The road trip from Danba to Kangding is amazing. Danba to Bamei (83 km);Bamei to Tagong (29 km); Tagong to Xinduqiao (33 km); Xinduqiao to Kangding (76 km). Except for beaches and the ocean, all other beautiful things that I could imagine appeared in front of me. Only a fool would fall asleep instead of memorizing the landscape. Though Xinduqiao is called a paradise for photographers, I like Bamei best.
When I saw the wild flowers in the pasture, I got off our minibus and layed on the pasture again and again to take photos. At that time, I thought like I was a photographer, even though my equipment was just a small digital camera. Laying on the pasture, the blue sky, the white cloud, the bright snow covered mountains and the bees in the flowers accompanied me.
On the way from Danba to Kangding, when I saw two Tibetan Buddhist temples, a pasture and three mountains decorated with Sutra streamers, I knew I had arrived at Tagong. The name means Bodhisattva’s favorite place in the Tibetan language. It is 116 kms from Danba, 120 kms to Kangding.
The old temple, Tagong temple, has a long history. White pagodas are behind the main hall. Some of lamas pass through the yard; some of them debate the scriptures in the main hall. A young lama invited us to enter the hall. Taking off my shoes, I followed holy followers and saw tangkas and Buddhist images.
The new temple is named Muya Golden Tower. It is made of gold leaves in order to memorialize the 10th Banchan Lama. The tower flashed under the sun shine.
I miss fresh yoghurt that I tried there, hmm, delicious.
The ticket for Tagong Temple is just 10 RMB.
In Zhonglu, a 13-year old kid was working as a guide to earn money for his tuition fee. The guide is a good boy. He understood the idea of keeping his people’s culture and accepting other cultures, though he just graduated from prime school. He will be a student of middle school in a month. He will learn English soon, so maybe he will be your guide when you visit his village-Zhonglu. His name is Zelijiangchu. We sent him a notebook and a pen; we hope he will study well and achieve his dream of being a basketball player.
Zhonglu is a village, which is 15 minutes drive from Danba. In the village, I can easily see the holy mountain-Moerdo which is always covered by clouds. I visited a four-storey house and a tower. The house belonged to an authority family before, even a Tibetan living Buddha came from this family. The tower was used to store food and other important property in the past; the tower was a part of a traditional house. There are a lot of stories about the towers, I’ll explain in a “custom” tip.
The price of a ticket to enter Zhonglu is 20 RMB, but our brave local driver went through the entrance by using his special method, then I saved money again.
Jiaju Tibetan Village is a must see in Danba. It’s only 7 km away from the town of Danba.
I agree with a saying that it was one of the most beautiful villages of China.. Though the best season to travel the village is spring because at that time over 200 houses are covered by snow-white pear flowers, people will not be disappointed if they go there in other seasons.
My eyes were attracted when I saw it. The colorful houses were surrounded by trees and flowers here and there. The style of buildings is special, typical appreance of Jiarong Tibetan district houses.
I stayed in an inn that I recommended in an accommodation tip. Having a pleasant talk with the host, I tried to discover the village. On a top of a mountain, there were two abandoned towers. Looking for a possible trail in bushes, after 3 hours climbing, I faced to the towers. One of them was not a common four-side tower, but 13-side tower, a good discover.
When I came back to the inn, it was dark. Dogs and cows sounded when I passed their houses.
Hailuo Gou (gou means valley in Chinese) is 50 KMs away from Kangding, 319 KMs from Chengdu. I didn’t put it into my travel plan until I knew from other travelers that Mugecuo Grassland (near Kangding) was closed. Again, a destroyed road ruined my perfect plan. Anyway, I hadn’t seen a glacier, so, I decided to go to Hailuo Gou.
Depart at 7:00 Am from Kangding, We arrived at Hailuo Gou at 9:10 Am. The ticket was expensive: 72+60 RMB. The service was bad; actually I should say there was no service. Luggage fee was 5~10 RMB. The guide on the tour bus didn’t offer any useful information except for persuading people to take cable cars (another 130 RMB). When I heard that she said there were monkeys, wild boars and RHINOCEROS in the mountains, I couldn’t believe my ears.
After over an hour driving, we stopped at the last stop. Refusing to take cable cars, we walked on a path to approach to the glacier. ( In such a cloudy day, travelers could see noting when they arrived at the destination by cable cars. And they couldn’t approach to the glacier.) Just 40 minutes, we stood on the glacier. We found some new ice caves. It was cloudy, a snow mountain just showed its face to us for a minute. We didn’t see Gongga Snow Mountain, which was named the king of Sichuan’s mountains. In sunny days, travelers can see it.
We left Hailuo Gou at 4:00 Pm.
Sershul Gompa - probably the only monastery you?ll ever see built with pink tiles
The Sershul County Health Initiative is a holistic series of projects centred around the Sershul Tibetan Astrological and Medical Institute in Gyurga Town (I found link below)
The widespread exotic flowers and rare herbs on the Shiqu Grassland are a sight.
You can visit the nomadic families, taste the Tibetan style food and enjoy the magnificent Monastery.
Sershul County is the highest, largest and remotest of the eighteen counties comprising Kandze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, China. Covering over 25,000 square kilometres, the county forms the north westernmost tip of Sichuan Province, three days by public transport from the nearest substantial town of Dhartsedo (Ch. Kangding), and almost a week from the provincial capital of Chengdu.
Located to the north east of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the county is elevated to over 4000m. Summers are thus brief, and winter both long and harsh, with annual temperatures commonly falling as low as -40?C. The winter of 1995-6 brought the worst blizzards on record, ravaging the exposed plateau, devastating nomadic livestock and killing 42 nomads in Sershul County alone. 81% of the nomadic population of Sershul County lost a majority of their livestock, leaving many dependent on governmental and other external assistance, both in the immediate and medium terms.
The county town, Gyurga, predominantly comprises government offices and few assorted shops. Most local activity is centred on the yak market. Electricity and other services are intermittent. Even in winter few buildings are heated.