TIBETAN HOOP EXCHANGE
Amdo Region, Tibetan Plateau
May 21-28, 2019
10,500 feet up (3,200 meters) on the grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau...
Nomads, Buddhist monks, and thousands of years of culture...
Empowering each other through the common language of sport…
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 languages, cultures, and borders. With an extremely limited number of coaches and formal training, Tibetans relish the opportunity to watch and learn from foreigners. During your time on the Plateau help lead basketball clinics for youth, women, and men, and participate in a regional Training Camp and All-Star Game.
Read more about Tibetan Basketball in The Atlantic magazine.
Norlha Basketball and its initiatives are made possible by the pioneering work of Norlha Textiles. Norlha 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 entire process of transforming the yak.
Norlha is located in the village of Zorge Ritoma, your home for the majority of the Exchange!
Norden Camp, Norlha’s sister company, offers urbanites from around the world the rare opportunity to experience authentic Tibetan culture 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 outside of Labrang, the famous Tibetan monastic town in the Tibetan Autonomous Kanlho Prefecture, Gansu Province, China. The 11-hectare (27 acre) site borders a meandering river and is home to gazelles, hares, marmots and foxes, and visited by a vibrant array of migratory birds.
Enjoy all that Norden has to offer on your last two days of the trip!
Top 10 Adventure Lodge in the World - National Geographic
Asia's Best Tented Luxury Camps - CNN Travel
Best New Hotels on the Planet - Travel & Leisure
Norden Cuisine is based on the local pastoral lifestyle and the food derived from it. Norden’s is an innovative, culturally conscious menu rooted in tradition, based on local seasonal products, and suitable for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. 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; it is the source of our 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.
Our mission at Norden Travel and Norlha Textiles is to generate sustainable employment for former nomads while offering exceptional, uniquely Tibetan experiences and products. With nomadism in decline and in an increasingly precarious state, many Tibetans are left with no choice but to move into the large cities in search of work. The training and employment provided at Norlha and Norden allow these Tibetans and their families to stay in their home villages, keep their traditions, and do work they can be proud of.
Participation in the Exchange not only directly supports these important initiatives, it also gives rise to a true community gathering connecting the international and Tibetan communities through the common language of basketball.
Milky Way Tibetan Guesthouse - Ritoma Village
Two Double Beds
Ensuite Bathroom and Shower
Norden Camp - Yak Khullu Tent
18 Square Meters, Two Twin Beds
Adjacent Detached Eco-Friendly Toilets
YOUR BASKETBALL & LOCAL GUIDES
Travel & Acclimation
Airport pickups. Drive to the remote village of Ritoma (5 hours from Lanzhou/1.5 hours from Xiahe) up at nearly 11,000 feet. Settle in, relax, and acclimate to the altitude and time-zone.
Explore life on the Tibetan Plateau spending time with nomads, visits to local monasteries, and hikes to meditation caves and temples.
Tibetan Hoop Exchange
Join in the basketball immersion with the region’s top men’s and women’s players. Cultural exchanges both on and off the court.
Labrang, Norden Camp, Travel
Visit (and possibly play with) the monks of the renowned Labrang Monastery. Enjoy the beauty and amenities of Norden Camp with an overnight in a Yak Khullu Tent. Departures the following morning.