Qamdo is located in the key link of the boundary among Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai and Yunnan and the place that Sichuan-Tibet Railway and Yunnan-Tibet Railway must pass through. In ancient time, Qamdo is the important stop of Tea Horse Route and famed as the 'Pearl of Tibet' due to its pivot position on Tibetan commerce and trade.
Where is Qamdo
Connecting Sichuan Province to the east, Deqin County to the southeast, Nyingchi area to the southwest and Nagqu to the northwest, Qamdo covers an area of 110,000 square kilometers, accounting for 8.9% of the total Tibet.
Basic Information of Qamdo
- Chinese Name: 昌都
- Area: 110,000 square kilometers
- Population: 730,000(in 2017)
- Zip code: 854000
- Dialing code: (+86) 0895
- Airport: Qamdo Bangda Airport
- Railway Station: Qamdo Station
- Seat of Government: Karub District
Climate of Qamdo
The climate of Qamdo is plateau subtemperate climate. The weather in summer is mild and moderate while the weather in winter is dry and cold. The annual sunshine hours are up to 2100—2700 hours and the annual precipitation is 477.7 mm, which is concentrated on May to September. The common natural disaster is frost, snow disaster and hail.
Best Time to Visit Qamdo
Due to special geographical and weather conditions, the best travel time for Qamdo is from April to June and September to October. In these months, the weather is not as cold as winter and spring, as well as not as wet as the rainy season. In early summer, the grass was green and wild flowers are blooming on the plateau. Tibetan families usually dress up to visit friends and have a good time. Plateau in late autumn is a magnificent picture of the colorful and beautiful scenery, blue sky and clean water, mountains and rivers. In other seasons, road traffic may be disrupted by the rainy season and heavy snow.
- Ranwu Lake: 'Ranwu' means a lake like goat's milk in Tibetan language. In the north side of Ranwu Lake, there is the famous Laigu Glacier, whose snow water will pour into the lake to keep it clear and rich.
- Chambaling Monastery: Chambaling Monastery was first built in 1444 and the largest monastery of Gelug sect in Qamdo area.
- Karub Ruins: Relic of upstream area of Lancang River during the Neolithic Age that discovered in 1978~1979.
- Deqen Phodrang Sacred Mountain: It is not a high mountain that suitable to go hiking.
Local Specialties in Qamdo
Benefit from its deep valleys and steep mountains, the zoological and botanical resources are abundant, such as cordyceps sinensis, saussurea, rhodiola and saffron crocus. Moreover, the drunk pear of Baxoi County is famous.
Qamdo area is the cradle of Kang-pa culture and the Tibetan people here is called 'Kang-pa people'. Due to territorial and social communication reason, Qamdo received Yellow River culture from Qinghai and Gansu Province, Ba-Shu culture from Sichuan and Chongqing, and the multi-ethnic-minority culture from Yunnan and gradually affects its own culture. The language, costume, religion, custom and residence of Kang-pa culture are distinctive and profound with special charm and strong religious color.
Generally, Tourist can get to Qamdo by two main ways: take a flight or drive to Qamdo from other Tibetan cities.
Driving: Qamdo is situated in the east Tibet area. It's remote and less visited than Lhasa, Shigatse and Everest. The long journey for over 20 hours driving from Lhasa, Shigatse and other palaces in Tibet to Qamdo probably is tedious but you will enjoy the picturesque landscape on the way.