Western Sichuan attractions

Top Choice Nature Reserve in Southern Garzê Prefecture

Yàdīng Nature Reserve

The magnificent Yàdīng Nature Reserve, 140km south of Dàochéng, centres around three sacred snowcapped mountains, a holy trinity encircled by forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers and glacier-fed lakes. These are, …
Top Choice Buddhist Monastery in Dege

Bakong Scripture Printing Press & Monastery

This fascinating 1792 monastery houses one of western Sìchuān’s star attractions: an ongoing printing operation that still uses traditional woodblock printing methods and maintains more than 320,000 scripture plates…
Top Choice 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 10,000-strong Nyingma (Red Hat) community of nuns and monks living in improvised housing under the shadows of magnificent gold…
Top Choice Village in Danba


Comparatively remote Zhōnglù, 13km from Dānbā, is a popular village for homestays and a good base for wandering through the countryside. Look for the old stone steps that climb above the village for fantastic views …
Buddhist Monastery in Seda

Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy

Of all the Buddhist sights in western Sìchuān, there is none as striking as Larung Gar. The future of Tibetan Buddhism is contained here in this school, the largest of its kind in the world, cradled in a valley some…
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 Mǎnígāngē, is still awe inspiring. Follow a s…
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 Báiyù Sì (Baiyul; 3150m), a small monastery village of s…
Mountain in Kangding

Guōdá Shān

Guōdá Shān looms large at the northern end of town and takes a full day to climb up and down. From the peak (1500m) you can take in the breathtaking glaciers to the south.
Buddhist Monastery in Tagong

Ser Gyergo Nunnery

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

Former Residence of the 7th Dalai Lama

Kelzang Gyatso (1708–57), the seventh Dalai Lama, was born in the basement of this house during a period of intense political struggle. He eventually grew into a visionary leader, and under his rule Tibet establishe…