Places in Sìchuān–Tibet Highway (Southern Route)
The little valley town of Xiāngchéng (Chaktreng; 3180m) is a good spot to break your journey into or out of Yúnnán province. It benefits from a microclimate that keeps temperatures here slightly warmer than everywhere else around it, making it a particularly comfortable stop. The ornate Sampeling monastery at the top end of town commands fine views of the surroundings.
Although the small town centre is modernized these days, Dàochéng (Dabpa; 3750m) still packs bags of rural charm and makes a lovely base for exploring magnificent Yàdīng Nature Reserve. After Yàdīng, you can fill another couple of days here, walking or cycling around boulder-strewn wetlands, hills, and barley fields, which are scattered with Tibetan monasteries.
Yàdīng Nature Reserve
The magnificent Yàdīng Nature Reserve centres on three sacred snow-capped mountains, which form a holy trinity around forested valleys, wonderfully clear rivers and glacier-fed lakes. It is, quite simply, one of China’s most stunning pieces of scenery, but it’s also been a highly revered region for local Tibetans for more than 800 years.
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