WHAT IS A PURELAND?
Pureland meditation is a way of training the mind to recognize the perfection in everything. Traveling helps us open our minds, see beautiful places and also challenge our comfort zones. We invite our clients to take on the adventure with positivity.
We are a different type of tour company as we try our best to be mindful travelers. This means that we set intentions for our travels to be of benefit to our hosts. We make sure that we are invited by our hosts and that we do our best to serve their needs before our own. We also attempt to be as eco-friendly as possible, which means staying in guesthouses with little footprint, using as few jet fuels as possible and as little plastic as we can! We ask all participants to engage in conscious consumerism while on our tours- this includes using less in general, especially non biodegradable products, products produced through child and or slave labor and meat.
WHERE DOES THE TOUR START?
We can meet you in Chengdu, Xiling(Xining), Rebkong(Tongren), Labrang(Xiahe), or any place inbetween! We can either pick you up, or you can meet us.
WHAT DO TOURS INCLUDE?
We can adjust the tour to your budget and individual needs. The most rugged traveler may like to go on a month long camping trip, all lodging and food included, while other travelers may prefer that we arrange hotels and restaurant meals for each day. We are very accomodating and know how to travel on a shoe-string and also have experience accomodating those who would like a more comfortable vacation.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
Please pack as lightly as possible. It is suggested that you bring sun protectant for the intense sun, as well as general travel medications, including some remidies for the high altitude. We suggest not packing more than a 40L backpack.
WHAT IS THE CLIMATE LIKE?
The day time and night time around rebkong are very different. The Summer reaches temperatures as high as 29 degrees and in the winter as low as -15degrees.
SHOULD I HAVE MY OWN INSURANCE?
Yes, while we have our own travel agents insurance, we reccommend that you buy your own travel insurance, such as www.travelguard.com. In the case of neccessary evacuation from the coutry, we would like you to have your own coverage. We reccomend travel guard for long trips and American Express for shorter trips.
WHAT IS THE ALTITUDE?
The starting point is usually close to sea level, while Tibetan areas range from 2,500m to 4,200m. Many/ Most people get altitude sickness in Tibetan areas! We try to drive into most of the high regions that we visit in order for adventurers to acclimate to the altitude.
DO I NEED A SPECIAL PERMIT TO TAKE A TOUR?
NO!!!Most of our tours are located in Qinghai Provence. Qinghai province is amazing, in the way that it is a Tibetan ethnic area, with incredible sights, but there is no need for a permit or pass. This makes Qinghai accessable for anyone with a Chinese visa! It is a much more affordable alternative to traveling to the TAR.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
SUMMERTIME!!! Mid May- September. The Shamans festival is the most incredible time of year to visit rebkong. Since the Tibetan calendar is a lunar calendar, the dates of the festival are different each year, so please be in contact and we will let you know.
HOW MANY PEOPLE DO I NEED TO HAVE A TOUR?
We can accommodate single travelers and groups. Please just be in touch and we can give you ideas for your adventure!
WHAT WILL THE FOOD BE LIKE?
We try to give you the most local, authentic experience. We offer home cooked meals for the homestay with farmers and nomads. The meals are simple, but hearty. Roasted barley flour (tsampa) is the staple food of the area, along with yak meat, milk, yogurt and butter. We can accommodate vegetarians and all different dietary needs with advance notice.
NOTE TO PARTICIPANTS:
These trips includes extensive time on the road. In order to reach our destination, the group travels over roads that are long, bumpy, and dusty. We may need to cross rivers in jeeps, wait for landslides to clear, push our vehicles out of sticky spots or make detours. The altitude is high, the food choices are limited, and the group camps for several days. There is also rare internet, limited cell phone coverage, limited solar electricity, few showers, and mostly only outhouses. Students have daily language classes and required to read a book and report about Tibet during orientation. The travel is challenging and rewarding! Stamina, patience, and good teamwork are required.
CULTURAL DOs & DON'Ts:
Do go with an open, nonjudgemental mind, dropping your expectations
Do try to learn the terms demo- how are you? Ka drin Che- thank you Tasha Delek- hello
Do be respectful by covering your body
Do be respectful by taking shoes off inside and not pointing feet at respected person/thing
Do use an inside voice/ not an American one
Do try the food offered unless you have an allergy/ dietary restriction
Do be respectful by not smoking, wearing hats or touching things around the temple
Do ask lots of questions
Do only bring appropriate technology
Do not bring in plastic or litter
PLEASE SEE OUR HOST SPACE SITE AT WWW.GARCHENINSTITUTETIBET.COM