KangdingGanzi (Garzê) Tibetan Prefecture, in western Sichuan Province, China.
Because of the proximity to Tibet, mobile police stations may be found at many intersections.
By busBuses travel from Chengdu (departures from 07:00 to 13:00, 8 to 11 hours, ¥141), Tagong (4 hours, ¥40), and to Ya'an on the way back to Chengdu. Tickets to points west, such as Litang (9 hours, ¥81), may or may not be available to foreigners depending on the political situation in Tibetan areas. Shared taxis to other destinations, such as Danba to the north, may be found outside the bus station when they are going.
The bus terminal is at the northern end of town. It's about a ten-minute walk to the town center.
By planeThe airport is one of the highest in Asia and the world at 4,000 meters with flights to Chengdu. Flights in the winter are not available. It is about 30 km outside the city over a large mountain pass which takes time to reach therefore.
Anjue TempleA small, central temple.
Jinggang TempleTemple with an adjacent shop that sells prayer flags and other Buddhist goods. At lunch time it is also possible to ask if you may eat in the temple kitchen, for a small fee.
Paoma MountainThis is the mountain under which the city lies, famous for being referenced to a popular love song and horse races in the past. Guide books have cautioned about incidents of muggings in the past, so going in groups may be advisable.
MosqueEntry may be limited.
Roman Catholic ChurchEntry via stairway on right hand side, grounds floor is unrelated shops. It's a functional place of worship, more than an attraction.
Old Town SpringEnglish signboards that give an interesting background to the history of the spring and horse races on Paoma Shan/Mountain.
Town SquareWitness droves of locals dance to traditional music at the town square. They all mimic one leader through the steps, can you spot who she is?
Yak BridgeServes as a marketplace for all things yak. Culturally relevant to the local Tibetans, it is a one-of-a-kind site to see. Warning, not for traveler with a weak stomach!
Er Dao QiaoA hot spring resort. A private room with a pool may entail a wait of up to a few hours, while a public pool is available immediately. A bit rough on the edges but this place is very affordable and its the real deal offering great medicinal benefits. Bring your own towel.
MugecuoNational park containing lakes, forests, mountains, hikes, hot springs and grasslands. The entrance price is rather high by Chinese standards but it still well worth the (literally) breathtaking views. This is wild man's lake in Tibetan and you will be going up high to see the glory of the unspoiled alpine world. If you venture up in winter via taxi (¥200 one way) you most likely will be the one and only guests in the park with it all to yourself. You can practice your Mandarin or Tibetan with the local staff who just love visitors at this time of year essentially giving you a private tour of the whole park. Bring sunscreen and warm clothing. Internal bus circuits the park from the lake down to the valley every 30 min.
- Also in Kanding you can go to 88, but don't expect amazing club, just few local young people are there, not an illustrious club.
Most ATMs don't accept international credit cards. You can change money at the Agriculture Bank of China on the main road in the town center.
A're Tibetan restaurantaddress: Xinshi Dian JieVenue for both good food and ambience. The restaurant is decorated in a traditional style, with adjacent private rooms and waitresses in traditional dress. Waitresses and local customers have a habit of dancing to the local music playing in the cafe. The food is varied and delicious. Westerners may appreciate the potato fried in Yak butter. Service is prompt.
Sonam TsoSmall cafe serving drinks and - perhaps - western breakfast. Check out the unusual Tibetan handicraft prototypes that adorn the cafe walls.
Kalakar HotelRestaurant on the second floor that serves up french fries, bobo shakes, and other East-West-blend fast foods.
Tangsubaoa tiny hole-in-the-wall, serves up the best meat dumpings in Kangding, maybe anywhere. They do take-away, or you can ask them to set up a table in the street.
Himalayan coffeeSurprisingly good coffee on the second floor of the building, overlooking the river/town. Has an international vibe to it.
Yongzhu Hotelphone: +86 836 2832381A Tibetan-style and -owned guesthouse with very clean rooms & dorms, some with own bathroom. 24-hour hot showers.
phone: +86 836 2831100Quiet and clean hostel, overlooking Kangding. Run by two Americans, only foreign-run guesthouse in town. It is built in authentic Tibetan style and supports local cultural interests. The only downside is its location high up above the town which requires a little hike. Internet, coffee, breakfast, dinner and lots of friendly travel info. Dorm rooms and suites.
Kangding Konka International Youth Hostelphone: +86 836 281 7788The typical youth hostel with English-speaking staff. Very friendly and lots of travel information available. There are six and eight people rooms (shared bathroom) and twin/double/family rooms. Nice use of wood for furnishing/decoration.
Chozang Tsangphone: +86 182 1563 3384Opened in 2019 and owned by one of Zhilam's former staff. Very clean and spacy and a nice common area.