Most of those in Tagong’s over 40 population are draped in baggy colorful robes that have a vintage look only achieved by wearing the same garment everyday for years. The women weave colorful pink and purple fabric into their thick braids, while men holster foot long knives at their waist.
Throughout the day, these colorful individuals perambulate the temples and cobble stone streets. The clockwise walk around the temples is an act of worship that, while perfunctory, is done with an easy sense of purpose and determination.
To really explore Tagong properly you need at least four or five days. While Tagong’s treasures require a bit of finding, if you’re willing to put in the effort in terms of talking to interesting looking people and walking down random streets, Tagong will not disappoint.
There are two primary temples in Tagong. The Tagong Lamasery is located in the Tagong town center, while the other, the Lhagang Monastery, is a ten minute walk south of the village center. The Lhagang Monastery is home to the iconic, if not somewhat gaudy, Muya Golden Pagoda and its 100 kg golden roof that lies in the center of the monastery’s four towers.
In addition to its temples, Tagong is also home to a number of Buddhist schools. Vistors are free to enter the schools and look around. You’ll see young monks with bags of instant noodles and Coke walking to and from the high school and college. I suppose some things are the same all over the world.