Around Xiahe: grasslands, mountains, Tibetan culture.

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June 5th 2013
Published: June 5th 2013
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I enjoyed the atmosphere around the Labrang Monastery so much that I ended up spending 6 days in Xiahe. I stayed in a fun guest house held by Tibetan monks where I met some young Chinese tourists, a few foreigners (in China to teach or study), a Chinese teacher who works with orphans, Tibetan men who openly talked to me about the difficulties of being a Tibetan in 2013, and many monks who enjoyed talking about the Dalai Lama but also football and Tony Parker...

It was nice to park my bike for a couple of days and go off for long walks in the mountains and through the narrow alleys of the monastery. But I also enjoyed getting back on it and riding to the grasslands of Sangke and Gangia. I think I did about 60km on the first day out and maybe 90km on the second. I got to see some cool temples far away from any town. I got chased by scary Tibetan dogs (more than once!! = definitely an issue in the Chinese countryside!), I went up some mountain passes that were long and strenuous and rode on bumpy unpaved roads where sheep looked at me as if they had never seen a foreigner before in their lives!

Cycling allowed me to go to all of these places freely. It was a fantastic feeling!

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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