Pilgrimage in Gannan, Gansu Province (I)


The Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is located in southwest China's Gansu Province, which borders on Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, and belongs to the traditional Amdo Tibetan-inhabited area.

Here you will find the mysterious Labrang Monastery, Langmu Temple, beautiful Zhakarna Village, the vast Sankoh Grassland under the blue sky with white clouds, and pilgrims with kind souls... Gannan is a perfect place to experience the Tibetan culture and enjoy the grassland scenery without entering Tibet.

Labrang Monastery: The world's longest prayer corridor

At Xiahe's Labrang Monastery, it seems to be not so much a temple as a small town. Everyone here is so devout, they will rise with the sun every morning to turn the prayer wheels and click their prayer beads while reciting mantra; with a solemn expression pilgrims perform prostrations around the road, taking three or five steps along between each prostration. With soaking and soiled faces and clothing their appearance shocks spectators, and creates an image that is hard to forget.


Photo shows the Labrang Monastery.

Location: Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.

Tickets: 20 yuan per person for climbing the Kongthang Pagoda.

Transport: From Lanzhou South Bus Station there are five buses a day to Xiahe County; the four-hour journey costs 80 yuan per person.


Photo shows the Labrang Monastery.


Photo shows the Labrang Monastery.

Langmu Temple: A sacred highland town

The Langmu Temple is actually the name of a town that is divided in two by the Bailongjiang River (Drukchu River in Tibetan), bridging two provinces: the north section belongs to Gansu Province and the south to Sichuan Province. Here you will find that the monks turn out to be not so mysterious.

Location: Langmu Temple Town, Luqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.


Photo shows the Langmu Monastery.


Photo shows the Langmu Monastery.

Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00

Tickets: In spring, summer and autumn is 30 yuan per person. No ticket required in winter.

Transport: You can reach Langmu Temple by chartered tours or self-driving.

Public Transport: Take the first shuttle bus of the day from Xiahe County and then take the bus to Zogye or Tewo Town.

Accommodation: The most convenient accommodation is in the town, where various grades of hotel are available. In the peak season, it's best to book hotels in advance.

Milarepa Pavilion: Tibetan Pavilion

A hundred years ago, Tibetan Buddhist followers built this temple in Gansu that is dedicated to the venerable Tibetan saint Milarepa. Each layer of the pavilion represents a different era and theme. Walking in it, there is also a shuttle bus to help visitors enjoy this thousand-year-old Tibetan structure.


Photo shows the Milarepa Pavilion.


Photo shows the Milarepa Pavilion.

Location: Hezuo City, Gansu Province.

Tickets: 20 yuan per person.

Transport: You can reach Hezuo City by public transport from Lanzhou, Xiahe, and Tewo Town. Take Bus No. 1 or 2 From Hezuo City to reach the pavilion.