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Garze(དཀར་མཛེས་བོད་རིགས་རང་སྐྱོང་ཁུལ།)

In Garze Tibetan Tutonomous Perfecture, visitors arrive looking for a unique pilgrimage experience. In Daochengyading, animals roam freely among the sacred mountains, accompanied by the multi-colored Niunai Lake and 5-color Lake. At Hailuogou Glacier, blocks of ice glisten under the warm sun, and Gongga Mountain turns orange when the sun sets. At the same time, the rhododendrons show their maximum splendor in Mugecuo, creating a relaxing environment for those who enjoy the natural hot springs. And, on the other side, a lot of people make their wishes in front of the Prayer Wheels of Muya, hoping the best for their loved ones.

How to get +

By plane: Garze has three airports, named Garze Gesar, Daocheng Yading and Kangding. Normally there are no direct flights from other communities to these airports, so you almost always have make a stop at Shuangliu Airport in Chengdu (成都双流机场), the capital of Sichuan.

By bus: there are not many options to go by bus to the destination. However, you can depart by bus from Entrance C at Xinnanmen Subway Station (新南门地铁站) in Chengdu, which will take you to Garze Hailuogou Park (海螺沟森林公园) in three hours.

By car: this is the mean of transport that many people choose, since public transport does not offer many options. Therefore, people decide to rent a car or bring their own vehicle, a more comfortable and convenient means.

Travel tips +

To not have bad experiences with high altitude, it is necessary to consider these points:

You must rest well, because this greatly reduces the possibility of a reaction of this type.

Do not sleep in the vehicle when traveling in high altitude places, as a lack of oxygen may occur.

Always carry medication for dizziness, colds, or headaches. We recommend you to start taking Chinese medicine such as Rhodiola Rosea (红景天) and Panax Quinuefolius (西洋参) 14 days before leaving to avoid reactions due to high altitude.

Bring oxygen bottles just in case.

Transportation:

It is highly recommended to go in a taxi that takes you to the different points of Garze. It is much better than going with your own car, because roads are usually mountainous, and it is not easy to drive in this area. In addition, this opens up many possibilities for those who want to do the Chuanxi route (川西环线), which allows visiting nearby destinations in the same community, such as Chengdu (成都) or Ya’an. Specially, it is a better option compared to renting a car with a driver because in many tourist attractions you cannot enter by car, and the visit is usually a full day in each place, so it is not worth it.

Gastronomy +

Tsampa (甘孜糌粑):  for Tibetans, tsampa is the transcription of noodles, but with a shorter and thicker shape. It is the main dish Tibetans eat every day, usually mixed with butter tea (酥油茶). In addition, it is recommended to add sugar and Chhaang (青稞酒) to increase the flavor and make it yummier.

Batang giant baozi (巴塘团结包子):  Shaped like a giant baozi, this type of steamed buns are made any size depending on the number of people who are going to eat it. Inside the flour dough, ingredients such as pork, beef, potato, etc. are usually added. They are known for their “multifunction”, since they can be eaten as an appetizer, to accompany meals, to welcome guests, etc. And they stand out for their delicious and pleasant flavor, typical of Garze.

Wild yak’s meat: It is a species from the area that feeds on many medicinal plants in high altitude areas. Many dishes are prepared with it. For locals, the meat of this species is much more delicious and tender than others, and it can be braised, stewed or cooled to dry it later. What’s more, almost all parts of its body are used for different functions such as creating clothing or instruments.

Danba fragrant pork leg (丹巴香猪腿): it is a special delicacy in Danba area in Garze. It is made using the complete front or rear legs of local purebred Tibetan pigs as raw material. Then, it is peeled and dried directly, or spread with a little salt, pepper and sea pepper. When cooked, it is cut with a knife or by hand into small pieces, then boiled or roasted over a charcoal fire. The resulting flavor is fresh and delicious, very rich in nutrients.