Daocheng, Sichuan

Daocheng Facts

Chinese Name: 稻城 (dào chéng)
Population: 32,450
Area: 7,323 square kilometers (2,827 square miles)
Location: in the southern Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest of Sichuan Province, southwest China
Area Code: 0836
Zip Code: 626000
GDP (2018): CNY 8.1 billion (USD 1.22 billion)
Nationality: Tibetan, Yi, Han

Last “Shangri-la” – Yading Nature Reserve

Daocheng County is located on the southwestern edge of Sichuan Province, under the jurisdiction of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is adjacent to Jiulong County on the east, Xiangcheng County on the west, Litang County on the north, Muli Tibetan Autonomous County on the south, and Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan on the southwest. It is famous for the last “Shangri-la” – Yading Nature Reserve where travelers can fully view the snow-clad mountains and glaciers, trek in the mountains and visit local Tibetan temples. With an altitude of 4,411 meters (14,472 feet), Daocheng Yading Airport is sited in this city which is the highest civil airport in the world.

Best Places to Visit & Top Things to Do in Daocheng

You may need 3-4 days for Daocheng travelling.

It is famous for its unique original ecological environment and beautiful natural scenery. It is praised as the “last pure land on our blue planet” and the “Last Shangri-La”.

Yading Nature Reserve, Daocheng
Yading Nature Reserve, Daocheng
Chonggu Monastery
Chonggu Monastery

Snow-Clad Mountains
These following three snow-clad mountains, Mts Chenrezig, Jambeyang and Chanadorje, standing straightly, forming the shape of a triangle. Due to its special geographical environment and natural climate, it has formed a unique natural landscape, and it is the most intact natural ecosystem in China. Travelers can go hiking in the forest in the mountainside, view the waterfalls and lakes. The snowy peaks, glaciers, meadows and wild animals will let you find natural enjoyment in this pure land.

Echu Mountain
The mountain shape is gentle, and the forest is dense and vast. Lamuge is the largest forest zone in this area. The most beautiful season in Erchu Mountain is from Mid-September to early October. During this time, travelers can appreciate the beautiful golden maple leaves which are shining under the sunshine.

 Chonggu Monastery
It is on the foot of Mt. Chenrezig. The monastery was badly damaged, and only pieces of debris have remained. However, it is a good place to view the beautiful scenery and take photos. Standing in front of the Chonggu Monastery, travelers can see the extremely blue sky, snow-clad mountains in the distance and a canyon behind. It is a place close to heaven.
 Other attractions: Luorong Cattle Farm, Kasi Hell Valley, Pearl Sea

Rewu Temple

Travelers can get a better view of the whole temple from a distance. This temple is built on a mountain in Sela Village, and the front edge of it is a row of white towers which are very eye-catching in the mountain. There are precious cultural relics such as Gold Thangka Paintings, Buddha Statues and Tibetan scriptures in the temple.

Haizi Mountain

Located in the north of Daocheng Sichuan, it is the largest ancient ice relic in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Xingyicuo Lake is the largest mountain lake in Haizi Mountain, and is regarded as a holy lake by Tibetans. The most unique landscape of Haizi Mountain is a great number of small stones scattered in the rivers and lakes, and there are more than one thousand lakes in all sizes. Travelers can fully enjoy the clear water and view the birds here. The Sister Lakes are dazzling pearls on the mountain. These two lakes are like tears, sprinkling on the foot of the snow-clad mountain.

Best Time to Visit Daocheng

The best time to visit Daocheng is September and October. Daocheng Sichuan is located in the subtropical climatic zone. Due to the complex topography of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, it presents a high archetype climate and a continental climate. In the summer from June to August, there are more rainfalls and fog. The annual average temperature in Daocheng Sichuan is -1-14℃ (30.2-57.2℉).
In September and October, it is very cool with an average temperature of 3.5-16.5℃ (38.3-61.7℉). During this time, travelers can appreciate golden maple leaves, and the snow-clad mountains are more sacred against the blue sky and white clouds. And you should book the hotel in advance, and try to avoid visiting during the National Day holiday.

Daocheng Weather Forecast



Daocheng Yading Airport is about 48 km (29.8 mi) from the city center of Daocheng Sichuan. Travelers can get to Chengdu first, and then take flight from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to Daocheng Yading Airport. The whole journey only takes about 65 minutes. After getting off the plane, travelers can take an airport bus line to Daocheng China. There is no railway station, so travelers can take a charted car to Daocheng. The charted car may cost about CNY 200/person from Kangding, and CNY 50-60/person from Litang to Daocheng. Long-distance buses are another choice. At present, Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station has a direct bus from Chengdu to Daocheng Yading. It is delivered every day at 10:00 am. The whole journey takes 2 days and the total driving time is about 22 hours.
Currently, there is no metro. And the taxis charge CNY 5 within the county. Riding a bicycle is the most convenient way to visit in Daocheng Sichuan. When riding, you can view the scenery along the route. Some hotels provide bike renting service, and the fare is about CNY 10-20/day. Travelers can choose to take a charted bus to Yading. The round-trip cost is about CNY 100-150/person.

Best Daocheng Food to Try

In Daocheng Sichuan, Buttered Tea, Highland Barley Wine, Roasted Barley Flour and other Tibetan specialty foods are worth tasting.

 Highland Barley Wine
It is a traditional and famous drink in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau area. It tastes fragrant, mellow, sweet and refreshing. Different from other wines, it will not cause headaches and thirst after drinking.

 Roasted Barley Flour
It takes barley flour, buttered tea, sugar and milk residue as the main material. It is easy to eat, rich in nutrition and calories which is suitable for defending against the cold. It is also easy to carry and store.
- Last updated on Apr. 12, 2022 -
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