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Nyingchi

Every year in spring, locals at Dragsum Tso Lake and Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon (雅鲁藏布大峡谷) show their illusion at the great Peach Blossom Festival held year after year, where everyone goes to see the best landscapes of Nyingchi. Just looking up, you can see how the image of the white snowy peak Namcha Barwa blends with the light pink of the floral forest. An incredible and surreal environment is generated among forests and wild animals, where visitors do fun activities such as archery or hiking around the peak. At the same time, the ancient city of Taizhao and Xiuba Castle add another different tone to the prefecture, representing the color of local culture and history. And to end up the experience, Nyingchi's famous stone pot chicken clearly marks its territory in everyone's hearts thanks to its unique and delicious taste.

How to get +

By plane: Nyingchi has its own airport located in Mainling, called Nyingchi Mainling Airport. There are usually just a few direct flights, but in case you have to make a stopover in other airports, it is usually in Xianyang (Xi’an) or Zhongchuan (Gansu).

By rented car with or without a driver: this is a very good option for destinations in case you visit others in the surroundings. There are three main roads: Sichuan-Tibet (川藏线), which passes through places like Chengdu, Luding, Gongbo’gyamda, etc.; Yunnan-Tibet (滇藏线), where you could visit Dali, Shangri-La, Lunang, etc.; and Lhasa-Nyingchi.

Travel tips +

Permits

You must have a travel permit for Tibet in case you are a visitor of non-Chinese nationality. Only local travel agencies in Tibet can issue this permit. In addition, a border permit is also necessary because it is one of the many territories in Tibet that require it to border countries such as India or Nepal.

In case of being a foreigner, it is mandatory to travel accompanied by a tour guide from the travel agency, since it is not allowed to circulate freely in Tibet.

When to visit:

It is highly recommended to visit Nyingchi in spring, from late March to mid-April, when the peach blossoms are in full bloom. In addition, between March 23 and April 1, the opening of Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival is celebrated, which normally takes place in Gala village. However, the flowers can be seen in many corners of Nyingchi, it does not matter if it is in Gongbo’gyamda as if it is in Mainling, it is very abundant anyway. Nyingchi is definitely the heaven of peach blossom.

However, the prefecture also stands out for its golden autumn colors, definitely a good time to enjoy. In addition, its temperatures are quite moderate throughout the year (3-20ºC), so this is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and suitable seasons to visit in a year.

Problems with altitude:

Nyingchi has an altitude of about 3100 meters. In order not to have reactions due to the altitude, in case you are a very active person in terms of working out, you have to stop for a few days before going to Tibet. By this, you will greatly reduce the chances of having any problem with altitude, only having some difficulties to breathe. In case you are very sensitive, do not forget to bring a bottle of air and only use it in cases of real need, so as not to generate dependency.

Prepare medication just in case for dizziness, colds or headaches. It is advisable to start taking Chinese medicine such as Rhodiola rosea (红景天) and Panax quinuefolius (西洋参) 14 days before departing to avoid reactions due to the altitude.

Bring snacks both to have energy and not to be hungry on the trip, since you probably will spend many hours by car. You can carry chocolate, energy bars, fries

Transport:

In Nyingchi, there are many destinations that you will not be able to reach directly by public transport. Therefore, it is best to rent a car with driver who can pick you up and take you to all the places you want to visit, saving time and offering a more comfortable mode of transport. In low season, the price is usually around ¥500 / car per day, but when peach blossoms are in bloom, they increase to approximately ¥1500 per car / day. In case you are a foreigner and you have to be accompanied by a tour guide, you will have to travel by transport chosen by them.

There are usually buses as well, but they are very dispersed in time and do not have a specific schedule. In addition, from 19:00 they no longer provide service, so they are not as convincing as a private vehicle, but it is definitely a more affordable option.

Gastronomy +

Chicken in a stone pot (石锅鸡): Using a typical type of Tibetan medicinal plant called shouzhangshen (手掌参), local chicken and other raw materials, this dish prepared in a stone pot stewed over low heat has a unique flavor. The soup has a slight medicinal flavor and the meat is tender and delicious. The stone pot used is made of a material called soapstone, it is very expensive and delicate to make, and which preserves the heat of the food very well.

Sheep blood (羊血肠): in Tibetan areas, the blood of each slaughtered sheep is used and is not prepared separately, but is poured into the small intestine to be boiled later. Preparation is extremely simple. The meat of the animal is minced and a little salt, pepper and tsampa powder are added to it, and later everything is poured into the intestines and tied into small pieces with thread, and it would be ready to cook.

Tibetan pig (藏香猪): is a type of animal breed exclusive to the western plateau of Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet, Gannan, Gansu and Tibet. They stand out for their lower fat content, their meat and thin skin. Especially the last, with a crunchy and tender flavor. It is prepared in a variety of ways to suit your taste, but it is certainly one of the most distinctive ingredients in Nyingchi.

“Naizha” (奶渣): speaking of Naizha, it all starts with the Tibetan milk extraction method. After boiling the fresh yak milk, the Tibetans decompose it in a unique and traditional way, separating the most precious and essential, which is the ghee (酥油), followed by the remains of the milk. The residues are bitter and white in color, and they are just the ones used to fill the “Naizha” buns and, they are also usually dried under the sun, to later be eaten as snacks or condiments.

Lamb “shouzhua” (手抓羊肉): “shouzhua” means in Chinese to grab with the hand, and this dish is called like this because when it is eaten, while with one hand it is cut with the knife, with the other it goes directly in the mouth and is eaten. From mid-summer to early winter, it is the best season to eat the most tender and delicious lamb. The “shouzhua” style is a special way of eating lamb on the Qinghai plateau, and the taste is unique and traditional.

Accommodation +

For foreign travelers, there are very few accommodation options available from travel agencies or intermediaries in part because they cannot travel freely and it is usually the agencies that plan the accommodation. Among the different options, we find:

1.     Hilton Linzhi Resort: in Mainling, 10 minutes from the airport.

Address: Riga Village (Gong bu zhuang yuan) , 860000 Nyingchi, Tíbet.

Price per night: ¥825-1000.

Reservations available on Booking.

Contact: 0894-588-8666.

 

GreenTree Inn Tibet Nyingchi City Biji Shenshan: quite modest and affordable accommodation in Nyingchi town.

Address: Nº 275 Fuqing Road, Nyingchi, Nyingchi, China, 860011.

Price per night: ¥300-400.

Reservations available on Agoda.

Useful contacts +

Tourist office: 0894-558-3646.

Public security: 110.

Nyingchi People’s Hospital: 0894-582-2842.

Nyingchi Public Security Bureau: 0894-582-2856.