Huangnan (Mahlo) Prefecture 黄南州 རྨ་ལྷོ།

Amnye Shachung from above Rebgong

Huangnan is not too bad an area in which to hang out (Full disclaimer: I lived here for several years). Draws include the area’s beautiful landscape and its rich cultural mosaic- a mixture of Tibetans, Mongolians (and pseudo-Mongolians), and a variety of Muslim minorities. While the Rebgong valley is, by my reckoning, Qinghai’s fourth most popular tourist destination (after Xining, Qinghai Lake, and the Kumbum Monastery), this doesn’t mean too much, as Qinghai is China’s second-least-touristed province; if you venture beyond downtown Rebgong and the three major “art monasteries” just downvalley, you are unlikely to see another tourist.

This lack of tourists in the countryside doesn’t mean there’s not some amazing places to visit – it just means that people are understandably focused on Rebgong’s famous monasteries and artwork, and that their busy tourist schedules allow little time for anything else. Rebgong is one of the larger, more comfortable and more interesting towns in Amdo; hang around for a bit and discover what else the region has to offer.

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