When people talk about Tibetan areas, we obviously think about Tibet itself however there are several areas in other provinces of China where Tibetan people reside. They share the same Tibetan language, culture and enjoy similar landscapes. There are 3 different Tibetan dialects in the Tibetan language. They are Weizang, Amdo and Khampa. Weizang is used in most areas in the plateau west of Lhasa. Amdo is used in Tibetan areas in Qinghai, Gangsu and Sichuan, which is mainly prairie country and famous for its horses. Khampa comes from Western Sichuan, Diqing in Yunnan and the Chamdo area of Tibet. It is known for its valiant men and charming women.
The areas are administered by different provincial governments. Besides Tibet, Tibetan area includes 2 prefectures of West Sichuan, 6 prefectures in Qinghai Province, 1 prefecture in Yunnan Province and 2 prefectures of Gansu Province. We are going to explore the largest Tibetan areas outside Tibet.
Located in Northwest China, Qinghai Province is famous for Qinghai Lake. Amdo Tibetan people account for 24.4% of the Qinghai population. It is the largest group of Tibetan people outside Tibet. Qinghai has 2 big cities and 6 Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures， the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, Golog, Huangnan, Haibei, Hainan and Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
Besides Qinghai Lake, the other well known attractions are the temples and prairie. Top spots include Qinghai Lake, Taer Monastery, Huzhu Tu Nationality Tourist Attraction, Tongren County, Sun and Moon Mountain, Bird Island, Chaka Lake, Kanbula National Forest Park, Mabufang Mansion and Dongguan Giant Mosque.
The average temperature is -20℃ in winter and 18℃ in summer. The best time to travel is summer, from May to October when the weather and the scenery are at their best.
Gannan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province is situated in the southwest of Gansu which is the border between Gansu Province and Sichuan Province. Gannan was once known as golden pass of the Silk Road and Tang Bo Ancient Road. Gannan is another large Tibetan area in the Amdo Tibetan Area. There are 310,000 Tibetan people accounting for 48.2% of Gannan population. The prairies are the main feature of the area and horse-riding is very popular.
Gannan is rich in natural scenery and historic relics. Labrang has beautiful prairies and the center of Amdo Tibetan Area. It is known as little Tibet and the back garden of Gansu. Other must-visit places are Labrang Monastery, Zecha Stone Forest Nature Reserve, Ga Hai Lake, The First Turn of Yellow River on the Prairie and Lazikou.
Winter is very cold with the average temperature of -20℃. Summer is short there from July to August and this is the best time to travel.Planning a trip to these areas:
Most Tibetan people in Sichuan gather in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Located in northwest Sichuan, Aba is the other main area for Amdo Tibetans. It borders Qinghai and Gansu. Tibetan people account for 54.5% of the Aba population. Ganzi is also in northwest Sichuan. The name means a beautiful and snow-white place. It has a Khampa Tibetan tradition. The Tibetan people account for 77.8% of Ganzi population. Snowy Mountains and amazing lakes are representative of West Sichuan.
In Aba, Jiuzhaigou Scenery Zone, Huanglong Scenery Zone, Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve, Mount Siguniang are very famous. The gems in Ganzi are Yading of Daocheng, Kangding County, Hailuogou National Park, Horse Riding from Luorong Meadow to Niunaihai Lake and Xian Nairi ect.
The scenery varies from season to season and shows their charms from spring to autumn. Each season has its own special beauty. Winter has an average temperature of -12℃-4℃, other seasons are cool but traveling is fine.
Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is the only Tibetan area in Yunnan and part of the Khampa Tibetan area. It is located in northwest Yunnan, bordering Tibet and Sichuan. Diqing has 3 counties—Shangri-la County, Deqin County and Weixi Lisu Autonomous County. The Tibetan people account for 33.81% among Diqing population. Splendid rivers, towering snowy Mountains, spectacular gorges, lakes and plateau make Diqing a spectacular place to visit.
Main attractions are Shangri-la (Zhongdian), Three Parellel Rivers, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Meili Snow Mountain, Songzanlin Lamasery, Mingyong Glaciers and Pudacuo National Park.
Diqing is located on a plateau. Winter accounts for 8-10 months of the year with the average temperature being 5℃. Summer is July to August and has an average temperature of 17℃. It is the most comfortable season to visit as the other seasons are very cold. It is possible to experience four seasons in one day with temperatures from 5℃ to 30℃.Planning a trip to these areas: