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...

Tibetan in Xiahe

Nirvana Restaurant & Bar

This inviting, bright restaurant serves Tibetan dishes, such as the popular yak hotpot (¥25) and tsampa (¥20), as well as western favourites and breakfasts (¥28). The welcoming, casual vibe makes leaving Nirvana...

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...

Yunnan in Langmusi

Yunnan Mama's Kitchen

Mr Wang and the folk from Dali in Yunnan at this family-run restaurant are a bundle of fun. Sample the five or six flavours of strong homemade qīngkē báijiǔ (Chinese barley spirit) and you might be too. Popular...

Tibetan in Xiahe

Tara Cafe & Restaurant

This traditionally styled and highly colourful restaurant on the ground floor of Tara Guesthouse is very good-looking indeed and serves excellent baked Tibetan dumplings (烤藏包, kǎozàngbāo; ¥36) and other Tibetan...

Dumplings in Langmusi

Hangzhou Dumplings

This friendly family-run restaurant offers a wide range of Chinese dishes and breakfasts such as yóutiáo (fried dough sticks), dòujiāng (warm soya milk), tsampa and xiǎolóngbāo (steamed dumplings). There is an...

Cafe in Xiahe

Norden Cafe

Traveller-friendly cafe with warm pine-wood interior serving homemade cakes, soups and burgers, plus excellent tea and coffee. Lovely big window seats overlook Labrang Monastery's ticket office. Service is first...

Cafe in Langmusi

Bear's House

This 2nd-floor cafe up a spiral staircase overlooking the main street of Langmusi sells coffee (¥20), tea (¥15), and breakfast/snacks (¥15) in a cosy cafe setting with English menus. On the main street halfway...

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...

Cafe in Xiahe

Snowy Mountain Cafe

This chilled-out choice was moving at the time of writing, but its former incarnation served a menu of Tibetan, Chinese and western staples, as well as a full-service bar. The Tibetan-style noodles and yak steak...

Buddhist Temple in Xiahe

Barkhang

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...