Prospective Visitors & Students
GarGon is far but not unreachable
Traveling to and staying at Gargon may challenge your comfort zones. We invite our guests to take on the adventure with positivity & mindfulness.
The institute is striving to be a zero-waste site, which means guests staying in guesthouses will also be asked to minimize their footprint by following some guidelines. We ask all guests to engage in conscious consumerism while with us- this includes using lesson everything, especially nonbiodegradable products, products produced through child and or slave labor and meat.
If you are coming with a scheduled course, we will arrange your transportation.
By Air: In the summer there are daily flights to Yushu (YUS) from Chengdu (CTU) & Xiling(Xining-XNN) There are also direct flights a few times a week from Yushu to Lhasa and Xian. From the airport, you can take a taxi into Yushu and hire a private or shared car to Nangchen or all the way to GarGon. We can also send a car to pick you up with 48 hours' notice.
By Land: There are also overnight buses from Xining for the adventurous traveler. The buses travel all the way to Nangchen. From Nangchen you can hire a taxi to GarGon.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
We can adjust all stays to your budget and individual needs.
Lodging: Our lodging is ecofriendly, simple and comfortable. There are different levels of rooms available. All 18 rooms have space for 2+ people, with different bed options, there are queen, double and bunk beds. Each room is equipped with a desk and chair for self-study, warm bedding, towels, and locally crafted biodegradable soaps and body products. Each room has a running faucet. Greywater is collected from the sinks daily for watering trees. Toilets in each bathroom are composting with clear instructions on how to use it. There are shared solar hot water showers just steps away from the rooms as well.
Food: Three meals are offered each day to guests. Hot water is available in a thermos in each room. The food is mainly Tibetan with occasional Chinese and Western meals and always vegetarian. There are always vegan and gluten-free options. And meals with meat can be purchased in the village.
Classes: 2020 is the inaugural year of Garchen Institute Tibet. While not all courses are being offered all summer long, we will be working towards having Tibetan, Chinese, yoga and meditation classes running each weekday day between May 15 and September 1. If you are coming for a day visit you are welcome to check out the classes for a small suggested donation. Overnight guests are welcome to join the yoga and meditation classes free of charge. Enrollment in Courses such as language courses and special programs should be done online in advance.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
Please pack as light as possible. It is suggested that you bring sun protection for the intense sun, as well as general travel medications, including some remedies for the high altitude. We suggest not packing more than a 40L backpack.
WHAT IS THE CLIMATE LIKE?
The day time and night time around Rebkong are very different. The Summer reaches temperatures as high as 29 degrees and in the winter as low as -15degrees.
SHOULD I HAVE MY OWN INSURANCE?
Yes, while we have our own travel agent insurance, we recommend that you buy your own travel insurance, such as www.travelguard.com. In the case of necessary evacuation from the country, we would like you to have your own coverage. We recommend travel guard for long trips and American Express for shorter trips.
WHAT IS THE ALTITUDE?
Gargon sits at an elevation of 4,200m. Many people get altitude sickness in Tibetan areas! We suggest driving up to acclimate.
DO I NEED A SPECIAL PERMIT?
NO!!! Garchen Institute Tibet is located in Qinghai Provence. Qinghai province is amazing, in the way that it is a Tibetan ethnic area, with incredible sights, but there is no need for a permit or pass. This makes Qinghai accessible for anyone with a Chinese visa.
CULTURAL DOs & DON'Ts:
Do go with an open, nonjudgemental mind, dropping your expectations
Do try to learn the terms demo- how are you? Ka drin Che- thank you Tasha Delek- hello
Do be respectful by covering your body
Do be respectful by taking shoes off inside and not pointing feet at respected person/thing
Do use an inside voice/ not an American one
Do try the food offered unless you have an allergy/ dietary restriction
Do be respectful by not smoking, wearing hats or touching things around the temple
Do ask lots of questions
Do only bring appropriate technology
Do not bring in plastic or litter