Zhidoi County, also known as “Drito County” in Tibetan or “Zhiduo County” in Chinese Pinyin, is a county under jurisdiction of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is located in central and western part of Yushu Prefecture. Zhidoi means “Source of Yangtze River” in Tibetan.
Zhidoi County seat, Gyelje Podrang, is 4,193 meters above sea level, approximately 921 kilometers from provincial capital Xining City, and 195 kilometers from Yushu City. National Highway 109 and Qinghai-Tibet Railway pass through Zhidoi county.
Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve in Zhidoi is currently one of regions with the most complete preservation of original ecological environment in China. It is also one of nature reserves with the largest area, the highest altitude, and the most abundant wildlife resources the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Best time to travel
From July to September
Most popular sites
Hoh Xil Nature Reserve is located in southwest of Qinghai, and branch on south side of Kunlun Mountains. It means “green mountain ridge” in Mongolian. It runs from northwest to southeast, and is more than 300 kilometers long and 20-30 kilometers wide. Average altitude is 5000-6000 meters, topography is broad and shallow, slopes are gentle, and relative height is 500-700 meters.
The highest peak is 6136 meters above sea level. There are sporadic flat-topped glaciers on mountain planation at an altitude of 5,600 meters. Peaks at junction of Qinghai and Xinjiang gather many glaciers. The largest glacier area is 1,000 square kilometers, which is birthplace of Chumar River.
Annual average temperature is lower than -8°C and annual precipitation is about 100 mm. It belongs to an alpine desert climate. Plants are scarce and species are poor. There are groups of wild yaks, wild donkeys, stone sheep, longhorn sheep and other hoofed animals.
Gonsar monastery, is about 9 kilometers west from Jia-Ji-Bo-Luo town (also Gyelje Podrang), located at slop of mountain with altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level. It houses more than 300 monks.
This monastery was found by disciple of Kagyu creator in 12th century. At 2nd generation of Abbot, it was changed to Drigung Kagyu; in 15th century, it was converted to be Gelug pa monastery and has a rich collections of “Kangyur” & “Tanjur”.
In recent years, there is a large investment to support this monastery to build the largest indoor copper gilded Tsongkhapa statue in China, which is with height of 31.22 meters, waist circumference of 14.98 meters, and lotus seat is 4.1 meters in height. This statue is made of 99.99% gold, dzi beads, amber, coral, etc. In addition, Tsongkhapa statue also contains relics of Padmasambhava,as well as the robes, artifacts, scriptures and other items used by three masters of Marpa, Sakya Pandita and Tsongkhapa during their lifetimes
Geography and climate
Zhidoi County is located in middle of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, southwest of Qingnan Plateau in Qinghai Province. It is 621 kilometers long from east to west and 243 kilometers wide from north to south. It has a total land area of 80,200 square kilometers.
Topography of Zhidoi County is high in southwest and low in northeast, with an average altitude of more than 4,500 meters. Altitude ranges from 6,860 meters to 3850 meters with elevation difference of 3010 meters. Kunlun Mountains stretch to its north. Ulan Ula Mountain traverses southern of this county, and Hoh Xil Mountain traverses central and western regions.
In Zhidoi County, annual average temperature is -0.3℃, annual precipitation is 397 mm, there is sufficient sunlight and strong radiation. Cold season lasts for nearly 10 months and temperature difference between day and night is large, which is a typical plateau continental climate.
There are many rivers and lakes in Zhidoi County. Most of the rivers belong to the Yangtze River system, mainly including Tongtian River (Yangtze River), Dang Chu, Ya Chu, Hoh Xil Lake, Sun Lake, Xijin Ulan Lake, etc.
Note: “Chu” means river in Tibetan
Population and ethnicity
As of end of 2007, Zhidoi County had a total population of 28,200 people, of which 27,410 were Tibetans, accounting for 94.1% of total population. There were also ethnicities such as Han, Hui, and Salar. It was a purely pastoral county with Tibetan population mainly. Population density 0.28 people per square kilometers
Gao Yuan Hotel
Add:Zhi Qu street
Guo Shui Hotel
Add: No. 17 Zhi Qu street
Zhi Duo Hotel
Add: Duo Cai road
Contact: +86 976 8893888
How to get to Zhidoi
The quickest way is to take flight to Yushu Airport(YUS), then by local vehicle transfer to Zhidoi County
By Bus from Yushu
one daily bus, with departure at 09:00 am, driving hours approximately 4 hours, rate: RMB 40 per person
By Bus from Xining
departure on singular day only, with schedule at 08:30 am, distance: 980 kilometers, bus ticket: RMB 298 per person
By renting vehicle from Yushu
it usually costs RMB 600 – 800 one way
Zhidoi County Bus Station
Add: No. 40, Zhi Qu street
Contact: +86 976
Altitude: 4,100 meters above sea level
Working hours: 08:00 am – 17:00 pm
Yushu Batang Airprot
Address: Yushu, China
IATA Code: YUS
Altitude: 3950 meters above sea level
Contact: +86 976 881-3743
Distance from Zhidoi to
- To Yushu City : 195 kilometers, about 5 hours drive
- To Zadoi County: 410 kilometers, about 10 hours’ drive
- To Xining: 910 kilometers, about 15 hours’ drive
- To Nangqian County: 365 kilometers, about 8.5 hours drive
- To Qumarleb County: 55 kilometers, about 1.5 hours’ drive
In ancient times, Zhidoi 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, it was land of Tubo kingdom
In Yuan Dynasty, Zhidoi area was under jurisdiction of Tubo High Pacification Commissioner’s Office
In Ming Dynasty, Zhidoi area belongs to Mdo-khams Pacification Commissioner’s Office
In early Qing Dynasty, Zhidoi area was under jurisdiction of Nangqian Royal family which was under control of Heshuote Mongolian regime,
At beginning of Republic of China, Zhidoi area was under direct jurisdiction of Qinghai province
In 6th year of Republic of China (1917), Zhidoi area was placed under Yushu region
In 18th year of Republic of China (1929), Zhidoi area was placed under Yushu County.
In 1954, Zhiduo County was established
In 1955, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Region was abolished, and Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was established, Since then Zhiduo County was under jurisdiction of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.