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Shannan Travel Guide

Shannan Overview

Known as the Yarlong area since ancient times, the Shannan region is favored greatly by nature. This region attracts numerous Chinese and foreign tourists with its ancient cultural heritage, rich and strong national.

With an average altitude of 3,700m (12,139ft), it is endowed with a hospitably mild climate and a relatively rich amount of rainfall, which, in addition to the wide-spread river valleys, constitutes an ideal environment for such crops as highland barley and buckwheat, thus making the Shannan region the 'granary of Tibet'. More than 40 rivers and 80 lakes, of which Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is the most prestigious, contribute to the considerable water resource of the region, hence an abundance of minerals, plants and wild animals.

It bounds in qingke barley wheat, broad beans, peas, corn and buckwheat making it one of the major grain and oil producing regions in Tibet. The region is full of vegetables, fruits. The city is enriched with wild plant resources. There are several hundred medicinal plants. Its famous medicinal herbs include sinensis, fritillaries thun-bergli, and root of red salvia. Shannan has many mineral resources include chromium, gold, copper, iron Zinc, magnese,jade and marble. The reserve of the chromium has been verified at 5 million tones, accounting for 45% of the country's total. Average grade therefore it boasts the biggest chromium resources base in China.

Shannan Facts
Shannan Climate & Weather
Best Time for Shannan Travel

Area Code: 0893

Zip Code: 856000

Area: With an area of 79,700 square kilometers, Shannan occupies one-fifteenth of the total area of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Geography: Shannan is located between 9014'E-9422'E and 2708''N-2497"N, at the lower reaches of the Yarkung Zangbo River south of the Kangdese Mountains - called the Nyainqentanglha Mountains on the Qinghai- Tibet plateau. It is bounded by the Lhasa (capital city if Tibet) to the north.

Shannan topography is typical of the southern Tibetan valley area, with a terrain gradually declining from west to east and at an average elevation of about 3,700 meters.

Population: The total population of Shannan Region is 318,000, about 98% among them are Tibetans.

Administrative Division: Shannan includes 12 counties, four of which are in boarder areas. They are Cona, Lhongzi, Nanggarze and Lhozha. There are 144 township-level towns, five neighborhood committees and 719 village committees.

The features of Shannan Climate are: not distinct four seasons, moderate temperature, adequate light, thin air, dry, uneven distribution of annual precipitation, and diverse climate resource allocation. Shannan’s annual average temperature is between 7 to 18 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature is around 25 to 29 degrees Celsius, and the lowest temperature is about -15.2 ~ -10.4 degrees Celsius. The whole region’s average annual rainfall is 270 to 400 mm, annual average sunshine hours is 1800 to 2500 hours.

Shannan climate is characterized by cold and rainy spring, and it is often windy and heavy snow in southern Shannan. Shannan spring’s average temperature is 7 ~ 15 ℃. In summer, with the forming of summer monsoon circulation system, Shannan prevail southeast wind, and also the Northwest Pacific subtropical high activities has great influence to Shannan’s weather, while the northern cold air still has some impact. In Fall, summer wind gradually weakened, and it transits to winter monsoon, cyclones are frequent frontal precipitation are more cold and warm temperatures changed greatly. In winter, the East Asian winter monsoon strength depends primarily on the activities of the Mongolian cold high pressure , air mass north Shannan weather constrained ( ie winter winds ) the impact of weather processes species is relatively small. 

Climate Data Table for Shannan


                Month   Item Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (℃) -0.4 2.4 5.9 8.9 12.6 16.0 15.9 15.1 13.5 9.7 4.0 0.0
10.0 13.5 16.6 20.3 23.4 22.9 21.9 20.6 17.8 12.8 8.9
-8.3 -5.3 -1.6 1.7 5.6 9.5 10.5 10.0 8.2 2.8 -3.3 -7.4
Rainfall (mm) 0.3 0.6 4.4 10.6 25.8 58.1 103.8 109.8 61.5 6.8 1.2 0.3
Days of rainfall 2.6 3.5 3.8 3.5 3.1 2.8 2.5 2.6 2.4 2.5 2.4 2.0

Best time to visit Shannan:
The best time to visit Shannan is from June to August. However, Shannan is suitable for visiting all year round. Shannan Prefecture is located in the river valley of the middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, belonging to the temperate semi-arid and sub-humid plateau monsoon climate, with a long winter without summer, no cold winter. The average annual temperature is 5 ~ 8 ℃, the average temperature in the coldest month is 2 ~ 12 ℃, and average temperature of the warmest month is 10 ~ 18 ℃. It is the prefecture which is relatively warm in the entire Tibetan Plateau.

Try to Avoid domestic travel seasons
Try to plan your Shannan tour to avoid the peak holidays. Because they are popular with Chinese tourists, Shannan attractions become more crowded in these periods.

The most crowded seasons 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 and the National Day golden week are the most crowded time for travelling.

Shannan Tours & Tings to Do