Norden Camp 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.
Norden Cuisine is based on the local pastoral lifestyle and the food derived from it. Ours 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.
YOGA, ART, MUSIC & HEALING
Whether you are a seasoned yogi or a beginner, experience meditation and yoga at the heart of Tibetan Buddhism. With the picturesque plateau as your backdrop and the gentle nearby stream as your soundtrack, Norden’s mindfulness instructor, Renée Kimmel, will guide you through peaceful yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. During your journey visit Labrang Monastery - one of the most important and largest monasteries in all of Tibet - visit nomadic families and get a glimpse of their daily lives, even try your hand at riding a yak! You can also explore the plateau on horseback, and enjoy Norden's on-site amenities like the sauna, massage, and nightly bonfires.
On Day 4 we make the 2.5 hour journey to the remote village of Zorge Ritoma and Norlha Textiles. 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 entire process of transforming the yak. Tour Norlha's atelier and the village of Zorge Ritoma, and participate in a cultural exchange program with Norlha's employees.
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 Norden and Norlha allow these Tibetans and their families to stay in their home villages, keep their traditions, and do work they can be proud of. Your participation in the retreat directly supports these important initiatives.
Day 1: Travel, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Staggered airport pickups from Xiahe Airport (XHE), Lanzhou Airport (LHW), and Lanzhou hotels. Settle in at camp, relax, and acclimate to the altitude. Evening Camp Tour, Orientation, and Welcome Dinner.
Day 2: Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery
Daily yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions. Visit to Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery and explore the monastic town.
Day 3: Lungta Nomadic Cooperative
Daily yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions. Visit with local nomads at Lungta Cooperative.
Day 4: Ritoma Village & Norlha Textiles
Daily yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions. Visit to Ritoma Village and Norlha Textiles, cultural exchange program.
Day 5: Plateau Relaxation
Tibetan horseback riding, hikes, sauna, massage, and personal time.
Day 6: Exit Orientation & Departures
Exit orientation and staggered airport departures.
5 Nights Norden Camp
All Meals (Lunch/Dinner Day 1, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Days 2-5, Breakfast Day 6)
All Ground Transportation
All Activities & Guides
All Yoga, Meditation, & Mindfulness Sessions
TO BE ARRANGED BY GUEST:
We recommend flights into:
Xiahe Airpoirt (GXH), a 30 minute drive to 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 all major Chinese cities.
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.
Please consult your local travel insurance agency.
We recommend bringing extra spending money for additional food and alcohol, Norlha purchases, souvenirs, etc.
Norden Camp - Yak Khullu Tent
18 Square Meters, Two Twin Beds
Adjacent Detached Eco-Friendly Toilets
Norden Camp - Log Cabin
24 Square Meters, Two Double Beds or King Bed
Ensuite Eco-Friendly Bathrooms
YOUR MINDFULNESS INSTRUCTOR
Renée grew up in New York and has been studying yoga and meditation since 2006. She completed her RYT-200 in San Francisco, California, and is also a certified Reiki practitioner. She has taught various classes throughout the Bay Area including leading meditation sessions at a major tech company in Silicon Valley. Renée brings her passion and zest for life with a strong desire to find balance in contemplative stillness and mindful movement. She is excited to bring her love and practice to Norden and the surrounding Tibetan community.
Amdo Region, Tibetan Plateau (northeastern edge of the plateau)
Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China.