Tagong is a small village, on the road from Litang to Kanding. We were really looking forward to it, mainly because of the beautiful horserides across the grasslands. Which absolutely lived up to the expectation! Especially Sander was impressed, he still remembers it as the highlight of our entire trip 🙂
Things to do in Tagong
After dropping our stuff in our hotelroom, we went for a little walk around the main square. First of all taking a look at the local monastery. What I love about this one is that they do some (to me) mysterious rituals in the morning. Many people walk around the building, turning the praying wheels on their way. But people were also going to the ground, their body covered against the dirt of the street. I hope I describe that in an understandable way 😉 You can check the video, to see exactly what I mean.
No idea why they are praying this way to be honest! But to wake up early morning and just watch the people going around, has something very calming and heartwarming at the same time.
You can walk a few steps from the square, and climb a little hill right behind it. From here you’ll see snowy mountains on the horizon. First time we saw them this trip!
You’ll also see a field with horses and people. At first we thought this was some kind of a horse racing thing, so we got excited. But it turns out it’s the Chinese way of ‘horseriding in Tagong’. Yeah, the word is out and also local tourists know: you come to Tagong for a horse ride. But if you ain’t got all day, or don’t like a sore butt, this is the ‘horse riding light’ version. Just up the hill, down the hill, take a picture – and you’re good! That’s not what we imagined for our tour, as you can imagine!
Horse riding in Tagong
So we went for a day trek, arranged by Angela from Definitely Nomadic.
As you can see in the video, it took us some time to get out of town and find the starting point of our expedition. But as soon as we arrived at Angela’s and Djarga’s place (they didn’t just provide the horseride, we’d also stay at their lodge), we were happy people. The lodge was under construction in 2016, but they are building a beautiful place.
It’s remote, a great place to start a lonely horse trek!
The surroundings are beautiful, and kind of weird at the same time. You don’t see any snow or high peaks. No trees too. It’s just a grassy, hilly land, so it seems. Because we were the only tourists on a horse ride that moment, we didn’t see anyone, where ever you would look. I felt so tiny, and really on the roof of the world. An amazing feeling.
The horses are easy to ride, even for real noobs like us. I hadn’t been on a horse for years, can’t even remember when was the last time.. But the horses are easy, just walking calmly. Fun fact: there are also horses following with no one on their back. They just follow because they are a team.
After 3 hours of riding, and stretching our legs along the way, we arrived at a nomadic family for lunch. Rain just kicked in, so we were happy to be inside. You’ll eat around the fire in a big, black, traditional tent. The food is very basic, but lovely. A great insight in local life.
After lunch we went back the same way we arrived.
Where to sleep in Tagong
We only stayed a few nights in Tagong, but still we slept at 3 different places. We started at Himalayak Guesthouse, which is right next to the monastery. We arranged our stay here through Long Life, from Peace Guesthouse in Litang. But you might also be able to find them on AIRbnb.
We had a good time in this guesthouse, though I do think Khampa Cafe (just next door) has a more charming vibe to it. It’s also a good place for dinner, local and western food, or just to chill out in the evening. I must honestly say I prefer Khampa Cafe over Himalayak. Even though the dog pied over my backpack while staying in Khampa Cafe! They did solve that gracefully though.
The third place we stayed is Khampa Nomad Ecolodge. This is Angela’s and Djarga’s place, from where we also started the horse ride. The lodge is a bit out of town in a small valley. As I mentioned before, it will be an amazing place when it’s finished. One of the best beds we slept in during our trip.
You might note that Khampa Nomad Ecolodge and Khampa Cafe share their name. This is because Angela and Djarga started them both. Khampa Cafe, in the center of the village, was the first project. They did sell it to a Czech who is running the place now, and started a new ecolodge out of town.
We visited this place, making videos for our Youtube channel.
Watch the whole playlist, right here!