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“Once a significant centre of Tibetan Buddhism.”

Sumtsaling Monastery
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Private Day Trip of Shangri-La with Monastery Visit
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The biggest monastery in Shangri-La.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
153 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Once a significant centre of Tibetan Buddhism.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

This monastery was built by the 5th Dalai Lama over 300 years ago and was once one of the most significant centres of Tibetan Buddhism outside Tibet. In recent years and after decades of neglect, this complex of academic halls, residences, temples and religious libraries is slowly being restored and young men are again being sent by their families to live within its walls. The gated area to the monastery is a twenty minute drive from Zhongdian (about 8 km) and it is here you will buy an entrance ticket, after which you will board a bus for the drive to the actual Monastery entrance. Be prepared to climb 170 steps in a rarified atmosphere and dress warmly as the wind swirling around the monastery walls is icy and very strong. If you come early in the day, you will see and hear the devotees at their lessons and maybe some pilgrims in their bright pink sashes spinning the prayer wheels.

Visited April 2014
Thank Judi Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bregenz, Austria
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Golden magic in the sky...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

Very beautiful Tibetan monastery on top of a small mountain with a nice lake below. Monastery is still being renovated in parts, but majority of temples is in very good shape with golden roofs and colorful windows or doors. Definitely worth a visit and spend some hours inside the main monastery complex or additionally walk around the lake to get some more distant views on this beautiful sight.

Visited May 2014
Thank MrBeam88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malacca, Malaysia
Level Contributor
408 reviews
232 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014

I visited this monastery in early May. The hotel which I was staying MGallery Songtsam has special arrangement with the monastery whereby guests of the hotel pay a discounted price for the entrance fee. The hike from the hotel to the monastery (back entrance) is rather enjoyable. I enjoyed the walk more than the monastery itself. If not for the discounted entrance fee, I would not even consider visiting this place.

Visited May 2014
Thank sheronlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
198 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Biggest, but not the best”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2014

I was very disappointed at the materialism displayed at this monastery. I understand the Chinese have injected large sums to turn it into a tourist money making machine, indeed my understanding is they managed the car park/entrance fees. During my time there, I saw many affluent monks riding expensive motor bikes. Although the biggest monastery, with beautiful restoration taking place, this monastery appears to have lost its essence. There is nothing in the gift shop worth purchasing, when I was there it was expensive rubbish. A very disappointing journey, and incredibly expensive tourist trap. There are smaller monasteries that have not been corrupted if gompas are on your list of places to see.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank jenjenrossco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Add this on your list”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014 via mobile

We visited Sumtsaling Monastery in April, although the entrance fee is kind of high but they maintain this place pretty well and the fee includes a 2 way shuttle service that takes you to the entrance from the ticketing office. if you have time take a stroll around the lake below the monastery as you can capture the whole view of Sumtsaling. if you do not wish to return to ticketing office , you can take bus number 3 (¥1) back to the old town.

Thank Anthonylph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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