From Xining, I made my way south to Southern-Qinghai:
- Kumbum Monastery (塔尔寺)
- Guide (贵德)
- Tongren (同仁)
The Kumbum Monastery (Taersi, 塔尔寺) was built in 1577 on hallowed ground, the birthplace of the founder of an important Buddhist sect. It’s of enormous historical significance and hundreds of monks still live here. The monastery is located 27km South from Xining, the Capital of Qinghai Province.
It’s a pitty, I was not allowed to take pictures from inside of the temple, which is absolutely colorful, detailed and vivid. The outside is also very impressive.
The next stop was Guide (贵德), a town that offers an interesting mix of old Town and new Town elements. The yellow river, the remains of the old Qing dynasty walls, the national park and the biggest fortune wheel in the world make the stay very colorful.
First I was just taking a walk through the town.
The center of the town also showed the ancient walls:
Afterwards I went to the big Fortune Wheel. This enormous gold-plated Tibetan prayer wheel is turned with the aid of rushing water from the yellow river plus human power. The prayer wheel is 27m tall, 10m in diameter and weighs 200 tonnes, being the biggest prayer wheel in the world.
Nearby I met two friendly monks.
Next to the praying wheel, there was an interesting museum, which showed typical Tibetan custumes and clothes:
Strolling around the South of the village, I found a beautiful temple:
The next day I went to the Guide National Geological Park, which offers a short but worthy walk through the stunning red and orange hills:
I hitchhiked the the way back to town and met this lovely couple, that took me to a photo session with these cute lamas, right in front of the yellow river.
Afterwards it was time to say goodbye to Guide and my warm and super nice Tibetan host.
My last stop in Qinghai was Tóngrén, a small town, which is famous for its two temples. I shared a car with two Chinese, that I got to know in the hostel. The road to Tóngrén was already super beautiful!
Arriving there, we visited the colorful temples.
We also turned the fortune wheels in order to pray for good luck in the future.
The next blog post will be about the Labrang Monastery in Gansu Province. Stay tuned!