The following are photos from Kangding, a town of 20,000 whose electricity is completely provided by the hydroelectric power of a local dam. Although the political border of Tibet is further West, this really is where Tibet begins. Here you’ll find young Tibetans hanging around town, monks in maroon and yellow robs asking for alms, Chinese looking to drive you to the many surrounding scenic areas, and a good number of police, not to mention surveillance cameras. This is a place for backpackers going trekking, and once was a center of the tea trade, with tea brought in from Chengdu in exchange for Tibetan wool. We visited two monasteries, both of which have army bases next to them, and took a cable car up a mountain overlooking town. There are several Tibetan restaurants in town, and Tibetan script is everywhere. There are also huge Tibetan Buddhist icons carved into the surrounding mountain sides.

Kangding Mountains

Mountains and towers

Kangding Valley

Kangding from Above


Monestary II

Backpackers Hostel


Monestary Entrance




Buddhist Icons

2nd Monestary

Monestary and Mountains

Motorcycle Club
This is a motorcycle Club that passed through town. They all had little red flags with their clubs insignia on it. In addition to a lot of motorcycles in the countryside, we also saw quite a few hardcore bicyclists riding long distance on the winding, treacherous mountain side highway.

This is the bathroom of one of the hotels we stayed in. It featured the old shower/toliet combo