Tagong is a small town in the Tibetan prefecture of Ganzi. Its altitude is at 3700m and is located half way between Kangding and Litang. It is known for senic grasslands and local Tibetan Buddhist culture.
Many official buses and private vans/cars will leave from Kangding in the morning. The price for shared vans/cars should be 50 yuan per person (2015).
If you are coming from Litang you should got off at Xinduqiao and take a car up to Tagong the price should be 20 yuan per person. Or you can take a direct bus, leaving every day at 9.20 am from the Litang bus station (86 yuan), the bus takes 4 hours and leaves you on the main square of Tagong (April 2017).
Tagong is a small town at 3800 meters in altitude sitting on the East Tibetan plateau. It is easy to find you way around. There are basically 3 roads going from tagong. South road goes to xinduqiao. north to luhou, Ganzi, Seda. East to Kangding.
Tagong "Lhagang Monastery" is on the main square, to the left of the monastery is Himalayak Guesthouse which offers free maps of the area.
Most people come here to relax and visit the grasslands and maybe hiking or take horse tour.
The small village Xiangnong nearby is very charming - Togong town itself unfortunately develped into a quite touristic / ‚money making‘ place but the surrounding landscapes are breathtaking.
Horse treks through the pristine countryside are a popular option, running about 150/person for half a day. This can be bargained somewhat. Be advised that "half a day" may only comprise a few hours. If possible, try to get the details. 2015 - Horse treks are more expensive. Expect 100 - 150 per hour. If there is Chinese holiday the prices can be much higher.
A wonderful hike across the grasslands to the east takes you to Gyargo Ani Gompa (nunnery), which offers affordable lodging. To get there it take around 3 hours. Get to the small hill in Tagong and from there you will see big monastery college under the mountains, head towards there.
After enjoying the monastery grounds you can seek out lodging at the nunnery. It is in the middle of the village. In front of very big white building is old Tibetan house, that's the restaurant and hostel.
Valley of 10 000 mani stones - 5 km from tagong on the way to xinduqiao you can see a beautiful valley full of prayer stone carvings and paintings. Local villagers are working on the this local miracle. You can get there from tagong by walking on the main road south.
Grassland villages - If you hike from tagong to west by any of valleys you'll get to very authentic beautiful villages. No tourist visit these places, so you will be absolutely alone. continuing further on the roads you'll get soon on the plateau where in summer are many nomads and Yaks
Tibetan crafts - you can buy cheese Tibetan things from Chinese souvenir shops. Few shops sell some more expensive things which are usually imported from elsewhere. Himalayak Guesthouse has a small range of authentic Tibetan and Nepalese crafts.
Yak Jerky - Gunga a local man known for having the best Yak Jerky in town. His small store can be found close by the 2nd temple in Tagong, it's 200 meters on the road out of town heading towards Bamei look to the left of the temple to the bright yellow building.
Most guesthouses will offer you very affordable Tibetan food. Most meals consist of the same thing: yak cheese dissolved in tea mixed with some barley flour. Definitely worth a try, and quite bland (it helps to add sugar), but it's good as a breakfast.
Altitude sickness can be the main problem here, Tagong is at an altitude of 3725 meters above sea level so do your research and consult your doctor if you have any concerns for most people 24-48 hours is enough to acclimatise, however, it's important not to push yourself if you come to Tagong from a lower altitude.
Really a lot of wild and guard dogs. They spend the whole day sleeping all around on the streets. If you want to hike hills around Tagong, they may go with you and to be sure, the more dogs, bigger the problem. Always carry stones and stick helps too. There are reports of Han Chinese being mugged at knife point in Tibetan regions of China.
Also, foreigners travelling need to be wary of the local Tibetan males who will attempt to racketeer money from travelers when taking mini-van rides in/out of the Tagong. There have been instances when the local driver and riders agree on a price only to find out that the driver will demand more money when the destination has been reached. This situation causes a scene and a crowd of locals gather only to defend the driver. Riders be EXTRA cautious.
Move on to Danba or Bamei, neither as scenic or authentic a Tibetan village/town as Tagong, but each with their own worthwhile attractions. Past Bamei, en route to Danba, the driver may stop at a roadside hotspring or you can ask him to. Danba 60 yuan, Bamei 20 yuan
Go to Kangding or Xinduqiao or Seda. To go to Kangding hire one of the many minivans waiting for you (if not harassing you) on the main square : bargain the price to 50 yuan per person. Prepare your camera for the road is sublime and will take as high as 5000 meters.
To go to Litang take the local bus leaving at 8:30AM at the round central place to Tong Go Lo (5 Yuan) and then proceed to Litang (way cheaper than a minivan directly to Litang). This bus goes to Kangding btw.
Mini Buses go to Ganzi (About 120Rmb, 8 Hours, driver ask price around 150RMB) via LuHou from the main road. The best time to catch them is in the morning (8-9). To Seda you can catch the bus around 9 or go to LuHou and from there go by minivan. LuHou to Sedar is 40 RMB (AUG 2015) and takes aprox 3h.