Chengdu to Xining
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 19, 2013 1:33 AM Last Post By: dumchoe
Jan 26, 2013 11:23 AM
I'm going to be in China for a few weeks and hoping to take the train into Tibet from Xining (yes, I know about Tibet restrictions).
Has anyone made the journey from Chendgu to Xining overland recently? I believe the area between Chendgu and Songpan may still be recovering from the earthquake. Does anyone know the latest on that? Also, I have read that the Xiahe Loop towns are nice to visit and good bases for hiking /horse-riding.
I am planning to have a about a week in this area, so be grateful if anyone can advise on the best route to take and where to stop. I'm interested in culture/ monasteries and nature.
Jan 26, 2013 9:00 PM
1I did the routing Xining - Tongren - Xiahe - Langmusi - (Jiuzhaigou) - Chengdu all overland, mostly by public bus, last July. The roads are open but there may be restrictions on foreigners passing through if there has been trouble in the monasteries. Excluding Jiuzhaigou and stopping at Songpan instead on the way to Chengdu, this will take you about one week to get from Xining to Chengdu. This assumes 1 night Tongren, 2 nights Xiahe, 2 nights Langmusi with an overnight horse trek, 1 night Songpan.
Jan 26, 2013 9:05 PM
2And of course, it works in reverse from Chengdu to Xining and this is the route I'd recommend.
Alternate route is going through Western Sichuan to Yushu in Qinghai. Problem is that parts of Western Sichuan are completely closed to foreigners and parts are intermittently closed due to either unrest or weather. Yushu is still in shambles from the earthquake but it is doable. The Qinghai route would be more difficult to undertake and particularly for a non-speaker of Chinese. The alternate route will be more rugged, more challenging in altitude, and more restricted in choices of lodging and food.
Jan 27, 2013 8:11 AM
Jan 27, 2013 11:31 AM
4Horse treks can be done from Langmusi or Songpan, the general consensus is that doing it out of Langmusi is better. Contact the Black Tent Cafe in Langmusi for the various options and pricing. You can also just show up at the Cafe and set something up immediately. They should also be able to tell you the status of foreigner travel in the area, at least for the present. Web site:
Incidents of unrest are usually centered around the monasteries, and most often take the form of self-immolations by Tibetan monks protesting Chinese rules/presence/suppression. Followed by local protests and the inevitable Chinese police/military response. During flare-ups, foreigners are generally prohibited by the Chinese authorities from visiting these monasteries, and even from entire areas or road routings through trouble spots. They don't want outsider witnesses. Though some people are able to talk their way through.
The route I took was mostly open in 2012 but in the fall had some issues and closures--normally these are sporadic and are temporary, lasting from days or weeks but sometimes for months at a time. Or some roads in the area will be closed but others open. While forums and message boards can be useful in giving you some idea of what's open/closed, ultimately the only way to deal with this is to get localized information in real-time, and give it a try. But be a bit flexible, have other routing options in your hip pocket to be used if needed.
Jan 27, 2013 11:32 AM
Jan 28, 2013 1:19 AM
Feb 13, 2013 10:57 AM
7#4 Jiejie- any idea whether the Aba area (Aba town) in NW Sichuan is open to foreigners? Have been there in february 2011 without problems to celebrate the Monlam. I took the following route: Chengdu- Aba- Jiuzhi (Qinghai)- Maqen - Xining.
How about Chengdu- Ganzi- Shiqu- Maduo - Xining- open? How long does it take?
Feb 16, 2013 9:20 AM
8Aba town and immediate surrounding area is off liimits to foreigners, so you can't go through there right now and that situation has been in place for some time due to persistent unrest. I don't know about other routes. Usually the main route via Tongren (Rebkong), Xiahe, Zoige, Songpan is open (I was on that one last summer), but in the fall there were problems in the Xiahe-Hezuo area and for a period of time, going through there was restricted for foreigners.
Feb 20, 2013 11:04 AM
9Can confirm that Aba is closed right now. We arrived there by bicycle about a week ago and they would have slung us onto the the 1st bus out of town if there had been any more that day. They tried to persuade us to take a taxi to the next city but we refused so they agreed to let us stay the night but it was obvious we were going to be confined to the hotel so we elected to cycle out of town & were followed by the police for about 20 kms to make sure we left.
We're currently in Labrang/Xiahe which is also closed at the moment due to the self-immolation a few days ago (on the 17th or 18th Feb - not sure exactly), again, we were lucky we were on bicycles so managed to talk our way through the roadchecks but had difficulties getting a hotel to accept us - all the normal ones refused us.
Jun 28, 2013 7:01 PM
Oct 19, 2013 1:33 AM
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