Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Xiàhé

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 the c…
Buddhist Site in Xiàhé

Gòngtáng Pagoda

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


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

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 Xiàhé

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 fac…
Buddhist Temple in Xiàhé


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 off…
Ruins in Xiàhé

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 villa…
Viewpoint in Xiàhé

Thangka Display Terrace

The best morning views of the monastery come from the Thangka Display Terrace, a popular picnic spot.
Grasslands in Xiàhé

Sāngkē Grasslands

Expanses of open grassland dotted with Tibetans and their grazing yak herds highlight a trip to the village of Sāngkē, 14km from Xiàhé. Development has turned the area into a small circus, complete with touristy hor…
Area in Xiàhé

Gānjiā Grasslands

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