Monday, September 29, 2008

The Journey West

Andy, my friend from college, has been in Xi'an the past couple days. He arranged a trip to Xi'an around the October 1st national holiday.

We've been bumming around Xi'an a bunch the past couple days. Not doing too much besides eating awesome food and taking in Xi'an's street life (both worthwhile endeavors in themselves).

Tomorrow night Andy and I are going to embark upon a seven day journey to Gansu Province.



We're catching a train from Xi'an to Lanzhou tomorrow. Then we'll take a bus from Lanzhou to Xiahe.

From what I've heard about Xiahe and its Labrang Monastery, it sounds like a pretty cool place. From Wikipedia:

Labrang Monastery (Tibetan: བླ་བྲང་བཀྲ་ཤིས་འཁྱིལ་ Wylie: bla-brang bkra-shis-'khyil; Chinese: 拉卜楞寺 Pinyin: lābǔlèng sì) is one of the six great monasteries of the Geluk (Yellow Hat) school of Tibetan Buddhism, of which the Dalai Lama is a member. Labrang is located in Xiahe County in Gansu province, and also in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo. Labrang Monastery is home to the largest number of monks outside of Tibet Autonomous Region. Xiahe is located about 4 hours from the city of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu.

Labrang Monastery is located in the town of Xiahe, which belongs to the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The town is reflection of the different minorities that can be found in China, such as Tibetans (about 70% of the population), Hui Chinese (20%) and Han Chinese (10%).

Although the region is mostly rural and pastoral (including yak and other animal rearing), tourism is growing rapidly mainly due to the monastery.

The monastery was founded in 1709 by the first Jamyang Zhaypa, Ngawang Tsondru. It is Tibetan Buddhism's most important monastery town outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Read On

I'll surely have some awesome pictures and stories in the coming weeks. I'll try to post as much as possible over the coming days.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Mark,
Thanks for such a good update!
I got some details out of andy but it's nice to have more info!
I hope you guys have a great time!
Be safe!