Ganzi County is located in the northwestern part of Ganzi Zang Minority Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan Province along the Yalong Jiang River. It is 752 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Chengdu, and 385 kilometers away from the prefecture capital of Kangding. Ganzi County has long been the political, economic and cultural center of the northern part of the prefecture, and a constant battleground in history. Currently, as a commodity distribution center and a trade center, the county holds a position of strategic significance on the Sichuan-Tibet Northern Line. The county covers an area of 5.3 square kilometers, and has a total population of 846,000.
As has been mentioned, Ganzi County is situated in a key area of the Sichuan-Tibet Northern Line, one of the "north and south lines" between Sichuan and Tibet. Inside the county are four tourist routes bringing travelers to every corner of the dazzling "pearl on the plateau". You can reach the East Valley in the east to explore brilliant Tibetan Buddhist culture, and Rongbaca in the west (a fork of Yalong Jiang River) to enjoy the infinite charm of Yalong Jiang River, and view the vast grassland scenery of Tongdama in the south and experience the thrilling adventure of rafting on Zakho River in the northwest.
In Ganzi travelers can taste special local food in the style of Tibetan cuisine, such as tsamba, Kangding bean jelly, mutton soup, Moyu roast chicken, Maiqiu smoked beef, special beef soup, Tibetan barley and more. While eating, you can always drink Tibetan beverages like buttered tea and barley liquor (a kind of spirit made from highland barley). It is an old tradition for Zang Minority people to treat friends from afar to barley liquor.
Inside Ganzi Zang Minority Autonomous Prefecture, there is a relatively advanced road transportation network, based on several trunk roads such as National Highway 318 and 317 and five provincial highways. With the rapid development of Ganzi tourism in recent years, the county has begun to construct a tourism ring road, which in the future will link tourist spots inside the prefecture such as Kangding, Yading, Litang and Danba with spots outside such as Shangri-La in Diqing City, Lake Lugu in Lijiang and Siguniang Shan Mountain in Aba Prefecture. In the future, it will be very convenient for tourists to travel throughout southwest China.
The nearest railway station is Lugu Railway Station, located in Jiulong County within Ganzi Zang Minority Autonomous Prefecture, and serves as a junction where Jiujiang railway line and Chengdu - Kunming Railway line meet. Jiulong County is the one closest to railway transport in the whole prefecture. Lugu Railway Station mainly serves for passenger transport.
Tips: The majority of scenic spots in Ganzi County are wide and flat, ideal for horse riding. Travelers can rent horses to enjoy the scenery of the wild and pastoral life.
Ganzi County has a highland valley climate, being typically cool and dry. The annual sunshine hour reaches as long as 2,640 hours, thus Ganzi has the nickname of "Sun City". The annual average temperature is 5.6 °C, yet the highest temperatures reach 31.7 °C, and lowest reach -28.9 °C in extreme cases. The annual average precipitation is 636.5 millimeters, and the oxygen content is equivalent to 67% of that of the low-lying areas.
The best times for travel are in April, May, September and October. Ganzi's spring (April-May) is the most attractive time, suitable for vibrant people who love nature and travel, for flowers bloom everywhere in the wild. At the same time Ganzi in autumn is colorful and full of enchanting scenes. It is a great opportunity for travel photographers to capture those beautiful moments.
The time between November and December brings the special beauty of the snow-covered plateau to the area. Yet it is a must to take more than usual security measures. Travel between January and February is not recommended because many scenic spots in Ganzi are closed due to heavy snow, and transportation is very inconvenient.
Due to the high altitude climate, travelers should prepare for strong sunshine, altitude sickness and a significant temperature difference between day and night whenever travelling here.