Life at 4000m, Litang China

Life at 4000m, Litang China

.

After finding brilliant new accommodation in Litang China, dubbed ‘The Palace’ by Becks and I, we decided to put our feet up for a few days and relax. We did not expect that travelling in Tibetan cities would be so hard and we were tired. With a bakery 2 doors down and a cheap restaurant just beyond that we were able to create a perfect haven away from Tibet, only having to escape from our abode for small adventures.

.

Litang town sits in a grassland basin at an altitude of 4014m making it the highest elevated town in China and second highest in the world. It’s also one of the lesser know places to travel in western China. Highway 318 (Chengdu to Lhasa) is a route made famous from its high passes, rough crossings and unmaintained roads. Many Chinese tourists we have met are travelling this famed route hoping to eventually reach Lhasa in Tibet. Highway 318 crosses right through Litang and is actually the only feasible route to the town, thus when natural conditions deem this route unsafe Litang is impossible to reach.

 

NW: Over 80% of the population is Tibetan making it more Tibetan than actual Tibet!!

 

Beyond the main street, the city itself is quiet and charming. Baby yaks roam free, lazily napping in the warm sun. Villagers pass prayer wheels, always conscious of navigating the temples clockwise and spinning each individual wheel as they walk past. At the back of the town stands the huge Litang Lamasery (Litang Lamamiao) which houses 1,400 yellow hat sect monks. The higher part of the temple is over 400 years old and was constructed before the arrival of the 4th Dalai Llama to Litang way back when. Sitting on a bench, idly gazing at the incredible structure before us and breathless from a slow stroll at this altitude, we munch on popcorn whilst watching the young monks (Llamas) exit their grand school for recess. I managed to capture this moment on camera. The colours are amazing!

.

 

Litang China , Places to travel in western China
Hills behind the city

.

Behind and beside the monastery are rolling green hills which we climbed and sat upon to enjoy the serene and stunning landscape. We initially thought these hills were the place for the infamous Sky Burials however we were wrong. The views were vast and peace swept over us as we sat, marvelling at how far we had actually come. Below us, we gazed down to the dirty, loud city we had left behind. Momentarily in awe of our surroundings and the tranquility which it brings we were soon snapped back into reality with the unmistakable honk of a car horn, appearing to be on steroids, in the distance.

.

The small winding alleyways in the old part of town are cute and less threatening than the busy hub. Basic clay walls form courtyards for the stick huts. Dried yak poo coated in sawdust adorn the walls. Some houses boast intricate stain glass windows whilst others merely lean against the other to remain upright. In one of the alleyways we see a signed house claiming to be the birthplace of the 7th Dalai Llama. This house was a yellow multi story mansion in comparison to the others yet equal in its simplicity and beauty.

.

Litang is a vibrant town with much to discover. A place where one can spend a few days in the heart of Tibetan culture or escaping from it. A must for those visiting Western China.

.

World Travel Photos - Litang China
Litang China

 

 

.

.

Return to Places to Travel in western China

 

 

 

 

Written by

Prue Sinclair is a twenty-eight year old Aussie who for the past seven years has been exploring the furthermost reaches of the World. Living anywhere but her homeland, she now resides somewhere in the UK where she writes about the adventures of her Ultimate British Road Trip. Her message is simple: You can get anywhere on any budget, you just need to think outside the box. You can trust she's finding her way to somewhere lesser-known and writing a 'How To' guide.

1 Comment

We Would Love to Hear From You...

Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.