Tibetan Musuem in Kangding

by Christine

The new Tibetan Museum in Kangding is a must visit while you’re in town!  This brand new musuem is a very well designed display of Tibetan culture & the history of this area.  It is really incomparable to anything else we’ve visited yet in this prefecture.  It is also enjoyable to visit because it is free and it is rarely crowded.  You will be able to practice your Tibetan dancing skills in a unique way…be sure to test them out for real during the evening town dancing!

To get there you can turn right on the road walking out of Zhilam Hostel, continue on the path and then go down the stairs that lead you down the mountain.  At the bottom of the stairs, take another right until you get to the street.  From there, you can take either the #1 or #2 bus as both will take you to the same stop.  I recommend taking #1 since you’ll pass by the museum and temple on the right, and the stop is in front of an old Catholic church.  Once you get off, you can walk back to the museum entrance.  The #2 bus takes you through the new city of Kangding, and you would just get off once you see the church.  From there you keep walking into town, and then take a right at the roundabout.

The museum has plenty to see!  There are five permanent exhibits, as well a sixth changing exhibition.  It includes all kinds of information and displays about Ganzi Prefecture.  There are some English captions, but most of the written information in the museum is only in Chinese.  Even without being able to read Chinese, there is still plenty to learn visually through the displays.

The first exhibit is about the lay of the land and the different kinds of animals and plants that can be found in the area.  If you want to visit the exhibits in order, then the second exhibit is on the second floor directly above the first exhibit.  You first see all the ones on the left side, starting from the first floor and going to the third floor.  Then you move over to the right side exhibits, starting on the third floor and working your way back down to the first floor.  Personally, my favorite exhibit to see is the one on Tibetan culture: it includes models of Tibetan architecture, the layout of homes, textiles and Tibetan style dress, Tibetan music and dancing, as well as information on customs such as marriage, funerals, and etiquette.