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Photography Trip to Xinduqiao, Daofu, Ganzi, Xinlong and Daocheng


DaoCheng and YaDing are located in the south of Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan, eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau on the middle section of Hengduan Mountains. Dao Cheng and Ya Ding are national natural reserve and provincial scenic spots, which are regarded as “the last Shangri-La”, “Shangri-La fairyland” and “the last pure land on blue planet”. Ya Ding means “the place facing the Sun”, AKA “Nianqing Konka Risongganbu” which means “holy place”. Ya Ding is the scenic spot of high mountains and valleys, with the altitude from 2900 M (the mouth of Konka River) to 6032 M (Mount Xian’nairi), covering 1344 square meters. It is one of the most completely reserved and original high-mountain ecological systems, presenting beautiful landscape of mountains and valleys, which is the core area of ecological tourism area in Shangri-La. The three Deity Mountains are one of the most splendid mountains in China.

Xinduqiao is the fascinating “photography paradise”, located in the crossroad between south line and north line of 318 State Road, which is like poetic Shangri-La. Astonishing sunlight, boundless grasslands, winding brooks, polar trees with yellow leaves, mountainous peaks, scattered Tibetan villages, cows and sheep grazing peacefully……you can see beautiful landscape of plateau in west Sichuan. This is Xinduqiao, the fascinating “world of sunlight and shadow” and “paradise of photographers”.

Tagong Grassland scenic spot is located in Kangding County of Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan, 113 KM from northwest Kangding, 3730 M above sea level, with Sichuan-Tibet highway passing through. The transportation is very convenient. Tagong Grassland is the most famous grassland in Ganzi. Tourists can go westward from Kangding along Sichuan-Tibet highway, climb over Zheduo Mountain, go northward and arrive at Tagong Temple after passing by Xinduqiao. This scenic spot includes rivers, grasslands, mountains, temples, Tibetan villages and rich Tibetan folklore.

Daofu Village is famous for its unique architecture style and magnificent architecture art. There are two kinds of architecture, Tibetan houses and combination of Tibetan and Han, but the former occupies more. Whichever structure, the houses are with white walls, red or brown curved wooden windows, and eaves like Chinese Character “品”. Some are in first floor, some are in second floor, but all are with one bottom and ranked in order. These houses are main two colors, brown and white—white roofs and white main walls. The wooden sections are mainly dyed with brown color, decorated with red and blue pictures. Set off blue sky, white clouds, emerald mountains and green water, these constitute a charming pattern. In the wide yard and under white roofs, Tibetan girls in colorful clothes or Lama in red gown walk to and fro, which feels like in Shangri-La. Tibetan houses in Daofu County are titled as “two spectacles”: one is the unique architecture style, the other is that such “big wood house” cannot remade again due to the protection project of natural forests. From the perspective of the latter, Daofu villages are really precious.

Kasa Lake is located in Kasa Village of Luhuo County, 3510 M above sea level, covering 1.92 square KM, which is a typical freshwater lake on plateau. It was titled as “provincial natural reserve” in 1999, AKA the famous holy lake locally. On each Tibetan Year of the Ram, thousands of believers come from long way to the lake. The mountains and white clouds reflecting on the lake, the lake, the mountain and blue sky, the whole beautiful view are with this lake. This lake area is also the habitat of red-crowned crane, yellow duck, bar-headed goose and other rare birds, and also there is the largest habitat of waterfowl on north Sichuan and Tibet road. In spawning season, the lakeside becomes the natural egg field. There tourists can see the paradise given by nature. In summer, flowers put into full blossom, aquatic plants are lush, and colorful rainbow cross over the lake after the rain; in autumn, the water is blue, and the field is flowing with golden waves; in winter and spring, the lake is frozen and forms into a natural skating rink.

Day 1: Chengdu

Tourists arrive at Chengdu and are picked up to the hotel.

Day 2: Chengdu—Xinduqiao

After breakfast tourists start their trip from the hotel, and arrive at the rain city, Ya’an, along Chengya highway. During the trip tourists can enjoy the typical poetic landscape of west Sichuan. When they transfer from highway to 318 State Road, they continue their trip westward along beautiful Qingyi River till they arrive at Er’lang Mountain, the first dangerous pass in Sichuan and Tibetan area. During this section, they need to pass through many mountains and valleys. The road condition is good but there are many twists sections. About 3 hours they will arrive at the middle of Er’lang Mountain, and pass through Er’lang Mountain Tunnel (4176 M long). There you can see special views on both sides of the tunnel. After that, they go along Dadu Valley, cross over Luding Chain Bridge in honor of Red Army in Long March, arrive at Kangding, and after 1 hour arrive at the pass of Zheduo Mountain (4298 M). Tourists take a short rest, take photos, continue their trip westward and arrive at Xinduqiao, the paradise of photography, in the evening. It does not matter if you arrive there late and miss the sunset, we can arrange it next morning, and we will return to stay in this beautiful Kangba town.

Accommodation: Xinduqiao

Day 3: Xinduqiao—Daofu

Today tourists have enough time to visit and photograph. Photograph lovers can get up early and follow the guide to the best place to take photos of Xinduqiao landscape and Konka Mountain. After finishing their photographing in the morning, they can return the hotel to have breakfast. After that, tourists should leave away Xinduqiao and go to Tagong Grassland. In spring and summer, Tagong Grassland is really picturesque: various and colorful wild flowers on green grassland. When tourists wander the flower sea, they feel like a fairy. Yala Deity Mountain of Tagong Grassland, rises from the land, with huge mountain body. Yala Mountain is covered with snow all year round, surrounding by white clouds, set off wide green grassland and golden Tagong Temple, which present a spectacular picture of plateau. Then tourists walk through Dragon Lantern Grassland (with plateau alpine view), and arrive at Daofu County. Firstly tourists see rows of Tibetan houses. These houses extend from the ground to slight slope, which forms into a unique scenery line. These houses are main two colors, brown and white—white roofs and white main walls. In the wide yard and under white roofs, Tibetan girls in colorful clothes or Lama in red gown walk to and fro, which feels like in Shangri-La. They will stay in hotel in Daofu at night.

Accommodation: Daofu

Day 4: Daofu—Ganzi County

Tourists get up early to appreciate the poetic landscape in Daofu, along Xianshui River, the tribute of Yalong River, and go to Ganzi, the most beautiful place in Kangbei. During the trip, tourists can enjoy splendid Dragon Lantern Ba Grassland, Xianshui Valley and mountainous peaks. In the afternoon, tourists start their trip; pass by Luoge Liangzi, where they can see Shaluli snow-capped mountains and beautiful landscape of Kasa Lake. Kasa Lake is regarded as Mother Lake by local people. For example, they usually go on a pilgrimage around the lake, they pray to have a big harvest and carry their babies to walk around the lake sincerely when their babies are 30-days old. At noon tourists arrive at Ganzi beside Yalong River to have a lunch (due to photography, lunch time will delay a little, tourists should prepare some snacks). After lunch we go upstream along Yalong River to Rongbacha to appreciate Ganzi landscape: roaring Yalong River, towering snow-capped mountains surrounded, cows and sheep all over the pasture. Ganzi County is the important place of cultural and ecological tourism area in Kangba of west Sichuan, whether Deity Mountain, holy water, pastoral culture, Tibetan Buddhism culture or colorful and unique local architecture. Tourists return Ganzi County to check in hotel after the sunset.

Accommodation: Ganzi County

Day 5: Ganzi–DaoCheng

In the morning tourists leave Ganzi and go through Yalong River Valley. There are peaks and forests in the valley, so it is like an old tunnel. During the trip tourists can visit the most complete existing reserved wooden bridge (Bo Ri Bridge) with the longest extending arms in Kangba area. And they arrive at Xinlong County (“Xinlong” is also called “Liangru” in Tibetan which means the valley in forest). As Xinlong County is located at the abdomen area in Ganzi Prefecture, it is also called Abdomen County. The houses on both sides of Yalong River are also unique. Tourists have a lunch at Junba Town and pass by Litang County, the high-altitude city in the world and also the birthplace of VII Dalai Lama. In the afternoon, they need to pass by Maoya Grassland (in summer, various flowers put into full blossom) Wuliang River, climb over Rabbit Mountain and forlorn and spectacular Haizishan Natural Reserve, the hugest relic of ancient glaciers on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. If the weather is good, you can see the snow line combined by a row of snow-capped mountains which is really magnificent from the boundless gravels beach. Tourists will arrive at Dao Cheng County, the last Shangri-La, in the evening, and appreciate the beautiful sunset beside Bang River. After dinner, photograph lovers can go to take photos of night view in White Tower.

Accommodation: Dao Cheng

Day 6: Daocheng–Yading

After breakfast tourists start their trip to pass by hundreds of thousands of Polar Trees Garden and Sela Grassland, and go down along Chitu Valley. During the trip they can enjoy the charming landscape of valley. After lunch in Shangri-La, they need to go to Ya Ding to transfer sightseeing car to the last Shangri-La. Tourists need to stay in Ya Ding Village for one night and it is inconvenient for shower, so tourists need to bring simple toiletries. We take sightseeing car directly to the terminal station, Zhaguanbeng and walk 10 minutes to Chonggu Temple Service Station. Next tourists go to Zhuomacuola along the wooden plank (2 KM) and take a good view at Zhuomacuola, one of the three Deity Mountains. After that, they return Chonggu meadow to appreciate Charlot Dorji Deity Mountain. In the evening we return Ya Ding Village to experience Shangri-La under the sunset.

Accommodation: home stay in Ya Ding

Day 7: Yading—Daocheng

Today tourists need to get up early to go to Ya Ding scenic spot. Meanwhile today is also relatively free for tourists. Most tourists will be guided by the group leader to the most beautiful Five Color Lake and Milk Lake in Ya Ding. They can take scooter to Luorong Pasture (or walk to Luorong Pasture, around 2 or 3 hours). Generally speaking, Luorong Pasture is the core area of Ya Ding scenic spot, where they can closely see Yang Maiyong Deity Mountain and Charlot Dorji Deity Mountain. We think the most beautiful scenery of Five Color Lake is from 1 PM to 2 PM in the afternoon. At that time the weather is good and the sun is shining. When the sunlight shed on Five Color Lake, you can free away all your troubles. However, the altitude of the lake is high (4600 M), and the weather is changeable. You can happen to rainstorm and heavy wind, so you should be patient and lay your mind. Additionally, you will walk all the way on high-altitude area, so you should be careful, because we always put your safety in the first position and scenery the second. At 3 PM in the afternoon, tourists go back to gather at the door of the scenic spot, and return by car to have a rest in Dao Cheng County.

Accommodation: Dao Cheng–Xinduqiao


Day 8: Daocheng—Xinduqiao

In the morning tourists go from Dao Cheng to Sangdui. During the trip they can take photos of Red Grassland (this is seasonal scenery and this is only available from mid-September to early November). In autumn, birch trees with yellow leaves reflect on the surface of the water, combing with red grass, which is really beautiful. After that, they will climb over Haizishan Natural Reserve (4500 M), have a lunch at Litang County, continue their trip eastward along 318 State Road, over Kazila Mountain and Jianziwan Mountain, pass by Yajiang County, climb over Gaoersi Mountain and arrive at Xinduqiao Town. They will stay in Xinduqiao or Kangding.

Accommodation: Xinduqiao

Day 9: Xinduqiao—Chengdu

Today is the last day of the itinerary. After breakfast, tourists start from Xinduqiao, pass by Kangding, Luding and pass through Er’lang Mountain Tunnel. Finally they along Chengya highway return Chengdu and finish the trip.