Blogs from Xiahe, Gansu, China, Asia


Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe March 20th 2018

An excellent breakfast and then collected some washing; a cultural difficulty became clear, as to why laundries will not handle “smalls”. Seemingly Moslems and Buddhists both have specific rules as to how such garments must be segregated and handled, so it is simplest to leave it to the individual in question. Leaving town, Kevin calculated that at least 3,000 mature trees have been recently transplanted to decorate the street, each one at 20ft high and 6 inches diameter, all hand-planted and supported individually by four spread-eagled stakes and a collar; even at (say) £250 a tree to cover propogation, growing on, uplifting, transport, planting, staking and irrigation, this is a huge investment in a remote and quite small population centre. The weather was magnificent, and we drove on whilst contemplating the truly gigantic scale of investment ... read more
Drying racks for barley straw
Muti purpose tractor unit
On the road to Xiahe

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe April 25th 2016

This place was absolutely marvellous and I got there by chance, because of a local traveller recommended that to me and on the same day I hopped on a bus and headed there. I have to say that it is already amazing the road that leads there passing through loess mountains with stunning views allover the place. This monastery is hidden up in the mountain of the Gansu province and it is like a Tibetan world outside of Tibet which is quite unique in China. On arrival, fortunately, not many people were there and I could see groups on monks browsing around this beautiful monastery. People spinning the prayer rolls along the way and the workers that were restoring a part of this monastery gave a good mix to the ambiance of this little town. What ... read more
Mama and child

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe July 16th 2015

Xiahe is just under 3000m above sea level and even in the middle of July it's cold at night or when the sun isn't shining. It was quite a shock getting off the bus from Lanzhou where it had been 30c when we left a bit over 3 hours earlier. Apart from the cold and wind the first thing that struck us was the similarity in looks and dress between the Tibetans living up here and the Andean peoples we'd come across in South America - it's startling to see how alike two groups of people separated by half a world can be. The Labrang Monastery is the must see place. It's one of the six major Tibetan monasteries of the Yellow Hat Sect. It has 1800 monks and nuns and spreads over quite a big ... read more
At the Top of a Temple
Spinning the Prayer Wheels on the Kora
Spinning the Prayer Wheels on the Kora

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe June 29th 2015

Oh Xiahe. A place in China that had so much character and proved to be one of our favourite places in China despite it being the least Chinese place we had visited. Thats not saying much about China is it? On the contrary we really enjoyed our time spent in China. This was just one of our favourites. Writing this as we leave the Gansu province makes us feel a little sad as we sure will miss this place and do hope to return one day. Pronounced Shaarr-huh, the 'huh' part said with a real american football player sound, almost from the depths of your stomach. We found this place when looking for places in China off the beaten track when reading about China in Hong Kong. We came across a blog written by a girl ... read more
The sandy colours of the monastery
Atmospheric lanes within the monastery

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe August 6th 2014

Day three in Xiahe journey saw us venture up to the Gangjiang grasslands - a spectacular area of fertile lands and pasture where the nomadic farmers bring their sheep And yaks down from the hills to graze. They erect their yurts and establish themselves in an area for a time to graze and them move on. We had to cross a high mountain range to get yo the grasslands and that was exciting - had a horrendously muddy track most of the way, heavy mist and "Stirling Moss" as our driver ! Must have been over 4000m as we realised that even Xiahe is at 3000m altitude. We both got a slight headache so maybe first sign of altitude sickness ? Visited Bajio village - the remains of a prehistoric 'city' 2000 yrs old - had ... read more
Wutun Lu - an ancient Tibetin monastery
Wutun Lu - an ancient Tibetin monastery - painting the Thrakhas

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe August 5th 2014

First day in Xiahe we explored the Labrang Tibetian Monastery - second in size only to that in ?Lhasa. We joined the many pilgrims and 'did' the Kora walk - a 3 km circuit of the monastery whizzing all the prayers wheels as we went. Very few touristy mainly nomadic Tibetian pilgrims who we're making their devotions. Many prostrating themselves on the ground in a repetitive fashion... read more
Prayer wheels at Labrang Monastery
More Prayer wheels at Labrang Monastery
Prostrated pilgrims at Labrang Monastery

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe June 5th 2013

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 ... read more
traversant un petit village
Tibetan shepherd near Sangke
my kind of road... for 5 minutes! Then my hands got sore!

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe June 5th 2013

Bonjour à tous! Comme vous pourrez le constater, j’ai écrit un (trop) long email en anglais donc je vais essayer de faire plus court en français. Je suppose que vous avez bien d’autres choses à faire que de lire mes péripéties sur les routes de campagne de Chine et puis, de mon coté à Pékin le temps est super ensoleillé et j’aimerais bien en profiter au plus vite ! Je suis rentré il y a 2 jours de cela sur Pékin pour 2 raisons : revoir Becky avant de traverser le corridor de Hexi dans le Gansu, long de 1000km, et également récupérer mes sacoches vélo qui sont enfin prêtes ! Je devrais passer une petite semaine ici. J’ai laissé mon vélo dans la province du Gansu et je suis rentré en train (17 heures de ... read more
loved this view!
Monks from Sichuan visiting the Monastery

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe March 28th 2013

26 March 2012 Tuesday. As breakfast wasn’t served until 7 am we decided to take the 8:30 bus to Xiahe (the other departure times are 7:30 am, 2 and 3 pm; cost: 76.5 RMB). Even then due to the time it took to check out and deposit some bags with the hotel for our return, and then the taxi ride to the South Bus Station, we didn't get there until 8:30. We easily found the place that sold tickets and upon loading our luggage and climbing aboard they immediately departed…another close call as the next direct bus wasn’t until 2 pm. The bus was very nice, and for entertainment we were treated to the Chinese version of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles;” but in this case there were a few additional forms of transportation…hay wagons, boats, etc. ... read more
Prayer Wheels at Labrang Monastery
Main street of the Labrang Monastery
Pilgrim resting after her perambulations

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe June 7th 2012

Xahé_Tibet_Amdo_Labrang Monastery_ Grasslands and more…. Ohhh what a beautiful colorful place. I arrived two days ago here. I took an early small bus from Tongren and I had the bad luck of have a next to me men that was not drunk but he smelled a cheap alcohol. He left me in the middle of the road in a small town after taking my hands and saying something in Chinese. In that trip break stop I met two women that were in the bus. A teacher from Canada who moved here and her student. They made me try the local yogurt, which has a plain delicious flavor and the put in the top honey or sugar. It is amazing how many retired woman in their late sixties from US and Canada decide to come here ... read more

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