So… I was walking down the streets of Kangding around 8 am and was toying with the idea of a few places to visit. Suddenly a man approached me and asked me whether I want to go to Tagong in his van. In fact, Tagong was on my list to visit later and since the opportunity presented itself, I thought I might as well find out more about it. He took me to the van and there were already 7 Chinese young adults seated inside. The van driver just needed one passenger to make it a full van load. I obtained my information of how this van tour is going to be from one of the passengers who spoke little English.
I will let the photographs speak of the journey. Enjoy!
Due to my lack of proficiency in Mandarin, I thought that the van will take us to Tagong and then let us stay there for a couple of hours and then bring us back to Kangding. But the van stopped many times for us to take in some stunning scenery and to take a couple of photographs.
The best time to visit Tagong is between May to July when the whole grassland is not brown as you seen in the photographs here but a vibrant green as far as the eyes could see. Yes…. Tagong is worth another visit and I will be back to see it in another season.
We didn’t have time to enter Lhagang Monastery which was a pity as even the facade itself looked impressive.
Tagong is a small town in the Tibetan prefecture of Ganzi. Its altitude is at 3700m and most tourists will stay in this tiny place while visiting Tagong which is famous for scenic grasslands and local Tibetan Buddhist culture.
Tagong is about 92 km from Kangding. If you have time, it is worth your while to dwell here for a couple of days to visit the monasteries and grassland at your leisure. I only had an hour and it quickly flew by leaving me with just enough time to visit the Tagong Lamasery, had a go at turning the prayer wheels and a quick lunch. There is a small nominal entrance fee to enter the lamasery but it’s worth the money paid to go inside and observe the monks during their meditative time.
I guess I was very blessed to secure a good van driver for my road trip from Kangding to Tagong and back. Many travellers had bad experiences with their transportation in this part of the world. Not only were they grossly overcharged, the vehicles were in derelict states and some even broke down half-way through the journeys. One of the passengers worked in Kangding and each time she had visitors from her home-town, Hubei, she would always go with this driver and his van. It was indeed a very pleasant journey with spectacular scenery with a whole vanful of new friends.