Mount Gongga (Minya Konka)
|Mt. Gongga, Ganzi|
Mount Gongga is located at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, between the Dadu River and the Yalong River, in the middle section of the Hengduan Mountains. It covers an area of about 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) east-west length by about 60 kilometers (about 37 miles) south-north. It lies among Kangding, Luding, Shimian and Jiulong, the four counties of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Ganzi in Sichuan Province. It is the highest mountain in Sichuan, with the highest peak of 7,556 meters (about 24,790 feet) above sea level, enjoying the fame as 'King of the Mountains in Sichuan Province'
Mount Gongga scenic area was founded in 1996 and was given national natural reserve status in 1997. Centering on The whole scenic area covers 10,000 square kilometers (about 3, 861 square miles) and is regarded as the biggest scenic location in China. Covered by thick forest, it supports 4,880 species of plants and over 400 species of plateau and forest animals, most of which are under special state protection.
In the scenic area, there are more than ten plateau lakes, including Mugecuo, Wuxuhai, Renzhonghai and Bawanghai. Some of them are at the foot of glaciers and some are surrounded by forests, all of which keep their original natural features. There are also some hot springs here, of which the most famous are Kangding Erqiao Hot Spring and Hailuogou Hot Spring. The temperature of the hot springs always lies between 40℃ (104℉) and 80℃ (176℉). (Tips on Hot Spring for your reference) In addition, there are several Tibetan Buddhism lamaseries in the scenic area, such as Gongga Lamasery and Tagong Lamasery.
As one of the places where maritime glaciers originate, Mount Gongga is best well-known for its 159 glaciers which cover more than 390 square kilometers (about 151 square miles). The most famous glaciers are Hailuogou Glacier No.1, Kunba Glacier, Bawang Glacier, Yanzigou Glacier and Mizigou Glacier, with ice that can be 150 to 300 meters (about 492 to 984 feet) thick. The largest is Hailuogou Glacier No.1 at 6 kilometers (about 4 miles) long and 0.4 to 0.7 kilometers (0.25 to 0.43 miles) wide, which is believed to have formed 1,600 years ago.
There are three wonders about the glaciers. First, you will not feel cold, even if you wear thin clothes when walking on the glaciers in summer or autumn. Second, the ice-clad waterfall in Mount Gongga is active all year round, where ice calving of all scales happens at all times. An avalanche of ice will cause the collapse of millions of cubic meters of ice. This is a magnificent sight, when it happens, with ice cubes and snowflakes dancing in the air and the roaring sound filling the whole valley. The tird wonder is the varied shapes of ice formed during melting, such as ice mushrooms, ice tables, and ice bridges.
Mount Gongga is also a famous place for climber and explorers. Along with Mount Everest and other six mountains, it was opened to foreign mountaineering parties in 1980. It now attracts many of he best climbers and explorers in the world.
Transportation (from Chengdu)
B: Take Chengdu-Kangding Bus Line (starting at 09:00, 11:00, and 13:00) at Chadianzi Bus Station to Kangding, from which there are special tourism buses to Gongga Mountain directly.
|Best Time to Visit||May to June (the period between raining and dry seasons)|
|Opening Hours||08:00-18:00 (Hailuogou Glaciers Forest Park) |
08:00-17:00 (Mugecuo Scenic Resort)
Whole day (Wuxuhai Scenic Resort)
08:00-17:00 (Tianwanhe Scenic Resort)
|Admission Fee||Hailuogou Glaciers Forest Park: |
CNY 90, CNY 70 for a sightseeing bus (round-way), CNY 150 for a cable car (round-way)
Mugecuo Scenic Resort:
CNY 105 + CNY 90 for a sightseeing bus (round-way) during the peak season (April 1 to November 14)
CNY 75 + CNY 90 for a sightseeing bus (round-way) during the low season (November 15 to March 31)
Wuxuhai Scenic Resort: CNY 60
Tianwanhe Scenic Resort: CNY 20