Geography and Climate

Gyirong lies in a remote border place at southwestern Tibet, China. For ages, it has earned a good reputation as the “back garden of the Mt. Everest” and “the last sacred place in Tibet.” Gyirong is embedded deep inside the Himalayas, a charming valley, far away isolating from the world.

In terms of geology, Gyirong Valley is actually born as a result of the collision between the China Plate and the India Plate, uplifting from the middle part of the Himalayas.

Gyirong Valley, marked on the map at the middle part of the Himalayas, is under the jurisdiction of Gyirong County. It is located within an area of 84°35′ to 86°20′ east longitude and 28°3′ to 29°3′ north latitude. On the east, it borders Nyalam County; North, split up by the Yarlung Tsangpo River, it is adjacent to Saga County; on the south and southwest, it borders the Kingdom of Nepal. The total length of its borderline stretches for 162km. Gyirong covers a land of about 12,000 km2, for more than 300km in length from east to west, 200km in width from south to north. The County government locates in Zongga County, 490km away from the Shigatse City. Gyirong is divided into two sides by the Himalayas: north features broad valley and lake basin on the plateau; south part is deep-cut alpine and gorge region. On the north, the grandiose Yarlung Tsangpo River, Paiku Lake, Ling Lake and other lakes and rivers scattered all over the plateau. Differentiating from the typical plateau landscape of the northern Himalayas, the south area presents a hierarchy distribution and verdant view: sown peaks, alpine brushes, forests, villages, and farms spread vertically step by step. In comparison with Shigatse and Ngari Prefecture, this is a complexation of vast expanses of land, a special sensual experience. Gyirong’s enchanting natural scenery is exactly benefited from its complicated and unique geographic environment.

Due to a natural shield of the Himalayas which transverse from east to west, the northward warm air flowing from the Indian Ocean is prevented. Therefore, the north and south sides of the mountain ridge demonstrate totally different climates.

The northern part of Gyirong belongs to the semiarid river and valley monsoon climate zone, which is a juncture between the cold and warm weather in Southern Tibet. The annual average temperature goes around 2℃, the average temperature during the warmest month ranges from 10 to 18℃, the coldest month could reach -10℃. The annual rainfall volume keeps between 300 and 600mm, being part of the humid semiarid continental climate zone. On the south, it is a subtropical mountainous monsoon climate zone. The annual average temperature ranges between 10 to 13℃; the temperature during the warmest month goes up 18℃; the annual rainfall volume keeps around 1,000mm; the frost-free days account for more than 200 days per year. Winter in Gyirong valley is short and with endless drizzle. Gyirong doesn’t have four distinct seasons. You can see perennial flowers thanks to its humid weather. In high altitude area, alpine conditions make snow and ice cover the land for the whole year; in lower altitude area features subtropical climate with dense forest and abundant species. The magical difference makes people feel amazed. Standing on the high places, you will see a dizzying picture of the totally different ecological environments. The year-round balmy conditions like spring plus mild and pleasant weather are the exact demonstrations of the climate in Gyirong.