Zadoi County, also known as “Dzato County“, is a county under jurisdiction of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is located in southeastern of Yushu Prefecture. “doi” means “source” in Tibetan. “Zadoi” means upper reaches of Za(Zha)chu River” in Tibetan. Za(Zha)chu River is upper reaches of Lancang River.
Zadoi County is adjacent to Yushu City and Nangqian County in east and southeast; Dengqen County, Baqen County, Nyainrong County, Sog County, and Amdo County are bordered to west and southwest, and Zhidoi County is adjacent to north. With provincial boundary more than 650 kilometers.
County seat of Sa-hu-teng Town is 4,068 meters above sea level, about 210 kilometers from Jiegu Town, prefectural capital of Yushu Prefecture, and 1084 kilometers from Xining, provincial capital.
“Chu” means river in the eastern Tibet
Best time to travel From June to September
Local climate Continental monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Lancang River Source, Lancang Riveris a large river that flows through 6 countries in Asia. It is fifth longest river in China, ninth longest river in the world. It originated from Gongze Mza Snow Mountain at northern of Tanggula Mountains in Zadoi County. Its source section is called Zhaqu, which flows from northwest to southeast. It was called Lancang River after Naangqu near Chamdo in eastern Tibet. After passing through Yanjing County, it enters Deqin county of Yunnan province, and the flow gradually turns to south. After leaving China, it is called Mekong River.
Yangtze River Source, Yangtze River is 6,380 kilometers in length and is third largest river in the world. It was discovered in 1979 that its source was Tuotuo River which is located at Geladandong Ice Peak of Tanggula Mountains that, is in Tanggula Mountain Township of Zadoi County.
San-jiang-yuan Nature Reserve is located in southern of Qinghai Province, bordering Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest, Sichuan Province in east, and Golmud City and Dulan County in north. Its total area is more than 316,000 square kilometers, accounting for 32.7% of the total land area of Qinghai Province. This Nature Reserve is birthplace of Yangtze River, Yellow River and Lancang River, and is reagrded as “China’s Water Tower”.
Zuoqing Monastery is also known as “Tubten Samdrub Gatseling“. Located in Jieza Township, about 2 kilometers northeast of county seat, it was built in 1684 and is affiliated with Dzogchen Monastery in Derge County of Garze Tibetan Prefecture. During 10 Years Cultural Revolution, it was severely damaged. After 1981, it was rebuilt, and now there are 2 halls, 25 monk’s dorm rooms, 1 debating institute. It houses about 85 monks including one 1 living Buddha
Tashi Lawu monastery, also known as “Tashi Lhaphuk Gompa“, is located on north side of Tashi River in northern of Zhaqing Township. It was built at the end of 15th century. It was initially a Drigung Kagyu Sect monastery, and later being converted to be a Gelug pa monastery
Geography and climate
Zadoi County is located at northern foot of Tanggula Mountain, its terrain is higher in west and lower in east, with an average altitude of more than 4,200 meters and an area of 30,161 square kilometers.
Zadoi County has a cold climate throughout a year. There are no four seasons. There are only warm season which the average temperature is greater than 0°C and cold season which the average temperature is less than 0°C. The warm season is June, July, and August, while the cold season is long, which 9 months (from September to May of the next year)
Annual average temperature is 0.5℃, and the extreme minimum temperature is -24.7℃. Average annual precipitation is 538.8mm, mostly in June to August. Annual average sunshine hours is 2310 hours, annual average wind speed is 2.4 m/s, and the maximum wind speed is greater than 40 m/s.
Annual gale days are 120 days, and annual frost-free period is 43 days. There is plenty of precipitation in warm season without sweltering heat, and there is little precipitation and severe cold and strong winds in cold season
Population and ethnicity
As of end of 2014, total population of Zado County was 62,769, of which Tibetans accounted for 98%, and other ethnic groups such as Han, Tu, Hui, and Mongolia. Population density is 2.08 people per square kilometers
Address:No.22, Ranzi Rd,
Contact: +86 976 888-2277
Address: No. 79, Ranzi Rd,
Contact: +86 976 888-2799
How to get there
The easiest way is to take flight to Yushu Airport(YUS), then by local vehicle to get to Zadoi ;
To get to Zadoi from Yushu County, first to drive drive west via Peltang follow road to Nangchen, and then continually head west for about 170 km from road intersection of Ato. En route, passing through Tsi-chu valley which is on north of Mt Kapur (5,110 meters), and then get through some coal mines, entering Dza-chu river basin at Chidza. This is a nomadic area with very few population, in which there are about more than 24 monasteries, mostly Karma Kagyu and Nyingma traditions
- By Bus from Yushu: one daily bus, with departure at 08:30am,
- By Bus from Xining: departure on singular day only, with schedule at 08:30am,
- By renting vehicle from Yushu: it usually costs RMB 60.00 – 80.00 per person by sharing vehicle one way
Yushu Batang Airprot
Address: Batang County, Yushu City
IATA Code: YUS
Altitude: 3950 meters above sea level
Contact: +86 976 881-3743
Distance from Zadoi to
- Yushu City : 225 kilometers, about 5.5 hours drive
- Zhidoi County: 410 kilometers, about 10 hours drive
- Xining: 1010 kilometers, about 16 hours drive
- Nangqian: 270 kilometers, about 6.5 hours drive
- Qumarleb County: 460 kilometers, about 11 hours drive
In ancient times, Zadoi area was a land of Qiang
During Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties, it belonged to Sum pa (Subi) kingdom
In Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty, Zadoi area was land of Tubo kingdom
In Yuan Dynasty, Zadoi area was under jurisdiction of Tubo High Pacification Commissioner’s Office
In Ming Dynasty, Zadoi area belonged to Mdo-khams Pacification Commissioner’s Office
In early Qing Dynasty, Zadoi area was under jurisdiction of Heshuote Mongolian regime,
In 6th year of Republic of China (1917), Zadoi area was placed under Yushu region
In 18th year of Republic of China (1929), Zadoi area was placed under Yushu County.
In 1953, The western area of Nangqian County and Yushu County were merged together to form Zaduo County
In 1954, It was named as “Zadoi County”
In 1955, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Region was abolished, and Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was established, Since then Zadoi County was under jurisdiction of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.