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“Horse riding”
Review of Zhongcha Canyon

Zhongcha Canyon
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Reviewed 21 July 2014

This place is good only if you are interested in taking a horse ride. The horses are pulled by Tibetans trying to make some money. You can opt for an hour or a 2 hour ride. I think it was ¥100 per person per hour. It was a nice little ride as it is quite a scenic route but be prepared to be scammed as half way up they will take you to a spot where they said you can pray and make your wish for good health etc.you will be given some joysticks and flags which you hv to pay for. I think it was ¥ 50 per person.This money actually goes to the Tibetan workers ( the ones pulling the horses) cos the horses don't belong to them and the money which was paid earlier on does not go to them. We did not mind as they were pleasant and it is hard work walking the horses up and down the hilly route.
Do take your rain coat with you cos half way through it was raining (typical during summer months) although it was not very heavy.

Date of experience: July 2014
3  Thank redwineMalaysia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (26)
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5 - 9 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 2 November 2013

So I had originally planned to spend multiple days visiting jiuzhaigou national park, but after paying the fee for one day was not interested in having to pay the same price again(wished the ticket was multi day like zhangjiajie). Anyways since I was here the hostel recommended a trip to Zhongcha village which is an authentic tibetan village completely different from the town. I didn't do the horseback ride just went wandering around the village.

Date of experience: August 2013
2  Thank Hoben01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

they will bring you to holy mountain, and asked 50RMB to buy incense. if you dont want to pay, just say you have your own beliefs. also you can take picture with yak (at mini grassland) and drink yak milk tea, of course for some money

Date of experience: October 2013
Thank Hargiyanto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

I visited this village with my family in late August 2013, at the end of the Chinese summer vacation. Even then there were very few people, so this will be a very restful place if you're tired of the bus crowds at Jiuzhaigou. The scenery is impressive and very peaceful. You're surrounded by high mountains on all sides. It's funny that the locals say they prefer multi-lane highways and high-rise buildings!

This is Sichuan, not Tibet, but it's a region where ethnic Tibetans have lived for generations, and this is a Tibetan village where people's native language is a dialect of Tibetan. Our horse guides (mostly women in their late 20s to 30s or 40s) also spoke fairly fluent Chinese and that's how we communicated. One of them told me they wish they spoke English so that they could chat with their western guests, but unfortunately they can't. Don't worry about that: some friendly smiles and body language can go a long way.

It costs RMB180 (a little less than US$30) for a two-hour ride, and more for longer rides that go deeper into the mountains. The prices seem to be fixed by the company that bought the horses. My mother-in-law felt dizzy as soon as she mounted the horse, so she decided to wait for us in the village. We had no problem getting her a refund at the end.

Incidentally, I asked how heavy a burden the horses could carry and was told about 100 kilos (220 pounds). I'm not sure how old you have to be to ride, but my daughter is 10 and I saw even younger kids who seemed to be having a lot of fun.

For the whole trip, your horse walks on a path while led by a local guide, so it's safe for people of all ages. The ride starts by going through the village, which is built on the mountain side. The houses you pass by are the real houses of the locals. The larger ones belong to families that own yaks, the main cattle animal and source of income here before tourism started to develop.

After climbing out of the village, we were invited to "worship the sacred mountain," a short ritual to pay respects to the mountain grounds that we were about to enter. For RMB50, we burned incense the way Tibetans do, threw some paper amulets to the wind, and tied little pennants to a large wooden structure that was already loaded with them. Only upon coming down did we learn that this was optional, but these are all authentic Tibetan practices, so we advise you do it for the experience even if it's a bit costly. We even gave a RMB50 tip to one of our guides and she seemed genuinely happy about it. (Our horses were also happy to get half an apple each!) That would seem to confirm what another reviewer said: the guides probably get only a small percentage of the RMB180 fee.

Once you're up the mountain, you dismount to let the horses graze in a small pasture (may be different in the colder season). You can then sit under a tent and buy some Tibetan tea or yogurt made with yak milk. The yogurt is tart on its own, but you can add sugar if you want. It was very fresh despite the heat. One bowl costs RMB15, but where else will you ever get to eat yak yogurt!

The ride goes on and you cross small rivers on your way back to the village, which you enter from the other side. The whole ride lasted about 2.5 hours, but nobody asked for a supplement. All in all, a fun and relaxing afternoon with friendly people in a beautiful setting!

Finally, the village is at more than 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) above sea level, and you're just sitting on your horse getting struck by the sun, so don't forget your sunscreen!

Date of experience: August 2013
4  Thank canadian_in_china
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 August 2013

we went horseback riding to a shrine at the top of the valley...an experience I'll never forget...super beautiful and very nice, lovely people

Date of experience: August 2013
Thank 927EricB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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