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Chamdo Travel Guide

Chamdo Overview

With an area about 108,600 sq km, Chamdo Region is the oldest inhabit for the people in Tibet. Besides the important situation in the east part of Tibet, Chamdo is called as the East Gate to this highland district from Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai provinces.

The political and commercial center of the region is Chamdo Town, which is just located along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway that connects Sichuan and Tibet. Two rivers passing through the town divide it into four districts.

Like other parts of Tibet, most of Tibetan people in Chamdo Region believe in Tibetan Buddhism. There are many ancient monasteries, murals and sculptures that have been left in the name of Tibetan Buddhism. Splendid sacred mountains and holy lakes are also scattered throughout the region. Besides, there is a Catholic church in Chamdo Region, one of the two Catholic churches in Tibet. Hot springs in the region are also legendary for their curative effects. Rare animals such as golden monkey and red deer are well protected in natural reserve areas.

The culture relics discovered in 1977 and 1980 tell the long history of Chamdo Region. There were inhabitants living in the region 5,000 years ago. Under the unification campaign of King Songtsen Gampo, Chamdo Region became a part of Tubo Kingdom and has been called Kham for many years.

On October 19, 1950, the People Liberation Committee was set up in Chamdo Prefecture, which administrated 3 districts, i.e. the 13 zongs directly under the jurisdiction of the Chamdo Liberation Committee, the 10 zongs administrated by the 39-nationality and the 3 zongs and the brine pit area governed by the No.2 office in Bome district, and the 28 zongs in Zayul. In 1955, the Preparatory Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region was established and it started to administrate Chamdo. The Commissioner Office of Chamdo Prefecture was set up in 1960.

Chamdo Region enjoys social stability, dynamic economic development, convenient transportation and tourist facilities and good telecommunications.

Chamdo Facts
Chamdo Geography
Chamdo Climate & Weather
Best time for Chamdo Travel

Area Code: 0895

Zip Code: 854000

Area: Chamdo Region covers about 108,600 sq km

Administrative Division: Chamdo administrates 11 counties, 24 towns and 118 townships.

Population: Chamdo has a total population of 583,600, which accounts for 12% of the total population of Tibet Autonomous. Chamdo is a region mixes twenty-one ethnic groups including Tibetan, Han (Chinese), Hui, Zhuang, Naxi, Lhoba, Moinba and Bai.

Geography: Chamdo is located in eastern Tibet, tucked away in the famous Hengduan Mountains Range, which is known as the Eastern Tibet Valley mentioned in the Geography books.

The Chamdo Prefecture has an average altitude of over 3,500 meters, with a unique topography and wonderful landscapes. It is in the plateau continental climate zone. The terrain lowers down from northwest to southeast, and the valley deepens from north to south.

With complicated topographical structures, high mountains and dense forests, Chamdo is a paradise for a great amount of wild animals.

The climate of Chamdo Prefecture is featured by cold. Because of the parallel canyon from south to north and located at the middle and low latitude, the weather distributes vertically and obviously with big area differences. There are rich lights and the solar radiation is very strong. The temperature difference between daytime and night is big, while the annual temperature difference is small. Rainfall concentrates in a period of the year but seasonal distribution is uneven, and the relative humidity is low.

The features of the climate in Chamdo are as follows:

1. Chamdo is a prefecture with clean air, long sunshine time and strong solar radiation. Located at the altitude above 3500m, the air in Chamdo is thin and the oxygen content is 2/3 of oxygen content of plain area. There are fewer impurities in the water and air, and the solar radiation is very strong. The sunshine time of a year in Chamdo is about 2180 to 2700 hrs, 30% more than that of Yangtze River Basin. Chamdo lies at the lee slope which is the rain shadow area, hence it seldom rains.

2. There is large temperature difference between daytime and night and small annual temperature difference with low temperature. The annual average temperature of Chamdo is 2.4℃-12.6℃. Because of terrain structure and the limitation of atmospheric circulation characteristics, the temperature of Sanhuang River Valley is highest of Chamdo.

3. The precipitation mostly concentrates in May to Sep., which is 182.3-538.2mm accounting for 77.9%-95.8% of a year. The precipitation of Oct. to May (next year), the precipitation is 19.6-102.6mm, accounting for 4.3%-21.2%. The rainy season is wet and mind, while the dry season is clod and dry.

Climate Data Table for Chamdo


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
average  temperature
-2.8 0.7 4.5 7.9 12.2 15.2 16.0 15.3 12.8 8.2 2.8 -2.0
Rainfall (mm) 1.2 4.0 9.6 23.0 39.2 85.2 100.2 96.8 76.1 31.3 5.5 2.4
Days of rainfall 2.2 3.1 5.7 10.9 13.2 17.9 19.7 18.1 17.8 9.6 3.2 1.7

Best time to visit Chamdo:

The best time to visit Chamdo is in May, June and September. During these months the weather is not so cold as winter and spring, and not so wet as the rainy season.

Avoid Peak Holidays:

It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07).. Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.

Other tips:

1. Please take enough thick clothes with you when travel to Chamdo in winter, while in summer, you should wear sweaters and woolen trousers because it is still a little cold at night.
2. Do not forget to prepare some medicines according to your health condition, such as drugs for cold, carsickness, sunburn and so on.

Chamdo Tours & Tings to Do