Sangke Grassland

Sangke Grassland lies about 15 km (9 miles) to the southwest of Xiahe County, Gansu Province. It enjoys a good reputation in the northwest Tibetan region for its excellent pasture and significant Buddhist ceremonies.

Sangke Grassland, Xiahe
Sangke Grassland, Xiahe
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Sangke Grassland is a vast highland meadow surrounded by mountains. In summer, the grassland forms a natural green carpet extending to the far horizon. Myriads of wild flowers blossom together, presenting a lovely picture. Daxia River winds its way through the prairie, resembling an undulating silk ribbon on the carpet. Clear water reflects the blue sky and floating clouds. Countless sheep and yaks live near the river. Yaks may moo from time to time and their melodious pastoral songs spread far away. The green carpet is scattered with tents and smoke is curling up over the dwellings. Words fail to describe this beauty and you have to experience this poetic splendor yourself.

Every year from July to September when the grass grows well enough, locals set up tents, entertaining visitors with unique Tibetan snacks such as yak-butter tea, stuffed steamed buns, mutton, and Zanba, a traditional Tibetan staple food made of roasted highland barley flour. Visitors can appreciate the Tibetan folk culture to the full by wearing Tibetan costumes and riding horses or yaks across the land. They can also stay overnight with a local family or camp on the prairie to watch the clear starry sky and enjoy the evening by the campfire. One thing visitors should be aware of is the big temperature difference between day and night, so don’t catch a cold at night.


Xianglang Festival

Among frequent Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies, the most important one is the Xianglang Festival that falls on the third week in July. In Tibetan, “Xianglang” means gathering firewood. It is said that when Labrang Monastery was built, there were hundreds of monks but the alms they could get were limited. Firewood was especially scarce. Therefore, monks had to go far away to gather the firewood in summer. The tradition is passed on and develops into a festival in the Gannan area. Nowadays, local people celebrate the festival by having leisure time on the prairie. On fine days, they take tents, utensils, and highland barley wine and camp on the prairie for several days to relax. Interesting activities such as horse race or tug-of-war are held between different villages or households.

To the local Tibetan people, Sangke Grassland is a good natural pasture. To visitors, it is the best place to experience the nomadic life, spend summers and return to nature.

How to get there

1. A taxi from Xiahe county seat costs about CNY 60 for a round trip. A single trip only takes about twenty minutes. You can tell the driver to pick you up after the visit. If you can carpool with others, the price is lower.
2. Or you can rent a bicycle from Xiahe to get there. Bicycles are available at local hostels, and they generally cost about CNY10/ hour.
Note: If you go to Sangke Prairie after visiting the imposing Labrang Monastery, you can take a minibus from there. It only takes 15 minutes' driving.

Admission Fee Free
Opening Hours All day
- Last updated on Dec. 27, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Sangke Grassland
Asked by Uli from SPAIN | Oct. 29, 2018 13:14Reply
I'm visiting Xiahe in mid May 2019.
I would like to know if the grassland is going to be Green at that time. I know it lies at a high altitude and maybe Winters are long but I have no any other time to go.

Any help is appreciated
Answers (1)
Answered by Kelly from AUSTRALIA | Oct. 30, 2018 23:59

In may, the grassland starts to turn green and you may get a green view there.
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