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Ganden Sumtseling Monastery | Is it a monastery or a temple?

After breakfast at the hotel (Xinxiu. Qionglu Siye Manor), drive to Sumtseling Monastery, arriving at the parking lot at 9:30 am, leave after a 3-hour tour to go to Dukezong Ancient Town for lunch, and head to Napahai Lake for a lake tour around 3 pm, returning to the hotel at 6:30 pm to end the day's journey. 1. Navigate to 'Ganden Sumtseling Monastery Parking Lot', park the car and look around, you can basically find the location of the visitor center, which is near the parking lot. After we parked, several Tibetan compatriots came to sell ethnic clothing, which we politely declined. 2. The ticket mainly includes the round-trip bus fare from the visitor center to the monastery, which is 75 yuan per person. The ticket window staff will ask if you want to add 15 yuan for a guided tour, but it's not necessary. Just follow the tour group once you enter the monastery. 3. If you have time, follow the guide and listen to the explanations, there is a lot of information, and many interesting facts, such as, one staff member mentioned that Sumtseling Monastery is a 'monastery' not a 'temple'. There is a big difference between the two: a temple is a place for burning incense and worshiping Buddha, while a monastery is a place for monks to study and practice. 4. Walking forward from the entrance of the monastery is a small road, the white houses on both sides are the monks' residences, equipped with various modern facilities, and the living conditions should be considered affluent. At the end of the road is a long flight of stairs, climbing up leads to the main hall of the monastery. It's important to note that the altitude here is probably around 3400 meters, so don't exert yourself too much, and be sure to protect yourself from the sun. When we climbed, it was nearly noon and there was almost no shade on this stretch of stairs. 5. After reaching the platform in front of the main hall, we entered each of the large halls in turn, from left to right, in a clockwise direction. One of them (there are three in total, this should be the left/west one) has a platform on a higher level where you can take photos and see the Shika Snow Mountain. We went into each hall, which took some time, but if you're short on time, you can just visit the main hall in the middle. 6. After coming down from the main hall, take the bus back to the visitor center and parking lot. On the way, you will pass by a stop at the side of Lamuyangtso Lake (on the map 'Pilgrimage to Sumtseling Monastery Panorama'), where you can take a panoramic photo of Sumtseling Monastery. We were not sure if we could get back on the bus after getting off (it should be possible, you can confirm with the driver), so we didn't get off. If you have enough time and the weather is good, you can go down for a photo. 7. After returning to the parking lot, navigate to Dukezong Ancient Town for lunch and a rest.
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*Created by local travelers and translated by AI.
Posted: Apr 8, 2024
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