Garze Travel Guide

Garze (Ganzi) Travel Guide

Garze Facts

Full Name: Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese Name: 甘孜藏族自治州 (gān zī zàng zú zì zhì zhōu)
Location: Located in western Sichuan Province, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is an important Tibetan area in China on the southeast edge of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. It neighbors, Yunan Province in the south and Qinghai Province in the north, are separated from Tibet by the Jinsha River. Kangding County is the political, economic and cultural center of the prefecture. 

Population: 920,000  
Area: 152,629 square kilometers (58,930 square miles) 
Nationalities: Tibetan, Han 
Administrative Division: 18 counties (Kangding, Luding, Danba, Jiulong, Yajiang, Daofu, Luhuo, Garze, Xinlong, Dege, Baiyu, Shiqu, Seda, Litang, Batang, Xiangcheng, Daocheng, Derong) 
Seat of the city government: 9, Guangming Lu, Kangding County
Useful Telephone Numbers: Tourist Complaints: 0836-2835469/2835468
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
China Post: 148, Xi Da Jie, Kangding County 

Garze Attractions - Things to Do

 Gongga Mountain
Kangding is not only the administrative center of the Garze, but also the hometown of a love song, well known as the 'Kangding Love Song'. From Kangding, there are special-line buses to Gongga Mountain, a snow mountain ranking as the highest peak in Sichuan Province. Gongga is Tibetan for supremacy and spotless white, and it is the sacred mountain for climbers. Moxi Valley in Liuba Town of Kangding County is a key scenic spot of Gongga Mountain combining a glacier, virgin forest, alpine lake and waterfall landscapes. Bridges, streams, trees and Tibetan villages together with the distant mountains constitute a pastoral painting of Xinduqiao, a picturesque town 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Kangding.

 Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve
Daocheng was spoken of as the 'last pure land on earth'. The startling images of Daocheng and the way of life of local tribes and ethnic groups were first shown to the world when the famous American adventurer Joseph Rock issued his article and photographs of Daocheng in the National Geographic after traveling in the county. Daocheng is in the south end of Garze prefecture with Yading Nature Reserve as its core scenic area. Over ninety-six percent of the people living in Daocheng's town seat are Tibetans. The snow-capped mountains of Chenrezig, Jambeyang and Chanadorje are considered sacred by local Tibetans. And the Chonggu Monastery, at an altitude of 3,880 meters (12,730 feet) under the Chenrezig is the campsite and inevitable pass to the three sacred mountains. In addition, the Zhenzhu (Pearl), Wuse (Five Clolor) and Niunai (Milk) lakes appears as glittering fragments of jasper on the plateau. The most unforgettable pastoral scenery of Daocheng is at its best between Sangdui and Sela townships. 

 Other Scenic Spots: Haizi Mountain, Trumpet Shell Valley, Mugecuo Scenic Area, Danba Tibetan Villages, Danba Meiren (Beauty) Valley, Luding Bridge, Paoma Mountain, Tagong Scenic Area, Erlang Mountain, Lianhua (Lotus) Lake

Garze, Sichuan
Jianziwan Mountain, Garze
Yading Nature Reserve, Daocheng, Garze
Yading Nature Reserve, Daocheng

How to Get to Garze

Roads provide the primary means of transportation in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Kangding Bus Station is located at 129, Xinshi Qian Jie.

For self-drive tourists, there are usually two routes of choice from Chengdu to Kangding:
Route 1: leaving westward along the Chengdu-Yaan Expressway, passing through Erlang Mountain Tunnel and Luding Bridge over the Dadu River to Kangding
Route 2: Leaving Chengdu and passing through the Chengdu Wolong Panda Reserve, Four Maiden's Mountain, Danba County, then arriving in the destination.

There are also two options to Daocheng. Visitors can get there through Shangri-la of Yunnan or through Chengdu:
North line from Chengdu to Daocheng passes through Dujiangyan, Wolong, Four Maiden's Mountain, Danba County, Tagong Scenic Area, Xinduqiao. The south line passes through Yaan, Luding, Kangding, Xinduqiao. Choosing one route to Daocheng and the other back to Chengdu, visitors can get an eye feast of almost all the fascinating spots in western Sichuan.



The prefecture enjoys a plateau monsoon climate, and the Garze weather is complicated and varies in accordance with the spatial variation, such as the differentiation of altitude, terrain and latitude. The annual average temperature of most regions is below 8℃ (46.4℉). Spring (April to May) is the best season for appreciating flowers scattered all around the mountains in the fresh air, while for photographers, autumn is the best time to grasp the colorful scenery. If visitors expect to see the snow-capped plateau, they should make a trip during November and December. It is suggested to not travel here in January and February for snow may block the way to mountains. 

Garze Travel Tips

Xinduqiao Town in Western Sichuan
Xinduqiao Town

 History: Garze is also referred to as Kangba or Kangqu. Dege County in northwestern Garze, Lhasa City in Tibet and Xiahe County in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province are the three ancient cultural centers of the Tibetan ethnic minority. Kangding, the seat of the prefecture government, has been an important trading market since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). After the liberation of the region, the Xikang Province Tibetan Autonomous Region was established here in 1950, and changed to Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture under Sichuan Province five years later.

 Physical Features: Situated in the transition area from Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau to Sichuan Basin, the region is comprised of plateau, and highland and alpine valley. Its terrain slopes generally from the northwest to the southeast, with an average altitude of 3,500 meters (11,483 feet). The main branches in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Jinsha River, Yapan River and Dadu River, flow through the prefecture.

 Special Local Products: Specialities: herbs, white mushroom (Bai Jun), matsutake mushroom (Song Rong)
Foods: Hua Momo (Tibetan moon cake popular in Daofu County), Zanba or Tsampa (roasted highland Qingke barley flour), Tibetan blood sausage, buttered tea
Handicrafts: butter sculpture, wooden utensils, carpet, golden and silver articles

 Local Highlights: Tibetans make up nearly eighty percent of the total population of Sichuan. Traditional festivals, such as the love song festival, temple fair, the horse racing festival and Tibetan New Year, provide a panorama of folk customs in the Tibetan area.

- Last modified on Jan. 01, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Garze Travel
Asked by ALFED | Jun. 11, 2019 08:59Reply
Hi all, is there any restriction eg. forbidden foreigners to visit Seda or a permit is required?
How do we get about doing it? Many thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Jesse from AUSTRALIA | Jun. 11, 2019 19:58

I'm sorry but the foreigners are not allowed to go to Seda since 2017.
Asked by Emily from CHINA | Dec. 28, 2018 01:17Reply
Can foreigners enter Seda 2018 DEC?
Hi, just wondering if you have any news on foreigners entering Seda? Getting mixed info online and just don't know what to believe.
Answers (1)
Answered by James from USA | Jan. 01, 2019 17:36

I am also a foreigner and came here to ask this exact question. travelchinaguide, you are one of the best resources on traveling in China, please respond! (and happy new year)
Asked by Rose Garrick from UK | Nov. 12, 2018 11:50Reply
Is there direct bus from Danba to Xinduoqiao zhen? What time does it leave? Many thanks
Answers (3)
Answered by Susan from USA | Nov. 12, 2018 21:50

No, there is no direct bus from Danba to Xinduqiao. You can first take the bus from Danba to Kangding and then transfer to Xinduqiao.
Answered by Rose Garrick | Nov. 13, 2018 17:27

I want to thank Susan from US who answered my questions and for her excellent advice.
I also want to thank the 3 engineers & 5 editors devoted to maintaining this free platform. (I am not being funny here but I fail to find 'Like Us?' box where I can click to show my appreciation, hence sending this email.
Answered by Owen from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 01, 2019 19:23

As I know, you can find the sigh of 'thumbs up' o this Q & A.
Asked by r'liew from THAILAND | Sep. 06, 2017 01:21Reply
Is there any public transportation from Garze to Yarchen gar?
hello, I would like to visit in this Oct. so Is there any public transportation for the route? return?

Thank you :)
Answers (1)
Answered by Nania from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 07, 2017 03:12

I'm afraid the public transportation is not available. You can charter a van with other visitors. Usually a minivan accommodating 5-7 ppl costs CNY300-400.
Asked by Annika from GERMANY | Apr. 09, 2017 03:21Reply
Sethar (Seda) still closed in June 2017?
Hi. I would like to visit Sethar (Seda) in Sichuan this June. I know it was closed to foreigners before. Does anyone know if it will re-open to foreigners? I don't want to waste 2 days going there and being refused... Would be awesome if someone has up to date information. Thanks!
Answers (1)
Answered by Sam from USA | Apr. 11, 2017 01:31

According to the latest information, it is still closed to Foreigners. Maybe you can consult before you will go there.
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