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Langmusi (郎木寺; Lángmùsì - Tibetan: Taktsang Lhamo) is a village on the border of Sichuan and Gansu provinces.


A sleepy village in a remote breathtaking location predominantly inhabited by a colorful mix of Hui Muslims and Amdo Tibetans. It is said that the provincial borderline runs through the middle of town with Sertri Gompa in Gansu and Kirti Gompa located in Sichuan. The power struggles between the two Gompa may have been the reason for the border location. Both temples have distinct styles making both well worth the visit alone. The surrounding mountains give off a very much alpine flair reminiscent of rural Austria or Bavaria and perfect for hiking and horsetrekking.

While there are continually construction projects in all seasons (as in virtually every Chinese town, down to the tiniest backwater), much of the money that tourists bring in appears to be going to renovating and improving Tibetan temples and meeting places, or into local businesses catering to the seeker of Tibetan culture.

At this point [October 2015], the village has developed a budget-friendly backpacker vibe, not unlike Shaaxi village in Yunnan province. Yet, even in high season [the height of the October holiday, and after the swarming hordes of Jiuzhaigou], tourists are relatively few, and this is very much an active religious community with many monks and initiates to be seen walking the roads and playing behind the major monastery. The monks and students are not shy, happy to have a chat in Chinese and to a lesser extent English, and deeply appreciative of even the most basic Tibetan greetings (tashi delek means "Hello"). The majority of the visitors to this town are Han Chinese, and few if any make the effort to learn any Tibetan phrases.

Get in[edit]

There is only one bus every day from Xiahe direct to Langmusi leaving at around 7:40 a.m. (Dec 2014) from the Xiahe Bus Station. 72Y.

If you miss this bus, or if you can't get tickets, you can take any early morning bus to Hezuo (1 hour from Xiahe) and then take one of the Hezuo(合作)buses to Langmusi. There are a couple buses from Hezuo to Langmusi each day. There definitely is one leaving at 10:20AM.

When you get to Hezuo, you will need to take a taxi across town to the South Bus Station (Nan Zhan – 南站) where the buses leave for Langmusi.

If you were thinking of hiring a car to take you directly from Xiahe to Langmusi, be ready to pay a lot of money. It will cost you at least ¥350 to hire a car for the trip. The bus is only ¥ 71 per person. If you do end up taking a taxi, be sure to ask to take the "scenic route." The road is a little bumpier than the new highway, and a takes a little longer, but you pass beautiful grasslands, mountains, and tibetan villages along the way.

There are also direct buses to Zoige (Ruo'ergai) in northern Sichuan. There is currently no direct bus to Songpan but the situation may change, as a new highway was completed in 2007.

You can also catch a bus in Jiuzhaigou to Langmusi. There are multiple buses leaving every morning between 7am and 8am. The bus will let you off on the main road outside of Langmusi, not actually driving into town, leaving you with a 1+ km walk, or there will be cars around to get you into town (for a few yuan).

To get out of town up towards Xiahe, there is only one afternoon direct bus a day. You can get morning buses to Hezuo, then a cab to the West Bus Station, then catch a bus to Xiahe. There are many buses to Xiahe each day.

Get around[edit]

Your own two feet, a bicycle or maybe a pony.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Sertri Gompa (Dacanglangmu Saichisi) - temple on the Gansu where traditional Tibetian sky-burials are still practiced (last rites are private), located on northern hill.
  • Kirti Gompa (Dacangnama Ge'erdisi) - temple on the southern hill (Sichuan side)
  • Hui Mosque - located close to the Sichuan side temple near the entrance gate
  • Sky Burial Site - Where traditional Tibetan burials take place, one of the few spots left where the Chinese government allows this practice. Bodies are first prayed over, then chopped up by a man with large axes, then eaten by very well-fed vultures.

The funerals themselves are private and take place early in the morning, but in the afternoon and evening visitors can go to the site and see many of the bones left by vultures. Go into the gate of Sertri Gompa and follow the road to the left. It eventually becomes a path up through fields to a site with many prayer flags. You can't miss the actual spot where the funerals take place--lots of grisly remains. Photos are not allowed. At one point you will probably go under a fence--just head for the big prayer flags when you see them.

Do[edit][add listing]

It's worth hiring an English speaking guide to explain the monasteries, sky burial ground and the gorge to you. Ask around in Leisha's restaurant.

One of the town's must-do activities is the horse trekking. Please be careful in selecting the company offering the horse trekking. Some are reported as pure tourism scam. The 'day trip' offered by the Langmusi Tibetan Horse Trekking Agency (they also owns Black Tent Cafe) according to locals are too expensive and an actually a ripped off. It is better to speak with your guest houses and plan for something authentic on your own. Their website however is really well done, and has a lot of good information: Langmusi Tibetan Horse Trekking

The end of the village closest to the main road is more Westernised, and closer to the monastery it becomes less so. The Sichuan side of town has just put in a brand new road so one hopes the Gansu side will follow suit (update October 2012: the road on the Gansu side seems to be under construction and is currently a big muddy mess). Passing through the monastery takes you up into the surrounding mountains, and there are various possible routes available to reach the summits and highs tablelands (4200m), though take care not to stray too far from a used trail or else you may have to retrace your steps to rejoin a viable route. Wild dogs live in the area and you may spot some while walking, grab a rock if need be. A school can be found near to the monastery, with private housing and a small playground.

If walking in the other direction from the village - towards the main road - one encounters an interesting sandstone formation or mesa whose top is accessible. Prayer flags are present here, and on the aforementioned higher peaks providing a great view of the Gansu monastery side.

Walking through Kirti Gompa and up the valley, you will reach the start of Namo Gorge. It is possible to walk for a considerable distance into the gorge and mountains beyond, being surrounded by amazing scenery and peace and quiet. You have to pay 30Y at the entrance to the monastery, which gets you access to the monastery itself and the gorge, but it is possible to bypass this if you walk up the road to the right of the ticket office, up and over the hill and down to the start of the gorge.

Buy[edit][add listing]

"Local artificial stuff", or craft items, are available from a number of shops, though as with many places in China, many are not particularly 'authentic' and you can find the same products over a very wide region. One or two shops towards the monastary end of town sell knives and you can watch the craftsman producing them.

AmdoCraft Cafe, link amdocraft on the main road to the Sichuan Monastery, has a good selection of locally made Tibetan Handicrafts, mainly made from yak- and sheep wool. You can also get here a good cup of coffee, Tibetan yoghurt and milk tea. Local Monks have visited and thoroughly enjoyed the cafe, saying that it "feels like home." It is closed in the winter months.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are many halal restaurants around with affordable prices. Muslims travellers wouldn't have to be worried on finding food. Usually the price of noodles and rice should be between 15 to 25 RMB.

  • Lesha's Restaurant has been open for more than a decade here and has a great, lively atmosphere. Run by a muslim family that speak basic English, but are very friendly. The food is very good (try the apple-pie) and quite cheap and their couch is the best place in town for meeting other travelers.
  • Sichuan Restaurant. A little Restaurant with authentic Sichuan food. The owner do not speak English but both are very friendly. They have an English menu with an extra page where you can say if you want your meal more or less spicy for example. The food is very delicious and in comparison to Restaurants like Black Tent or Lesha's really cheap.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

When arriving by bus, walk up on the main road towards the monastery. There are plenty of restaurants, hotels and 3 hostels on this road.

  • Tibetan Barley Youth Hostel, (The first and strongly recommanded sleeping place by ''Lonely Planet''), ", [1]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Good location, in the middle of Kirti Gompa and Sertri Gompa, at the end of Mosque Alley to the river. Full of travel info, and drawing a hiking and touring map of Langmusi for free. Dm 50-55Y, double/single private room 158Y (with private bathroom).  edit
  • Boke Youth Hostel, ("), 18983188339. It's a hotel that contains restaurant, bar, milk tea and accomodation. Open for whole year. GPS coordinates 34.09415 102.63866 50RMB for a dorm bed, 148RMB for beautiful double (but without bathroom).. ("34°05'38.94"N","102°38'19.18"E") edit
  • Nomad Youth Hostel a YHA near Lisha restaurant. On the right sight when walking towards the monastery. Closed in winter.
  • Hua Jian Youth Hostel. On the left side when walking towards the monastery. Just after the Nomad hostel.
  • Rtsampa Hostel. On the right side when walking towards the monastery, after the Nomad and Hua Jian hostels (about 200m after; closer to the entrance of the monastery). Open in winter (at least in December). Has English signs and English menu but no English spoken. Run by a very friendly chinese couple that make delicious baozi. Basic rooms, can be cold in winter (no heating, electric blankets). 50RMB for a bed in a 2-bed room.
  • Dacanglangmu Saichi Monastery's hotel on the road to Maqu. Owned by Saichi Lamasery, it is very clean. Shared bathrooms, hot water in the evening or on request.
  • Langmusi Binguan faces the main street but is in a courtyard.
  • Sana Hotel on the main street. Owned by a Muslim family. Very clean doubles cost ¥150 Shared toilets and showers, hot water in the evenings or on demand.
  • Zhaxi Guesthouse, (Along the road up to Namo Gorge (on the way to one of the monasteries)). Zhaxi's Guesthouse was simple and clean, with good shared hot water showers. Zhaxi (the owner) barely speaks any english, but loves to practice with his guests. He also arranges a fantastic tour to his hometown in Diebu, overnight including accommodation, transportation (2hrs), hiking guide with horse, and food. ¥25/person/night.  edit

Get out[edit]

You can go to:

- Zoige (Dec 2017: leaving at 7:30am in winter, 07:00am in summer, 2h, 25Y)

- Songpan: no direct bus, change in Zoige. Buses Zoige-Songpan at 10am and 2pm (3h, 45Y)

- North to Hezuo (leaves at 2pm, takes 4 hours)

- Xiahe ( leaves at 2pm).

Wait for the buses at the main junction in the center (where the bus dropped you off).

- Jiuzhaigou no direct bus, wait the bus from Lanzhou to Jiuzhaigou at the junction with Highway G213, 3km to the north of this town. ( usually leaves at 3pm, depends on the condition, like weather & traffic ).

- Diebu ( leaves at 09:30, 1.5h, 35Y ).

- There is a bus from Zoige (Ruo'ergai) to Lanzhou Railway station (120 yuan) which passes Langmusi at 10.00-11.00 depending on traffic. It does not get into town and you need to go to a highway near Langmusi tourist center to catch it (taxi 20 yuan). It is arranged by a local hostel owner who calls the bus driver and asks him to stop there.

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