雨崩神瀑Route mark: No route
mark. Look for Tibetan prayer flags which can be frequently
found along the trail.
Walking time & Map: 3 to 5 days. A good map made by Trekker's Home.
Food/Water: During the peak season for
circumambulation (normally in autumn), some tent shops are set
up along the trail to supply noodles and water for pilgrims.
During other periods except winter, you can find food and
water in the villages along the trail.
1. Feilaisi Viewpoint (3360M) - Hot
Follow a trail descending steeply to
the Mekong river, cross a bridge and climb up along the
terrace fields to Xidang Village (2560M) (see left photo 2). Xidang has electricity
and several rustic lodges. You'd better hike 2km further up to
Hot Springs (Wenquan) and overnight at Wenquan Lodge in order
to start the second stage early in the next morning.
2. Hot Springs - Nazongla Pass (3680M) -
If you go
to Hot Springs or Mingyong Glacier from Deqin by bus, you have
to stop at the ticket office, located just in front of the
bridge over Lancang River. All travelers are asked to pay Y60.
The tough, 1000-meter-high ascent from Hot Springs to
Nazongla Pass takes 21/2 to 3 hours for a fit hiker without
carrying any heavy bag. The path zigzagging under the canopy
of trees is quite damp and muddy. A Tibetan house, located at
one-third of the route, sells snacks and drinks. No
breathtaking view can be spotted at Nazongla Pass. Another alternative is to
ride up on a horse or a mule. You can easily reach the pass
within 2 hours. It costs Y100 from Hot Springs to Nazongla
Pass either for riding or carrying heavy bags.
The descent from Nazongla Pass to the upper Yubeng
Village takes one hour. Upon arriving at the village, take the
trail turning to the left, walk further down to a stream,
cross a bridge and climb a small slope up to the lower Yubeng Village. At the end of the
village, you can find Aqinbu's Shenpu Lodge. (See left photo 1.
The snow-crowned peak is Mt. Miacimu of 6054M.)
3. Trek around
(Sacred Waterfalls, 3650M): It takes two hours to reach Shenpu
from Aqinbu's Lodge. A climb of about 500 meters . The higher
you go, the farther you seem to be from Shenpu (see left photo
4), the most sacred destination of circumambulation in Meili.
Backdropped by tantalizing Mt. Miacimu, other lofty peaks as
well as imposing glaciers, the valley is flamboyantly adorned
by thousands of Tibetan prayer flags.
Cuoka Sacred Lake: 1300M
higher than Yubeng. The ascent takes 5 to 6 hours.
three hours is a tough and long climb in a primitive forest
where you may encounter local leeches, especially active after
the rain. The ordeal will be rewarded later by a spectacular
landscape when you reach the high meadow plateau at 4050M.
- Another one-hour climb, you will climb over a range
(alt. 4300M), and reach Cuoka Pasture. There is a collapsed
- Last hour: from Cuoka Pasture to Cuoka Lake (alt.
I didn't do this trek. Part of the above
information is based on Laoxie's article in Chinese posted on June 1st,
2003.The return trek takes 3 to 4 hours. This one-day
excursion is only reserved for strong hikers. Before June, the
upper plateau is often covered by snow. Bring enough food and
ask Aqinbu to find a good guide for you. It may be more
reasonable to do this trek in two days and overnight camp at
(3680M): There are several hiking possibilities proposed by CNCOOL.
4A: Yubeng - Hot Springs - Xidang - Mingyong
the lower Yubeng Village, it takes 11/2 or 2 hours to climb
back to Nazongla Pass. Horseback riding costs Y70. The further
descent to Hot Springs is not easy due to the fairly muddy and
slippery trail. Count another 2 hours for this stage. From Hot
Springs to Mingyong Glacier (around 12km), there is no bus
service. Walk along the main road, you may get a free ride to
4B: Yubeng - Ninong5A: Ninong (2200M) - Yongzong (2540M) - Mingyong
4B: If you
don't like to go back by Nazongla Pass, the same route that
you hiked in, you can venture the steep narrow path along a
stream and descend to Ninong Village. A local guide is
indispensable for this trek as well as any of the following
treks. You can stay overnight at the home of village's chef in
5B: Ninong - Qidingge (3150M) - Deqin.
Ninong - Yunlin.
Ninong, there are three possibilities for the next stage(see map): 5A. Pick the trail back to Xidang,
in the northwest direction. When the trail meets the main
road, walk along the road to Mingyong Glacier. 5B, 5C: Walk
down to Mekong River from Ninong, cross the bridge. You reach
the path that used to be the "Tea and Horse Trade Road". 5B:
Climb to Qidingge, a 900-meter-ascent. Walk further to the
Deqin-Weixi vehicular road. It's possible to hitchhike to
Deqin from there. 5C: From the bridge, take the south Yunlin
direction, walk along Mekong River without too many climbs,
pass Jiabi Village. Yunlin is located along the Deqin-Weixi
vehicular road, where exists a daily bus service to Deqin.
From Yunlin, go further south to Yangtsa, the point of
departure for the full circuit of Kawa Karpo. As per a
traveler, this route is long and not very interesting. Most of
travellers go back from Ninong to Feilaisi and rent a car to
Starting point:Finishing point: 1. Hot Springs / Xidang.
2. Mingyong Glacier. 3. Yunlin.
Feilaisi Viewpoint, 10km from Deqin. A taxi from Deqin costs
Y20 to Y30. Otherwise you wait for any bus in Deqin which is
heading for the north. The Feilaisi monastery is 800M away
from this viewpoint.
2. Hot Springs (Wenquan): In autumn,
the peak season for the pilgrimage, one or two daily buses
connect Deqin to Hot Springs (Y18). For other seasons, take a
bus to Xidang: Deqin --> Xidang: 8:00,15:00 / Xidang -->
Deqin: 8:00, 16:00. The departure time in the afternoon is
dependent on the number of passengers. The bus might leave
three or four hours before scheduled time if there are enough
1. In autumn 2003, two
daily buses were scheduled to leave Hot springs for Deqin at
8:00 and 15:00. However, when I hiked back from Yubeng and
arrived at Hot Springs at 14:00, I was told that the 15:00 bus
fully packed, had left at 13:00. I had to rent a taxi with
another traveler for Y150 to Deqin. During the low season, you
have to go to Xidang to wait for the bus.
2. See Mingyong
3. Yunlin is located along the Deqin-Weixi
vehicular road, where exists a daily bus service to
Mingyong Glacier, Lotus Temple
A well-paved road, souvenir shops as well as
comfortable hotels have transformed Mingyong into a popular
tourist destination. From the parking at the end of Mingyong
Village (2450M), you can walk to the Taizi Temple (2940M,
7.5km). Horseback riding costs Y63 for the same journey.
Continue along the main trail, and climb another 1.4km, you'll
reach the Lotus Temple (3480M).
--> Mingyong Village: 8:00, 15:00 / Mingyong Village -->
Deqin: 8:00, 16:00
Double check the schedule at Deqin bus
station upon arrival. There is no bus running between Mingyong
and Xidang or Hot Springs. You can either rent a taxi or walk
to Hot Springs.
Time: The full circuit of
Kawa Karpo takes 12 days or more.
Location: Half of the circuit lies in
Deqin County and the other half lies in the Tsawarong District
Difficult. Several 4000-meter-high passes to be ascended in a
region without any access to a vehicular road. To rent horses
for gear and supplies, contact the owner of Trekker's Home in
Map: The circuit of Kawa Karpo. A map offered by
A good description of this circuit can be found at Globaladrenaline who organizes the
expedition for this wonderful circuit. The starting
point is in Yangtsa. Stay the first night in Yongju(2489M),
then head for west, climb towards Dokarla Pass (4479M) in the
next two days. From the forth to the fifth day, descend to the
Tsawarong District in Tibet and trek along the Salween River
(Nu Jiang in Chinese). Go north from Lhakangla (1700M) to the
town of Zhanang(910M) in the sixth and seventh days. During
the eighth day, climb to the Tondula Pass (3352M) and stay
overnight in Gebu (2340M). For the next two days, ascend to a
pass at an elevation of 4300 meters. Then take a one-day rest.
For the last two days, climb the last pass called Shula
(4815M) and hike down to the Mekong River. The finishing point
is the town of Meilishui where you can find buses to go back
For more information, see Trek details
full description of this trek in Chinese is available on
CCTV's Travel Forum: Part 1, Part 2.
becomes my dream. I hope that I can realize it sometime in the next two
years. The above information has been collected from other
travelers and the website of Globaladrenaline.