Xiangcheng, Ganzi region

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Xiangcheng is located on the southwest tip of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region of Sichuan province. It is just on the roadside from Litang,Sichuan province to Zhongdian, Yunnan province. There are 3 rivers (Dingqu, Suoqu and Mayhi flowing through this county. Xiangcheng has a elevation over 3180m and its population is around 25,000, of whom is 93 percent of Tibetans and 7 percent of Han nationality.

Geography: Its Tibetan name means rosaries in Buddha's hand. A few years ago this was a wee village. Today, a bustling rural town, with some great restaurants and pleasant outdoor cafes, at which it's easy to make friends with the locals. Recent years have seen quite a bit of development, with spanking new hotels and other buildings standing in stark contrast to the traditional square - shaped stone houses in which most of the residents still live. The town is surrounded by gorgeous scenery on all sides, located alongside the Shuqu River, those banks are lined with large attractive Tibetan houses. It is very isolated - the road to Litang is about 200 km north along a rough road, while the southerly route to Zhongdian can become impassable in the rainy season. On the back road from Yunnan into Sichuan, Xiangcheng hasn't seen much in the way of foreigner traffic. However, for the local truck drivers who ply this Litang to Zhongdian route on their way to and from Tibet, it is an important stopover.

History of Xiangcheng: From the Eastern Han (AD 25 - 220) to the Three Kingdoms (220 - 280), Wei (220 -265), Jin (265 - 420), and the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 - 589), Xiangcheng was mentioned as the White Wolf State.

Atractions around: Xiangcheng Monastery (Chaktreng Gompa), originally constructed 1669 of the Kagyu sect. It's a hugely impressive affair on the edge of town, overlooking the Chinese Martyr's Cemetery. Massive renovation (paid for in large part by government money) is finally nearing completion, visitors allowed to wander about and observe the workmanship of the carvers, painters and carpenters a wonderful opportunity. Other monasteries in county - Sangpi Monastery (converted from Kagyupa to Gelugpa sect circa 1660), Reda Monastery, Zhendoubaixi Monastery, Baiyidingzhen Monastery and Yachong Monastery. Rongrao Mountain, 28 km out of town, is an important holy site, with its lava caves for Kamba lions. Ranwu hot spring.and other scenic visits are Niting valley, Zhangji big waterfall and Bamu lakes scenery area.