Coqen County is also known as “Tsochen County“. “Co” means “lake“; “Qen” means “large“, so that Coqen in Tibetan means “Large lake“. It is named after the large salt lake “Zhari Nanmu Co (also Tashi Namtso Lake)” which is 25 kilometers east of the county seat;
Coqen County is about 1100 kilometers from Lhasa. It is with an average elevation of over 4,700 meters that making it one of the few high-altitude counties in Tibet.
Coqen County seat is Mendong Village. It borders Gerze County to north, Zhongba County to west, Nyima County and Ngamring County to east, and Saga County to south.
The 2nd line of Xinjiang – Tibet Highway passes through this county. Coqen County is rich in animal product resources and it is one of the pure animal husbandry counties in Ngari Prefecture. The residents are most Tibetans and all have belief of the Kagyu pa of Tibetan Buddhism. A small number of people believe in the local Tibetan traditional “Bon religion“.
Best time to travel
From May to October
Most popular sites
Zhari Nanmu Co, It is located in the north of Gema Village, Cishi Township, Coqen County, about 25 kilometers east of the county seat. This lake is the largest and highest lake in Ngari region. The lake size is 1024 square kilometers, the lake surface is 4613 meters above sea level, the east-west length is nearly 54 kilometers, the north-south width is about 20 kilometers, and the drainage area is 16,430 square kilometers.
Mendong Gonpa It is located in Mendong Village, about 2 kilometers north of the county seat. The temple was built in the nineteenth century, which covers an area of 14,800 square meters with a building area of 2,118 square meters. It suffered severe damage during the Cultural Revolution and being rebuilt in 1984; With two large-scale expansions, there are now 18 monks and more than 1,100 cultural relics, of which 42 are important cultural relics. This is a Kagyu pa monastery.
Jomo Gonpa It, also known as “Sanglin Gonpa”, is located in Mendong Village, about 5 kilometers away from the county seat, with size of an area of 2,600 square meters and building area of 550 square meters. Jomo Gonpa is a sub-temple of Mendong Temple, which was also found in the 19th century. There are now about 20 nuns now
Geography and climate
Coqen County covers an area of 22,000 square kilometers. It is a plateau hilly landform and a plateau broad beach landform in the Great Lake Basin zone of Qiang-Tang Plateau.
The Rolling mountains in the county are mostly from east to west, with basins and lowlands of lakes in the middle. The county’s grasslands are vast, with many rivers and lakes.
Kang-qiong-gang-ri Mountain is in west, Kailash Mountain is in southwest, Labqiong Mountain is in east, and Marubuzha Mountain with an altitude of 6036 meters is in southwest of Coqen county,
In the middle of Coqen County, there is Coqen Tsangpo River, which flows from north to south and then from east to west; Xiongqu Tsangpo River in northeast of Coqin County flows from east to west; Duri Tsangpo River in southeast of the county flows from northeast to southwest.
There are many lakes including Dawa Tso Lake, Chaji Tso Lake, and Hongge Tso Lake in north of the county; Dibu Tso Lake and Galen Tso Lake in west; Jesa Tso Lake in southwest; Tashi Namtso Lake in central and eastern part.
Cuoqin County has plenty of sunshine and cold winter and spring. Annual maximum temperature is 15.0℃, and annual minimum temperature is -34.0℃.
Population and ethnicity
As of end of 2013, the total population of Coqen county was 14,600. The main ethnic group is Tibetan, accounting for 98% of total population
Tuba is a Tibetan reunion dinner similar to dumplings from the mainland. It is made of barley flour and packed with various fillings; some of those may be packed stones, peppers, charcoal, wool and so on. Each of those has a specific meaning. Stone means hard-hearted in the new year, wool means soft-hearted, charcoal means black-hearted, and chili means mouth is like a knife (talking in a sharp way). This is a kind of entertainment during meal, no matter who eats what, it must be spit out immediately
Farmers and herders in Tibetan areas slaughter one sheep, the blood of sheep is not cooked separately, but it is poured into sheep’s small intestine and cooked. First, chop up the best lamb and set aside. Add right amount of salt, pepper, and a little tsampa to blood of sheep, mix the powder with chopped mutton, pour into intestines, and tie them into small sections. It is same as sausage. Put the filled blood sausage, boil it in soup and until blood sausage floats and intestine becomes grayish white. Then it is ready.
At the end of each year, when temperature is below 0 degrees. Tibetans cut beef and lamb into small strips, hung them in a cool place, and let them dry naturally, which can be eaten after 2- 3 months. After have it air-drying, the meat is crispy and has a unique taste.