Planned on going to Chengdu, but heard about a Tibetan festival in Zhongdian, so a detour was in order.
The weather was wet, but the spirits were high. If it rained too much, we would just meet new friends by joining the Tibetans in their makeshift tents.
The music was amazing, but the inpromtu dances during intermission were the best. Hundreds of Tibetans in a giant circle, basically doing a Tibetan line-dance. Even a few female police officers joined in to learn a few new moves.
The highlight of Zhongdian is the Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, a huge Tibetan monastery, built a a tiny Potala Palce. Located a few kilometers north of town it's easily reached by local bus (#3). Don't bother with a taxi.
I walked up the long stairs to the main courtyard where a large number of monks were hanging around, talking, eating ice cream, and playing with their mobile phones. Wandering around the place finding several smaller temples within the complex where monks were at prayer. At one, there was a single senior monk making Yak Butter Tea. He invited me in. He offered me a custard pie, and some tea.