Gangcha County, also known as “Kangtsa County“, is located on north shore of Qinghai Lake. It is one of key animal husbandry counties around Qinghai Lake in Qinghai Province.
Qinghai-Tibet Railway traverses the whole territory, and Qinghai-Xinjiang Highway and Huangyuan-Jiayuguan Highway pass through Gangcha County
Best time to travel
From July to September
Continental monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Gangcha Gonchen is the largest monastery and the center of religious activities in Gangcha county. It is a Gelug pa monastery and was first built in 1915.
Compassionate Eyes Tower is at Cangyang Gyatso Cultural Square in Gangcha County, it is built with Tibetan Buddhist culture and traditional Tibetan architecture
Fairy Bay Wetland is a paradise for birds and hometown of swans. Birds that inhabit here every year include bar-headed geese, fish gulls, and cormorants. In autumn and winter, about 1,500 whooper swans live here. In addition, black-necked crane, a national first-class protected animal, also use this wetland for winter
Geography and climate
Gangcha County is 114 kilometers long from east to west and 122 kilometers wide from north to south. Its total area is 8138 square kilometers. The county seat is 188 kilometers away from provincial capital Xining City and 88 kilometers away from prefecture capital Xihai Town.
Mountains in Gangcha County run north to west, with continuous mountains in north, low in south and sloping from north and west to south. Most areas are over 3300-3800 meters above sea level. The highest point is 4,775 meters, and the lowest point is 3,195 meters. Areas at shore of Qinghai Lake are with an average elevation of 3300 meters and a relative elevation difference of 1,580 meters.
Mountains, hills and plains in Gangcha are roughly arranged in north, middle and south. Northern part is Datong Mountain area, central part is hilly, and southern part is plain area. Datong Mountain traverses northern of Gangcha county, which divides this county into two areas:
—North is outflow area of Huangshui water system of Yellow River Basin;
—South is inflow area of inland water system surrounding Qinghai Lake.
Gangcha County has a typical plateau continental climate, with long sunshine hours and large temperature difference between day and night; annual precipitation is 370 mm, and annual evaporation is 1500-1847 mm. It is cold in winter and cool in summer and autumn. The average temperature in January is -17.5℃, the average temperature in July is 11℃, and the annual average temperature is -0.6℃.
Population and ethnic groups
Gangcha County is a multi-ethnic settlement dominated by Tibetans, inhabited by 12 ethnic groups including Tibetan, Han, Mongolian, Hui and Dongxiang ethnic groups.
As of 2012, Gangcha county has a total population of 42,000, of which 73% are ethnic minorities and 63% are Tibetans.
In ancient time, it was land of nomads
From Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-8 AD) to 3rd year of Emperor Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty (AD 1725), it was under juristiction of Xihai County,
In 6th year of Republic of China (1917), It was under juristiction of Dulan,
In 1953, Gangcha County was officially established