Songpan County, also known as “Zungchu County” in Tibetan, is a county under jurisdiction of Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.
Songpan County is an important agricultural and animal husbandry county in Sichuan. There are 5.68 million mu of grassland in its territory, and the main livestock are yaks and cattle. Since Huanglong Scenic Area was listed in World Natural and Cultural Heritage, tourism industry has gradually developed and has become a local pillar industry
The seat of Songpan County is Jin’an Town, with an altitude of about 2850 meters, 335 kilometers away from provincial capital Chengdu, 431 kilometers away from prefectural capital of Barkham, and Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport is only 25 kilometers away from the county seat of Songpan County
Songpan County borders Pingwu County to east, Mao County to south, Beichuan County to southeast, Hongyuan County and Heishui County to west and southwest, and Jiuzhaigou County and Zoige County to north.
Best time to travel
From May to October
High plateau continental climate
Most popular sites
Huanglong Scenic Area covers an area of 700 square kilometers. It is the only well-protected plateau wetland in China. It is 100 kilometers away from Jiuzhaigou with altitude range of 1700-5588 meters above sea level.
Huanglong is popular for its “four uniques” of colorful ponds, snow-capped mountains, canyons, and forests, The main landscape is concentrated in the 3.6-kilometer-long Huanglong Gully, with travertine deposits all over the gully, presenting a terrace-like arrangement. It was included in the “World Natural Heritage List” in 1992.
Songzhou Ancient City is divided into inner and outer cities. The plane of the inner city straddles the Chongshan Mountain presenting slightly triangular. The part of inner city in the valley below Chongshan Mountain in east is rectangular. The outer city is adjacent to the lower part of the river valley to south of inner city, and it is connected to inner city with city gate, and the plane is rectangular.
The total length of city wall is 6.2 kilometers. The wall is made of local fired blue bricks, filled with soil and stone between bricks. It is 12.5 meters high and more than 12 meters thick. It is jointed with mortar made of glutinous rice, lime and tung oil, which is very strong. The city gates are only made of large regular rectangular stones. The ancient city of Songpan is magnificent, with extraordinary momentum. The length, height, thickness, and exquisite reliefs of its walls are second to none in ethnic areas in China. It is now a provincial-level cultural relics protection unit.
Chuanzhu Si, “Si” is chinese Pinyin meaning “Temple” or “Monastery”. Chuanzhusi (temple), also known as “Chunda Gompa”, was built in 1270 AD.
In 1950, there were 86 houses in this temple, covering an area of 27 acres. Its assembly hall was majestic with carved beams and exquisit murals. It once enshrines 2018 clay sculpture Bodhisattvas, 1025 bronze Bodhisattvas, 350 thangkas, 3250 scriptures, 2 stupas, 524 large and small prayer tubes, and 128 wood-carved Bodhisattvas. During the “Cultural Revolution” in 20th, it was severely damaged, and there were only few cultural relics and scriptures were preserved. However, Chuanzhusi is now a name to a small town that Chuanzhusi is located. It is the only place passing through to Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong Scenic Area and the grassland in Zoige County. Jiuzhai Huanglong airport is located neat this town;
Geography and climate
Songpan County is 180 kilometers from east to west and 113 kilometers from north to south covering an area of 8,608 square kilometers.
It is located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, in the northeast of Aba Prefecture, in the middle of Minshan Mountains. It is the source of Minjiang River and Fu River
Songpan County has significant terrain undulations and relatively large differences in elevation.
The highest point is the main peak of Minshan Mountain at an altitude of 5588 meters, and the lowest point is at the southeast end of Baiyang Township, with an altitude of 1080 meters.
The terrain of Songpan County is high in northwest and low in southeast, and it slopes from northwest to southeast with the direction of the mountains. Its geomorphic features can be roughly divided into two parts, the northwest plateau and the southeast alpine valley. The plateau in its northwest can be divided into two parts, a hilly plateau and a mountain plain.
Songpan County has a large temperature difference between day and night, and summer is cool and moist; precipitation is unevenly distributed in various places, but the dry and rainy seasons are distinct.
Average temperature in January is 4.0℃, average temperature in July is 14.4℃, annual average temperature is 5.87℃, and the annual extreme minimum temperature is -21.1℃
Average annual precipitation is 720 mm, and the rainy season precipitation accounts for more than 72% of annual precipitation. The rainfall is concentrated from May to September.
Population and ethnicity
As of end of 2015, Songpan County has a total population of 74,945 people. Among them, Tibetans accounted for 37.19% of total population; Qiangs accounted for 7.03% of total population; Hui people accounted for 12.99% of total population; Han people accounted for 42.75% of total population;
There are also other ethnic groups, including more than 15 ethnic minorities such as Mongolian, Manchu, Zhuang, Yi, Miao, Yi, Bai people, etc.
Amdo Coffee House Inn
Opening in 2014, Renovated in 2016
Add: No. 72, North Street, In the ancient city of Songpan
Phone: +86 837 7232178
Ancient Road Style Hotel
Opening in 2016, Renovated in 2017
Add: Jinkengba,Jing’an Chuanzhusi
Phone: +86 18090430377 / 838 7234577
Chuanzhu International Hotel
Opening in 2013, Renovated in 2015
Add: No. 21, Jinxing Road, Chuanzhusi
Phone: +86 837 7242222 / 7242313
Jiarong Xingong Hotel
Opening in 2011, Renovated in 2014
Add: Jinxing Road, Chuanzhusi
Phone: +86 837 7255559
Xinhai Business Hotel
Opening in 2014, Renovated in 2015
Add: No. 248, Shunjiang village,Songpan
Phone: +86 837 7255666
Opening in 2012, Renovated in 2017
Add: No. 20, Huanglong
Phone: +86 18090232931 / 1878375160
How to get to Songpan
Songpan County is about 300 kilometers from Chengdu and is located at the center of the tourist route in western Sichuan. It is an important traffic hub to connect Zorge, Langmu Si, Jiuzhaigou valley, Hongyuan….; Jiuzhai Huanglong airport is about 35 kilometers away;
Chengdu Cha Dian Zi Bus Station
Add: No. 289, 3rd Ring Road (West Section 5th)
Contact: +86 28 87506610
Altitude: 460 meters
Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport
Address: Songpan county
Contact: +86 837 7243770
Airport Code: JZH
Altitude: 3,448 meters
Songpan Bus Station
Add: Shuncheng Road, Jin’an Town
Contact: +86 837 7232543
Altitude: 2,850 meter
In 316 BC, Qin Dynasty (770 BC-207 BC) destroyed Ancient Shu kingdom (Kui Can Culture) , the county-level establishment of Jian di County was established in Songpan area
In the 1st year of Emperor Gaozong of Tang Dynasty (618 AD), Song Zhou (Region) was established,
During Yuan Dynasty(AD 1271-AD 1368), Song Zhou (Region) and Pan Zhou (Region) were set up in Songpan area
During Ming Dynasty(AD 1368-AD 1644), “Song Zhou Wei (County)” and “Pan Zhou Wei (County)” were established successively
In the 11th year of Emperor Hongwu of Ming Dynasty (AD 1378), “Song Zhou Wei” and “Pan Zhou Wei” were merged to form “Songpan Wei”. Hence, “Songpan” got its name from this.
In the 9th year of Emperor Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty (1731 AD), “Songpan” was renamed Songpan Ting (County),
In the 25th year of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty (1760 AD), Songpan Ting (County) was promoted to Songpan Zhili Ting (County)
In the 3rd year of Republic of China (1914), Songpan Zhili Ting (County) was changed to Songpan County,
In 1953, Sichuan Tibetan Autonomous Region was established
In 1955, it was renamed as “Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”
In 1987, “Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” was renamed as “Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture”, since then Songpan County has been under its jurisdiction