Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Xiahe

Labrang Monastery

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...

Top ChoiceArt Studio in Xiahe

Snowland Art

Tucked away down the backstreets of Xiahe not far from Labrang Monastery, Snowland Art is a family-style fine art and handicrafts training school set up by the infinitely resourceful and inspiring Canadian artist...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Hezuo

Milarepa Palace Buddhist Temple

A towering nine-storey layer cake of a temple, the Milarepa Palace is both deeply steeped in mystery and unusual in the Tibetan world as different spiritual leaders from varying sects are worshipped on each...

Cave in Southern Gansu

Bǐnglíng Sì

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,...

Buddhist Monastery in Langmusi

Kerti Gompa

Rising up on the Sichuan side of White Dragon River is this monastery – otherwise dubbed the Sichuan Monastery – built in 1413, home to around 700 monks and composed of six temples and colleges. Try catching a...

Buddhist Site in Xiahe

Gongtang Pagoda

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

Area in Xiahe

Ganjia Grasslands

The Ganjia Grasslands, 34km from Xiahe, aren’t as pretty as those at nearby Sangke, but there is more to explore. From Xiahe a bumpy road crosses the Naren-Ka pass (impassable after long rains) before quickly...

Area in Xiahe

Sangke Grasslands

Expanses of open grassland dotted with Tibetans and their grazing yak herds highlight a trip to the village of Sangke, 14km from Xiahe. Development has turned the area into a bit of a small circus, complete with...

Buddhist Temple in Xiahe


The three-storey Barkhang serves as the monastery’s traditional printing temple. With rows upon rows of more than 20,000 wood blocks for printing, it’s well worth a visit, and photos are allowed. The Barkhang is...

Buddhist Site in Xiahe

Hall of Hayagriva

A repository of vivid and bright murals, the hall encapsulates a startlingly fierce 12m-high effigy of Hayagriva – a wrathful manifestation of the usually calm Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) – with six arms and three...

Ruins in Xiahe

Hermitage Ruins

What remains of this hermitage are earthen walls overgrown with nettles, making the real attraction here the view of the town nestled into the mountains. To get here, climb the hills to the west of the Tibetan...

Buddhist Monastery in Langmusi

Serti Gompa

This small monastery (simply referred to as the Gansu Monastery) with golden- and silver-roofed halls dates from 1748 and stands on the Gansu side of White Dragon River. The views are lovely from the uppermost...

Buddhist Monastery in Xiahe

Tseway Gompa

The renovated Tseway Gompa is one of the few Bön monasteries in Gansu. Unlike most Buddhist temples, you should circumnavigate this holy site counterclockwise in the Bön fashion. There are great views of Bājiǎo...

Buddhist Site in Xiahe

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.

Buddhist Site in Xiahe


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

Village in Xiahe

Bājiǎo Chéng

A 2000-year-old Han dynasty village with remarkable 12-sided walls that still shelters a small living community. There is no ticket office as such, but someone should stop you and ask you to buy a ticket. There...

Buddhist Monastery in Hezuo

Tso Gompa

This monastery consists of a large number of individual halls including a Hall of Hayagriva, the Great Scripture Hall and a white stupa as well as the monks' living quarters. You may see young monks dressed in...

Buddhist Monastery in Xiahe

Trakkar Gompa

A monastery of 90 monks set against a stunning backdrop of vertical rock formations. The name literally means 'White Stone Cliff Monastery'.