The Qiangtang Grasslands
Meaning the “northern plains” in Tibetan, the Qiangtang Grasslands in Nagchu city make up two thirds of the land mass of the Tibet autonomous region, and are at an altitude over 4,500 meters. Low temperatures prevail over the grasslands all year round, as a result a large portion of the grasslands remain unpopulated. The grasslands therefore preserve a complete and unique alpine ecosystem inhabited by many precious species of wild animals, including Tibetan antelopes, yaks, snow leopards, black-necked cranes, bald eagles and brown bears. The fresh air, clear lakes and tranquil atmosphere provide migratory birds, such as bar-headed geese, black-headed gulls and black-necked cranes, an ideal habitat for the summer.
The Qiangtang Grasslands are also culturally significant due to primitive rock paintings, historical sites of the ancient Xiangxiong Kingdom (the kingdom of western and northwestern Tibet, which pre-dates the culture of Tibetan Buddhism), the legend of King Gesar, and the renowned Tang-Bo Trail that linked today’s Xi’an and Lhasa during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Best times to visit: June to September
Major attractions: Nam Co Lake