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Top places to see in Sichuan – Tagong, the door to Tibet

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Read the full Itinerary on Sichuan top destinations – a 10 days travel itinerary guide

Tagong is a small town in the Tibetan prefecture of Ganzi. It is located half way between Kangding and Litang at an altitude of 3700m. It is known for its scenic grasslands and the local Tibetan Buddhist culture. When you arrive in the Tagong area you are immediately taken by the small village’s charm and you feel something is sacred in the air. This is definitely one of the top places to see in Sichuan, an area you don’t want to miss.

A long time ago, the Weng Cheng Chinese princess was on a trip to marry the emperor in Lhasa and she took with her the Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha statue as a gift. When on the road to Lhasa, the princess crossed this Sichuan area and, according to the legend, the statue wanted to stop in Tagong. The princess decided to make a copy of the statue and she left it here, so Lhagang Monastery was born. Built around this lamasery, Tagong is the spiritual town announcing the Tibet’s kingdom.

Check the map at the end of the post for more information about the visited places

Top places to see in Sichuan – why coming to the Tagong area

Coming in the western Sichuan grassland means experiencing the culture and the Tibetan nomad life.

Once you arrive in Tagong, prepare yourself to horse trekking for several days. That will bring you in the mountains, near waterfalls and into the nomad huts to drink yak milk tea and sleep by the fire. This is an opportunity to live a really amazing experience. If riding a horse is not your thing, you will be very limited with your transfers. Here you find only real family business, not touristy business! You can also make a nice walk in the grassland to reach the Jiagunong village, authentic place of Buddhist pilgrimage.

The Jinlong Gompa Buddhist college

Leaving Lhakhang monastery you follow the Yala peak direction, another magnificent sacred mountain of Buddhism over 5700 meters, to reach the Jinlong Gompa Buddhist college. Located in the middle of a grass land, the monastery school brings together the young aspiring monks of the region.

We loved to share our time there with the monks. Curiosity was apparent for both them and us; it ended up in a awesome snowballing battle. Once visiting the lamasery and its incredible wood architecture, have a walk up in the roof, you will be rewarded by a unique grassland panorama.

Locates next to lamasery’s college, there is the wonderful Serkyi Gyelgo hermitage. Created by a Buddhist monk who lived several years in a cave as a hermit, this complex is built of thousands of tiles where Tibetan mantras are engraved . The Tashi nunnery is also established around the hermitage, you will cross it coming from the Jinlong Gompa monastery.

It’s a worship stop for many pilgrims that go around the hermitage by turning the prayer mills. Around the hermitage building, made of plate tiles, you will find the artisans offering their colourful works. You can decided to spend some time here, stay in this very authentic village and even follow Buddhist classes, another way to experience the Tibetan life.

Hundreds of white and pink prayer flags are sitting above the village, on the hillside.

On this same hillside there is also an area reserved for sky burials, or funerals. Here parts of the dead body are left to feed the birds, mostly vultures.

The nomad and religious Tibetan life is full of surprises. Any person you meet will leave you something to think. Inspiration and spiritual enrichment in a magnificent landscape, between mountains and grassland.

Coming to Tagong is a life experience that will stay always with you.

Travel & Photography Tips

  • plan to stay few days in the area and make some horse trekking with the Tibetan families.
  • climb the hill above Tagong and contemplate the area, just take your time, you will never forget
  • enjoy the Tibetan food, easy to say for any culture however this one has a special taste!

Read the full Itinerary on Sichuan top destinations – a 10 days travel itinerary guide


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Remi Lesueur
I love the light, travel and the idea that our steps that creates the way. I don't like vacuum cleaners, be catching cold and cooked chicory. I try to make photos like telling a story. A plot of contrasts with the colourful words, moving characters and a smile for the end.

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