Bayi District Overview
About Bayi District
Bayi District, formerly Nyingchi County, is a District of Nyingchi in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Bayi Town, the administrative capital of Nyingchi, is located in the middle reaches of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. Both steep cliffs and flat valleys exist in the area. The average altitude is 3000 meters above sea level. The lowest places are just around 1,000 meters above sea level.
There are many scenic places in or near Bayi District. The Seche La Mountain Scenic Spot, in the east of Nyingchi County, is a part of the Nyainqentanglha Mountain Range（念青唐古拉山脉）, the watershed of the Nyang River（尼洋河）and the Polung Zangbo River. The Sichuan-Tibetan Highway passes by. Standing at the mountain pass at 4,728 meters above sea level, one can admire the sunrise, sea of clouds, endless forest and the grand Namjagbarwa Peak（南迦巴瓦峰）.
Under the influence of the monsoon from the Indian Ocean, Bayi District has neither scorching summer nor freezing winter. With ample rainfall, the air is quite humid. The sunshine is long and the frost is short.
Main Attractions in Bayi District
▪ Seche La Mountain: Located to the east of Nyingchi County, the Seche La Mountain is a part of the Nyainqentanglha Mountain Range, the watershed of the Nyang River and the Polung Zangbo River.
The Sichuan-Tibetan Highway passes by. Standing at the mountain pass at 4,728 meters above sea level, one can admire the sunrise, sea of cloud, endless forest and the grand Namjagbarwa Peak. The Benri La Mountain near the Dagze Village on the western slope of the mountain is a sacred site of the Tibetan Bon Sect and one of the four great holy mountains in Tibet. All year, devotees make pilgrimages to this spot from all areas. Every tenth day of the eighth month of the Tibetan calendar, a grand mountain worshipping activity is held, which is called "Nangbolhasoi," meaning "seeking for treasures from immortals."
▪ Peach Blossom Valley: The peach blossom dotted with Tibetan residences and towering snowy peak in a distance makes Nyingchi a dreamlike land.
▪ Lulang Forest is a typical plateau mountain meadow featuring stunning alpine scenery, located in Lulang Town, Nyingchi County. Nestled between the mountains and glaciers, it has an elevation of 3700 meters, consisting of vast expanse of plants, villages and variety of vegetation, stretching 15km long and 1km wide like a sea of forest from a distance. Decorated with distant clouds and snow-capped peaks, the endless pines feasted all your eyes depicted a wonderful landscape and idyllic scenery. Walking closer to view, it will surprise you more with its tranquil pastoral, blossoming flowers, gurgling streams, marshy grassland, etc. Like its name in Tibetan, meaning a place to forget your homesickness, Lulang Forest indeed delights you with its breathtaking landscape, authentic rural scenery and pure Tibetan lifestyle, lingering long enough in your memory.
▪ Benri Holy Mountain: located in the north bank of Yarlung Zangbu river that has a beautiful legend about its trees in special shapes. The Benri La Mountain near the Dagzê Village on the western slope of the mountain is a sacred site of the Tibetan Bön Sect and one of the four great holy mountains in Tibet. It is located in the southeast of Pulha, north of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. Pilgrimages attract devotees throughout the year. "Every tenth day of the eighth month of the Tibetan calendar, a grand mountain worshiping activity is held, which is called "Nangbolhasoi," meaning "seeking for treasures from immortals. Each year during the Sagadawa Festival the pilgrims will come to worship and circle around the holy mountain." Seven Bon temples were built around the mountain.
▪ Yarlung Zangbu Grand Canyon: The downstream of Yarlung Zangbu River makes a sharp turn aound Namjagbarwa Mountain and flows to the south in Nyingchi, hence the precipitous canyon. The featured view of Yarlung Zangbu Grand Canyon has to be combined with the magnificent Namjagbrawa Peak which is 7782m high, dominating near the Grand Canyon. There are many wild peach trees along the banks along the river in the canyon, Travelers don’t have walk several miles down to the canyon. They can enjoy the great view from road along the southern mountain side of the canyon.
▪ Buchu Monastery is a temple in an ancient monastery about 28 km south of the modern town of Bayi, which replaces the old village of Drakchi, in Nyingchi County of eastern Tibet. The two-storied monastery has a striking golden roof which can be seen from afar. There have been only eight monks living here recently. Previously the temple contained images of the Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava, and the upper floor had eight images of Amitayus which have not yet been restored. The lower part of the large Padmasambhava downstairs survived, and still contains the zungjuk or mantra-core.
▪Lamaling Monastery also known as Zangdrok Pelri Monastery (桑多白日) and Burqug Lamaling (布久喇嘛林寺), is a Buddhist monastery located near the village of Jianqie (简切村), Burqug Township, Bayi District (former Nyingchi County), in Tibet, on a small hill 1.5 km south of Buchu Monastery.
The monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect, translated as the Ancient Ones; their lineages go back to the first infusion of Buddhism from India to Tibet in the 7th century CE. The Nyingma sect incorporated many of the traditions of the native Tibetan Bon religion, which respects nature and local nature spirits.
Festivals and Activities in Bayi District
Peach Blossom Festival
When spring approaches, most parts of Tibet are still covered with snow, Nyingchi has already been immerged in a sea of peach flowers. In order to celebrate this grandeur of nature and advocate Tibetan culture, Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival has been hold by local Tibetans and enthusiastic tourists since 2002. During this grand festival, you can not only enjoy the rosy peach blossoms and exotic pastoral scenery but also explore Tibetan villages, watch horsemanship performance, try some local delicacies, etc.
Nyingchi peaches are mainly distributed along Niyang River as well as the road from airport to Bayi town. The whole peach blossom season often lasts from mid-March to mid-April.
In addition to massive peach blossoms, you can also take part in cycling competition, enjoy the hot springs, and try some local delicacies. Now, let’s check out some highlights of Nyingchi peach blossom festival.
a. participate in peach blossom photography contest
b. explore the exotic Tibetan villages and unique pastoral scenery
c. watch horsemanship performance, archery, and carrying stones competition
d. enjoy hot springs
e. taste the local foods and drinks
f. take an adventurous cruise along Niyang River
Saga Dawa Festival
Saga means “the fourth” and Dawa refers to “month” in Tibetan. This festival is celebrated for whole month and is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in Tibet. But the fifteenth day of the month is very special as Sakyamuni was born, attained Nirvana (enlightenment), stepped into Parinirvana (death). Tibetans believe that it would accumulate immense of merits during that particular day by giving generosity, stopping killing animals and eating meats, etc. Monks chanting in monasteries, cham dancing and other religious activities dominate the occasion. The festival is called “Qiong ren Jie” in Chinese which means poor people’s day because Tibetan peoples’ generosity to the poor people is well known.
What to See in Saga Dawa Festival
- Hundreds of Tibetan people circumambulating around the Barkhor, Tsekhor(Circuit around Potala) and Lingkhor.
- Liberation of fishes in Lhasa river(Kyichu) and other animals according to their budgets.
- Monks reciting prayer in Assembly hall in monasteries and serving butter tea during intermission.
- Hundreds of Tibetan people lined up in Drepung kitchen for making their donation for the monks during chanting prayers in assembly hall.
- Tibetan people will never eat meats during 15th day of the Saga Dawa and you can see every Tibetans eating vegetables in restaurant after finishing their circumambulation.
- Tibetan peoples busy with visiting various monasteries.
- Tibetan peoples’ generosity to the poor people by giving them material help.
- After finished visiting monasteries, Tibetans will go for picnics in different picnic centres in Lhasa.
- Even in picnics, older Tibetans mumbling mantras by rosary in left hand and small prayer wheel in their right hand.
Tibetan New Year
The Tibetan New year, also known as Losar Festival, is the most important festival on the Tibetan calendar. Based on the Tibetan Calendar, annual New Year celebration begins on December 29 and lasts 2 weeks.Tibetan New Year offers the travelers a great opportunity to enjoy the annual festive occasion with local Tibetans.
Bayi District Travel Tips
1. Best Time to Visit Bayi District. Late spring and early summer, Autumn are proper to tour Bayi District when much natural splendor only reveals its authentic beauty in good weather. It’s better to watching wild peach flowers in spring and view magnificent Namjagbarwa in Fall.
2. Must Have Permits. Since Nyingchi is adjacent to India and Burma, more obligatory permits including Aliens’ Travel Permits, Militery Permit are required as well as Tibet Entry Permit.
3. High Altitude Precaution. Although Nyingchi is at a relatively lower elevation area, some places of high elevation like Mila Pass (5013m) may easily cause altitude reaction. Better take some medicines for relief and keep warm all the time.
4. Prepare Food and Drinks. Since tourists have to spend 8 hours on travelling from Lhasa to Nyingchi, you are suggested to get some snacks, fruit and water ready before the long riding journey. Bring your warm cloths and rain gear is always a good idea if you go to Nyingchi in summer.
The Transportation in Bayi District
Travel to Bayi By Air
Nyingchi Mainling Airport
Nyingchi Mainling Airport (林芝米林机场 - LZY) is located in the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley – the largest canyon in the world. With an altitude of only 2,949 meters (9,675 feet), Nyingchi Mainling Airport is the lowest airport in Tibet but it is the most challenging airport for flight operation. Directly connected with Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, Guangzhou and Xian, usually Nyingchi is recommended as the earlier destination than any cities in Tibet due to its lower altitude and higher oxygen level.
The airport is about 50km to Bayi Town, Nyingchi downtown area and 18km from Mainling County. There are available taxis which cost about 150 CNY from Nyingchi Airport to Bayi Town. And shuttle buses starting from Mainling County to the airport is at 7:20 and 7:40 in the morning, costing about 25CNY in 0.5 hour. TibetDiscovery also provides you convenient and comfortable airport pick-up and drop-off services included in our Tibet tour packages.
Travel to Bayi By Land
Lhasa to Nyingchi (over 249miles/400km, about 8 hours)
If you rent a car or choose arranged car service of TibetDiscovery Tour Packages, firstly, drive from Lhasa on the Lhasa – Nyingchi Hwy, you will cross the Mila Pass (5013m), which lies in the boundary between Maizhokunggar County in Lhasa and Gongbo'gyamda in Nyingchi. Then continue driving to Nyingchi City on China National Hwy G318 with the Basumtso Lake in the west way. Later you will arrive in Bayi Town of Nyingchi City, Bayi District, where most hotels are assembled. You can settle down in booked hotel to have a rest for upcoming tour in Nyingchi.
Shannan to Nyingchi (Shannan – Nang County – Nyingchi Bayi Town)
Very few tourists go to Nyingchi passing this route for its long and dangerous traffic situation. Shuttle buses between Shannan and Nang County, Nang County and Bayi are irregular based on weather, road condition as well as number of passengers.
Shigatse to Nyingchi (Shigatse - Lhasa/ Shannan - Nyingchi)
Maybe you just finish your Shigatse Tour and want to explore a total different Tibet scenery, Nyingchi is exactly what you are looking for. Since there is no direct coach heading to distant Nyingchi from Shigatse, tourists need a stopover in Lhasa or Shannan area to transfer. The north Shigatse – Lhasa – Nyingchi way is much more popular and easier than south route through Shannan. But attention that both routes take more than ten hours totally, you can visit some attractions along your course to make the long journey more interesting.