Xiahe is a county in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu province. It lies on the northeast edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with an elevation of 3,000 m – 3, 800 m and neighbors Qinghai province to the west. The county is named after Daxia River, a primary branch of the Yellow River, that flows through it. It covers an area of 6,274 square kilometers and has a population of about 90,000. It is mainly dominated by Tibetan nationality, and there are other nationalities living there such as Han nationality and Hui nationality.
With the improvement of infrastructure and increasing publicity, tourism has become a boom industry in Xiahe. It is home to the famous Labrang Monastery and Sangke Grassland. Numerous tourists go to Xiahe to see the beautiful natural scenery and experience nomadic life. Labrang Monastery, as one of the six big monasteries of the Gelugpa sect, keeps the best Tibetan Buddhism teaching system in the entire country. In its prime time, there were more than 4,000 monks. It opened its door to tourism in 1980 and was listed one of the national key cultural relics protection units in 1982. This magnificent architectural complex with Tibetan style is built of local building materials and composed of over 90 palaces with more than 10,000 rooms. One can appreciate plenty of precious cultural relics and Buddhist artworks there. Sangke Grassland is only 20-minutes drive away from the monastery. It boasts a vast expanse of pasture. Travelers can participate in various activities and feel mysterious Tibetan customs.
Although Xiahe is just a county, it is the first place in Gansu minority areas to have civil airport. Sichuan Airlines and Tibet Airlines had opened flights between Xiahe and Chengdu, Xian, Yinchuan, Lhasa, and Chongqing. It’s convenient for travelers to visit Xiahe on their Silk Road tours from other popular Chinese tourist cities.