Kham Attractions

Kham attractions in Eastern Tibet are as numerous as they are diverse. Featuring both scenic and cultural highlights in abundance, there is more than enough to satisfy every traveler’s interests.

The rugged and mountainous environment of Kham seems to attract a certain kind of person. Considerably off the beaten track frequented by other travelers in places like Central Tibet, Kham Tibet offers something a little more beyond the normal, even for Tibetan travel. This lesser known region of Tibet with fewer tourists makes an authentic experience of Tibetan culture arguably more common. Its relative obscurity and quiet relative to other Tibet destinations is also part of the reason why Kham Tibetans are characterized by more curiosity toward outsiders.

The top trekking destinations in Kham are in the areas of Mt. Gongga, Mt. Yala, and Yading Nature Preserve. However, it is easy most places in Kham to head into the mountains and enjoy fabulous alpine scenery. Horse trekking is also available in the grassland towns of Tagong and Litang where you can hire a guide and horse for a few hours or a few days.

Overland travel through Kham is in a class all its own, whether its with a private vehicle and driver, or by public bus. The towns are a bustle of activity with shopkeepers dealing with farmers and nomads who have come into town for their week’s supplies, and active monasteries filled with friendly monks. The two largest monastic communities in Kham are in Seda (Sertar) at Larung Gar, and Ganzi (Garnze) at Yachen Gompa. Some people consider the drives between Kham attractions to be as good as the destination due to the vast and beautiful grasslands, snow capped mountains, nomad camps, and watchtowers dotted along the way. Kham attractions are plentiful, and most travelers find themselves wishing they had more time.

Travelling to Kham? Check out our Kham Tibetan Business Highlights


Nyiden (Yading)

Yading Village Tibet - Small

Yading Village is small rural establishment in Daocheng County of the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province of China. Located on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Yading village is 3,700 meters above sea level. Yading village and its surrounding sights are part of the Shangri-la Natural Tourist Zone. Yading in Tibetan is referred to as Nyiden (ཉིན་སྟེང་།), which …

Yachen Monastery

Yachen Monastery valley

History of Yachen Monastery Hidden away in a remote valley between Garze (Ganzi) town and Baiyu town, Sichuan, is the isolated Yachen Monastery ( ཡ་ཆེན་དགོན་པ།). Established in 1985 by a Nyingma Rinpoche, the current population of this monastic community is approximately 17,000 monks and nuns, with nuns holding the majority. Despite living conditions becoming more difficult and strains on supplies becoming …

Sertar Larung Gar (school & monastery)

Seda Monastery 2.0

Population Explosion at Sertar Larung Gar Known around the world as the largest school for Tibetan Buddhism, Sertar Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute and Monastery (གསེར་རྟ་བླ་རུང་དགོན་པ། ) has caused the population of its surrounding town to grow exponentially in recent years. This monastic community is located in a remote and treeless valley of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Region, in Sichuan Province. The …

Mt. Yala

Yala Mountain Kham Tibet

Geography Located near the border of Daofu County, Danba County, and Kangding County, of Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture, Yala Mountain (བཞག་བྲ།)is one of the most popular mountain treks in the Sichuan region. With snow covered peaks year round, Mt. Yala has an elevation of 5,820 meters and offers several trek options for mountain enthusiasts. The area around the border of Kangding …

Kawa Gabo

Stupa in front of Meili Snow Mountain

Highest Peak On the border of Zayu, Zogang, and Deqen County in Yunnan lies Kawa Gabo(ཁ་བ་དཀར་པོ།), the highest peak along the Meili Xue Shan, or the “Mainri Snowy Range”. As a whole, this peak and range are a part of the much larger Hengduan Shan, which borders the eastern side of the Tibetan Plateau as well as western Sichuan. With …

Dzongsar Monastery

Dzongsar Monastery

History of Dzongsar Monastery Throughout its dozen or so centuries of history, the Dzongsar Monastery (རྫོང་སར་དགོན།) has seen expansion, transformation, utter destruction and ultimately, rebirth. While it may not have been restored to its former glory, what the monastery has seen and accomplished over the years is nonetheless remarkable. Located in Dege County, in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of …

Palyul (Baiyu) Monastery

Mani piles at Baiyu Monastery

Location Initially built in 1665,  Palyul Monastery (དཔལ་ཡུལ་དགོན།), also known as Baiyu Monastery( 白玉寺) in Chinese  sits above the many homes along the hillside, at the center of a small village in the Ganzi Prefecture in the western part of Sichuan province. The monastery overlooks the town and valley below with an elevation around 3,150 meters. Sticking with the traditional …