Xiangcheng Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Xiangcheng with our comprehensive travel guide. From cultural attractions to natural wonders, we've got you covered.

Introduction to Xiangcheng

Nestled in Ganzi Prefecture, in the southwestern region of Sichuan province, lies the charming town of Xiangcheng. While still off the beaten track, Xiangcheng is quickly gaining popularity among travelers looking for a more authentic experience of China. Boasting a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural scenery, and delicious local cuisine, Xiangcheng is the perfect destination for those looking to explore a lesser-known corner of China.

List of Places to Visit in Xiangcheng

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, Xiangcheng has something to offer. Here is a list of must-visit attractions in Xiangcheng:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Lhagang Monastery: This historic Tibetan Buddhist monastery is located just outside of Xiangcheng and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Dating back to the 17th century, Lhagang Monastery is considered one of the most important religious centers in the region.

  • Xiangcheng Confucian Temple: Built in the 13th century, the temple was used to teach the “six arts” of Confucianism: music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, arithmetic and rituals. Today, it is a testament to the region’s rich history and cultural heritage.

  • Bálìbù Village: This quaint village is located about an hour from Xiangcheng and is home to a unique collection of traditional Tibetan houses. Surrounded by stunning natural scenery, Bálìbù Village offers visitors a glimpse into rural Tibetan life.

Natural Attractions of Xiangcheng: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Yading Nature Reserve: Located about 2 hours from Xiangcheng, Yading Nature Reserve is a must-see for nature lovers. The reserve is home to three sacred peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and vast meadows dotted with wildflowers. The area is considered one of the most scenic spots in China.

  • Daocheng Yading Airport: The world’s highest civilian airport, located at an elevation of over 14,000 feet, has a stunning view of the surrounding mountains.

  • Lalong Grassland: Located about 25km from Xiangcheng, Lalong Grassland is a breathtaking high altitude prairie surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Xiangcheng

For visitors seeking a more active adventure, Xiangcheng offers several hiking and biking trails that showcase the area’s stunning natural beauty. Here are a few of the most popular routes:

  • Yading Kora Trek: This 3-4 day trek takes you through the heart of Yading Nature Reserve and offers stunning views of the three sacred peaks.

  • Gongga Shan: One of the highest peaks in China, offering a few challenging multiday options routes.

  • Lalong Horseback Riding Trail: A scenic horseback riding trail through the Lalong grasslands, suitable for riders of all skill levels.

Best Things to Do in Xiangcheng: Activities and Tours

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the area’s rich culture or explore the great outdoors, Xiangcheng has an activity or tour that’s perfect for you. Here are a few options:

  • Tibetan Culture Experience Tour: A guided tour that offers an immersive experience in Tibetan culture, including visits to local Tibetan families and monasteries.

  • Yading Nature Reserve Photography Tour: A guided tour that takes you through Yading’s stunning natural scenery and offers tips on capturing the perfect shot.

  • Camping Under the Stars: Spend a night under the stars in the Lalong grasslands, enjoying traditional Tibetan food and music around a bonfire.

Week-Long Itinerary for Xiangcheng

Here’s a sample itinerary for a week-long trip to Xiangcheng:

Day Activity
1 Arrival and check-in at hotel
2 Visit Xiangcheng Confucian Temple and explore the town
3 Day trip to Bálìbù Village
4-6 Trek through Yading Nature Reserve
7 Departure from Xiangcheng

Food and Drink Scene of Xiangcheng

No trip to Xiangcheng is complete without trying some of the local cuisine. Here are a few must-try dishes and beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Tibetan Yak Meat: A staple of Tibetan cuisine, yak meat is usually cooked with vegetables and spices and served with rice or noodles.

  • Spicy Sichuan Hotpot: A true Sichuan classic, hotpot is a spicy soup served with a variety of meats, vegetables, and noodles.

  • Tibetan Butter Tea: Made with yak butter, salt, and tea leaves, Tibetan butter tea is a warm and comforting drink that’s perfect for cold weather.

Local Beverages

  • Chang: A traditional Tibetan beverage made from fermented barley, chang is usually served in a wooden bowl and sipped through a bamboo straw.

  • Baijiu: A strong Chinese liquor made from sorghum, baijiu is often served at formal occasions and is an acquired taste.

Where to Stay in Xiangcheng: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Xiangcheng offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious hotels. Here are a few of the best options:

  • Yunling Hotel: A popular hotel located in the heart of Xiangcheng, Yunling Hotel offers comfortable rooms and easy access to local attractions.

  • Langjie Guesthouse: A cozy guesthouse with a homey atmosphere, Langjie is a great option for budget travelers looking for a friendly and comfortable stay.

What to Buy in Xiangcheng: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

No trip to Xiangcheng is complete without picking up a few souvenirs or local products. Here are a few options:

  • Tibetan Jewelry: Xiangcheng is known for its beautiful Tibetan jewelry, which is often made from silver and turquoise.

  • Tibetan Carpets: Handwoven carpets are a popular souvenir and make a great addition to any home.

Local Culture and Customs of Xiangcheng

Xiangcheng has a rich cultural heritage that is deeply rooted in Tibetan culture. Visitors to Xiangcheng should be respectful of local customs and traditions, which often center around Buddhism and the natural world.

Best Time to Visit Xiangcheng

The best time to visit Xiangcheng is between April and October, when the weather is mild and the skies are clear.

Do’s and Don’ts of Xiangcheng


  • Respect Local Customs: Be respectful of local customs and traditions, which often center around Buddhism and the natural world.

  • Try the Local Cuisine: Xiangcheng has a rich and flavorful culinary tradition, and trying the local cuisine is a must-do.


  • Disrespect the Environment: Xiangcheng is home to some of the most beautiful natural scenery in China, so be sure to respect the environment by not littering or damaging natural areas.

  • Speak Loudly in Public Places: Be mindful of your volume when out and about in Xiangcheng, as speaking too loudly can be seen as disrespectful.

Safety and Health

Safety in Xiangcheng

Overall, Xiangcheng is a safe destination for tourists. However, visitors should take standard precautions to ensure their safety, such as avoiding walking alone in unfamiliar areas at night and keeping valuables out of sight.

Health in Xiangcheng

Xiangcheng’s high altitude may affect some visitors, so be sure to drink plenty of water, take it easy for the first few days, and consider bringing medication for altitude sickness.

Getting to Xiangcheng: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Xiangcheng

The closest airports to Xiangcheng are Kangding Airport and Daocheng Yading Airport.

Bus Stations Near Xiangcheng

Buses run to Xiangcheng from a variety of nearby cities, including Chengdu, Yajiang and Kangding.

Other Options

It’s also possible to hire a private car through a tour company to get to Xiangcheng from nearby cities.

How to Get Around in Xiangcheng

The town of Xiangcheng is small enough to be explored on foot, but if you’re looking to venture outside of town, there are taxis and buses available.

Where to Go Next from Xiangcheng: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to extend your trip beyond Xiangcheng, there are several nearby destinations that are definitely worth a visit. Here are a few options:

  • Kangding: Known as the gateway to Tibet, Kangding is a charming town famous for its stunning mountain views and hot springs.

  • Litang: Located about 3.5 hours from Xiangcheng, Litang is home to the largest Tibetan Buddhist college in China and is a great destination for those interested in Tibetan culture and history.

  • Jiuzhaigou: A world-famous nature reserve with a breathtaking landscape of alpine lakes, waterfalls and snow-capped mountains.


Xiangcheng is a hidden gem in the heart of Sichuan Province, offering visitors a unique and authentic experience of China. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural scenery, and delicious local cuisine, Xiangcheng deserves a spot on every traveler’s itinerary.