Heishui County, also known as “Trochu County“, is a county under jurisdiction of Aba (Ngawa) Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture with a large population of Tibetan and Qiang people in Sichuan Province
It is named after Heishui River in its territory. Heishui River is a tributary of upper reaches of Minjiang River. “Heishui” is a free translation of “Trochu” in Tibetan. “Tro” means “pig iron” with color of black and “chu” means “River“. Since the river presents black color, so it is called “Trochu” which means “Black River”
“Hei” is chinese Pinyin with meaning of “Black”, “shui” is also chinese Pinyin, here it means “river”; so “Heishui” means “Black River”. The county is named after “Heishui” , so that it is called “Heishui County” in chinese Pinyin or “Trochu County” in Tibetan.
The county seat of Heishui County is located in Luhua Town at an altitude of 2,350 meters, about 310 kilometers away from provincial capital Chengdu, and 176 kilometers away from prefecture capital of Barkham
Best travel time
From May to October
Monsoon high plateau climate
Most popular sites
Xiba monastery, whose full name is “Xiba Druguling“, is located in Musu Township of Heishui County. It was built in the middle of 18th century and is a Kagyu pa monastery
Deqinglang monastery is located about two kilometers northwest of Shabangou Village of Luhua Township, covering an area of more than 10 acres. According to legend, it was built in the late 8th century, belong to Nyingma pa
Kalonggou valley Kalonggou valley in Tibetan “Karolo”, it means “sea of flowers.” Located in the Kalonggou valley Senic Area in Maizha village, which is some 70 kilometers northeast of the Luhua townshi. It has a total area of 403 square kilometers.The travertine waterfall, hot spring water-flowing, stalactite are splendid and varied. The dense virgin forest and canyons in autumn are colorful and constitute 20 kilometers long color-forest landscape. The Yulong Waterfall, which is with height of more than 250 meters, is majestic and constitutes a travertine landscape of 33 square kilometers. Kalonggou valley is consists of Changlonggou, Shilili Color-Forest, Hot-water ditch, Dagu Snow Mountains
Dagu Glacier Dagu Glacier is located on the Dagu Snow Mountain in Sandagu Village,some 30 kilometers from Luhua township. It is with elevation from 3800 to 5100 meters. The whole scenic area is 119 square kilometers. The peak of the Dagu Snow Mountain is covered with snow all year round. Modern mountain glaciers with a thickness of 60-200 meters are developed on the northern and southern slopes of the snow-capped mountains. Among those, there are three parts of glaciers, which the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 glaciers, have an area of about 8.25 square kilometers.
San-ao Snow Mountain The main peak is of 5285 meters above sea level, 16 kilometers away from Luhua town of Heishui County. It is also known locally as Holy Mount, and being consisted of three independent snow-capped mountains. All of those are pyramid-shape like peaks and are all next to each other forming up a “triangle” shape. The main peak Aotaiji in Tibetan means “father of the mountains“, with altitude of 5286 meters. Aotaimei peak in Tibetan means “mather of the mountains“, with altitude of 5257 meters; Aotaina Peak in Tibetan means “son of the mountains“, with altitude of 5200 meters. “San-ao” means “Three Ao” meaning the three mountains with initial word of “Ao “, those are also called “Ao Tai Snow mountain”
Geography and climate
Heishui County is located on southeastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the upper reaches of the Minjiang River at northern end of the middle section of Hengduan Mountains.
Heishui County is about 85 kilometers from east to west and 73 kilometers from north to south, with a total area of 4,356 square kilometers.
The terrain of Heishui County slopes from northwest to southeast, with an average elevation of 3544 meters, a highest elevation of 5286 meters, and a lowest elevation of 1790 meters, with a height difference of 1,000 to 2,000 meters.
The dry and rainy seasons in Heishui County are distinct, with sufficient sunshine, small annual temperature differences, large daily differences, and large differences with altitude
Average annual temperature difference between mountains and river valleys is about 20 degrees. Average temperature of Luhua town is 9 degrees, annual average temperature is 9.5 the the annual extreme maximum temperature is 33.5 degrees, and the extreme minimum temperature is -14.4 degrees.
Heishui is one of the areas with the most precipitation in Aba Prefecture, but the distribution of rainfall is uneven. Night rainfall accounts for 70.2% of total annual rainfall. Rainfall is concentrated in summer. Annual average rainfall is 620 mm, average frost-free period is 166 days, however, the frost-free period in lower valley area is about 230 days.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2015, total population of Heishui County is 60,854, of which Tibetans account for 94% of total population, Han people account for 5.09% of total population, and Qiang people account for 0.94% of total population, and other ethnic groups include Miao, Hui, Yi, Mongolian, Tujia, Lisu, Manchu, Yao…,etc
Local Flavor food
Fermented vegetables It is the most commonly used dish in Heishui county. It has a good acidity and can be eaten as it is. It is more often to be used for cooking cornmeal soup and wheat flour. taste slightly acidic
Butter Tea First, making the boiled tea, then put it in the wood-made barrel, and then put yak butter, salt, milk; and continuously stirred in the barrel, so that all the ingredients are fully mixing with each other, then after put into a pot and placed on the pot to Keep warm on fire and drink at any time.
Corn MoMo The corn MoMo is like a bread being made of cornmeal. It is to put the MoMo into the fire pits, buried in fire ash, slowly baked, turn up and down several times until cooked.
Cailin Impression Hotel
Add : No. 56, Changzheng Road
Contact: +86 837 673-1888
Gaqing Mountain Vlla
Add : Changzheng Road
Contact: +86 0 187-8373-7378
Add : No. 73-1, Changzheng Road
Contact : +86 0 138-8063-6973 / 187-8371-6653
Lu Hua Grand Hotel
Add : No 3-3. Changzheng Road
Contact : +86 837 691-1111
Add : Town Garden, South Rd
Contact : +86 837 673-0888 / 672-2008
Add : No.185, Luhuazhen South Rd
Contact: +86 837 882-0999
How to get Heishui County
The closest airport to Heishi county is Hongyuan airport, which approximately 150 kilometers Northeast, it is convenient to take flight to this airport and switch to local vehicle get to Heishui county;
Optional, the overland journey is one great option for enjoying the unforgettable nature view along the drive
Aba Hong Yuan Airport
Add: 48 kilometers from Hong Yuan county
Contact: +86 837 7735566
Airport code: AHJ
Altitude: 3,535 meter
Chengdu Cha Dian Zi long bus station
Add: No. 289, Section 5th, West Third ring road;
Jin-Niu district, Chengdu
Contact: +86 28 87506610
Altitude: 460 meter
Distance from Heishui County to
- Chengdu : 310 kilometers, about 5 hours’ drive
- Langmu Si: 350 kilometers, about 8 hours’ drive
- Barkham City: 176 kilometers, about 4 hours’ drive
- Huanglong: 260 kilometers, about 5.5 hours’ drive
- Jiuzhaigou County : 350 kilometers, about 7 hours’ drive
- Aba County : 210 kilometers, about 5 hours’ drive
- Hongyuan Airport : 150 kilometers, about 4 hours’ drive
During Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC), Heishui area was pasture land of “Ran Mang” tribe
During Qin Dynasty (221 BC-207 BC) and Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), it was under jurisdiction of Can ling County
During Shuhan kingdom (221-263 AD), Pingkang County was set up in north of Heishui area,
In Northern Zhou Dynasty (557-581 AD), Heishui area was respectively controled by four small regions
In Sui Dynasty (AD 581-AD 618), it belonged to Wenshan Region
During Tang Dynasty (618 AD-907 AD), it was under jurisdiction of Tang dynasty government
In the end of Tang Dynasty (618 AD-907 AD), it was occupied by 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), it was governed by Songpan Wei Region
In 6th year of Emperor Daoguang of Qing Dynasty (1826 AD), Gaitu Guiliu was implemented in Heishui area
Gaitu Guiliu, also known as “conversion of chieftain system” or “conversion of abandoning chieftain system”, refers to abolition of chieftain who originally ruled ethnic minorities. Instead, officials appointed by the central government. It began in Emperor Yongle’s period at the beginning of Ming Dynasty and was implemented on a large scale during Emperor Yongzheng’s period of Qing Dynasty.
In 24th year of Republic of China (1935 AD), it belonged to 16th Administrative Inspectorate District of Sichuan Province
In 1952, the provisional goverment of Heishui Administrative Committee was established.
In 1953, Luhua County was established.
In 1954, it was renamed as “Heishui County”, and being placed under jurisdiction of Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.