Maizhokunggar County Overview
About Maizhokunggar County
Maizhokunggar（墨竹工卡县） is a county east of the main center of Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. It has an area of 5,492 square kilometers (2,120 sq mi) with an average elevation of over 4,000 meters (13,000 ft). Most of the people are ethnic Tibetan and are engaged in agriculture or herding. Mining is a major source of tax revenue, but has created environmental problems. The county has various tourist attractions including hot springs and the Drigung Monastery（直贡梯寺）. Maizhokunggar means the white center land where dragon king in color of ink-painted lives. There are many river valleys and vast grassland surrounded Maizhokunggar County.
Attractions in Maizhokunggar County
There are various tourist attractions in Maizhokunggar County, including Drigung Monastery（直贡梯寺），Milha Mountain（米拉山）， Jiama Scenic Area（甲玛景区）， Dezhong Hot Spring（德仲温泉）， and Lhasa River（拉萨河）. What’s more, there are many river valleys and vast grassland surrounded Maizhokunggar County. Visitors can have an extraordinary view in the county.
▪ Drigung Monastery（直贡梯寺）: At the altitude of 4400 meters, Drigung Monastery is the central monastery of Drigung Kagyu sector and was once splendid in Tibetan history. There are 47 religious sites with 634 Buddhist monks and nuns as of 2010. The 29 the monasteries consist of 11 of the Gelugsect（格鲁派）, 16 of the Kagyu（噶举派）, 1 of the Nyingma （宁玛派）and 1 of the Sakya（萨迦派）in Maizhokunggar County. The open time of the monastery is 06:00-16:00. There are buses to the monastery at 7 o 'clock every day with the fare of CNY 40 per person, 3 hours each way.
▪ Milha Mountain（米拉山）: Standing on the east of Lhasa, Milha Mountain is not outstanding among numerous high mountains in Tibet. However, it is the important dividing line of the terrain, vegetation and climate of the eastern and western sides of the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon（雅鲁藏布江大峡谷）.
▪ Jiama Scenic Area（甲玛景区）: It is also known as Jiamagou Scenic area, which is located in the area of the Jiama Village, Maizhokunggar County, Lhasa City, Tibet. It is the birthplace of Tibetan(Tubo) King Songtsan（吐蕃王松赞干布）, and also the birthplace of Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme（阿沛·阿旺晋美）.
▪ Dezhong Hot Spring（德仲温泉）: The Dezhong Hot Spring has abundant supplies of water, and was historically thought to have magical curative powers. It is popular with both tourists and local people. The admission fee is CNY 30 per person.
▪ Lhasa River（拉萨河）: The Lhasa river which flows through Maizhokunggar County, is a large tributary of the Brahmaputra River（雅鲁藏布江） and one of the highest rivers in the world.
Climate of Maizhokunggar County
Mozhugongka County is in the semi-arid plateau temperate monsoon climate zone, with cold, dry and thin air, and high winds in winter and spring. The annual average temperature is 5.1 to 9.1 °C (41.2 to 48.4 °F). The highest temperature recorded was about 30 °C (86 °F) in June, but the average highest temperature is 14 to 16.1 °C (57.2 to 61.0 °F). The lowest temperature is −16 to −23 °C (3 to −9 °F) in January. There are about 90 frost-free days each year. Annual rainfall is 515.9 millimetres (20.31 in).
Population of Maizhokunggar County
The total population as of 2010 was 48,561 people in 9,719 households, the great majority engaged in farming and herding. 98% of the population is ethnic Tibetan.
Festival and Activities in Maizhokunggar County
The Wangguo Festival（望果节）, which has a history of more than 1000 years, is widely popular in the rural areas of Tibet. Before people preparing harvest each year, Tibetan farmers in festival costumes, holding Qiema(grain bucket)切玛 which symbolizes a golden harvest, and highland barley wine, sing and dance in the farmland, to celebrate the harvest this year and wish a better harvest next year.
With the enhancement and improvement of the living standard of the Tibetan herdsman, the content of Wangguo Festival also changed a lot from pure religious festival to the festival activities rich in contents of horse racing, archery, singing and dancing, Tibetan opera, goods exchange. The festival which integrates literature, art, sports, and business, enriched the material and cultural life of the local Tibetan farmers and herdsmen in the masses.
Natural resources in Maizhokunggar County
Miazhokunggar County is rich in mineral gold, antimony, chromium, silver, copper, lead, zinc, marble, limestone, etc. with high quality. There are 10.82 million cubic meters of marble in the county.
At the mention of the wild animals in the county, there are roe（獐）, rabbits, argali（盘羊）, marmot（旱獭）, otter（水獭）, fox, pheasant（野鸡）, wild deer（野鹿）, bear, wild goat, black-necked crane（黑颈鹤）, etc.
There are many kinds of valuable traditional Chinese medicinal materials in Maizhokunggar County, such as the cordyceps（冬虫夏草）, Saussurea involucrate（雪莲花）, Fritillaria（贝母）and Rhodiola rosea（红景天）and so on.
Travel Tips in Maizhokunggar County
Here are some travel tips we listed for the visitors so that the visitors can have an unforgettable and amazing trip in Maizhokunggar County.
Best Travel Time：March to November. Travaling during the time, visitoes can avoid the cold winter and rainy season come to Maizhokunggar County, in the prayer flags fly to seek inner peace and detachment
Suggested Travel Days: 2 days
Deep into Tibetan areas, visitors should respect the faith and living habits of ethnic minorities.
No Shouting at temples and Tibetan homes.
Some temples and religious sites are banned from taking photos.
Some old people also don't like taking photos, which should be respected as much as possible.
Accommodations in Maizhokunggar County
There are some excellent accommodation here to provide visitors a comfortable place to have dinner or rest. Here, we list some of the hotels and hostel to you.
Maizhokunggar Xinke Hostel（墨竹工卡新客招待所）: Located in Kunggar Road（工卡路）, Xinke Hostel has a very convenient transportation and is adjacent to Wangdui Teahouse（旺堆茶馆）.
Maizhokunggar Business Hotel（墨竹工卡商务旅馆）: It is situated in No. 36, Kunggar Road（工卡路）, Maizhokunggar County, Lhasa City.
Maizhokunggar Sihai Hotel（墨竹工卡四海旅馆）: The hotel is located in Kunggar Road（工卡路）, Maizhokunggar County, Lhasa City, Tibet. It has a superior geographical location, convenient transportation and special snacks around it.
Maizhokunggar Xinxin Hotel（墨竹工卡鑫鑫旅馆）: Xinxin hotel is located in Nanjing west road（南京西路）, adjacent to Xinxin Dry Cleaner（鑫鑫干洗店）. The transportation here is very convenient.
Transportations of Maizhokunggar County
Take a shuttle bus at Lhasa Eastern Suburb Bus Station to Maizhokunggar for CNY 30. The bus will run 23 shifts every day. Visitors can also ride bicycle to Maizhokunggar County for over three hours. Along the way, riding bikes give visitors the chance to experience the nature in person. In addition, you can take a train at Lhasa Train station to have a brilliant Train Tour in Maizhokunggar County.