Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Dzongsar Valley

Dzongsar Monastery

One of the oldest, most important and certainly most visibly impressive monastery complexes in Kham, the remote Dzongsar Monastery sits on a sharp ridge above the main village of the Dzongsar Valley. The...

Top ChoiceNature Reserve in Southern Garze Prefecture

Yading Nature Reserve

Yading Nature Reserve

The magnificent Yading Nature Reserve, 140km south of Daocheng, centres around three sacred snowcapped mountains, a holy trinity encircled by forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers and glacier-fed lakes. These...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Dege

Bakong Scripture Printing Press

Bakong Scripture Printing Press

This fascinating 1729 printing press houses an ongoing printing operation that still uses traditional woodblock printing methods and maintains more than 290,000 scripture plates, an astonishing 70% of Tibet’s...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Dzogchen

Dzogchen Gompa

Backed by mountains, the massive Dzogchen monastery complex sits halfway up a steep ridge overlooking a valley dotted with stupas, shedras (Buddhist colleges), dormitory blocks, and further chapels and prayer...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Tagong

Ser Gyergo Nunnery

Known locally as ani gompa (Tibetan for ‘nunnery’), Hépíng Fǎhùi is home to around 500 nuns and more than 100 monks. Lama Tsemper was a revered hermit who spent much of his life meditating in a cave about two...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Litang

Former Residence of the 7th Dalai Lama

Kelzang Gyatso (1708–57), the seventh Dalai Lama, was born in a cold, dark, cave-like room in the basement of this house during a period of intense political struggle. He eventually grew into a visionary leader,...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Yulongsi Valley & Mt Gongga Shan

Gongga Monastery

Set at an altitude of 3941m and cut off from the outside world by winter snows for months on end, the Gongga Monastery (also known as the Minya Konka Monastery) has an unforgettable location with views directly...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Ganzi

Degongbu Temple

Surrounded by the mud-brick buildings belonging to the smaller of Ganzi's two Tibetan quarters, this 13th-century temple's two dimly lit halls (one historic, the other finished in 2007) are filled with the smell...

Top ChoiceVillage in Danba

Zhonglu

Comparatively remote Zhonglu, 13km from Danba, is less a village and more a collection of grand, traditional stone houses spread across a lush, green mountain slope. It's blissfully cool and quiet, and though...

Buddhist Monastery in Yaqing

Yarchen Gar Buddhist Institute

On a quiet bend of the Dzin-Chu River in the remote grasslands of Garzi Prefecture, this massive Nyingma (Red Hat) community of nuns and monks living in improvised housing under the shadows of magnificent...

Buddhist Monastery in Seda

Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy

Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy

Of all the Buddhist sights in western Sichuan, there is none as striking as Larung Gar. The future of Tibetan Buddhism is contained here in this school, one of the largest of its kind in the world, cradled in a...

Buddhist Monastery in Baiyu

Pelyul Gompa

A remote settlement in the mountains of the former Tibetan province of Kham, here you can get a semblance of the spectacle of monastic life through a visit to Baiyu Si (Baiyul; 3150m), a small monastery village...

Lake in Manigange

Yilhun Lha-tso

It is said King Gesar's beloved concubine Zhumu was so taken by these stunning turquoise-blue waters that her heart fell in. This now-holy glacial lake, 8km southwest of Manigange, is still awe inspiring. Follow...

Buddhist Monastery in Tagong

Lhagang Monastery

The story goes that when Princess Wencheng, the Chinese bride-to-be of Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, was on her way to Lhasa in 640, a precious statue of Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha toppled off one of the carts in her...

Monastery in Northern Garze Prefecture

Darjay Gompa

It's one of the most venerated monasteries in the prefecture; the reasoning behind the name 'Big Golden Temple' becomes apparent as soon as it appears on the horizon. There are two large halls surrounded by a...

Buddhist Temple in Ganzi

Garze Gompa

North of the town’s old Tibetan quarter is Ganzi's largest monastery, dating back more than 500 years and glimmering with gold (some of it even real!). Encased on the walls of the main hall are hundreds of small...

Mountain in Kangding

Paoma Shan

Paoma Shān is the famed mountain of the Kāngdìng Qíng Gē ('Kangding Love Song'), one of China's most enduring folk songs, and will appeal the most to those who are familiar with the ditty. It's an easy ascent on...

Buddhist Monastery in Xiangcheng

Bsampeling Monastery

Originally established in 1669, but much rebuilt, this collection of monastery buildings at the top end of town commands fine views of the surrounding hills. Take the stairs up to the 2nd and 3rd floors of the...

Mountain in Kangding

Jiǔlián Shān

The best way of acclimatising and getting fit for adventures further west is to climb the beautiful Mt Jiulian. The trail rises steeply through forest but the top is a rolling grassland plateau of between 3500...

Village in Danba

Jiaju Zangzhai

Of all the pretty villages in the hills around here, Danba tourism’s pride and joy is Jiaju, 12km northwest of town and perched at the top of a multiswitchback road that winds up a steep river gorge. With fruit...