TIBETAN HOOP EXCHANGE

 

8-DAY IMMERSION
Amdo Region, Tibetan Plateau
May 21-28, 2019
$1,600


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…

 

OVERVIEW

TIBETAN 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 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 TEXTILES
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
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


CUISINE
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. 


YOUR IMPACT
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. 


ACCOMMODATION

Milky Way Tibetan Guesthouse - Ritoma Village
Two Double Beds
Ensuite Bathroom and Shower
Stove Heating

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


YOUR BASKETBALL & LOCAL GUIDES

ASHLEY GRAHAM   Coach Ashley is a former NCAA Division I and professional basketball player who holds the Guinness World Record for most free throws in a minute. She now runs Pinnacle Hoops, offering training and clinics for women and girls in the US, as well as all over the world.

ASHLEY GRAHAM

Coach Ashley is a former NCAA Division I and professional basketball player who holds the Guinness World Record for most free throws in a minute. She now runs Pinnacle Hoops, offering training and clinics for women and girls in the US, as well as all over the world.

ROB GARDNER   Rob is an athlete/coach that is passionate about using the game of basketball to bring different people, and cultures, together. Rob has played and coached in fiver different countries, including in a tournament in Ritoma in 2018. He is excited for the opportunity to return to the Plateau and engage in wonderful fellowship and hoops.

ROB GARDNER

Rob is an athlete/coach that is passionate about using the game of basketball to bring different people, and cultures, together. Rob has played and coached in fiver different countries, including in a tournament in Ritoma in 2018. He is excited for the opportunity to return to the Plateau and engage in wonderful fellowship and hoops.

Dugya Bum   Dugya Bum is a full-time professional basketball player with Norlha, one of the regions first full-time pros. He is a member of the nomadic Golden Stone clan and was a former dyer at Norlha. He comes from a strong basketball family - his wife is on the women's team, his brother one of the best monk players at Ritoma monastery, his grandfather the team's biggest fan, and his two sons love to play.

Dugya Bum

Dugya Bum is a full-time professional basketball player with Norlha, one of the regions first full-time pros. He is a member of the nomadic Golden Stone clan and was a former dyer at Norlha. He comes from a strong basketball family - his wife is on the women's team, his brother one of the best monk players at Ritoma monastery, his grandfather the team's biggest fan, and his two sons love to play.

Willard "Bill" Johnson   Bill is a volunteer coach for the Norlha women's, men's, and youth basketball teams. Bill has 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 Zorge Ritoma in 2015 and lives there the majority of the year.

Willard "Bill" Johnson

Bill is a volunteer coach for the Norlha women's, men's, and youth basketball teams. Bill has 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 Zorge Ritoma in 2015 and lives there the majority of the year.


ITINERARY

Day 1
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.

Days 2-3
Plateau Immersion

Explore life on the Tibetan Plateau spending time with nomads, visits to local monasteries, and hikes to meditation caves and temples.

Days 4-6
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.

Day 7-8
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.

 

 


TIBETAN HOOP EXCHANGE (8 Days)
$1,600

6 Nights Local Tibetan Guesthouse
1 Night Norden Luxury Camp
Meals (Dinner Day 1, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Days 2-7, Breakfast Day 8)
All Ground Transportation
All Activities, Excursions, & Guides
All Basketball-Related Events
Donation to the Norlha Basketball Tournament & Program


Early Arrival/Extensions Available

TO BE ARRANGED BY GUEST:

Airfare

We recommend flights into:
Lanzhou Airport (LHW), a 4.5 hour drive to camp, accessible worldwide via major Chinese cities.
Xiahe Airport (GXH), a 1.5 hour drive to Ritoma village, accessible via Xi’an and Chengdu (use www.trip.com)

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 part of the Tibetan Plateau. 

Travel Insurance
Kindly consult your local travel insurance agency.

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


LOCATION

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

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