TIBETAN HOOP EXCHANGE

 

AMDO REGION, TIBETAN PLATEAU

OCTOBER 16-23, 2017

8-DAY EXCHANGE (per person)
Shared Tent: $2,200 USD  |  Shared Cabin: $2,800 USD  |  Single Cabin: $3,600 USD


10,500 feet up (3,200 meters) on the grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau...

 Nomads, Buddhist monks, and thousands of years of culture...

Empowering the local community through sport...

 

OVERVIEW

TIBET BASKETBALL
In every village and monastery across the Tibetan Plateau you will find nomads herding their yak and sheep, monks reciting their mantras, and Tibetans' engaging in their newest passion: basketball. Basketball has allowed Tibetans to connect with each other and the rest of the world, transcending local languages, cultures, and borders. With an extremely limited number of coaches and formal training, Tibetans relish at the opportunity to watch and learn from foreigners. During your time on the Plateau lead basketball clinics for youth, women, and men, and participate in the annual Norlha Basketball Invitational.

NORDEN CAMP
Norden Camp offers urbanites from around the world the rare opportunity to experience authentic Tibetan culture, community and traditions in complete comfort. Managed by and for the benefit of grassland nomads, Norden Camp operates sustainably, without compromising the existing Tibetan Buddhist culture or our spectacular natural environment. Located at 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) above sea level, Norden Camp is situated 20 minutes out of Labrang, the famous Tibetan monastic town in the Tibetan Autonomous Kenlho Prefecture, Gansu Province, China. The 11-hectare site borders a meandering river and is home to gazelles, hares, marmots and foxes, and visited by a vibrant array of migratory birds. 


CUISINE
Norden Cuisine is based on the local pastoral lifestyle and the food derived from it, developing an innovative, culturally conscious cuisine rooted in tradition suitable for both meat lovers and vegetarians. The menu is based on local seasonal products. The area is untouched by development and the food that emanates from the pasture is organic by default. The milk from dris, (female yaks), grazing in areas teeming with medicinal plants is known for its high nutritional value and reduced lactose content and is the source of healthy and delicious butter, yogurt and cream. The pasture in summer abounds in local herbs, and mushrooms that can be collected daily and added to the menu. Bread is baked in traditional mud brick ovens and noodles are hand pulled and fresh at every meal, cut in different shapes according the recipes. 


NORLHA TEXTILES
On Day 4 of the Exchange we make the 2-hour journey to the remote village of Zorge Ritoma, home of Norlha Textiles and the Tibetan Hoop Exchange. Norlha, Norden's sister organization, is a groundbreaking social enterprise and one of the few luxury brands in the world merging cultural and environmental sustainability with the most sophisticated and enduring style. Norlha is internationally known for its innovation with yak textiles and its inclusion of local nomads in the whole process of transforming the yak. Tour Norlha's atelier, Ritoma village, join in cultural exchange programs with Norlha's local employees and the community, lead basketball trainings and clinics, and participate in the Norlha Basketball Invitational! 


YOUR IMPACT
Norden Travel and Norlha Textiles' mission is to generate sustainable employment for former nomads while offering exceptional, uniquely Tibetan experiences and products. With nomadism on the decline and in a fragile state, Tibetans are left with no choice but to move into the large cities searching for work. Norlha and Norden's employment and skills training allows these Tibetans and their families to stay in their home villages, keep their traditions, and give to the world a product and experience they are proud of.

Participation in the Exchange not only directly supports these initiatives, it also gives rise to a true community gathering that both our group and the Tibetans will never forget. 


ITINERARY

Day 1
Travel & Acclimation

Staggered airport pickups from Xiahe and Lanzhou Airports. Arrive at Norden Camp - settle in, relax, and acclimate to the altitude and time-zone. Evening Orientation, Tour, and Welcome Dinner 

Days 2-4
Plateau Immersion

While lodging at Norden Camp we visit the monks of the renowned Labrang Monastery, visit local nomadic families, try our hand at yak and horse-riding, center ourselves with yoga and meditation, and enjoy nature hikes, the sauna, and nightly bon-fires.

Days 4-7
Tibetan Hoop Exchange

We journey to and immerse in the remote village of Zorge Ritoma, participate in cultural exchange programs with Norlha Textiles and the community, lead basketball clinics and trainings, and play in the Norlha Basketball Invitational Tournament

Day 8
Travel

Morning Departures to Xiahe and Lanzhou Airport. 

 

 


EXCHANGE INCLUSIONS:

3 Nights Norden Camp
4 Nights Norlha Textiles Guesthouse
All Meals (Lunch/Dinner Day 1, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Days 2-7, Breakfast Day 8)
All Ground Transportation
All Activities, Excursions, & Local Guides
All Basketball-Related Events
Direct Contribution to the Norlha Basketball Tournament & Program


TO BE ARRANGED BY GUEST:

Airfare

We recommend flights into:
Xiahe Airpoirt (GXH), a 30-minute drive to Norden Camp, accessible worldwide via Lhasa, Chengdu, and Xi'an (recommended site for Xiahe flight: www.ctrip.com).
Lanzhou Airport (LHW), a 4.5-hour drive to Camp, accessible worldwide via major Chinese cities

Visa
A Chinese visa is generally required to enter China (please consult your country's embassy and China visa policy). No Tibet Autonomous Region (T.A.R.) special permit is needed to enter this region of the Tibetan Plateau. 

Travel Insurance
Kindly consult your local travel insurance agency. We will also send recommendations.

Incidentals
We recommend bringing extra spending money for additional food and alcohol, Norlha purchases, souvenirs, etc. 


ACCOMMODATION

Norden Camp - Yak Khullu Tent
18 square meters, Two Twin Beds
Adjacent Detached Eco-Friendly Toilets
Stove Heating

Norden Camp - Log Cabin
24 square meters, Two Double Beds or King Bed
Ensuite Eco-Friendly Bathrooms
Stove Heating

Norlha Textiles Guesthouse
Regular & Grand Rooms, Two Double Beds
Ensuite Bathroom and Shower


YOUR BASKETBALL & LOCAL GUIDES

AndrewGreenblattTibetBasketball

Andrew Greenblatt

Andrew is an athlete, explorer, and daily meditator. He’s worked with thousands of basketball players from across the United States - including stints with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, the IMG Academy, and PGC Basketball (formerly Point Guard College). After a nomadic playing career of his own he found mindfulness and has since joined Journey Meditation, a startup with a mission to share meditation with those who might never encounter it otherwise. He lives in New York City.

 

 

WillardBillJohnsonTibetBasketballNorlhaTextiles

Willard "Bill" Johnson

Bill is a volunteer coach for the Norlha women's and men's basketball teams. Like Andrew, Bill enjoyed a nomadic basketball career, playing in different countries and using the language of basketball to connect with local communities. He joined the nomads of the Plateau in 2015 and lives in Zorge Ritoma village on the Tibetan Plateau the majority of the year. 


 

JamyangNima

Jamyang Nima

Jamyang Nima hails from nearby Maqu County on the Tibetan Plateau, famous for its annual horserace and basketball tournament, as well as a recent Kalachakra (a week-long Buddhist teaching in which nearly half a million Tibetans from all over the Plateau camped out to attend). Jamyang Nima is a former nomad turned musical artist, and now leads the management of Norden Camp. He is still perfecting his English, though he loves sharing stories about his home to guests!


LOCATION

Amdo Region, Tibetan Plateau (northeastern edge of Plateau)
Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China. 

TibetMap