Xiahe Travel Guide

Xiahe Travel Guide

Xiahe Map

Xiahe Facts

Chinese Name: 夏河 (xià hé)
Population: 90,300
Area: 6,274 square kilometers (2,422 square miles)
Location: in the southwest of Gansu Province, northwestern China
Area Code: 0941
Zip Code: 747100
GDP (2018): CNY 1.8 billion (USD 0.27 billion)

Fancy Sangke Grassland & Tibetan Buddhism Culture

Xiahe, a county under the jurisdiction of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, lies in the southwest of Gansu Province. On the northeast edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, it is located between 35°12' north latitude and 102°31' east longitude. Xiahe is named after the Xiahe River and has different landscapes ranging from towering mountains, valleys, grasslands and forests. The profound Tibetan Buddhism and various custom activities are also highlights of Xiahe. Labrang Monastery, one of the six main temples of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism is located in the western region of the county. And the beautiful Sangke Grassland is nearby.

Labrang Monastery: Located at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain northwest of the county, Labrang Monastery is the first must-see attraction. It is one of the six great monasteries of Gelukpa sect as well as the location of Gansu Provincial Buddhism College. The Labrang Monastery boasts tens of thousands of statues of Buddha made of gold, silver, copper, and aluminum, as well as many Buddha hats and many Buddhist treasures adorned with pearls, jadeite, agate and diamonds.

Sangke Grassland: Located about ten kilometers west of the county, Gansu province, Sangke Grassland enjoys a good reputation in the northwest Tibetan district for its excellent pasture and frequent magnificent Buddhist ceremonies. Sangke Grassland is an ideal place to experience the nomadic life, spend summers and return to the nature. It is also a nice place to appreciate the Tibetan folk culture to the full by wearing Tibetan costumes and riding horses or yaks across the land.

Labrang Monastery, Xiahe
Labrang Monastery
Xiahe Sangke Grassland
Sangke Grassland

Recommended Tours

7-Day Xi'an - Lanzhou - Xiahe - Labrang Tour
4 Days Linxia and Xiahe Hiking Exploration

How to get to/around Xiahe

1. Gannan Xiahe Airport is 72 kilometers (45 miles) away from Xiahe County and 56 kilometers (35 miles) from Hezuo City. The airport operates direct flights from / to Xi'an, Yinchuan, Chengdu, Tianjin and Lhasa. There is no airport shuttle bus, so taxi is the better way to downtown.

2. It is easy for passengers to take long-distance bus to other places. Xiahe Bus Station is about 1.5km away from the entrance to the monastery and the main concentration of guesthouses. Frequent Buses operate onward to Xiahe in 3-4 hours and to Linxia in 2 hours. One bus daily runs to Langmu Monastery in 4 hours and one bus daily leaves for Tongren in about 3 hours.

3. It is cheap to take a taxi to travel around the area. A round-trip between Xiahe and Sangke Grassland only costs about CNY 40 by taxi.


Xiahe has a typical plateau continental climate. It is temperate and semiarid in the north, cold and humid in the south. The weather is windy in spring and winter, as well as rainy in summer and autumn. Usually, it has a long frost period with the frost-free period only 56 days and a total sunshine of 2,296 hours annually. The annually average temperature is about 2.6C (36.7F) with the highest of 28.4C (83F) and the lowest of -26.7C (80F). The rainfall is 444millimeters (17.5 inches) annually.

 When to Go: September to December is the best time to visit there due to the pleasant weather. 

Xiahe Travel Tips

 Physical Features: The hypsography of slopes down from northwest to southeast with an average elevation of 2,900 meters-3,100 meters (9,514 feet-10,170 feet). The highest elevation is 4,636 meters and the lowest is 2,160 meters (7,087 feet). 

 History: It used to be the ley of Qiang Nationality in the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC - 476BC). It was once occupied by Xianbei, Tubo and Mongolian nationalities. It has been named as Baishi County in the Western Han Period (206 BC - 24 AD), Longxi County in the Eastern Han Period (25 - 220), Jinxing County in the Western Jin Period (265 – 316), Huaiqiang County in the Northern Song Period (960 - 1127) and Labrang in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). It was finally named as Xiahe in 1928.

 Local Highlights: The traditional 'Xiang Lang Festival' which is similar to the spring outing of Han nationality (the last ten-day of June in Chinese Lunar Calendar) is a very important festival in this area. You can know more about the local customs through this festival.

 Local Product: Root of Silverweed Cinquefoil, Snow Lotus, Bezoar and Aweto
- Last updated on May. 24, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Xiahe Travel
Asked by Stanley from MALAYSIA | Sep. 27, 2019 22:36Reply
Do grasslands and Tibetan monasteries offer discounted tickets for those above 60 years old ?
Answers (2)
Answered by Geo from THAILAND | Sep. 29, 2019 02:43

Generally speaking, they will provide discount policy for 60 years elders. But I'm not sure whether foreigners can enjoy this policy. Prepare your passport if it is needed.
Answered by Stanley from MALAYSIA | Sep. 30, 2019 04:19

From my experience in China, discounted tickets for senior citizens apply to foreigners too.
Asked by Tom from DENMARK | May. 23, 2019 00:37Reply
How often does the bus from Xiahe to Lanzhou run?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sean from USA | May. 23, 2019 19:33

I remember there are three buses departing at 12:10, 14:30 and 14:50.
Asked by Saar from BELGIUM | Aug. 14, 2018 15:40Reply
Travel by bike from Xining to Xiahe. After that we want to take the bus to Chengdu.
Is this possible? Where do we find the information?
Answers (3)
Answered by Oscar from CANADA | Aug. 14, 2018 20:57

If you mean Xining to Xiahe, it’s about 240 km between the two places. I guess it’s available only if you make a good preparation. All I know the information is in Chinese, so maybe you need to find someone who understand Chinese first.
Answered by Saar from BELGIUM | Aug. 17, 2018 01:28

We are cycling till Xiah. And we want to take a bus from Xiah to Chengdu. But we don’t find information. Can you please help?
Answered by Cat from SINGAPORE | Aug. 19, 2018 20:52

Sorry but I didn’t find the information about the bike trip, either. As for Xiahe to Chengdu, there is no bus, but you can take a bus to Lanzhou first, and then take a train from Lanzhou to Chengdu.
Asked by John from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 16, 2018 14:02Reply
I will arrive to Xiahe directly from Lanzhou by bus and after two nights I will head to Langmusi
Should I worry about altitude sickness? Should I stay in another town before XH at less altitude to acclimatize?
Are two nights in XH enough to acclimatize to go to Langmusi at even more altitude?
Answers (3)
Answered by Donna from CANADA | Apr. 16, 2018 22:32

Don’t worry! Don’t do some intense exercise and take some medicine, you will be fine! Have a nice trip!
Answered by John from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 17, 2018 02:03

Well... We were thinking about doing horse trekking on our 2nd day in Langmusi. Is that too tight? Should we spend more days acclimatizing?
Answered by Nancy from NEW ZEALAND | Apr. 17, 2018 20:21

Hi, John~ I think you’d better be well prepared before going to Langmusi. As I know, it’s about 3,300m, a little bit dangerous. So you are suggested to spend more time to acclimatize.
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