Life in Tagong, a Tibetan town in Sichuan, China

Buddhist monks and nomadic tribes in grasslands of Mount Yala lead traditional Tibetan life as they have for centuries.


Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China - The sun rises over holy Mount Yala, imposing and jagged at 5,820 metres. Student nuns and monks begin their prayers at the 1,400-year-old Lhagang Monastery in Tagong, a town in the mountain-ringed grasslands of the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China.

The people of the town emerge from their stone winter houses to tend to their yaks. When the mild summer arrives at the Tibetan highlands, the semi-nomadic herders who live in the town will set off to roam the grasslands with their herds and tents as they have done for centuries.

Tagong is a frontier town of about 8,000 people on the 2,142km-long Sichuan-Tibet Highway, about a quarter of the way to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Formerly known as the Kham region of eastern Tibet, the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is roughly the size of Nepal and has a population of mainly Tibetans.

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