The Festivals in Chamdo
Chamdo, the vast eastern part of Tibet, is a place full of history and culture. Ancient culture relics, grand monasteries, holy mountains and lakes, hot springs, great canyons and nature reserve areas make Chamdo Region a place of natural beauty. The region's long history, mysterious Tibetan Buddhism, friendly locals and their special folk customs add extra charms.
Since the Chamdo region is quite large and the attractions are scattered, it's best to rent a jeep or an SUV to get around. Chamdo Town is the center of the region. Generally, visitors will stay here to relax and purchase necessities for the rest of their trip. The famous Chambaling Monastery is just located in the town. The ancient Karub Ruins are close by as well, only about 12 km (7.46 miles) southeast of the town.
Drive to the southeast section of Chamdo, and you will find Dragyab County where the fabulous statues of Buddha and Darmo stand. Pashoe County, which is not far away from Dragyab, is famous for the wild Bamda Grassland, Raog Lake and the ancient Tanggar Monastery. Go further and you will arrive at Markham County. The sacred Mantso Lake, beautiful Negol and Honglha Shan nature reserve areas will amaze you by their splendid natural beauty. What's more, there is a Catholic church in Markham, which is one of the only two such churches in Tibet.
If you drive to the northeast of Chamdo Town, you'll come across the great Polo Canyon near Jomda County. Steep cliffs on both sides make the canyon a formidable site. The sacred mountains where the great Padmasambhava once practiced Buddhism are also in Jomda. Riwoche County, Palbar County and Tingchen County are to the west of Chamdo Town. The mysterious Bon monastery, Zezhol Monastery , is just located in Tingchen County. As one of the oldest monasteries of the oldest Tibetan religion, Zezhol Monastery is indeed worth a visit. Riwoche County boasts the holy mountains, Buddhism temples and wonderful hot springs. You can also see wild red deer running about in the grasslands. The incredible Three-color Lake in Palbar County consists of three lakes which are black, white and yellow.
Chamdo Region was once the bustling juncture of the ancient Tea-Horse Road (South Silk Road). For thousands of years, caravans started their dangerous journey from Xishuangbanna, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la. After 5 or 6 months' trekking, they finally arrived at Lhasa via Chamdo. Many people died during the process, but many embarked on this laborious journey for its lucrative returns. Thanks to modern transportation, people can now visit the ancient Tea-Horse Road by motorcar.
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