Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Xiàhé

Labrang Monastery

With its succession of squeaking prayer wheels (3km in total), hawks circling overhead and the throb of Tibetan longhorns resonating from the surrounding hills, Labrang is a monastery town unto itself. Many of the c…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Zhāngyè

Giant Buddha Temple

Originally dating to 1098 (Western Xia dynasty), this lovely temple contains an astonishing 35m-long sleeping Buddha – China’s largest of this variety and among the biggest wooden reclining Buddhas in Asia – surroun…
Top Choice Fort in Jiāyùguān

Jiāyùguān Fort

One of the classic images of western China, this fort once guarded the narrow pass between the snowcapped Qílián Shān peaks and the Hēi Shān (Black Mountains) of the Mǎzōng Shān range.Built in 1372, it was named the…
Top Choice Cave in Dūnhuáng

Mògāo Grottoes

The Mògāo Grottoes are considered one of the most important collections of Buddhist art in the world. At its peak during the Tang dynasty (618–907), the site housed 18 monasteries, more than 1400 monks and nuns, and…
Museum in Lánzhōu

Gānsù Provincial Museum

This museum has an intriguing collection of Silk Road artefacts with English descriptions, including inscribed Han dynasty wooden tablets used to relay messages along the Silk Road, and dinosaur skeletons.The gracef…
Historic Site in Lánzhōu

Water Wheel Park

Lánzhōu is the only city centre that the Yellow River flows through and these massive wooden copies of irrigation devices give a taste of what once lined the banks. They have been turned into a pleasant, if small, r…
Cave in Southern Gānsù

Bǐnglíng Sì

With its relative inaccessibility, Bǐnglíng Sì is one of the few Buddhist grottoes in China to have survived the tumultuous 20th century unscathed. Which is a good thing, as during a period spanning 1600 years, scul…
Buddhist Site in Xiàhé

Gòngtáng Pagoda

With an interior splashed with murals and illuminated by a combination of yak-butter candles and electric lamps, the golden 31m-tall Gòngtáng Pagoda is a perennial favourite with visitors. Follow the stairs up vario…
Buddhist Site in Xiàhé


This nunnery is on the hill above the Tibetan part of Xiàhé. The outer kora (pilgrim path) begins just to the left of here.
Buddhist Site in Xiàhé

Ngakpa Gompa

Visit this small Nyingmapa (Red Hat) school monastery to catch a glimpse of lay monks who wear striking red and white robes and have long, braided hair. No entry to actual school.