Scene Introduction

LitangLitang is a small county in the southwest of the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, western Sichuan province of Southwest China. It is about 654 km from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan. The seat of the county, Gaocheng Town itself is located at an altitude of 4,014 metres. It is on open grassland and surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is about 400 meters higher than Lhasa, making it one of the highest towns in the world. It is the only way which must be passed if ones do the journey to Tibet. And also, it is one of the core towns along the Ancient Tea Horse Trail, which is approximately 1,000 years ago.

Litang County has beautiful landscape and outstanding people. It is nicknamed "the Holy Land of the Snowfield" and "the Bright Pearl of Plateau". The Geshe Holy Mountain (6,204m alt.), which is located in the southwest part of the county and known as one of the 24 major Tibetan Buddhism mountains. It is the best destination for prayer, travel and adventure; several famous Tibetan Buddhist figures were born here, including the Kelzang Gyatso, the 7th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso, the 10th Dalai Lama, four of the Pabalas, and has strong connections with the epic hero Gesar of Ling, as well as the 5th Jamyang Xaiba of Labrang. The most famous lamasery in Litang is the Litang Temple.

The mort important travel highlight in Litang is the Litang Horse Race Festival. The festival is held generally the first week in August, and it usually runs from August 1 to August 7. During the festival horsemanship and horse races are held upon the Tibetan Ponies. These small and fast horses are raced and shown to see who owns the best horse. The horse festival is significant because it helps to establish socio-economic hierarchy in Khampas who participate. A lot of honor and prestige is placed on who owns the best horse. A very large tourism business has been built up on adventure trips and tours provided by companies (including China Village Tour) who cater to individuals who are interested in horses and horsemanship. These companies travel around Southern China and Tibet taking groups of tourists throughout the different villages hosting horse festivals.

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