Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is located on the South-eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, in the Western part of Sichuan Province. It has 18 counties covering an area of 153,000 square kilometers with a population of 890,000. The capital is Kangding.
Garze Prefecture is the center of the Kham region-one of the three branches of Tibetan culture. It is also the center of the Shangri-La ecological travel region, which includes parts of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet.
Garze is the center of the tea trade, the hometown of the famous Kangding love song, and of Tibetan cultural hero King Gesar. It is a gallery of local cultures and history. There are many exciting historical artifacts. The area should be considered a precious preserve of history and linguistics. Ganzi Prefecture is the closest Tibetan area to Chengdu, and the easiest travel to. It is just 4 hours from Chengdu to Hailuogou, and from there only another few hours to Kangding. The eastern part of Ganzi Prefecture is an area of Kham culture and is famous for ecological sightseeing. It has the majestic Gongga Mountain scenic spot, the hometown of Tibetan architecture in Daofu, and the Thousand Towers and beautiful valley sightseeing areas.
The north of Ganzi Prefecture is perfect for exploring Kham culture in depth. Not-to-be-missed sights include Dege Scripture Printing lamasery, a rare treasure of Tibetan culture King Gesar's birthplace in Ahxu grassland, the Sun Tribe and many famous monasteries of the five main Tibetan Buddhist sects.
In the South is Shangri-La, a fantastic ecological travel region. Highlights include Daocheng Yading nature reserve, the West sun valley of china, Shambala Xiangcheng, Cuopu Lake-the first lake of Eastern Tibet, and Genie Holy Mountain. Traveling in Ganzi is a trip into the mysterious.
The inner rooms of Daofu house are painted in magnificent colorful designs, exceeding even the Potala place in an exquisite design. The stone houses of Daocheng, Litang, Yajiang are strong and timeless. Houses in Luhuo and Xinlong are elegant. And the white Tibetan houses of Xiangcheng and Derong are unique throughout Tibet. In Danba you can easily find many magnificent stone lookout towers. Finally, in Seda, Ganzi, and Shiqu you can see the intriguing tents of Tibetan nomads.