Souls may find elevation in Xiahe, not only because it is suspended at 2920m above sea level. The Labrang Monastery is a holy site and pilgrims travel long distances across highlands to come and bend here. In the rising sun, they circle the 3km “kora” (pilgrim path), murmuring their prayers to the wind. The area was long part of the Tibetan region of Amdo, hence, 50% of the population of the town is Tibetan.
Langmusi, 3300m, is another alpine Amdo Tibetan village, quieter than Xiahe. If it wasn’t for its golden roofs and colorful temples, you could easily think it is part of Switzerland. Flapping prayer flags along the Namo gorge and the mesmerising sound of monks chanting at twilight take us even higher.