Top places to see in Sichuan, Dangling, the lost village.

Top places to see in Sichuan, time to visit Dangling, the lost village.

Last updated on July 10th, 2015 at 04:52 pm

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

Is it true that the most remote villages and communities are the most interesting ones? Probably it is. Once you are far away from the big cities you start feeling and seeing how the local communities actually live, and once you climb mountains and you explore remote valleys you start experiencing the original life of the local communities, never really involved in the progress of the country. In the top places to see in Sichuan add this secret village called Dangling, the lost village.

Dangling is located in the Danba County, in the Sichuan Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

How to reach Dangling

This is not an easy and comfortable trip, be ready for four hours of bumpy road from Danba; and once you start questioning why you decided to start this journey, here it is Dangling, the lost village in the bottom of a huge valley.

Magnificent snow-capped peaks, mountain lakes, outdoor hot-springs in the primeval forests, grasslands, rare flora and fauna and the humble welcoming spirit of the Tibetan people.

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Dangling and adventure travel

Dangling is the ideal destination for the adventure travellers in search of wild nature, where the human progress seems never arrived and, even better, never stopped. The mountain range that surrounds the Dangling Valley is composed by 28 snow-capped peaks with an altitude of over 5000 meters each. The main peak, the sacred mountain of Xiaqiangla, is still revered by the local Tibetan population.

The Tibetan minority, that has long since set in this valley, often welcomes the visitor in their own home. When you walk in the village, you soon realize how the eco tourism is the survival engine of the Tibetan families. They develop and refurbish the houses with stones and wood from the nearby forest. All they offer to feed comes from their land. No packaged food. Eco tourism makes here absolutely sense.

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Top places to see in Sichuan: the hot-springs in Dangling

If you made it to Dangling you deserve to have a bath at the local hot-springs. Do not think anything fancy, expect the real thing.

They are located in two areas, the first one at Benmu (‘fire bath‘ in Tibetan), rich in sulphur. The other site is at Kabu (‘grassland bath‘), surrounded obviously by grassland. The two springs are approximately 4 kilometres south of the Dangling village, the water level is the same all year round and the water close to the source can reach up to 75 degrees Celsius.

In winter, the enjoyment only gets better as you take the pleasure of bathing in the warm spring water meanwhile you indulge in the snow’s winter scenery.

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Trekking around Dangling

The 4 hours hiking in the high lake is one of the most beautiful and panoramic trekking from Dangling. The climb of this mountain takes you through yaks and horses pastures where you can meet the local Tibetan herders.

Is there any lodge to eat and/or sleep?

There are few houses in the valley, some in the middle of the grass land, a perfect stop for a meal or a night in the mountains.

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The beauty of the lake surrounded by the natural amphitheatre of glaciers and eternal snow is unfortunately spoiled by some abandoned garbage here and there.  Whenever a country rapidly moves towards the consumerism, the population tends to be unaware of the consequence of left over rubbish. A plastic bag does not dissolve in nature as well as the vegetables or fruit skin does. China has still some work to do in order to sensitize people towards respecting nature, a problem that can have vast consequences in future

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Before leaving this dream valley, make a fire in an abandoned shepherds hut and spend the night there. Look up and admire the beauty of the sky so close and so far from the modernisation.

My experience in this beautiful land, still anchored to the old way of living, was crowned by an earthquake that made me feeling the depth of my body as well as the power and the beauty of nature.

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Travel & Photography Tips

  • Travel to these valleys in October and November, the area will be covered by a colourful forest at that time but is of course the time of the year with more toruists
  • Once in Danba negotiate with the taxi driver a return trip and not just a single way. Once deep in the mountains it will be much harder to negotiate!
  • Take ear plugs if you are a light sleeper: Tibetan music starts at 4am and it keeps going the all day… (like Indian mantra)
  • Don’t forget to negotiate your stay with meals included in the price
  • The Sichuan region is huge and some road have been destroyed by the earthquake so every journey will be longer than expected (organize your trip in advance, don’t waste your precious time without a list of top places to see in Sichuan)


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

Travel Photography Stefano FerroStef Ferro is the founder and editor of MEL365, a travel & photography website made to enhance the travelling experience and improve the photography work.

Stef is a professional travel photographer with past experience in the cycling and film industry. 

Stef runs travel photography workshops in Melbourne and around the world. 


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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