Full Name: Nyingchi Prefecture Area: 117,000 square kilometers (45,173 square miles) Nationalities: Tibetan, Han
Administrative Division: 7 counties (Nyingchi, Kongpo Gyamda, Mainling, Medog, Bomi, Zayu, Lanxian)
Location: Located in southeastern Tibet Autonomous Region on the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo River), Nyingchi is the gateway to Tibet from Yunnan and Sichuan. It neighbors Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province in the east and is bordered by Lhasa in the west. In the south, it shares a boundary with India and Burma. The regional government is seated in Bayi Town, over 400 kilometers east of Lhasa.
Verdant mountainous terrainHistory: Nyingchi is one of the important cradles of ancient Tibetan civilization having been settled as early as four or five thousand years ago. It was under domination of the Tupo Kingdom for two hundred years (7th century to the 9th century). Since its liberation in 1951, it has moved away from its long past as a feudal society.
Physical Features: Nyingchi is noted for its verdant mountainous terrain and clear waterways. The Himalayan and Tangula mountains wend their way from west to east to join the Hengduan Mountains. Because of the large number of river valleys and alpine gorges, Nyingchi is sometimes referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Tibet’.
Climate: Due to the high Indian Ocean winds, Nyingchi enjoys temperate semi-humid weather. This climate promotes the growth of lush, green forested areas. Milder weather prevails most of the year but the winters are cold with average temperatures of 32F.
When to Go: October through April is probably the ideal period to visit although winter months can be cold. May though September the weather is warmer; however, this is also the region’s rainy season.
Click this link to learn about Tibet Weather and climate.
Special Local Products: Chinese herbal medicines; Menba wooden bowls; bambooware; pottery and fruits such as oranges, apples and grapes.
Local Highlights: The Niangbu Lasu Festival is held in Kongpo Gyamda County on the tenth day of the ‘horse year’ on the Tibetan calendar. It features sacrificial rites as well as horse and yak racing and singing and dancing performances. The Kongpo New Year Festival, also in Kongpo Gyamda, is held on October 1. It is filled with such entertainment as ethnic singing and dancing, horse racing and archery contests.
Baksum Tso Lake-Famous East Tibet tourists attraction (click here)
Yarlung Tsangpo River Scenic Spots:
Yarlung Tsangpo River cuts through the Himalayas making a unique u-turn round Nanjabarwa Peak before reaching Medog County and the famous Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon. The canyon is 496 kilometers long and is deeper than the Grand Canyon in America. It is, in fact, the deepest canyon in the world. In the innermost recesses of the canyon lies Medog County—the only county in China without a single road. It is like an isolated and mysterious ‘Xanadu’ seemingly outside the earthly world. Needless to say, it is best traveled on foot.
Zayu is a fertile place at the convergence of the Himalayas and Hengduan Mountains. It is crisscrossed by rivers and the weather is moderate throughout the year. Zayu is like a southern China water town reminiscent of a picturesque painting on the Tibetan Plateau. Rice, vegetables and fruits grow on its terraces and plains.
Other Scenic Spots: Baksum Tso Lake, Bon Ri Sacred Mountain, Pugu Monastery.
Linzhi (Milin) Airport is twelve kilometers from Milin’s county seat of Mainling and 72 kilometers from Nyingchi (Linzhi) County. It currently operates five flights a week from Nyingchi to Chengdu.
Buses leave Bayu Town in Nyingchi County for Lhasa daily at 8:30 a.m. There is now a planned road from Bomi and Medog to Nyingshi. Construction is expected to start in 2008 and be completed in two years.