Home: City Guide: Tibet: Chamdo
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Chamdo, located in the east of Tibet , belongs to the traditional Kham Region, famous for its unique and fascinating Khampa culture.

Chamdo is ringed by the Hengduan Mountains and watered by the three great rivers Jinsha, Lancang (Mekong) and Nu (Salween). On the east side of the rivers is the neighboring Sichuan Province. It also borders Qinghai Province in the north and Yunnan Province and Myanmar in the southeast. Chamdo has long been the eastern gate of Tibet. In fact, the region played an important part historically in the ancient Tea-Horse Road for the trade of Tibet and central areas.

Chamdo has much to boast of in its long history and deep cultures. The Karub Ruins of the Neolithic Age proves its civilization had begun 5,000 years ago. The region is also where the great Tibetan Epic of King Gesar was created and was widely known. Other art forms like folk ballads, legends, stories and proverbs are also very popular. It is also the home of many popular Tibetan dances. Among the best-known are the Gorchom folk Dance, the Repa Dance of Tingchen County and the Shinze Dance of Markham County. Its paintings and sculptures are also well-known. Incorporating elements from multi-cultures, including Chinese Han, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Naxi people as well as from India and Nepal, the folk arts and crafts of Chamdo are exquisite and characteristic. The Thangka, Tibetan knife and Tibetan shoes are especially commended. Garma Village of Chamdo County, known as the 'Hometown of Artisans', is the center of the creation of these works of art.

Chamdo is inhabited by as many as 21 ethnic groups of Han, Tibetan, Hui, Naxi and others. Minorities comprise about 98% of the whole population, and provide an attractive characteristic of the region. Most of the people, known as 'Khampa', are religious, versatile, forthright and hospitable. They often sing and dance in the field when farming and invite passers-by to take part. They celebrate festivals almost every month, such as Tibetan New Year, Butter Lamp Festival, Bathing Festival, and the Horse Racing Festival. During these times they wear fancy costumes and jewelry and join together in colorful activities, which are really exciting to see.

The majestic landscape and lively cultures make Chamdo an attractive land to visit. The famous scenic spots here include Chambaling Monastery, the largest Gelugpa Monastery in this region, Zezhol Monastery, the largest monastery of Tibet's indigenous religion - Bon, the inviting Deqing Phodrang Mountain, Dola Holy Mountain, sacred Ra'og Lake and Rinco Lake.

Forests, farmlands and grasslands are pretty expansive in this region, which are the habitats of many rare and valuable plants and wild animals. Chamdo is also rich in natural resources, including minerals and water energy. The local products include medical plants of cordyceps, caladiums, snow lotuses, walnuts, fish and livestock products.

The climate is complex and varied. It is mild and moist in the south and east, and dry and cold in the north and west. It has abundant rain in summer and frequent wind and snows in winter and early spring. The temperatures vary greatly from day to night. So the time between late spring and early summer, and early autumn would be the best times to visit.

Chamdo is well provided with hotels, hospitals, restaurants, entertainment and other facilities. So there is no need to be concerned when traveling there.


Traveling to Chamdo is very convenient. Bamda Airport is the highest airport in the World. It supports air routes to Chengdu and Lhasa. Chamdo is located in the centre of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway. Several national highways and other regional highways and roads also intersect here. There are coaches to Chengdu, Lhasa, Markham and Dragyab County. Special sight-seeing coaches run between Chamdo and Lhasa. To get to Chengdu, Lhasa and Markham, you can also take a truck, and besides, taxis and pedicabs are available in Chamdo.

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  • ReplyFred Kneip
    2014/3/16 21:30:00

    My wife and I are looking for a four to five day tour in the Markham County area in early November. Ideally, we would arrive from and return to Hanoi or possibly Bangkok.

    • Emma :2014/3/17 21:52:00

      Dear Fred, you can tailor-make an itinerary at:http://www.warriortours.com/tailor.htm