Yading Nature Reserve in Daocheng is a well-known snow mountain tourist attraction. With the completion and use of Yading Airport, it will be more convenient to travel to Daocheng and southern of Kham
Jinzhu Town, the county seat of Daocheng County, is 3740 meters above sea level, about 432 kilometers away from Garze prefecture capital Kangding, and 810 kilometers away from provincial capital Chengdu.
Daocheng County borders Jiulong County to east, Xiangcheng County to west, Litang County to north, Muli Tibetan Autonomous County to south, and Shangri-La City in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture to southwest.
Best time to travel
From May to October
Plateau monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Yading Nature reserve is located some 110 km east from Daocheng County. It is the most important site in this region for the three holy mountains, which generally known as “Rigsum Gonpo” OR “Dabpa Lhari” meaning “Three Dharmapala sacred mountain” in Tibetan Buddhism, and particularly named by the 5th Dalai Lama: Mt. Chenrezig (6032 meters), Mt Jampeyang (5958 meters) and Mt Chakna Dorje (5958 meters). This three holy mountains are not far apart, and facing to each other and Showing a three-legged situation.
Dabba Yangteng Gompa , also known as “Xiongdeng monastery” in Chinese Pinyin, was originally a Kagyu pa monsatery, and converted to Gelug pa monastery by Lodo Namgyelin the 17th. It is one of the 13 major monasteries of Daocheng County, located on a hilltop with altitude of 4105 meters behind Lengba village about 10 kilometers from Daocheng township. Yangteng Gompa was built in 13th year of Yongle Emperor of Ming Dynasty (1415 AD) covering an area of more than 1,100 acres. It now houses about 200-300 monks. The entire monastery was damaged during 10 years culture revolutionary, and had been rebuilt since 1990’s of 20th century. Its main building of Tsuklakhang contains the main images representing Dharmaraja, Buddhas of the Three Times.
Kunga Langjiling Monastery, also known as “Kungaling Monastery” in short, was built in 15th year of Emperor Chongzhen of Ming Dynasty (1642 AD). It is located about 60 kilometers on the way from Daocheng to Shangri-La Town (Yading) with altitude of 3335 meters above sea level. It is a subordinate monastery of Litang Ganden Tubchen Chokhorling, and also the largest Gelug pa monastery in Daocheng County.
“Kungaling” means “Land of snow” in Tibetan, because of the three snow captured holy mountains of Mt Chenrezi, Mt Jampeyang and Mt Chakna Dorje in Yading Nature Reserve. It originally covered an area of 500 acres, and housed more than 300 monks, it is with magnificent architecture and exquisite murals, and there is a bronze statue of Maitreya gifted by the 5th Dalai Lama. It was damaged in “Feng-quan Incident” in 1905 and then restored; then it was severely destroyed in the “Cultural Revolution” of 20th century and was restored in 1984.
Dzalang Monastery is one of the 108 Sakya monasteries built by the Sakya His Holiness Chogyal Phagpa. It is located in Panghe Township about 12 kilometers away from the county seat. It was built in the mid-15th century (Jingtai period of Ming Dynasty) covering an area of 19,000 square meters, and consisting of four halls, a retreat center, fifty-eight monks’ dorm rooms and a Buddhist Lodge.
It is the largest Sakya pa monastery in Daocheng County and the only monastery in Daocheng that has not been damaged during the “Cultural Revolution” of 20th century. The cultural relics treasured in this monastery are also the most among the 13 monasteries in Daocheng county. There are hundreds of thangkas preserved in the main hall, and the colors are still bright and eye-catching.
Benpo Monastery, also spelled as “Bangpu Monastery“, was built in 1179 AD and considered to be the monastery with the longest history in Daocheng County. It belongs to Kagyu pa of Tibetan Buddhism with location in Sangdui (Sumdo) village on the way from Litang to Daocheng about 30 kilometers from Daocheng county seat. It is with altitude of 3943 meters above sea level
Geography and climate
Daocheng County is located on southwest of Garze Prefecture, southeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and east of Hengduan Mountains. It is 174 kilometers from north to south, 63 kilometers from east to west, covering an area of 7,323 square kilometers.
Gongga Snow Mountain and Haizi Mountain, which belong to the Hengduan Mountains in Daocheng County, are located in north and south, accounting for about one-third of the total area of Daocheng county
Its terrain is high in northwest and low in southeast. The highest elevation within the territory is 6032 meters, the lowest elevation is 1900 meters, and vertical elevation difference is 4132 meters.
The topography of Daocheng county is alternated with ridges and valleys from northwest to southeast, and naturally being divided into three types of areas:
North — it is a typical hilly plateau, with an altitude of 3600-5020 meters, vast grassland, which is good for developing animal husbandry
Central — it is a semi-alpine mountainous landform with an average altitude of more than 3,500 meters;
South — it is narrow valley area of high mountains, with altitude of 2000-5000 meters above sea level
The rivers in Daocheng belong to Jinsha River system, among which there are three major rivers — Dabpa River, Chitu River and Tong-nyi River.
Dabpa River originates from southwestern foothills of Haizi Mountain, with a length of 104 kilometers;
Chitu River originates from northwestern foothills of Powa Mountain, with a length of 121 kilometers;
The Tong-nyi River originates from southern foot of Ochu Mountain, with a length of 111 kilometers.
Including tributaries such as the Julong River and the Echu River, all of rivers merge into Shuiluo River in Muli County and flow into Jinsha River eventually
In addition, there are more than 60 creeks and more than 1,100 large and small lakes in the areas of high mountains and narrow valleys. The total area of lakes is about 3,200 square kilometers. The largest is Xingyicuo Lake, covering an area of 7.5 square kilometers, all of which are freshwater lakes. These lakes are located in the ice-eroded terrain area in northern of Daocheng county at an altitude of more than 4000 meters, providing abundant water sources for the rivers in the county.
The weather in Daocheng County is sunny and sunny most of a year, with about 2623 hours of sunshine throughout the year.
Annual average temperature is 4.4℃, average temperature in January is -5.3℃, the lowest temperature is -27.6℃, average temperature in July is 12℃, the highest temperature is 27.9℃, annual precipitation is about 630 mm, and frost-free period is about 80 days.
The rainy season is concentrated between May and October, accounting for 95% of the annual rainfall, while November to April is dry season, accounting for only 5% of annual rainfall.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2011, Daocheng County has a total population of 32,450 people, of which Tibetans account for 96% of total population. Other ethnic groups include Yi, Han, Qiang, Miao, Hui, Mongolian, Tujia, Lisu, Manchu, Yao, Dong, Naxi, Buyi, Bai, Zhuang, Dai, etc.
Benefited by the tourism development, the accommodation has been improved quite a lot to compare other towns of Kham, there is one 5 star hotel near the entrance of Yading Nature Reserve; and more than 35 hotels from Youth hotel to 3 star hotel in Daocheng County
How to get to Daocheng
The quickest way to get to Daocheng is by taking flight to Daocheng Yading Airport, then by local vehicle to Daocheng City;
Or an overland transportation is also recommended for those, whom want to experience the breathtaking view along the drive, and also it helps to acclimatizing to the altitude;
From Daocheng heading North from Daocheng county for about 30km to reach a road intersection called “Sangdui (Sumdo)”. The road that leads north onto Litang plateau is the way to connect Kangding as well as Chengdu; Another road that curves into mountains toward south is the road to Xiangcheng which is a hidden Tibetan town, continually heading south and crossing over two mountains of Big Snow mountain and Small Snow mountain, you will reach the ancient Tibetan town of Gyltang which is now called: Shangri La City
Daocheng Yading Airport
Contact: +86 836 572 3333
IATA code: DCY
Altitude: 4,411 meters
Distance to Daocheng: 50 kilometers
Daocheng Bus Station
Add : 1st Section, Gongga Road
Contact : +86 836 572-8565
Altitude : 3,700 meters above sea level
Working Hours: 08:00 am – 18:00 pm
- Departure from Chengdu: The north Sichuan Tibet High Way (G318) Chengdu –> Kangding–>Litang–>Daocheng
- Departure from Shangri La City: Shangri La City –> Big & Small Snow mountain –> Xiangcheng County –> Sangdui –>Daocheng
- Departure from Lhasa: Lhasa — > Nyingtri –>Markhang –>Batang County –> Litang –>Daocheng
Distance from Daocheng to
During Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), Daocheng area belonged to “Qiang”
During Tang Dynasty (618 AD-907 AD), it was land of Tubo kingdom
In Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271-AD 1368), it was under jurisdiction of Tubo High Pacification Commissioner’s Office
In Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-AD 1644), Daocheng area was under control of Mdo-khams Itinerant High Commandery
During Qing Dynasty, it was rulled by Litang Chieftain
In 33rd year of Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty (1907 AD), “Dapba County” was established.
In 3rd year of Emperor Xuantong (1911), “Dapba County” was placed under Kangding Prefecture
In 28th year of Republic of China (1939) , Xikang Province was established, “Dapba County” was renamed “Daocheng County”, belonged to 5th administrative inspectorate of Xikang Province.
In 1950, it belonged to Tibetan Autonomous Region of Xikang Province.
In 1955, Xikang Tibetan Autonomous Region was renamed as Xikang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture; in October of the same year, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was abolished, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was established, since then Daocheng County has been under its jurisdiction
On January 25th, 2002, Riwa Township was renamed Shangri-La village
On February 10th, 2009, Shangri-La village was abolished, and Shangri-La Town was built, and governed the administrative area of the original Shangri-La village