Centred around the Yarchen Gar Buddhist Institute and the massive community of monks and nuns that live here as students of the Dharma, Yàqīng (亚青) offers an in-depth look into monastic life. The deeply spiritual atmosphere, combined with the privations those in residence endure, provides some evidence as to the importance of religion in the lives of the congregation.
Travel here is not for the squeamish, however, as living conditions are quite basic. Without running water, the residents of the improvised shelters that dominate the area make do with hauling buckets from taps near the temples for all their basic needs. Sanitation facilities are minimal, and during heavy rains the pit toilets on the outsides of the encampment often overflow and pour through the streets of the floodplain on which it is built.