Yadong County Overview
About Yadong County
Yadong means "rushing deep valley in the Tibetan language," It is a frontier county and trade-market of Tibet, situated in the mouth of the Chumbi valley near the Indian frontier. It lies in the middle part of Himalayas and the south of Tibet Autonomous Region, covering about 4,306 square kilometers with a population of 12,000.
The town of Yadong (27°31′9″N 88°58′12″E) is very close to the borders of both Sikkim and Bhutan and has a hotel, a guest house, some government offices and army barracks.
The main tourist attractions in Yadong are Donggar Monastery, Garju Monastery and Kangbu Hotspring. Yadong is connected to the Indian state of Sikkim via the Nathula Pass. Pali Town of Yadong is noted for being the highest town of the world because of its sea level.
During the British invasion in 1888, Yadong then was turned into a British Commercial Ports. According to the Convention of 1890-93, the market at Yadong was opened to India, and the conduct of the Tibetans in building a wall across the road between Yadong and Lhasa was reported to be one of the incidents that led up to the British invasion of Tibet in 1904. According to the treaty of that year, a British trade-agent was to be stationed at Yadong. And nowadays Yadong is one of the important frontiers in China.
Yadong is Semi-farming County. Major crops are wheat, peas and potato. Major husbandry livestock are cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys. The forest coverage rate is about 3.8 percent. The famous local specialties are Yadong fish and barley wine.
Basic Information of Yadong County
● Chinese Name:亚东县
● Population: 12,000
● Area: 4, 306 square kilometers
The climate in Yadong is cold and temperate. The summers here have a good deal of rainfall, while the winters have very little. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as Dwb. The average temperature in Yadong is 4.8 °C. In a year, the average rainfall is 517 mm. The driest month is December. There is 2 mm of precipitation in December. Most of the precipitation here falls in July, averaging 113 mm.
Yadong Valley (亚东沟) is located in South Tibet, sandwiched between Bhutan and the Indian state of Sikkim. It was once a terminus of the Tea and Horse Trail, an ancient trading route that connected one of China’s tea-producing regions (modern-day Yunnan Province) with India and Bengal. The warm, moist-laden air currents from the Indian Ocean enter southern Tibet via Yadong Valley and turn areas to the north into fertile agricultural land. Administratively, it is now the location of Yadong County of the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. The region is rich in historical and cultural heritage, renowned for its numerous Buddhist monasteries, and boasts great natural beauty. It is also a former battle site – it is through here that the British military expeditions invaded Tibet in the beginning of the twentieth century.
Yadong valley looks like a wedge driven into the body of the Himalaya between the boundaries of China, India and Bhutan. The valley allows the air currents, coming from the south, and carrying warm moist air from the Indian Ocean, towards the north, penetrating deep into the Himalaya. In fact, among the Five Valleys, it is in Yadong that the warm air currents travel the farthest, and it is through their influence that the largest agricultural area in Tibet was created here, on the banks of the Nyang Chu River.
Kangbu Hot Spring（康布温泉）
Kangbu Hot Spring is a famous Tibetan therapeutic hot spring, which in the scriptures is referred as "the world second Monasticism place". Located in Kangbu Town（康布乡）, Yadong County（亚东县）, Tibet, Kangbu Hot Spring is 40 kilometers away from the county seat, 27 km from Pagri Town（帕里镇）.
Kangbu Hot Springs owns 14 springs, which are totally different with the spring water temperature, the therapy efficacy. It can treat osteopathy, dermatology and dozens of diseases. Kangbu Hot Springs, with its significant and unique efficacy, attracted many domestic and neighboring visitors here.
Ancient tombs:when in May, 1990, the scientists discovered 5 sites of ancient tombs. And four of them can be dated back to Tubo Dynasty.
Doungkar Monastery: the Doungkar monastery is built in 16th century, and until now it has more than 500 years history. And the Doungkar Monastery is about 13 kilometers away from the downtown.
The Talks Tablet: the talks tablet was established on July, 16, 1951 when the representative of central government Zhang Jingwu travel to India to meet 14th Dalai Lama. After the meeting, we set up the tablet to commemorate the historic talks.
Zhuomu Lari Snow Mountain:the snow mountain with an altitude of 7,400 meters is 50 kilometers away from the downtown of the Yadong County. The top of the mountain where was covered with snow. At the foot of the snow mountain is the Duoqing Lake, which is known as the Holy Lake in the ancient mythology of Tibet, while Zhuoma Lari Mountain is regarded as the sacred mountain. When the local people are going through sacred mountains, they offer white Hada and highland barley wine to pray for blessings. The charming goddess peak and the mirror-clean Duoqing Lake is situated in Paris pasture. Overlooking far away, visitors can view that the lake and mountain integrated into one amazing and beautiful picture.
The Duoqing Lake: there are about 34 lakes in Yadong County and the biggest one is the Duoqing Lake. And the Duoqing Lake is 60 kilometers away from the downtown of Yadong County. There are fertile and really beautiful grass growing by the lake, various wild flowers blooming around and flocks of water birds playing in the lake. The cattle horses are grazing leisurely on the bank, a peaceful and tranquil plateau.
Yadong Festivals and Activities
Linka Festival（林卡节） refers to “Zangling Jisang”, meaning the carnival that be celebrated by all the people in the world in Tibetan language. Generally speaking, Linka festival falls roughly halfway from May 1 and 15. Some counties may delay this festival for some time due to seasons and temperature differences.
Tibetan New Year Festival, also known as Losar Festival, is the most significant festival in Tibet. Just as its name implies, the New Year takes place on 1st January of Tibetan calendar. Tibetan people begin to celebrate on 29th December and the festival lasts for about 2 weeks, with the main celebrations on the first 3 days. Tibetan New Year Festival is not only celebrated in Tibet, but also in Bhutan and Mongolia. Even in Tibet, different areas have different ways to celebrate it.
Before the Tibetan New Year, each household makes or buys "qiema" (a wooden measure for grain), expressing the wish of good harvest and auspiciousness in the coming year. They will also make "kasai" (fried twisted dough sticks) in various forms, which looks golden and tastes crispy, and "luoguo" (a kind of food made of butter in the shape of sheep head), signifying thriving domestic animals and abundant life. In addition, they offer dried or fresh fruits, butter and brick tea to Buddhas. Then they will Have a family reunion to welcoming the New Year, and visit their friends & paying pilgrimage to the monastery.
Ongkor Festival（望果节） is an old festival in farming areas of Tibet held in each August according to Tibetan calendar when all crops are waiting for harvest." Ongkor" in Tibetan means "surrounding the farmland". Major activities include horse racing, shooting, singing and dancing, Tibetan Opera, stone holding and wrestling. The "Ongkor" not only shows people's wish for a good harvest, but also a good time for them to rest. Since crops ripen in different times, the festival is held accordingly. The Ongkor Festival originated in the valley at the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River. The initial form is offering sacrifices to gods by natural villages to pray for a good harvest.
Yadong Minority Culture
Tibetan people is the main population in Yadong County, and there are Han people and other nationalities people as well.
What to Eat in Yadong
Because of its remote location, the vegetables and grain are transported from the outside, leading to the higher price in Yadong. The cuisine in Yadong is not only the tradition inheritance of Tibetan cuisine, such as air-dried beef, highland barley wine and buttered tea, but also mixed with some specialities of ethnic minorities. What’s more, Sichuan cuisine is also common to be seen in Yadong.
Firstly, you can get to Lhasa or Shigatse by air and then transfer to Yadong County by Bus. And the transportation in Yadong County is not the thing you need to worry about. We will offer you a comfortable trip here.
Yadong Travel Tips
Best Time to Visit
The period between March to October is the best time to visit Yadong. From March to April, plum blossom all over the mountains and plains makes Yadong a fairyland. From May to June, tourist can appreciate the beautiful scenery in Yadong County. Yadong turns to be green world from July to August and golden yellow during September to October.