A grand Ancient Tea-Horse Road left with countless traces of horseshoes and porters over the times, witnesses
Benzilan, a paradise solitarily located at the foot of the Jinsha River flowing along the foot of Baima Snow Mountain, the only gate the Ancient Tea-Horse Road goes through - ever strategic hub town, is increasingly attracting more people choose to stop and stay.
“Benzilan”, means “beautiful sandy dam” in Tibetan language, as a commercial and strategic town on Ancient Tea-Horse Road, is featured with mild and pleasant climate throughout the year in addition to rich natural and human resources, the charming valley may be regarded as the best base both for exploring magnificent glaciers and taking the rare trail adventure, satisfying the curiosity of travelers about the nature.
In ancient times, there was also a fearless caravan warriors fleeted here, and the original ecological scenery preserved by Benzilan opens a window to the mysterious Tibetan culture for guests who were eager to explore along ancient tea-and-horse road.
As a destination where caravan warriors once settled, Benzilan is the fairyland for adventurers. You can seek local guides to visit Ancient Tea-Horse Road- horseshoe prints with the depth of 70 cm, various Buddha statues and religious rumors as clear as past.
Your may wade through the hills and waters with mountaineers on the way, explore covert mountain roads, look for the delicious local mushrooms, and find the steep path beaten by the caravan warriors thorugh hardship.
For those who are strong, this unique walking experience will be destined to be haunting. Certainly, local guides will also tailor easier route for junior hiker.
There is a story that is not widely popular. It is said that the ancient caravan collected Nixi Black Pottery, a precious handicraft, while passing by Benzilan.
If you want to know more about the story of Black Pottery, why not visiting Lozang, the best black pottery craftsman in Nixi Village. Lozang’ inherited family skills come from his father. The small workshops are placed with finished and semi-finished products of black potteries. The “Eight Tibetan Auspicious” are the most popular art crafts among visitors, which are combined with the black pottery and represent the essence of the auspicious and complete art in Tibetan culture.
You are allowed to experience the feeling of touching the clay with your hands and learn how to shape them into beautiful and wonderful Tibetan art under the guidance of Lozang.
Dongzhulin Lama Lamasery, a few kilometers away from Benzilan, is a sanctuary to seek peaceful mind. Unlike famous Songzanlin Lamasery in the suburbs of Shangri-La, always receiving groups of tourists, so the lamas are glad to spare the time to explain Tibetan Buddhism to those who are truly interested.
The lamas in the lamasery pray every day. If you think the stories are not enough, you are also allowed to gather the people from all corners to chant Kawakarpo, the main peak of Meili Snow Mountain Range - Kawagebo under the guidance of the lamas, or participate in a well-known Dge-lugs-pa debate.
The debate ceremony is solemn of high tension. Usually the Lamas are divided into groups of two, one sits on the ground, and the other standing Lama expressing his point of view by jumping, dancing and holding the boxing palm, being an unique experience.
In Benzilan, It is an indispensable part of the trip to taste local delicacies, and the experience of having dinner with Tibetans is absolutely eye-opening.
You are recommended to ride a bicycle in the early morning and view the rugged fields from the endless fields of ancient town to the mountains. As the sky fades away, you are recommended to join in a Tibetan-style party, and you won't back with an empty stomach regardless of delicious yak meat or a rich local products.
A round of homemade barley wine will end amid the singing and dancing games, the quiet country life suddenly[FS:Page] became full of vitality and endless aftertaste.
Benzilan Lishi Hotel, a hub of ancient tea-and-horse route, located in the heart the historic center of tea-and-horse route and adjacent to the Jinsha River, can not only enables you to completely overlook the magnificent view of Baima Snow Mountain but also allows you to enjoy the tranquility and quietness of Tibetan villages on both sides of the Jinsha River.
（Article and pictures recourses: 旅游情报）