Xiahe - hometown of Labrang Monastery

Xiahe is an administrative county of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, also component part of Amdo Tibetan Region. It is located in southern Gansu Province, about 280km from capital city Lanzhou. Its history can be dated back to Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 - c. 1046 BCE). In the early Han Dynasty, Xiahe was pasture of Qiang Group. Since West Han Dynasty, Xiahe had been a county. And it was occupied by Tibetan Tubo Kingdom, which built the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism's development in Xiahe. In 1709 of Qing Dynasty, Labrang Monastery was built, and then became a holy monastery of Amdo Tibetan Region.

Several years ago, Xiahe used to be an off-the-beaten-path place, but it is now one of the most popular destinations in northwestern China attracting thousands of visitors every month, including tour groups, solo travelers, students, Buddhist monks and nons...Most visitors come here for the Labrang Monastery where you can experience a God-given tranquility. Sangke Prairie is another place to to.

Xiahe Map

Xiahe Travel Map

Top Things to Do in Xiahe

1: Labrang Monastery

Built in 1709, Labrang Monastery is by far the largest and most influential monastery in Amdo Tibetan Region, also ranked as one of "Six Greatest Gelug School Monasteries". It is located in the western Labuleng Town. The white walls and golden roofs feature a blend of Tibetan and Han architectural styles Along the foot of Labrang Monastery is the wriggling Daxia River flowing from west to northeast. The monastery is a complex of more than 500 schoolroom, temples, chapels, etc.

Labrang Monastery

Labrang Monastery - influential monastery in Amdo Tibetan Region

Labrang Monastery is famous as "Word Tibetan University", because it has established a complete system of Buddhism study. There are six academies teaching different theories of Esoteric Buddhism and Exoteric Buddhism, also medicine, astronomy, etc. It takes about fifteen years to complete some of the studies. Labrang Monastery has now the largest number of monks outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region. You have chance to observe their daily living and study. If lucky, you will see the spectacular ceremony of Buddhism Debating.

While exploring the holy temples and stupas, you can join the local Tibetan and pilgrims to walk the Kora around the Monastery. Walking to the upper hill, then you can get a good, overall view of the entire complex.

Labrang Monastery

Labrang Monastery - "Word Tibetan University

Labrang Monastery

Labrang Monastery - Buddhism Debating

2: Sangke Prairie

Sangke Prairie is about 1km away from Xiahe city. It is a great place to spend leisure half day enjoying grass scenery. The prairie is an ideal natural pasture. You can see mountains dotted with sheep and yaks, wriggling Daxia River, vast grass as far as the eye can see. Summer is the best time to visit Sangke Prairie. All you can see is green grass and blooming wild flowers. Flocks and herds eat grass under the blue sky. Tens of white nomad tents seat by the side of Daxia River. People chat while drinking buttered tea. Everything seems to be so peaceful. You can visit a friendly nomad family, or take a hike through the hills on the grasslands.

Sangke Prairie

Sangke Prairie

Stunning landscape of Sangke Prairie

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