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Photography Tips for Langmusi

Tibetan, one of the 56 ethnic groups in China, is a special and unique group that owns a culture of great splendor. Tibetan people mainly live in Tibet, Qinghai, west of Sichuan and south of Gansu, where those provinces are plateau geomorphology. The core of Tibetan culture is its religion - Vajrayana Buddhism, which shapes its impression to people. Because of the locality, culture, religion, history, etc., Tibetan shows its mysterious face and attracts people to uncover the veil.

As one of the most favorite themes of photography, people try to demonstrate the beauty of this ethnic group by photos. Among these Tibetan habitations, you can have not only a sight to the magnificent natural scenery but also an impression of distinct culture and custom. Here we would like to recommend you a Tibetan village in south Gansu Province, Langmusi

Photography Tips for Langmusi

The book Tibetan Skylines, written by Robert P. Ekvar, brought the fame of Langmusi to all over the world. People marvel at this Oriental Switzerland that was described as the paradise created by god. The reason why we recommend this village is not only its beauty but its pristine environment and the local plain people. It is known that the photographer loves the pure nature so that the village would be the heaven for the photographers.

Follow the photography tips for Langmusi, and let us show you how to draw the Tibetan village onto the photos.


The Tibetan Monasteries in Langmusi

In Chinese, Langmusi means a temple or monastery, but actually, it is a name for a county. Here are two monasteries seating on the two sides of Bailong River, which sees each other from afar. Langmusi was divided into two parts by this river - the northern part belongs to Gansu Province, and the southern part belongs to Sichuan Province. The one in the north is called Sertri Monastery, and the one in the south is Kirti Monastery. These two monasteries are good places for photography.

Photography Tips for Langmusi

Lied in the beautiful valley, the monasteries are surrounded by alpine forests and amazing mountains. The flying pray flags bring you into the atmosphere of a mysterious religion; the devout pilgrims kowtow long heads to come here and turn the pray wheels, the monks in red chant sutras to bless believers and wish them good fortune. All these factors reflect a heaven of creation for photographers.

Kirti Monastery in Sichuan border sits on a relatively open terrain, in which the wooden houses are built leaning on the mountain slope. The body of the firth Gelden living Buddha is enshrined here, which is the best-preserved body. Although it has passed over 200 years, the body still owns the elastics skin and the vivid face. Behind the monastery, a short hiking will bring you to the Tiger Cave. The cave locates in the gorge where you will have a sight to the dense forest. This hiking route is one of the most famous trekking activities in Langmusi for its charming scenery, so it is popular among the photographers.

Sertri Monastery in Gansu border is built on the mountain. Most of the buildings with golden roof glisten under the sunshine, which are tall and magnificent and more solemn and beautiful than the Kirti. Cross the small bridge above the Bailong River, and you will have easy climbing up to the top of Sertri after a gentle slope. From there, the village and gorge catch your eyes just like a fairyland, which crowns it the best point to get the panoramic view of Langmusi. There is a sky burial platform behind the monastery, which is the only one allowed to visit in the south of Gansu. You could see the red cliff in picturesque disorder, which could form a nice photo when sunset.

enlightenedTips: Do not get close to the platform. Please keep solemn and respect to the local custom.


Photography Theme for Festival 

The most important even in Langmusi is Zhanfo Festival held on the 13th day of the first lunar month every year. Zhanfo means showing the silk portrayal of Buddha to people. The purpose of this festival is to show the great image of the Buddha to the world, so people can feel it through their hearts, bow down to worship, praise offering, and pray for the dharma to live forever.

The grand ceremony begins at around 9:00 in the morning. The monks carry a giant silk portrayal of Buddha to the platform at the foothill, and then they chant sutras to praise the Buddha. At the moment, all the people are silent and respectful. These factors produce an image of grandly shocking and gorgeously color. With the particular environment and atmosphere, the festival is the best opportunity to obtain inspiration and create satisfying photos.


Photography Theme for Sunrise & Sunset

The best time of photography in Langmusi is in the early morning and late afternoon. It would allow you to catch the sight of sunrise and sunset.

Theme for Sunrise

In the morning, the scene of monasteries, the mountains, and the Tibetan people who cross the long corridors to turn wheels is the best topic. It is the perfect time when the first ray of sunlight shoots these scenes. You would need to get up early to prepare and test the equipment, in case of missing the valuable moment.

Photography Tips for Langmusi

In summer, it is a magnificent scene when the mist and smoke from kitchen chimneys rise under the sunlight. For the plateau landform, the cloud could flow very fast.


  1. The photographer could rich and colors the gradation of an image when the shadow of clouds covers part of the village.
  2. The relationship among the near view, medium view, and distance view could have a great influence on the photo with the theme of mist.
  3. Due to the large scene, the photographer should pay attention to the composition's distribution between the village and the mountains.
  4. Using the curves on composition, then the next step is to wait for the moment that the clouds cover the edge of the village and light up houses.

In winter, it is the golden season for photography in Langmusi. The Bailong River crosses the village, where there is a wooden bridge above it. This bridge is an ideal scene and attracts many photographers. In the morning, the local people do laundry, and the cows drink water at the bank of the river full of steam. All the pictures are showing the place of paradise.

Photography Tips for Langmusi


  1. The scene only shows in the morning, so it would be better to be there before sunrise.
  2. In order to highlight the effect of light and shadow, it had better to shoot against the light when sunrise.

Theme for Sunset

In the late afternoon, climb up to the Kirti Monastery where you could shoot the red cliff with front light and winding Bailong River through the village when sunset.

Photography Theme for People and Culture

It is one of the most important skills to communicate with the people when you try to take photos with them. Sometimes the local people may contradict the camera because of local custom. Therefore, we need to learn how to shoot great pictures while respect the local custom successfully.

Photography Tips for Langmusi


  1. Try to get trust from the children around the temple. In the Tibetan area, the candies and stationery are very popular among the children, but the cash is not recommended. When you have a good relationship with the children, you could take some photos and show them. The adults would not stop at this situation, while you could invite them to get into your camera.
  2. The monasteries are the best places to take pictures of humanity. It is recommended to use the telephoto lens to shoot from a distance, which could avoid disturbing the monks. If you were allowed to shoot after communicating with the monks, you could use the prime lens to reflect their faces with details. This kind of photo would arouse people's awe.
  3. The street photography is random and unpredictable, so it is recommended to use AV or TV to capture every moment. The magical Tyndall Effect occurs at the moment of sunrise or sunset when it meets the dharma assembly or extreme weather, and it is the best time to set off the characters.


Have a Photography Tour to Langmusi

Do the tips of photography above inspire you a tour to Langmusi? If you're worried about the planning, just let us help you with all the tedious work. You can easily plan your trip by contacting us, our experienced travel advisors are happy to help you out.

Plan a Tour to Langmusi: 6 Days Amazing Jiuzhaigou to Ruoergai Tour

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