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lioness Xiahe - A travel report by Neda
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Xiahe,  China - flag China -  Gansu
12594 readers

lioness's travel reports

Xiahe, a Tibetan village in the Chinese province of Gansu

  16 votes

Xiahe travelogue picture
Xiahe in Chinese, Labrang in Tibetan. It is a small village-monastery situated in the highlands of Gansu Province in NW China. I visited this place back in 1999 and it was my first and only approach to Tibetan culture so far. The village is inhabited mostly by Tibetan monks, but there are also some Muslims and very few Chinese. It was very difficlult to communicate with the monks, as they only spoke Tibetan. Most of them had never left Labrang or had only been to nearby Tibetan villages. Me and my friends were lucky to have met one Chinese speaking monk, who was able to communicate with us and tell us about life in Labrang. Nowadays, children do learn both Tibetan and Chinese in a school in Xiahe, but it was not the case before.
Lamas usually have free time in the afteroon, when they walk around the hills surrounding the Monastery and they sit and enjoy the views, or sing and play the ritual music.

Favourite spots:
Xiahe travelogue picture
The Labrang Monastery. It is one of the most important Tibetan monasteries outside of Tibet. It is one of the six major Tibetan monasteries of the Gelukpa (Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism). The Monastery was built in 1709 by E'angzongzhe, the first-generation Jiamuyang (living buddha), who came from the nearby town of Ganjia. Many Tibetans come to Labrang on pilgrimage, and you can always see someone touching the prayer wheels alongside the wall of the Monastery.


What's really great:
Xiahe travelogue picture
I liked the countryside and the splendid views of the Monastery and the village from the nearby hills. Riding a bike to the prairies and pastry lands was also amazing. The visit to the Monastery was also unique. The Monastery can only be visited on a guided tour, one of the monks is a guide.

Accommodations:
Xiahe travelogue picture
I stayed in Labrang Hotel, one of the nicest places in Xiahe. Originally it was the head of lama┬┤s summer residence and was rebuilt as a tourist hotel in the 1980s. It is set by the river, a few KM from the village.

Other recommendations:
Xiahe travelogue picture
Sangke Grasslands, is a place 14km up the valley from Xiahe, where the Tibetans graze their yak herds. You can ride a bike up here, but be sure that the tyres are in good conditions. It is also possible to stay overnight here in a tent. A great place for walking.

Published on Tuesday December 2th, 2003


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Sat, Nov 05 2005 - 01:32 PM rating by vbx000

I was in Xiahe as we followed the Silk Road in august. I absolutely loved the city and even though guidebooks saying going to Xiahe is as good as going to Tibet, instead it instilled in me the dire need to see Tibet. I love Xiahe, this is a great report about it. Makes me want to go back.

Mon, Oct 24 2005 - 12:40 PM rating by toribio

TODOS TUS REPORS SON MUY BUENOS

Wed, Jun 22 2005 - 05:22 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Wonderful report! I learnt a lot reading it.

Fri, Apr 23 2004 - 06:15 AM rating by willow

This sounds like a fantastic trip!

Tue, Dec 16 2003 - 09:30 AM rating by magsalex

Work with Tibetran students but not visited this place yet!

Mags

Tue, Dec 02 2003 - 11:14 PM rating by janeyee

Hola! I would love to see this place someday ^^

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