Gannan Tibetan Autonomous prefecture
Gannan Tibetan Autonomous prefecture is situated at the east edge of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The wonderful scenery there are vast expanse of prairie, dense forest, grotesquce stone forest and highland lakes. Ajourney to Garman is the next best thing to a trip to Tibet, but far more easily accessible.
Travelers and pilgrims alike come here to visit the labuleng Lamasery of Xiahe, Langmusi monastery of Luqu, Chanding and Gongba monasteries of Zhuoni. It is a mellow, slightly backward area, with beautiful surroundings everywhere. Southward form here lies the best way to Jiuzhaigou of Sichuan.
Labuleng Lamasery (or Labrang Monastery) of Xiahe is in the county town, built in 1710. It's one of the six most important leading lamaseries of the Yellow Hat Buddhist Sect in China, largest around Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan. It is the greatest Lamasery institute with the richest collection of Buddhism scriptures.
Gannan Travel Guide
Full Name: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese Name: 甘南藏族自治州 (gān nán zàng zú zì zhì zhōu)
Administrative Division: 7 counties: Lintan, Zhuoni (Jone), Luqu, Maqu, Diebu (Tewo), Zhouqu, Xiahe; 1 county-level city (Hezuo)
Seat of the City Government: Renmin Jie, Hezuo City
China Post Gannan Branch: No.104, Renmin Jie, Hezuo City
Location:Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is situated in the southwest of Gansu Province, neighboring Dingxi and Longnan in the east and Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in the north. It is bounded on the south by Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province in the neighborhood of Guoluo, and Huangnan Tibetan autonomous prefectures of Qinghai Province in the west.
History: Before the Qin State in the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) partly governed this area, Gannan was the domain of the ancient Qiang (later Tibetan) people, being one of the main birthplaces and residential areas of the Qiangs. It was in the year of 111AD that the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) brought Gannan into the feudal regime of Central China. Gannan has played an important role in proving the relationship between the Han and the Tibetan. The south of the Silk Road and the Tang-Tibet Ancient Road all passed through the Gannan region. In 1954, the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was established with Hezuo City as its capital.
Physical Features: The prefecture lies in the northeast fringe of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at the transition area to the Loess Plateau. The terrain slopes from the northwest to the southeast. It can be divided into three parts: the southern mountainous region with moderate climate, being an important forest zone in Gansu; the eastern hilly area and the eastern meadows and grassland, being the main pasturing area of the province.
Climatic Features:Gannan has a continental plateau climate, featuring high altitude, humid and cold weather. The temperature varies greatly during the day but slightly among fours seasons. Its annual average temperature falls around 1C-13C (33.8F-55.4F).
When to Go: June to August is the best time to visit Gannan. The temperature in this period maintains a level of 15F-30F (59F-86F). The grassland scenery is at its best at this time. In winter, monasteries, no matter whether they are big or small, hold Buddhist ceremonies during the period from the eighth to the sixteenth day of the first lunar month. This is the busiest period in Gannan.
Special Local Products: Tibetan souvenirs, such as ornaments, embroidery, Tibetan herbs, silver wares, religious handicrafts
Local Highlights: Xiangbala Tourism Arts Festival, held annually in midsummer, is the largest comprehensive tourism festival in Gannan Prefecture. During the fifth and the sixth lunar months, there are various festivals and ceremonies, such as Xianglang Festival, Erecting Arrow Festival and Caihua (Flower Picking) Festival.
Apart from the traditional Tibetan festivals, Gannan also has some special festivals for monasteries. For those who are interested in these Buddhist ceremonies, visitors can visit the Labrang Monastery during the third lunar month.