Dear Members & Friends:
The Tibetan Plateau has for centuries been a
place of fascination for Western naturalists and
explorers. Nowhere else in the world even comes
close to putting so much terrain so high into the sky.
Tibet is also home to a free‑spirited pastoralist
people with a distinctive Tantric Buddhist
Expansive grasslands in the eastern
part nurture some of the richest alpine plant
communities in the world.
The Tibetan highlands—beyond the Himalaya
range and west of Sichuan’s panda country—form
a resplendent tapestry of rolling hills, meadows,
lakes surprisingly large and often a sky of
deep blue with endless puffy clouds. Local people
still accompany their herds of yak, camping
traditional tents of canvas and felt. Birders and
plant enthusiasts tend to be well-rewarded for
Our itinerary begins with an introduction to
the fascinating city of Chengdu including the
giant panda breeding center. We will then visit
China’s spectacular Jiuzhaigou National Park.
We then begin our overland journey through the
eastern part of Tibet (actually situated today
in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and
Qinghai). We will cross the Ruoergai grasslands
including a high
and rare Blacknecked
We will also
visit Labrang Monastery, an important center of Tibetan
From Xining, we’ll take the overnight train
across the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa, historic
center of the Tibetan world and currently
the capital of the “Tibetan Autonomous Region.”
Lhasa has numerous sacred sites including
Jhorkang Temple, a destination for pilgrims
from all over Tibet, the Potala, winter palace
of the Dalai Lama, and Ganden Monastery
situated dramatically on a ridge that overlooks
the Lhasa Valley.
We will also travel north onto the high plateau
and to Namco Lake, one of Tibet’s largest lakes
situated in a basin at over 15,000 feet. Here the air
is extraordinarily clear, providing extravagant
views of glaciated peaks that encircle the basin.
Although Tibet is quite high, we have arranged
the itinerary so that we will spend most of our
time at moderate elevations, 11,000 to 12,000
feet. We anticipate that group members will be
well-acclimatized. Our highest elevation overall
is the pass that leads to Namco at 16,900 feet.
Since we will cross the pass briefly in the
course of a day’s travel, we do not anticipate
that his will present any altitude problems,
even if it will most likely set a few personal
We sincerely hope that you will be able to join
us in Tibet in 2018!
Margaret M. Betchart
Betchart Expeditions Inc.
For AAAS Travels, Sigma Xi & ACS Expeditions
$4,595 plus air.
(Requires an Adobe pdf reader to view)