We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“stunning to look at more a tourist attraction than a working temple”

Sumtsaling Monastery
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Day Trip of Shangri-La with Monastery Visit
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The biggest monastery in Shangri-La.
Level Contributor
128 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“stunning to look at more a tourist attraction than a working temple”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

We are told that this monastery is 8th century, but its being burned down twice and rebuilt recently. Its well worth a visit but it felt fake to me so I dont know if its a accurate reflection of monastery buildings from the 8th century or a fair reflection of a working temple.
Maybe an expert can let me know!
the collection of money from tourists is very efficient

Visited September 2013
Thank neilalexander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

461 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Worth the money”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Our trip to the monastery started off badly as we had been told (and indeed the guidebooks say) that you can get the number 3 bus all the way to the top and then walk around the outside of the monastery grounds to avoid the 85 yuan charge. As we were on a tight budget, this was the plan. However we got turfed off the bus at a visitor centre and charged 115 yuan to continue on the road via tourist bus. We initially kicked ourselves for not being savvy, but quickly realised that this is how the system now works and there is no option for tourists to forgo the new 115 yuan charge. Despite my initial grumbles, the monastery is very much worth the money. Visually stunning, with plenty to explore inside, it's a great half day trip. We got some fantastic pictures of the gold roof against the blue sky and this place felt like a great introduction to Tibet.
Quick tip is to take the time to walk the wooden platform path around the lake opposite the monastery (approx 45 mins). Great views, rows of prayer flags, photo opportunities and a chance to escape the many Chinese tour groups.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank HazamM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice to visit - a first taste of Tibet”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

I think it is really something to visit if you are in Shangri-La. This monastery can give you a first taste of Tibet. Maybe it is better to do it with a guide if you are interesting about the meaning of the paintings inside the monastery.

Very bad point:
We took bus N°3 to come here from the old city. Two stops before arriving the monastery, a very rude military guy will ask all the foreigners to get out of the bus to buy tickets. Chinese people can continue their way without any problem. If you refuse to get down the bus, this military guy can become violent. Also he seems racist especially to Japanese people (he kick one out of the bus insulting him).
So after that you have to buy a ticket (115RMB) and wait for a tourist bus which will bring you at the same place as bus N°3 do. When arriving there you will see that it is possible to enter in the monastery freely (they will not check your ticket at the entrance).

Visited August 2013
Thank tangbaozi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
53 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

The interior red walls are covered in stunning, detailed paintings. How do the colors remain so vibrant? The massive gold Buddhas gaze down benevolently. The air is filled with incense and the sound of monks chanting. It is amazing!

Visited August 2013
Thank AustinAnna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramat Gan, Israel
Level Contributor
130 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“our guide ( duma tel/ 13988789694) made all the difference - a beautiful example of tibet's treasures -”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

a very friendly place. all covered with murals paintings carvings statues and pictures all very very colorful and meaningful if you have the right local tibetan guide to explain it all

luckily we had the most professional and nice guide we can reccomend with all our heart her name is duma and her phone 13988789694

Visited September 2012
Thank yakir1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Sumtsaling Monastery also viewed

Shangri-La County, Yunnan
Shangri-La County, Yunnan

Been to Sumtsaling Monastery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing