(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
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
" 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
Chorten (stupa) : Y5. Fabulous Tibetan
architecture, the most beautiful Chorten that I have ever
seen. (see upper right photo)
- It is heard that Tara
Guesthouse is the best place in Xiahe for backpackers.
Single for Y50. Double for Y60. Dormitory rooms:Y15 per
- 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
Langmusi --> Hezuo
From Langmusi to Hezuo, see Langmusi/Getting there
From Hezuo to
Xiahe: Y9, 21/2h.
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.
Before Xiahe: Langmusi, After Xiahe: Lanzhou. |
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. ©