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 Home >> Destinations > Gansu > Xiahe
Explore Chinese Countryside - Discover Hidden Treasures
Xiahe (2900m) is an easily accessible village to admire the Tibetan culture outside Tibet. If you pass Lanzhou on your silk road itinerary, make sure that you have two days to make an excursion to Xiahe, a five-hour bus trip from Lanzhou.

Your eyes would be refreshed in Xiahe by striking crimson robe and yellow hats of monks, as well as beautiful Tibetan architecture, green grasslands and clear blue sky. The rich color contrasts vividly to the monotonous color of ruins and Gobi desert on the silk road.

Link: A brief introduction of Xiahe and Labrang Monastery

Things to do:
> Walk the 3km kora, the circumambulation route leading around the pilgrimage points in Labrang Monastery: Chortens, Gompas, and hundreds of prayer wheels. In the dusk, monks, nuns, nomads and farmers would come out to fulfill their daily kora. (see left photo).
" Circumambulation is a traditional Buddhist practice and has been part of Tibetan pilgrimage and veneration for more than a thousand years "
> Talk with monks or nuns.
> Walk to the Sanke Grassland (11/2 hour) and rent a horse for ride from Tibetan nomads.
> Rent a car and make an excursion to the Ganjia Grassland, if you stay for three or four days.

What to see:
> Labrang Monastery: Y31 with guide. Otherwise walk quietly inside the monastery. In the morning, monks gather in the inner courtyard, recite some sutras while waiting for their daily ceremony. (see right photo). Two monks would appear on the roof in front of the Wheel of Life and blow a horn. A senior monk, dressed sumptuously (see photo below), walks out from the temple, and annonces the beginning of the ceremony.

> Golden Chorten (stupa) : Y5. Fabulous Tibetan architecture, the most beautiful Chorten that I have ever seen. (see upper right photo)

> Hotels:
- It is heard that Tara Guesthouse is the best place in Xiahe for backpackers.
Single for Y50. Double for Y60. Dormitory rooms:Y15 per bed.
- We stayed at Dasha Hotel: Double for Y60 with WC and hotwater shower, but the bathroom is not very clean.
- One upper standard hotel : Labrang Hotel is located a little bit isolated from the village.Y100-Y160 for a standard room.

> Food: Lanzhou noodle(la1mian4). (Y4)

Getting there and away:
Langmusi --> Hezuo --> Xiahe
From Langmusi to Hezuo, see Langmusi/Getting there
From Hezuo to Xiahe: Y9, 21/2h.

Xiahe --> Lanzhuo: Y20
Bus leaves at 7:20 from Xiahe every day, and arrives in Lanzhou around noon.
Lanzhou has two daily buses to Xiahe. The first one leaves at 8:30 from the north bus station.

Itineraries: Before Xiahe: Langmusi, After Xiahe: Lanzhou.

Problems: It seemed that there was no garbage disposal in the residential area of monks. The road was covered by rubbish and plastic bags. On the contrary, Langmusi was relatively clean and much more attractive.


Traveled to Xiahe in August 2000. © copyright: chinabackpacker