateau.

    NB. If the weather has been bad and the road damaged by landslides etc. then you will fly up to Kangding instead.
  • Day 4 4 : KANGDID - TAGONG FESTIVAL - No riding

    GUESTHOUSE
    Road transfer to Tagong (3,700m) (a 2-hour drive). You will be completely immersed in Tibetan traditions at an equestrian festival that brings together the proud Khampas riders of the Tagong region. The horses are blessed with juniper smoke and then the races begin. Although the Tibetan horses are small, the ground shakes and emotions are high! This is also an opportunity for the Tibetan nomads to show their wealth in a spectacle of colourful traditional clothing. Participants wear colourful, shiny outfits and hats whilst ladies wear jewellery made from jade, amber, coral, ivory, silver and gold.

    It is a true honour to be able to observe this festival which is still extremely rare and secretive. Your guide will help you with the local way of life so that you can completely immerse yourself in the warm Tibetan hospitality.

    Spend the night in a family hotel in Tagong - built around the monastery Lhagang and surrounded by meadows - it is almost exclusively populated by Tibetans.
  • Day 5 5: TAGONG - KHAMPA - 3 hours riding

    Today is an acclimatisation day. You will meet the horses and head out on a short ride to Khampa Nomad Ecolodge, at an altitude of 3800m.
  • Day 6 6 : KHAMP - ZHAKRA MOUNTAIN - 4 hours riding +3 hours hike

    After a short car ride to the trailhead at Gyergo Nunnery, you will ride out over the high Griffon Pass (4900 m) with stunning views of sacred Mount. Zhakra, 5900 m).

    Dismounting, you will then hike back down into the valley to camp at the Zhakra Hotsprings. You will hike for around 3 hours before making camp at 4100 m.
  • Day 7 7 : ZHAKRA - ZHAKRA YIMTSUO - 5 hours riding + 1 hour hike

    CAMP
    You will ride on horseback to the calm turquoise lake Jara Yimtsuo, at 3,800m, located at the foot of dramatic glaciers fed by a waterfall.

    Following a traditional pilgrim trail on foot around the lake, you will complete a traditional kora of the lake (a walk-around), and see the shrines and hermitages nearby.

    You will spend the night camping in the low valley below the lake nestled alongside a forest with spectacular views of the glaciers.
  • Day 8 8 : JARA YIMTSUO -EMPTY VALLEY - GYERGO NUNNERY (3900m) - 6 hours riding

    MONASTERY
    Your day will start with a ride out across the vast grasslands of the so-called "Empty" valley which is punctuated with the camps of nomadic families. Crossing a slightly lower mountain pass, you will arrive - tired! - at the nunnery at Gyergo, in time for afternoon chanting with the nuns.

    You will spend the night in a 'nunnery hut' in the grounds of the monastery at 3900m.
  • Day 9 9 : GYERGO - YAK CAMP - 4 hours riding

    NOMAD CAMP
    Back in the saddle, you will ride up into the high nomad areas. Today's ride will take to the home yak camp of our guides. You will have the opportunity to watch as the herders bring in the animals, catch and tie the calves, and do the evening milking.

    Overnight at camp near the farm, at an altitude of 4300m.
  • Day 10 10: YAK CAMP - YIBEY LAKE - 3 hours riding

    CAMP
    In the morning, you are welcome to try yak milking, cheese and butter processing, yak fibre spinning for string and rope, and yak herding.

    Back in the saddle, you will roam through the wildest part of the highlands, close to one of the sacred lakes. These lakes appear to be bottomless and legends abound about nomadic camps which disappear, only to reappear on different shores, many miles away!

    You will ride to Yibei Lake, a high sinkhole (cenote) lake at 4450m. During the 3 hour ride across the high plateau, you will see many nomad camps dotted across the area. Yibei is also a great lake to go swimming in - but always a little bit cold!

    You will spend the night camping.
  • Day 11 11 : YIBEI LAKE - RAGNI LAKE - 5 hours riding

    CAMP
    The day's ride will take you to a high lookout to the west, which will give you a fantastic view across wolf and gazelle country and the Lhagang plateau's highest reaches. You will stop for your lunch at a lookout, at 4600 m, with unique views of isolated religious retreats nestled in the far-reaching mountains. You will then descend on horseback to discover the sacred Ragni Lake, home of lammergyer birds that make their nest in the cliff sides and the an area at the heart of many legends.

    You will spend the night camping at 4200m.
  • Day 12 12: RAGNI LAKE - GENUP GOMPA - ZHONGLU - 4 hours riding + 3 hour drive

    In contrast to the isolation of the previous days' riding, today you will set out across one of the most populated plateaus in the Tagong region, the Lhagang plateau. This region also hosts a local religious festival - which you may happen upon - where you will experience the monks singing hymns and chanting from their richly decorated tents.

    The ride's destination is the Genup temple, an old nomadic temple in the region. This small, remote temple hosts a community of monks every summer. Conveniently situated high up in the mountains, it overlooks the valley and the tranquil atmosphere will no doubt lead you to feel connected to the religious past of Tibet. Road transfer to the village of Zhonglu, near Danba, where you will spend the night in a lovely renovated courtyard hotel.

    Night at the hotel (3800 m).
  • Day 13 13 : DANBA - CHENGDU - No riding

    BUDDHAZEN HOTEL
    You will be driven to Chengdu over the Jia Jin Shan Pass, where the first Giant Panda was discovered. This is an incredibly scenic road that passes through pine forests, high mountains, and then down in amongst "Edge Tibetan" villages. This drive gives one a sense of the cultural continuum from Tibet into China proper, as well as allowing you a glimpse into rural China.

    The drive will take 10-12 hours, depending on the state of the roads. You will spend the night at the BuddhaZen Hotel.
  • Day 14 14 : CHENGDU

    BUDDHAZEN HOTEL
    The day will be yours to do with as you wish in Chengdu. It might be possible to arrange a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Centre (which usually welcomes babies in the summertime), the QingYangGong Daoist Temple, or the Tibetan quarter.

    Your last evening meal will be a dinner at a Sichuan Opera dinner theatre where you will have a final chance to discuss together all the fantastic things you will have done on your trip! You will spend the night at the Buddhazen hotel.
  • Day 15 15 : CHENGDU - EUROPE

    You will be taken to the airport to catch your flight back to Europe. You will likely arrive back home today, depending on your flight route.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included but can be booked upon request.

- Rates are per person based on two riders sharing a twin room/tent and communal rooms in gites.

- Groups are comprised of 4 - 8 international riders plus guides

- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 3 riders on payment of a supplement of c. $475/£370 per person. Once the group has reached 4 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.

- There is a single supplement of c. £460 if you end up in a single room

- Rider weight limit is 85 kg. Heavier riders please contact us.

- A visa is required to enter China and is your responsibility.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 Tibetan English-speaking tour leader
1 Tibetan-English interpreter and guide

Logistics

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 cook
1 horse and yak team
Luggage carried by yaks

Inland transports

Private bus
Airport transfers (if your dates are different from the rest of the group, please contact us)

Accommodation

2 person tents (3 man tent). Foam mattress 1cm thick
Double room in a 4* standard hotel in Chengdu
From 2 person to 5 person rooms in guesthouses

Meals

Full board from dinner on D2 to breakfast on the last day

Additional equipment

First aid kit
Oxygen

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transports

Visa fees
International flights booked on request

Extras

Small group supplement
Tips to local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room and tent supplement
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/07/2020 16/07/2020 £2,690 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

You will ride the local Khampas Tibetan horses which are in good condition. They are small, strong, resilient and ideal for the altitude and difficult terrain. You will ride using local leather saddles which have additional covers to provide extra comfort.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This mountainous trail is open to all riding abilities, from beginners to experienced riders. Most of the riding is in single file and the terrain means that the pace is slow. The horses are not difficult to ride although some will be more spirited than others. You have to be sensible with your bags and rainwear, for example, don't put your coat on when mounted as the horses won't be used to it and might be startled.

Rider weight limit is 85 kg. Heavier riders please contact us.

Pace

The ride is walking only - not just because of the altitude but because your belongings are carried by yaks who accompany you each day.

Tacking ability and participation

The horses are groomed and saddled for you by your Tibetan team.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit. You will need to dismount and lead your horse downhill for up to 3 hours at a time on mountain paths. You need to be prepared to accept sometimes unfavourable weather conditions - it can be cold at altitude and it may rain.
This ride takes place in a mountainous environment between 3,800m and 4,800m. All nights are spent at an altitude of 4,000m or lower. The altitude is increased gradually to help you acclimatise but you must respect the advice of your guide. You should speak to your doctor before joining the trip particularly if you have any medical conditions relating to your heart, blood pressure or respiratory system. You should prepare for the holiday by increasing your endurance training - fast walking, jogging, cycling, swimming etc.

Previous experience of adventurous travel is recommended.

Visiting a new country offers the opportunity to meet other cultures with different mentalities, therefore it is important to accept these differences and respect the local way of life.

Equestrian equipment

We recommend taking your own stirrup leathers with you - this is because Tibetans ride very short and there may not be enough length to be comfortable.
We also recommend taking some leather laces so you can tie your coat behind your saddle.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit

Travel info

Comfort

You will stay in a variety of accommodation. On some nights you will be camping in two-man tents (mattresses provided but you must bring own sleeping bag). On other nights you might be staying in a monastery, a mountain retreat or a guesthouse. During the ride and when camping, you will have access to different types of washing facillities - bathrooms with running water or rivers for both washing and laundry. You should ride knowing that you will be exploring some very remote parts of the country and that the accommodation will be basic.

In Chengdu, you will be staying in a local hotel.

Meals

The meals are predominently Chinese and Tibetan. The base is rice, accompanied by vegetable and meat dishes - with some spices and hot peppers. Meals are essentially savoury and there is no dessert, so we recommend that sweet lovers bring their own supply of biscuits!

During the trail:
Breakfast: coffee, tea, powdered milk, bread, jam, eggs or Chinese food (noodles, fried rice etc)
Lunch: Light picnic (bread, sausage, yoghurt)
Dinner: Rice, vegetables, meat - fragrant Chinese and Tibetan cuisine

In towns and villages you will eat in local restaurants.

Water:
Take care not to drink water from unknown sources. Mineral water is provided at every meal whilst on the trail, or you can refill your bottles using boiled water (or bring water purification tablets). In restaurants it might be possible to get beer or fizzy drinks.

Climate

Rides are run during the summer season (June to September) when daytime temperatures are warm but the evenings and mornings can be cold. July and August are the hottest months with minimum and maximum temperatures of 22 and 30c in Chengdu. Temperatures at altitude can be much cooler and the mountains are the perfect place to escape the summer heat.

Guide and local team

A local tour guide will welcome you in Chengdu. Once you reach Tagong, you will meet your riding team. Your expedition leader is a Tibetan who married an American so their understanding of Tibetan and Western cultures is excellent.

Tips

If you are happy with the service that you receive from the local team then you may wish to leave a tip. To remain consistent with the standard of living in China we recommend a tip of c. £50 per rider which can be distributed amongst all of the staff.

Packing list

Please pack in accordance with local religious and traditional cultures - it is important to keep your shoulders and knees covered when meeting the local people. Please do not wear shorts or strappy tops in towns and villages.

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers
- Lightweight, comfortable trousers for non-riding days

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 5 celsius, but would recommend at least minus 8 or 10 celsius.
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Self-inflating mattress such as a Thermarest
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in


Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers
- Towels - lightweight camping ones will both dry and pack more easily
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it with
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar. The luggage limit on the ride is 15kg per person.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Tall riders may benefit from taking a pair of long stirrup leathers with them (the local stirrups are adjustable but are sometimes limited in length)
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Please take your rubbish home with you. There are no recycling facilities in Tibet, so take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling

Visa & Health

Formalities

The Autonomous Region of Tibet is a province of China therefore a passport with at least six months' validity is required by all Australian, British, Canadian, USA and EU nationals.
Foreign nationals must carry their passports at all times as police carry out random spot checks; these are more frequent around times of heightened security such as sporting events.
Visas:
Visas are required by all nationals referred to above to enter China.
Types and cost:
Single-entry: £30 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £20 (other nationals).
Double-entry: £45 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £30 (other nationals).
Multiple-entry within six months: £90 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £40 (other nationals).
Multiple-entry within 12 months or more: £180 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £60 (other nationals).
You must also pay a service fee of £36 (standard), £48 (express) or £54 (postal applications).

Visa applications for China should be made one month in advance.

The express service requires three days, and the regular service takes four days. Postal applications are usually processed and returned within 10 working days, if all the documentation is in good order

Make sure that you apply for a Chinese visa and do not mention Tibet on your visa application.

To enter Tibet, you must also obtain a Tibet travel permit. We require your passport details at least one month before your date of departure so that we can arrange this for you. Please note, the Tibet Tourism Bureau often puts a hold on issuing permits during times of political tensions and demonstrations and regulations are subject to change at short notice.


Advice for visa application

Many consulates (including those in the UK) issue visas through the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre
Visa for China - http://www.visaforchina.org
rather than directly through the consulate.

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade de Chine
    11 avenue George V
    75008 Paris
    Tél. : 01 49 52 19 50
    Fax :
    chinaemb_fr@mfa.gov.cn
  • Chinese visa application service centre
    12 Old Jewry
    EC2R 8DU London
    Tél. : +44 (0)20 7206 0589
    Fax : +44 (0)20 7710 6001
    ukcentre@visaforchina.org
  • Ambassade de France en Chine
    Faguo Zhuhua Dashiguan
    60, Tianze Lu
    100600 Pékin (Beijing)
    Tél. : (+86 10) 85 31 20 00
    Fax :
    presse@ambafrance-cn.org

Health

The high altitude and intense sunshine can cause serious problems for many travellers. It is recommended to wear high spf sun screen at all times with a full brim hat and sun glasses. Also remember because of the high altitude it is very easy to get dehydrated, so drink plenty of water.
Altitude sickness is a serious risk in Tibet. Symptoms range from breathlessness and headaches to lack of coordination and vomiting and can occur at any elevation over around 3000m (almost everywhere in Tibet). It is extremely important to allow several days to acclimatise. For travel outside Lhasa arrange your itinerary so that you don't gain more than 500m of altitude per day.
As with other parts of China hepatitis B is endemic. Sporadic outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) have resulted in a small number of human deaths. Rabies is present and may be a concern if travelling or trekking through rural parts of Tibet. If bitten, medical advice should be sought immediately.
Medical infrastructure is poor in Tibet and services are almost non-existent in rural areas outside of Lhasa. Medical insurance is strongly advised and should include evacuation insurance. The nearest recommended medical facilities are in Chengdu and Kathmandu. Traditional Tibetan medicinal treatments are available in Lhasa.
Food and drink:
All water used for drinking, brushing teeth or freezing (ice cubes) should first be boiled or otherwise sterilised. Bottled water is widely and cheaply available. Be especially careful when eating at small street-side stalls or restaurants where standards of hygiene may not be high. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Bubonic Plague: Although rare, there are cases of bubonic plague every few years in remote areas of Tibet. Try to avoid eating rodent meat, especially from marmots, as much as possible.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50Hz. However, most 4- and 5-star hotels are also wired for the use of 110-volt appliances. Round or flat two-pin plugs and flat, angled three-pin plugs are use.

Budget and money

Currency information:
1 Renminbi Yuan (CNY; symbol ¥) = 10 jiao/mao. Notes are in denominations of ¥100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 1. Coins are in denominations of Y1, 0.5 and 1 jiao/mao. Counterfeit ¥100 notes are commonplace. The Yuan is often referred to as the ‘kuai’ in street slang.
Credit cards:
Credit/debit cards (Visa, Diners Club, MasterCard, American Express etc) are accepted in top-end hotels in Lhasa but are of very limited use elsewhere.
ATM:
ATMs are available in many towns, though those in Lhasa and Shigatse are most reliable. Cash advances from a credit card are available in Lhasa.

Telephone and jetlag

Lhasa and several other cities have public telephone booths where you can make fairly cheap international phone calls (around £0.35 per minute to the UK). The cheapest way to make calls is through Skype, though not all Internet cafés are equipped with the software. Another way to call internationally is to buy a pre-paid calling card, available from most convenience stores in units of ¥20, 50, 100 and 200.

Mobile phone: Tibet's mobile phone coverage is good and you can even make phone calls from Everest Base Camp! Roaming agreements exist with most major international mobile phone companies. Alternatively, you can buy a prepaid GSM SIM card (from China Mobile) that allows you to use your mobile like a local phone with a new number. You'll need your passport to register. Buy scratch cards to top up your balance.

The dialling code for China is +86. You then need to add the dialling code for the Tibetan province - in Chengdu this is 895.

The time zone is GMT +8

Did you know?

Did you know?

On this horseback trail in Tibet you will visit the oldest Buddhist monastery in Kham - Lhagang.

Story has it that in 640CE, Princess Wencheng, the Chinese bride-to-be of the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, was on her way to Lhasa when a precious statue of Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha fell from the cart. A replica of the statue was carved at the spot where it landed and a temple was built around it.

The replica statue still stands in Lhagang monastery; the original is housed in Lhasa's Jokhang temple and is the most revered Buddha image in Tibet.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • ADELE, aged 36, AUSTIN
    13/07/2019
    This trip was my first on horseback, and I think I might be hooked! This trip went far and above all my expectations. From the support I received initially in getting my visas, to the local folks running the trip and the incredible guides I could not have had a better experience. The landscape itself was stunning, and I'm sure it would be difficult to find without expert help and some mighty powerful animals! From the get-go I was treated more like a friend or family member than a "customer", which made the trip feel more like an invited journey rather than a trip I booked on the internet. The guides were a true delight, our translator happily made all the language barriers seem insignificant, and our host made sure that even with the itinerary changes (due to politics and weather) we still got to do just about everything we hoped to do (and more!). Thanks for the trip of a lifetime, I hope to do it again one day!
  • Elke Hilda H., aged 46, ANTWERPEN
    13/07/2019
    The Kham Riders was un unforgettable experience: being immersed in the Tibetan culture of the Kham region with its warmhearted people, its gorgeous landscapes and brilliant horses.The local team is superb: perfect combination of an American guide, Angela, who accompanied us during the non-riding days -who is very professional and extremely well organized- and a Tibetan guide, Andy, with his team of horse handlers (Rictoh and co) who cared for us on the trail itself: also very professional, caring, generous... I never experienced such a qualified team! The riding is intense because of the difficult terrain and altitude: lots of climbing -but always with another splendid panoramic view as a reward. You need to be fit though to guide your horse on some steep parts up and down the mountains, sometimes for several hours. A trail for riders who enjoy slow and 'zen' riding (no cantering at all) in one of the most beautiful regions on earth!