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Daocheng (稻城 or rice city in Chinese) is a county subordinated to the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on the southwest border of Sichuan, China. The Daocheng county lies on the southeast of Qinghai -Tibet Plateau and the east of Hengduan Mountains, the conjunction areas of Sichuan, Yuannan and Tibet.

Daocheng, located at an altitude of 3750m, is special in geographical features. The county covers 7323 square kilometers and is higher in north and west and lower in south and east. Winding and majestic mountains like billows of the sea alternate with valleys. Hence, the high-altituded mountain peaks clad with snow all the year round, deep serene valleys with gurgling brooks and broad pastures.

With 30000 Tibetan inhabitants mainly, Daocheng is a region of partial agriculture and partial animal husbandry in economy. While there may not appear to be much to do in this town those who do decide to stop over and spend a day here will find this town and its villages much more charming than it initially appears. It offers a good stepping stone for those coming from Yunnan with altitude concerns as the towns either side of it (Xiangcheng and Litang) sit at altitudes of 3200m and 4000m. If you take the time to head out of the town you will find the surrounding countryside and mountainous backdrop quite charming.

Red Grassland, located in Sangdui town, 28km north of Daocheng. It's a piece of inconspicuous wetland most of the time, but overgrew with red bushes in autumn, with the yellow-foliaged poplars behind and clearly blue sky above, local people believe it's the "Color of Heaven'. But the red will only last for about 15days per year, not easy to catch the right time. A (pedicab) walk is recommended to Rupuchaka Hot Springs, 4km outside Daocheng.

Though popularly known as stopover on route to Yading, Daocheng itself is still worth a visit for the sights around. Located in the southwest border of Sichuan at an average elevation of 3800m, Daochang is full of discovery of primitive Tibetan villages, Buddhism monasteries and pastoral scenery brought by the rolling landscapes. There are total 12 monasteries in Daocheng county, a few of them like Konkaling Temple are famous for being presented by influential Buddhists.
How to access or getting There

Rent a car either in Sangdui or in Daocheng, try to share with other travelers. Gongling Si should better be visited on the way to/from Yading. If you get there by chartering a jeep, you can ask the driver for a stop over there.

Option 1 :
Chengdu --> Kangding(via Litang) --> Daocheng; around 800 km, 2 days by bus

Take a direct Chengdu--Daocheng bus at Chengdu Xinanmen bus station[Y217], overnight stop at Kangding, arrive Daocheng in the evening of the 2nd day. Or,

Take a bus heading for Kangding either at Chengdu Tourist Transportation Center (ex. Xinnanmen bus station) or at North Bus Station in the morning[Y97 - Y109]. Upon arriving at Kangding in the late afternoon, buy your ticket immediately for the Daocheng bus. In case tickets of the 2nd day are sold out during the peak season.

You can also stay at Kangding for one or two days to visit Mugecuo Lake, Tagong Glassland and adapt yourself to the altitude.

Kangding to Daocheng - 12 hrs. Most travelers would feel the strong effect of high altitude if they come to Daocheng from Chengdu in 2 days.

Option 2:
Kunming --> Zhongdian (via Lijiang)--> Daocheng:

One of the most fabulous travel routes in China for independent travelers. If you are adapted to Zhongdian's altitude, you should have no difficulty in Daocheng.

1.Travel from Kunming to Zhongdian

2.The regular bus connecting Zhongdian to Daocheng [330km/ 12 hrs] zigzags in the awesome Shangri-La Gorge. However this route is often cut by landslides.

3. If the direct bus service between Zhongdian and Daocheng is suspended, take an alternative route although it looks more complicated: Zhongdian - Derong - Xiangcheng - Sangdui – Daocheng.

First take a bus from Zhongdian to Derong[5 hrs].Then find a collective taxi to Xiangcheng [4~5 hrs]. Stay overnight in Xiangcheng and catch the morning bus for Sangdui [3.5 hrs]. From Sangdui, the friendly owner of Happy Shop can send you to Daocheng by his own car for Y20 /pax.

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