Golog Prefecture 果洛州 མགོ་ལོག།

Amnye Machen

Golog is definitely out there. A high, wild region of vast grasslands, massive glaciated mountains, and deep river canyons, Golog is primarily populated by bands of yakherding nomads. Be forewarned: travel in this area can be especially demanding – physically and mentally – and whole counties (particularly Darlag དར་ལག [Dari 达日], Badma  པད་མ [Banma 班玛], and Gabde དགའ་བདེ [Gande 甘德]) are often suddenly and unexpectedly closed. Like Yushu to the south, access to Golog is primarily via sleeper bus (unless you want to go for the day bus – it’s an open debate as to which is more or less painful). But though difficult, travel through this beautiful, culturally rich area is also incredibly fulfilling. You are guaranteed to see mind-blowing landscapes, experience a uniquely place-based culture, and meet some unbelievably friendly and tough people. And that’s just the beginning: get out and go exploring. Some places to check out include Dawu 大武 / Maqin རྨ་ཆེན 玛沁 and Jigdril  གཅིག་སྒྲིལ (Jiuzhi 久治) counties, in which you can embark on epic backpacking trips around massive sacred mountains (Amnye Machen ཨ་མྱིས་རྨ་ཆེན and Nyenbo Yurtse གཉན་བོ་གཡུ་རྩེ། respectively), and Darlag 达日དར་ལག and Banma 班玛 པད་མ counties (warning: often closed to foreigners) for their rich nomadic and monastic cultures. Keep in mind that due to political sensitivity, I’m not going to give much in the way of specifics for some regions.

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