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The general information about Xiahe


Xiahe is a tiny, bustling town nestles in a mountain valley at an elevation of 2,900m in Ganan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest Gansu.

The town was divided into two sections, primarily Hui (Muslim) and Han Chinese at its eastern end, changing abruptly to a Tibetan town as you climb westward to the gorgeous gilded roofs of the vast Labrang Monastery. Bent and walnut-visaged Tibetan pilgrims make you welcome on the 3km circuit around the monastery's perimeter.

It is not just the amazing sights of the Labrang Monastery and the Sangke Grassland that will enamour you with Xiahe, but also the vibrant atmosphere. The locals and nomads in the village live a laid-back lifestyle. The population here is made up of 45% Tibetan, 45% Han and 10% Hui, making this a good place to behold monks in bright purple, yellow and red, nomads clad in sheepskins, and the Hui Muslims with skull caps and wispy beards. The town is also a thoroughfare for inbound pilgrims from Qinghai and Tibet.

For backpackers, Xiahe is the traffic hub either northwards to Gansu (some places of it can be visited for Silk Road tour) or southwards to Sichuan.

Best time to go: Summer


How long: 2~3days

Getting there and away


There is no railway lines anywhere close to Xiahe or the neighboring area. The only viable mode of transport to/from this Tibetan town is by bus.

From Lanzhou: a few direct buses run to Xiahe daily, departing 6:30~7:30 and 14:00. But if there is only a few passengers, the driver may "sell" you at Linxia to the Linxia-Xiahe buses when stopping for lunch.


If you missed the direct bus, you can take a Lanzhou-Linxia bus from either the east or south bus station in Lanzhou. From Linxia, buses to Xiahe departing every 40 minutes between 6:30 and 4:30pm, 3hrs.

For those from Sichuan Zoige, you will need to come via Hezuo. Catch the 6:20am bus from Zoige to Hezuo, via Langmusi. Buses to Xiahe from Hezuo (2.5hrs) depart frequently before 4pm. There is also a direc bus from Langmusi to Xiahe.

Leaving - The daily bus leaving Xiahe for Lanzhou departs in early morning. You can also go to Linxia,there are 2~3 buses per hour to Lanzhou between 6:30am and 4pm, about the same timetable for buses to Hezuo.

Xiahe is also a starting point for travelers heading for Qinghai (famous tourist destination for China vacation deals). One daily bus leaves for Tongren (5hrs). However, due to poor road conditions, do not count too much on the punctuality of the bus, which is sometimes even cancelled. If you plan to go southward to Sichuan province, you can first take the morning bus to Hezuo and then change.

Getting around

3-wheel motor-cab or bike. Bike renting service available at most tourist restaurants and hotels. The main Monastery Restaurant and the rental shop opposite offer the lowest rate at Y2/hour or Y10/day. For any additional travel-related information, head to the Youyi Hotel, who have travel services.



Labrang Monastery - Built in 1709 by a monk from the nearby village of Ganjia, who became the first Living Buddha of the monastery.


Situated at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain, 1.5km west of the Xiahe bus station, along the main road in town. In terms of size it is second only to the Potala Palace in Lhasa and it is so called by the Tibetan "Labrang", meaning the "place where the Buddhist Palace stands".


The place remained in relative peace until the 1920s when the Muslims and Tibetans had numerous battles in and around this region, turf wars that were both bloody and prolonged. Again in the Cultural Revolution, the region was in chaos. Many of the over 4,000 monks "disappeared", the monastery was temporarily shut down, and was not reopened until 1980.


Nowadays there are around 2,000 monks, mainly from Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia. The present head monk, 3rd in religious importance behind the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, is the sixth incarnation of the Jiemuyang.


The monastery consists of 18 resplendent halls, 6 prestigious Buddhist institutes and about 500 bedrooms for both the living Buddhas and ordinary monks. In total the monastery holds over 60,000 Tibetan sutras and thousands of rare Buddhist relics, including a statue of the most famous Tibetan king, Songtsen gampo.


The Labrang Monastery holds seven large-scale summon ceremonies a year, among which the Summons Ceremony in the first lunar month and the Buddhist Doctrine Explaining Ritual in the seventh lunar month are the grandest ones.


Admission Fee: 41 RMB (Chinese currency)


Sangke Grasslands - Lying about 14km west of Xiahe,it enjoys a good reputation in the northwest Tibetan region for its excellent pasture and frequent magnificent Buddhist ceremonies. Belonging to the meadow steppe and bordered by the Daxia River, Sangke Grassland is at an elevation of 3000m with an area of 70sqkm.


The grassland is named for the summer-blooming Sangke flowers that form a natural carpet extending to the far horizons. Reflecting sky and mountains, the Daxia River twists through grass and earth like an undulating silk belt. Countless sheep, yaks and tents are visible over the prairie.


Visitors can travel by bicycle or on horseback. It is possible to stay overnight with a local family or to rent a tent and experience Tibetan food such as yak-butter tea, stuffed steamed buns, mutton, and Zanba (a traditional Tibetan staple food of roasted highland barley flour).

You can obtain other information via China tour guide.


10:37 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Top 6 Impregnable Passes in Ancient China

Although an impregnable pass cannot guarantee the victory of a war, it plays an important role. In ancient time when lots of wars happened, the pass will become a place of strategic importance. The following 6 are the famous impregnable passes in ancient China which you can choose for your China vacation deals.


1 Shanhai Pass
Located on the northeast part of Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province, Shanhai Pass is the starting pass of the Great Wall built by great General Xuda in 1381 of Ming Dynasty. It is adjacent to Yanshan Mountain and Bohai Sea, so it was called Shanhai Pass (Mountain and Sea Pass). It is reputed as the first pass of China due to its key location.



2 Yanmen Pass
Situated on the Gouzhu Mountain of Shanxi Province, it was called Yanmen Pass (goose door pass) for the reason that it is between two peaks like a door and there often have geese flying through it. The mountains around it are very precipitous and the roads are all rugged, so it was an important pass in Song Dynasty. Yanmen, Ningwu and Pian Passed were called three passes, being in the charge of important town of Taiyuan and had placed key strategic positions.


3 Tong Pass
Located in northeast of Lintong County of Shaanxi Province whose capital city Xian is the starting point for Silk Road tours, Tong Pass is an essential pass between ancient Luoyang and Chang-an. It is adjacent to Yellow River to the north and Huashan Mountain to the south, not only a pass to the central Shaanxi Plain but also a natural barrier in the east of Chang-an. What’s more, it was in charge of the important Yellow River’s port---Fenglingdu Port between Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces.


4 Xiangyang
Xiangyang is Xiangfan City of Hubei Province now, located in the middle reaches of Han River. It is a hinge area connecting Hubei, Henan, Sichuan and Shaanxi Provinces. During the period of Three Kingdoms, three military blocs had fought for it for several times. During Song Dynasty, Song garrisoned troops here for 10 years so that the Yuan Army could not defend Song dynasty.


5 Xuzhou
Called Pengcheng City in ancient time, it was an important town in eastern part of central plain of China, located in northwest of Jiangsu Province which is the best destination included in packages of top 10 China tours, adjacent to Henan, Shandong and Anhui Provinces. It was a place of strategic importance due to its special location of Huanghai to the east, Lunan Mountain to the north and Jianghuai River to the south. According to some historical materials, since period of Spring and Autumn and Warring States, there were more than 150 wars here.


6 Hanzhong

It is now located on the boundary of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Hubei Provinces. During the period of Three Kingdoms, Shu Nation occupied Hanzhong and it was a natural safeguard for attacking Wei Nation and defending the whole Sichuan Province. Between two peaks built a lot of plank roads. Therefore, it was easy to hold but hard to attack.

If you are interested in the above places, you can include them in your popular China tour package.


10:24 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Top Must-see Sights in Kunming

Kunming, known as the ‘Spring City’ for its equable climate, is one of China’s most laid-back and liveable cities and enjoyable place to spend a few days. Kunming has some intriguing temples and historical structures, while grand parks are nearby and the legendary Stone Forest is a day trip away for your Kunming tour.

Stone Forest

Stone Forest is a notable set of karst formation in Yi Autonomous County in Yunnan Province, about 86 kilometers away form Kunming. Known as the “First Wonder of the World”, the tall rocks seem to emanate from the ground in the manner of stalagmites. The Stone Forest is separated into seven parts including Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Da Dieshui, Long Lake, Moon Lake, Zhiyun Cave and Qingfeng Cave.

Grand View Tower

The Grand View Tower in the Grand View Garden, located on the bank of the Dian Lake about 2 kilometers away from Kunming and one of famous Kunming attractions, is one of the famous sights in Kunming. The Grand View Tower, also called Jinhuapu, was built in 1690 of Qing Dynasty. It is the three-floored wooden construction with antique appearance. When standing on tower, you can appreciate the beautiful scene of Dian Lake and West Hill in distance. What makes the Grand View Tower more notable is the 180-word antithetical couplet, known as the longest one in China.

Golden Horse and Jade Rooster Memorial Arch


The Golden Horse and Jade Rooster Memorial Arch is situated at the center of Kunming where you can have Kunming travel, the interchange of the San Shi Street and Jinbi Road. The arch is 12 meters high and 8 meters wide. The wonder of the arch lie in the marvelous scene. The Golden Horse Arch is in the east against the hill with the same name as the archway. The Jade Rooster Archway in the west against the mountain of the Jade Rooster Mountain. There is rare scene you may not find in other place. It is said that the shadows of the Golden Horse Archway from the moon and the Jade Rooster Archway from sun can overlap in a day of the fall season when the sun is about set and the moon rise. But this scene only happens every 60 years.

Yuantong Temple

This is the largest Buddhist complex in Kunming and a draw for pilgrims. It is over 1000 years old and refurbished times. To the rear a hall has been added , with a statue of Shakyamuni, a gift from Thailand’s King.


10:49 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)