In Maerkang city you will find a small and cozy local Rgyal Rong restaurant called “ Zang Yuan Qing Tibetan Restaurant ”. It’s simple inside but the food is very tasty and delicious. The basic menu offers the best local Tibetan food with fresh pork, yak meat, and organic vegetables. The local butter tea with fresh walnut is the best butter tea we have ever had (so if you’re going to try it anywhere, here’s the spot!). The menu doesn’t have any English translations, but you will find the most popular foods if you take a quick look at the other customer’s tables. There will be Tibetan noodles with pork and vegetables, momos (Tibetan dumplings) with butter, corn bread, local green vegetables, and of course, the yak butter tea. Even if you end up simply pointing at another diner’s food to order, you won’t regret it.
The owner is a local Tibetan couple by the name of Yeshi Mutso and Ajie. They are a very hard working and nice couple, and they opened the restaurant in June of 2014. Previously, both of them were local farmers, but they couldn’t make enough money to support the family and send their kids to school in the village at the same time. So instead, they decided to open a restaurant in the city. Even though they started with nothing, now their restaurant is doing well and their kids are being educated at the school in town.
The wife, Yeshi Mutso, is the chef and her husband, Ajie, serves as one of the waiters. There are not only a happy couple, but they also make great business partners, as is evidenced by the growth in their business!
When looking for the restaurant, you will find a fruit and vegetable market in front of the restaurant and on the rest of the street as it curves around. There are also a few shops that sell local clothing and handcrafted products along this street. The purple interior of this restaurant will stand out if you are looking in the doors of the right restaurant. (We couldn’t get the name of the street, but if you hop in a taxi, or ask at your hotel, hopefully you will find it. It’s worth the search.)
If you walk along the left side of the same street (heading away from the river), you will find Maerkang square where the locals usually gather around 7:00pm to start Tibetan circle dancing. If you’re interested, they do this for two hours every evening and you are always welcome to join. The best way learn the moves is to watch other people.
Maerkang is a place where most Rgayl Rong peole live. It’s a nice place to explore, and choosing to experience their local food will be one of your trip highlights. We encourage you to try some local food at Zang Yuan Qing Tibetan Restaurant if you have chance to visit Maerkang.
Address: Gaoyuan Yingcheng, Maerkang City.