Lóngwù Dàsì


Tongren’s main monastery is a huge and fascinating maze of renovated chapels and monks’ residences, dating from 1301. It’s a superb place to wander and explore, and you’ll need one or two hours. Your ticket includes entry into eight main halls, although you may be able to peek inside others, too. There are more than 500 resident monks, and every day dozens of them go into the courtyard outside the Hall of Bodhisattva Manjusri (文殊殿, Wénshū Diàn) to take part in animated, hand-clapping debates on Buddhist philosophy.

The Main Assembly Hall (大经堂, Dàjīng Táng) is a very venerable and astonishing hall – buy a yak-butter candle to light (from ¥10 to ¥50). There's a map on the ticket to the monastery, but it's still easy to get lost.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Qinghai attractions

1. Regong Square

1.14 MILES

The huge Regong Art Museum (热贡艺术博物馆, Règòng Yìshù Bówùguǎn) stands at the eastern end of this lively square at the heart of town. Come at twilight and…

2. Wútún Sì

4.39 MILES

This two-monastery complex is the place to head if you’re interested in Tibetan art. The Upper (Yango) Monastery (吾屯上寺, Wútún Shàngsì) is closest to…

3. Gomar Gompa

4.44 MILES

Across the Gu-chu river valley from Wútún Sì is the mysterious 400-year-old Gomar Gompa, a charming monastery that resembles a medieval walled village…

4. Trakkar Gompa

29.51 MILES

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