Litang Travel Guide, Kham Sichuan
Lying in the surroundings of vast grasslands at an elevation of 4100m, 286km west of Kangding, Litang, an oasis between Chengdu and Tibet, used to be an important stage on the Tea-Horse Caravans Route, now is a stop on south Sichuan-Tibet highway, a simple pasturing area with bustling bazaar where the nomads and Tibetans gather to trade their products.Attractions
Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery/ 理塘寺
The monastery is just on the slope 1km north of town and belongs to the Gelupa (yellow-hat-sect) Tibetan Buddhisms. Founded in 1580 by the 3rd Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso. Some influential Buddhists were born here since then, including the 7th and 10th Dalai Lama, the famed Zebutsundaba Lama of Mogonia, the 7th Gyamuyang Lama, the 7th, 8th and 9th Pabalha living Buddha of Chamdo monastery and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Xianggen living buddha. Now it is a home to 1400 Gelupa monks. Take a taxi to the top costs Y6.
Horse Racing Festival
The festival stages in August every year and lasts for 10 days in Litang, celebrated with singing, dancing, eating and of course racing. Tibetans come a long way from and set their tents in the grasslands around, which offers an extraordinary scene in the grassland a world of tents.
During the time, accommodation in town gets short and pricey. The Tibetans will come from far away and set tents to wait for the big days very early. After the wonderful ceremony with traditional Tibetan dancing and songs, the most exciting event is the horse races. The brave riders will take their pretty decorated horses to participate the races and showcase their excellent horse riding skills, such as picking up the scarlet on the back of a fast running horse, shooting at targets while on the gallop, etc. The women are all in their most beautiful best with magnificent jewelry as they shower their applauses on their heroes. The festival is also a good time for trade.
Hiking to the surrounding hills to get a view of the outstretched valley. Visit the Hot Springs just north of town. Some guesthouses can arrange tours to go.
Litang Bus Station is at the southern end of town. Daily buses from Kangding in east to Xiangcheng(201km) & Daocheng pass through Litang at around 2pm, stop for only a short while before heading further southern. The fee is Y62 & Y47 to the 2 destinations. But sometimes there is no vacant seat. Bus to Batang towards Tibet also pass through Litang at around 2-3pm everyday.
Charter a vehicle to Daocheng is around Y400, to Xiangcheng is around Y700.
For getting around, taxis are available for Y5 to anywhere in town.
Potala Inn - the best hotel in town, just cross the bus station and walk 10m ahead then turn to right. 20/head for Tibetan Style bed, shared bath room; Y160/std. room, 24hrs hot water. Both the owner and the young Tibetan guy in charge speak good English. The hotel is almost the base camp for foreigners in town. Tel.: 0086-836-5322533, email: email@example.com
Crane Guesthouse/仙鹤宾馆 - 200m to the left of the bus station. Y20/bed
Gaocheng Binguan/高城宾馆 - located at the cross of Tuanjie Lu and Xingfu Lu, Y15~25/bed.
Batang Guesthouse - across the street on your right hand side when leaving the bus station. Two buildings right from the bus station is another small hotel. As you follow the main road to the left, there is a big hotel on the right side.
Plenty of small restaurants are to be found on the main road. Next door to the Crane Guesthouse in direction to the bus station there is a little restaurant sporting an English menu. The owner is very friendly and happy to indulge in some chat with his very basic English.