The town lies along one main street parallel to the Daxia River. The Chinese section (commercial) lies to the eastern end of the road and the Tibetan section lies at the western end. In between lies the monastery.
Xiahe has developed along with the influx of visitors. Some old timers may bemoan that it has lost its off-the-beaten-path charm, but Xiahe is still far from being overrun with hawkers, karaoke or foot massage joints as have many other attractions in China.
Xiahe Bus Station is about 1.5km away from the entrance to the monastery and the main concentration of guesthouses. Turn right when you walk out bus stations front door.
From Lanzhou – Three morning buses and two afternoon buses(6:30AM, 7:30AM, 08.30 AM and 2:00PM, 3:00 PM) leave from Lanzhou Nanzhan (Lanzhou South Bus Terminal). In Summer, there might be more buses, i.e. at 4:00pm. Trip takes 3 and a half hours (¥76). Half hourly buses go to Linxia in 2 hours. From there you can catch one of the frequent buses onward to Xiahe (¥30).
From Linxia – One every 30mins leave during daylight hours, arriving in Xiahe about 2 hours later.(¥30)
From Langmusi – Two buses a day leaving at 6 AM and 2 PM, takes 4 hours (¥71) (updated Jan 2016).
Tongren – Two buses per day leaving at 8 AM and 2 PM (¥26.5). Takes 3 very scenic hours.
Jiuzhaigou – A bus leaves Jiuzhaigou at 7 AM bound for Lanzhou. If you tell the driver you want to go to Xiahe they will they will take you as far as the turnoff on the highway (still 30km from Xiahe) around 4 PM. From there you’ll need to hail a passing bus or car to complete the journey. For most of the journey you will be traveling through high-altitude grasslands (highest pass: 3840m) (June 2017).
Xining: A bus leaves Xining Long Distance Bus Station (at the train station) at 08.20AM. Price 79.50 Yuan (August 2019)