Litang County (理塘, altitude: 3600m-4600m), praised as the “Holy City in the Snowy Land” and “Pearl on the Prairie”, is one of the important destination on the way of National Road 318. Located in the south part of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Litang County is about 285km from Kangding, about 196km from Xinduqiao, about 151km from Daocheng Yading, and 605km from Chengdu (capital city of Sichuan Province). Litang is one of the highest-located places in the world, elevation of urban area is over 4000m, so Litang used to be called “Gaocheng” ( “高城” in Chinese, means the highest town). Litang is a must driving-by place on your way to Tibet or Daocheng Yading. China Discovery is local-based in Chengdu, Sichuan, offering interesting routes in the whole Sichuan Province, with competitive prices guaranteed. Why not discover this beautiful destination with us?
Why Visit Litang in Ganzi, Sichuan?
Door to Kham and Tibet No matter you are bike riders or who have interests in getting into the western Sichuan for several days’ exploration, Litang is the door to Kham and Tibet on the way of National Road 318 stretching from Chengdu and to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and linking with many featured destinations along the way such as Kangding, Xinduqiao, Tagong Grassland, Daocheng Yading...
One of the Most Beautiful and Widest Steppes in China Located at the mountain pass, surrounded by unremitting mountains and passed through by National Road 318, Maoya Steppe is one of the most beautiful steppe in Kham area. Coming here during August and September, the vast emerald grassland decorated with pavonine and delicate flowers, the little brook babbled far far away. The remarkable landscapes and features of nature preserved in national parks have the power to awaken an extraordinary sense of wonder.
- Where the Crane Rests in 6th Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso’s Poem Being a romantic poet, the 6th Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso wrote one of the famous poem about Litang, “Oh you white crane, lend me your wings, I will not linger far, just fly to Litang and back.” After the 6th Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso disappeared in 1707, his followers believed this poem has foreshadowed his reincarnation in Litang: the 7th Dalai Lama (1708~1757) therefore was found in the house of Ren-khang who later ruled Tibet for a half century. This house is also the birthplace of another 6 important Rinpoches(living Buddha). Today, some auspicious signs are still visible (e.g Lion milk traces on the pillar head) inside Ren-khang.
- Moraine Landscape in Mount Genie Soaring snow mountains, primitive forests, vast grasslands, pure lakes, natural-formed hot springs, time-honored temples scattered in Mount Genie Scenic Area. The highest mountain in southern Kham with an altitude of 6204 meters. Genie Peak covers with snow all year around, you can admire the its’ majestic features even from hundreds kilometers away in sunny days.
Top Attractions & Highlights in and near Litang
Litang got its’ name from the vast and boundless Maoya Steppe, in Tibetan it means the grassland vast and flat as bronze mirror. You can feast your eyes by visiting Maoya Steppe and Mount Genie, experience Tibetan folk customs by visiting one the biggest monastery in Eastern Tibet - Litang Monastery. It would be a good idea to spend 1-2 days in Litang.
Litang Old Town
Ren-khang, located on the north part of Litang downtown. There you can find a lot of traditional houses and nice little lanes in this town. For example when walking to the birthplace of the 7th Dalai Lama. Ren-khang also has a private museum and a meditation retreat.
The Litang Chöde Monastery lies at the north of the town and was built in 1580, honoring the third Dalai Lama. The Litang Monastery is the biggest Gelukpa monestary in the Kham region and dedicated to the great Maitreya. The monastery is of Gelugpa School, it comprises Jo-Khang, Tso-Chen, Tsong-kha-pa Temple etc. It also preserves treasures like sutras written in Gold, etc.
Maoya Steppe was praised as one of the most beatiful and widest steppes in China by the China National Geography - the winding river stretching cross wide pasture, nomads herding yaks back to the tents, eagles hovering up and Tibetan mastiffs galloping around. Best places to visit includes Wulianghe Wetland Park, Zha Gar Rock and Maoya Hot Spring.
Mount Genie is the highest mountain in southenr Kham with an altitude of 6204 meters. Only the bravest trekkers have opportunities to witness the splendid beauty of Genie - snow leopards, white-lipped deers, untouched forests, deep valleys, green grasslands, Legu Monastery, holy snow mountain...
Things to Do in Litang
Besides enjoy the countless plateau scenery and visit the birthplace of Dalai Lamas and well-known monasteries, there are some interesting things to do on this amazing place. Litang is famous for its’ Horse Racing Festival in the beginning of August. Hiking to the surrounding hills and trying local featured tile bath are also recommended things to do in Litang.
Horse Racing Festival
Litang is famed for its Horse Racing Festivities where Khampas gather together from all across Tibet and Southwest China. The Horse Race Festival usually takes place in the first week of August and lasts for about a week. It not only gives a chance for Kham Tibetans to display their sportsmanship skills, but also provides opportunities for trading supplies, singing and dancing.
Hiking / Trekking
Until recently, Mount Genie has not been conquered by human on foot. Travelers can choose to Hike to the surrounding hills to get a view of the outstretched valley including a visit to the sacred "sky burial" grounds. You will find yourself among the remains of many departed making for a strange and unusual experience.
Featured Tile Bath
Get on the car and head 7km west to try an unusual experience of tile bath. The baths are dingy and muddy and not much of a visual experience, but may be enjoyable for their therapeutic effect. You can also find some hot water in open streams however it's not very deep and not really suitable for a good soak.
Litang Weather & Best Time to Visit
Litang is located in the south part of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture with an altitude more than 4000m. Litang has the plateau climate prevailing. The highest average temperature in Litang is 33°C in July and the lowest is 11°C in January. The average annual temperature for Litang is 22° degrees, and there is rainfall during all months of the year, the highest is 193mm in June and total rainfall of a year is about 901mm. It is dry for 142 days a year with an average humidity of 78%.
The best time to visit Litang in China is in April to May and July until October, when there is mediocre rainfall and comfortable temperature. May to October is the best time to visit Mount Genie, composed with primitive forest, grasslands, lakes, hot springs , monastery and Tibetan houses, the scenic area with the characteristics of holy, peculiar, majesty and elegant. You can enjoy the festal atmosphere of Horse Racing Festival from 1st August to 7th August. In September and October, it is the autumn of Litang that it is highly recommended tourists to take a hiking tour to the surrounding hills and enjoy a leisure break in Maoya Hot springs.
What to Bring: To avoid ultraviolet ray on the high plateau, sunblocking cream, sun glasses, sunhat are needed. Besides, you need to bring rain gear and enough warm clothes, and wear comfortable shoes, etc.
Litang Transportation & How to Get There
Litang county located in the south part of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, about 285km from Kangding, 228km from Daocheng Yading, 530km from Chengdu (capital city of Sichuan Province). It is the door sites to Kham and Tibet.
Chengdu to Litang by Private Car
Transfer from Chengdu to Litang by car directly would cost about 9 hours. The road is almost highway only with some curving roads and some sharp turns. Most tourists take Litang as a 1-2 days stopover place on their way to Lhasa, Shangri-la or Daocheng Yading from Chengdu.
For visitors want to save energy and efforts on planning the west Sichuan tour, you are highly recommended to travel with us China Discovery. We China Discovery based in Chengdu, Sichuan have many professional expert with rich knowledge of whole Sichuan and will help you plan and arrange the most comfortable and convenient way to get to Litang or other destinations. Our experienced licensed drivers and English-speaking travel guides will make sure you spend a wonderful vacation in Sichuan and China.
Chengdu to Litang by Plane + Public Car / Bus
There is only one flight from Chengdu to Kangding every day. This takes only 35 minutes and will save you lots of time and energy. When arriving at Kangding Airport, it takes about 5 hours to get to Litang by private cars.
>> How to Get to Kangding from Chengdu
If you are a independent traveler and would like to take a local bus to Litang, you need to take a private local car to transfer to Kangding City first, takes more than an hour, stay one night at Kangding City and get up early in the next morning to catch up the bus to Litang, it would take about 9 hours from Kangding to Litang by bus.
Chengdu to Litang by Bus
Independent travelers who arrive at Chengdu first and want to visit Litang can take the bus at Xinnanmen Bus Station, there is only one bus a day and leave Chengdu around 6:00 in the morning, the whole bus journey would take about 10-12 hours.
Where to Stay in Litang & Recommended Hotels
Tourists always consider Litang as a land transit place to Shangri-la (Yunnan), Daocheng Yading (Sichuan) or Lhasa (Tibet) from Chengdu. Tourists are recommended to spend 1-2 days to explore the “High Land” and join the Horse Racing Festival to feel the joyful atmosphere. Then they can continue their trip to “the last pure land on earth” - Daocheng Yading.
Recommended Hotels in Litang:
Meiduo Smart Hotel （梅朵精品酒店）★★★
Chongcao Hotel （虫草大酒店）★★★
Tsangyang Gyatso Hotel （理塘仓央嘉措情歌酒店）★★★
Litang Maps - Latest & Useful Maps for Litang Travel
To help you have a better understanding of Sichuan Litang location, transportation, top highlights and surrounding scenic spots, we’ve collected some useful maps including Litang China Map, Litang Sichuan Map, Chengdu to Litang Transportation Map, etc.
Litang Western Sichuan Map
Chengdu to Litang Map
Litang Tourist Map
Other Destinations in Western Sichuan
With sublime snow-capped mountains, sacred Tibetan monasteries, and spectacular valleys to be visited, Western Sichuan offers remarkable surprises similar to the Tibet. However, a tour to Western Sichuan is much easier for foreigners when compared with Tibet, because it allows tourists to get rid of filling paperwork for entering.
Besides Litang, there are 15+ amazing tourist destinations in the Western Sichuan region well worth your visit. And here, we would recommend you the top 4 places hot chosen by our customers, including Daocheng Yading, Mount Siguniang, Kangding and Batang.
Other Hot Destinations in Sichuan
Besides Litang, there are some other destinations in Sichuan well worth your visit. Travel Litang with following destinations and explore more of
Sichuan’s wonderful nature, cultural heritage sites, and authentic local life, including leisure Chengdu City, the hometown of giant panda, Jiuzhaigou Valley, the fairyland world, Leshan, the profound home of Giant Buddha and Mount Emei, Mount Siguniang, the Oriental Alps. Discover now!
More Natural Destinations in China
If you are fond of nature very much, why not discover the terrific sceneries of more
scenic destinations in China, such as Guilin, Zhangjiajie, Huangshan, Yunnan, etc. to satisfy your eyes and mind to the most. Check the detailed travel guide of each destination and start your nature exploration!
Chinese Name: 理塘
Chinese Pinyin: [lǐ táng]
Altitude: 3600m - 4600m
Language: Mandarin & Tibetan & Sichuan Dialect
Tel Code: 0836
Zip Code: 624300
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
How to Plan Your Litang Tours in Sichuan?
The most popular way to explore Litang is driving from Chengdu to Litang and visit sites along the way such as Kangding, Hailuogou Glacier Park, Xinduqiao, Tagong Grassland and then continue their trip to Daocheng Yading and then drive back. As you know, Litang is a small town that passes through by 318 National Road and surrounded by mountains and grasslands, you can cover attractions, like Mount Genie, Maoya Steppe and Litang Monastery in the trip. Travelers can spend 1 to 2 days exploring Litang and its surrounding. Some visitors would choose to get there on 1st August to enjoy the biggest Horse Race Festival in Sichuan Tibet Area.
Actually, Litang is one of the important town on the extend of Western Sichuan Loop that you add more destinations on your tour, like Danba, Bamei, Xiaojin, Mount Siguniang, Dujiangyan and more places. The whole visiting would last for about 6 to 8 days. If you want to continue your trip to Daocheng Yading, the Last Shangri-La into your trip, you can also do so. It would need another 2 or 3 days. Many travelers would like to cover the hot spots in Sichuan, like Jiuzhaigou Valley, Huanglong National Park, Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei for Sichuan Discovery. Another 4-6 days are needed. If you have any ideas about your Sichuan tour, please feel free to tell us your interests and our professional travel consultants will provide first-hand knowledge to help you design the trip. Customize the tour with us now!