Vacations to Daocheng, China

In Sichuan Province, there’s certainly no shortage of spectacular vistas that have been given the legendary label of Shangri-La. But none quite compare to Daocheng.

Daocheng sits south of the Gangtse Tibetan Prefecture, on the southwest border of Sichuan. A remote wonderland, 800 kilometers from Chengdu and more than 400 kilometers from Kangding, it’s certainly off the beaten track. Daocheng is a strikingly beautiful landscape of mountains, lakes and pastures that flies under the radar, so visitors have the pleasure of enjoying Daocheng largely to themselves and the locals.

With peace and quiet pervading this corner of Sichuan Province, Daocheng has also become a haven for endangered species. Wildlife lovers will relish the opportunity to spot long-tailed leaf monkeys, golden monkeys, white-lipped deer, water deer and antelope in their natural habitat.

Speaking of serenity, even if you’re only in Daocheng for a quick visit, stop off at the Rupuchaka Hot Springs to rest your legs and soak up the mineral-rich waters. If you have more time to spare, pay a visit to the Yading Daocheng Nature Reserve famous for its three Holy Mountains, and the mesmerizing five-color lake. Legendary American explorer Joseph F. Rock described the area as ‘the last pure land on our blue planet’. Pay a visit and you’ll see he had a point. Accomplished hikers can complete a round trip to and from the summit of Chenrezig (which at almost 20,000 feet is the tallest of the three mountains) in two days. If that sounds all too arduous, there’s a popular hiking trail beginning from Pearl Lake that rewards walkers with breath-taking views too.

Why we love it:

The simplicity of the town of Daocheng forces you into the surrounding scenery, where the pastures, mountains and lakes never fail to astound.


  • One of the most spectacular landscapes in Sichuan

  • A safe home for endangered monkeys and deer

  • Hike to the Holy Mountains

  • Bathe in the Rupuchaka Hot Springs

Senior Travel Designer
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I became fluent in Mandarin during my time living, studying and working in China. From there I travelled to every corner of China. Beijing is my favourite city, I love finding amazing places to eat and trying new dishes.

Daocheng trip ideas

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Map of Daocheng

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