Three interesting features of the area are the natural scenery, the many Tibetan temples and mosques and especially the large Labrang Monestary, and the local folk customs. In the spring and summer, there are a lot of flowers in the surrounding area and there are several local festivals such as the April 15th Niangnai Festival, the June 6th Lotus Hill Flower Festival, the June 15th Arrows Inserting Festival, and the July 6th Shower Festival. During these festivals, the local people have competitions like horse races, elephant tug of wars, and competitions between Yak owners. If you want to discover the Tibetan culture without taking Tibet tours, then a visit to Xiahe is highly recommended, because it is just a epitome of Tibet.
The large Labrang (or Lapuleng) Monastary complex is a spectacle all year around, but especially in the winter because between the 8th and the 16th of the first month of the lunar calendar, the monasteries and temples in the area hold ceremonies and Buddhist gatherings. Special ceremonies during this time are the Buddha Basking Day, Scripture Debate Day, Mask Dance Day, the Exhibition of Colorful Lanterns, and the Qiangba Buddha Touring Day. These festivals are eye-openers for people to know about the Tibetan culture, art, and religion. For those interested in the Tibetan religion, this is the best time to tour Xiahe. Along your Xiahe China travel service, you would get more idea about the culture and life of Tibetans.
Xiahe's has a plateau monsoon climate. The area is cold and humid, with a relatively small annual temperature range, but with relatively big day and night temperature differences. The annual average temperature is 4 °C. In the summer, the average temperature varies between 8 - 14 °C. The annual precipitation varies between 400 – 800 mm. There is an average of about 1800 to 2,600 hours of sunshine a year. The best time for tourists to visit is in the summer in June, July and August. It is warmer, above freezing, and the festivals are a spectacle. But be prepared for the big temperature drops at night. There are often sudden storms, so water-proof shoes, raincoats, and warm clothes are important.
The local Tibetan, Muslim, and Mongolian cuisine appeals to the western sense of taste: yak burgers, yak milk and butter, yogurt, and barbecued beef, along with Muslim-style beef noodles and bread and butter and Muslim tea. You may also like the many Sichuan-style restaurants. Visiting this region, you'll get to taste an unusual variety of ethnic and Chinese food and enjoy a lot of inexpensive beef, lamb, and diary products. Muslim noodle and stir-fry dishes usually taste better. The food is more similar.
To the scenery-lovers, Yangtze River cruises would be their first choice to discover China-the great middle kingdom, while to the culture-lovers, especially that of ethnic minorities, they may pay a visit to the ethnic minority-inhabited area to get closer to these groups. In this case, pay a visit to Xiahe to discover the Tibetan culture should never be missed.
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