Xiahe, Gansu Province, China

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February 1st 2007
Published: February 1st 2007
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I went to Xiahe last summer and absolutely loved it! It is really a magical place, full of good humoured Tibetans. They all look so fierce but they are a so sweet!
I took the 07.30 direct express bus from Lanzhou South Busstation. After 3 hours the bus stops in Linxia and you can eat some noodle soup. Then another 3 hours and you have arrived in Xiahe. Tibetans call this place Labrang.
I spent my first day here to explore the Labrang monastry. At 10.00 in the morning and 15.15 in the afternoon, there are guided tours, guided by an English speaking monk. This is very interesting, as you can see parts of the monastry that you can not see if you go by yourself.
The second day I went to the Sangke grasslands. The first day in Labrang I met Wandhikhar, a Tibetan guide who speaks English very well. We went to the grasslands together and it was GREAT!!!! We took a taxi quite deep into the grasslands, where all the nomads live. We first did some hiking and Wandhikhar explained lots of things about grasslands, yaks and nomads. He grew up in a nomad family so he knew lots of things about traditional nomad life. Then we went to visit a nomad famly in a tent. This was definately the highlight of my whole China trip! The life in the tent is so simple but the happiness of the people is amazing. I saw women milking their yaks and men herding the yaks. I had some tea with the women and we ate some tsampa, traditional Tibetan food. After leaving the nomad tent, I went to a nomad trading town. This is where the nomads of the grasslands and the people from town meet each other to barter goods. It was like an old Wild West town. Tibetan men arrive on horse back with gleaming knives in their big coats! It is truly amazing these sights can still be seen! Afterwards we did a little more hiking and then went back to Xiahe. It was 100 % well worth the money spent on guide and car to behold these sights. I can strongly recommend this guide. He has lots of knowledge, speaking English very well, is kind and funny, and cute also! He can arrange all kinds of daytrips around Xiahe and also all kinds of trips in Gansu province. His email wandhikhar@hotmail.com
I spend one more day in Xiahe, just looking around the town and looking at all the Tibetan nomads who come to town for shopping. Their clothes and jewelry are beautiful. This is really a magical place!


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