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“Beautiful tibetan monastery” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sumtsaling Monastery

Sumtsaling Monastery
Zhongdian, Shangri-La County 674400, China
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4.0 of 5 stars 211 Reviews
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
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Owner description: The biggest monastery in Shangri-La.
Singapore
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Beautiful tibetan monastery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

I've seen my share of beautiful buddhist temples throughout china, but tibetan temples are quite different and are well worth visiting. Songzanlin is one of the most beautiful I've visited.
The fact that the monastery sits in the middle of a poor village with its golden roof will make some uncomfortable but, historically, population had sometimes hundred of years to make the monastery what it is today, even if these populations were relatively poor. It is however true that things are changing in China, where you cannot take pictures inside the temples. (Very often when you travel to less touristic area you can visit tibetan temples, talk with the monks and they'll be very happy to have you take pictures inside their temples, photography is only forbidden in the touristic areas). Still do pay a visit to this monastery as it is well worth it.

Visited September 2012
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
251 reviews 251 reviews
75 attraction reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
“Just a short drive from Shangri La”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Very colourful and definitely worth a visit. You pay an entrance fee then take a short bus ride to the monastery gate.

Visited November 2012
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KL
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“The lake view opposite the monastery is more interesting”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Don't get me wrong with the above title. For someone who is interested in temple, it is a great temple to explore; checking out the statues in the halls, drawings on the walls.etc. I also noticed there are lots of on-going construction on the way to the temple. Tourists are required to get down at designated stop place to purchase entrance ticket which inclusive shuttle bus to the temple if you are taking public bus No 3 instead of purchasing the entrance ticket upon arriving in front of the temple.

Personally I prefer the walk around the lake opposite the temple, which is more serene and beautiful. You get to see the temple reflection in the lake if you are there at the right timing. I even sat down by the lake for few minutes just to capture the great scenery in front of me through my eyes and send to my memory!

All in all I visited the temple at the right time of the year; Mid Oct 2012

Visited October 2012
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los angeles
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Big rip off”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

It's a mesmerizing sight from afar... Golden steeples, imposing presence. There is a bus that runs between the monastery and Shangrila for 1 yuan but you will be required to get off at a guarded gate, pay 120 yuan and take a different bus to go to the monastery parking lot. From the parking lot, it is a very long uphill trek to the monastery. Then you will be at a level with more Tibetan temples similar to the ones on the ground near the parking lot. You get a good view of the surrounds but cannot even take a good picture of the golden stupas. However if you had a private car and are disabled, you can avoid the horrid climb and be deposited at a different level where there is more to see.
The monastery complex is quite tranquil. Soothing Tibetan music is played by some of the trinket shops manned by monks. Entering the temples even at the ground level is interesting. Unfortunately there are no signage in English to enlighten me as to the significance of the banners, religious statues, etc.
in short, big disappointing trip.

Visited September 2012
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Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great monastery complex to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

This monastery is the same as Songzanlin / Songzailin Temple so check out the posts there. Fantastic place to wonder around and get lost in, monks were very friendly and no one trying to flog things to sell. Nearby villages also a good walkabout with some houses open for visits.

Visited October 2012
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