Zhanang County Overview
‣ Where is Zhanang
Zhanang County in Lhokha Prefecture of Tibet is located in middle section of Yarlung Tsangpo River in south-central Tibet, and at an average elevation of about 5,302 meters above sea level. It covers an area of 2,163 square kilometers with a population of 40,000.
Zha means “workshop” in Tibetan, while Nang means “inside”, therefore Zhanang has the implication of “inside the workshop”. It’s said that as early as the Tubo period all businesses in the Zhanang were flourishing. Zhanang became an assembly place for various craftsmen from all country. Those craftsmen worked in porcelain workshop, pottery workshop, metal ware workshop, textile workshop, knotting workshop, papermaking workshop, ink-making workshop, mill and winery. All the products from those workshops were made for upper class in Tubo period. Remains of those workshops still can be seen. And pottery making, knotting and textile are still brisk.
‣ Basic Information of Zhanang
● Chinese Name: 扎囊县
● Area:2,163 square kilometers
● Zip code: 850800
● Dialing code: (+86) 0893
‣ Zhanang Climate
Zhanang enjoys a temperate and dry climate, with average annual rainfall of less than 450 millimeters. The rainy season is concentrated between June and September. Annual sunshine is between 2,600 and 3,300 hours. Average annual temperature is between 6.0 and 8.8 degrees Celsius, with the record high at 31 degrees and a low at 37 degrees below zero. Average annual wind speed is about 3 meters/second, with the fastest speed at 17 meters/second. The windy season is concentrated between December and March.
‣ Zhanang Attractions
Zhanang is located in the center area of the famous scenic spots.
● Dratang Monastery（扎塘寺）: About 48km east of Gongkar airport is the turn-off to the 11th-century Dratang Monastery(扎塘寺), located 2km off the main road in the Drannang Valley. This small Sakyapa monastery of only eight monks is of interest mainly to art specialists for its rare murals, which combine Indian and inner Asian stytles. Bring a torch to see the murals.
● Chimpu Meditation Center（青朴风景区）: Chimpu Mountain became famous because Padma Sambhava and living Buddha Trisong Detsen has beem practiced here and that is why Chimpu Meditation Center is regarded as the holy land for devout stylites.
● Samye temple（桑耶寺）: It was established in 8th centery, and the first temple which mixes Buddhism, Taoism。
● Mindroling Monastery（敏珠林寺）: it was established in1677,which is renowned as the Buddhism Temole in Tibet. And the Temple is focusing on learning of scripture, Tibetan medicine and other useful potencies. It is one of the most famous scenic spots in Tibet.
● Lang Sai Ridge Manor（朗赛岭庄园）: this is an epitome of ancient Tibetan slavery society, reveals the sagacity of the ancient people in building the manor. And this an important scenic spot in this area.
● The green park resort: the altitude of this resort is 4,300 meters. There are 108 caves for practicing scripture and 108 springs as well as 108 sky burial places. It ia an enshrine of visiting Buddhism temples.
Zhanang county is famous for its local specialty such as the Tibet wool（氆氇） of Jiru（吉汝）, Tibetan Carpet（卡垫）, Tibetan pottery, Tibetan incense of Mindroling Monastery, etc.
‣ What to Eat in Zhanang
Because of its remote location, the vegetables and grain are transported from the outside, leading to the higher price in Zhanang. The cuisine in Zhanang 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 specialties of ethnic minorities. What’s more, Sichuan cuisine is also common to be seen in Zhanang.
‣ Zhanang Transportation
Tourist can travel to Lhasa by air or train firstly and then transfer to Nyingchi by long-distance bus, which is the major choice.
‣ Zhanang Travel Tips
1. Best Time to Visit: The period between March to October is the best time to visit Zhanang County. From March to April, plum blossom all over the mountains and plains makes Zhanang County a fairyland. From May to June, tourist can appreciate the beautiful scenery. Zhanang County turns to be green world from July to August and golden yellow during September to October.
2. High Altitude Precaution. Although Lhoka is at a relatively lower elevation area, some places of high elevation may easily cause altitude reaction. Better take some medicines for relief and keep warm all the time.
3. Prepare Food and Drinks. Since tourists have to spend 8 hours on travelling from Lhasa to Zhanang County, 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 Zhanang County in summer.