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Snow Mountains and Forests


The average height of the Nyingchi area is 3,100 meters above sea level. The mountains all run east to west -- the north being higher than the south, leaving a great disparity in height. The Yarlung Zangbo River, with the highest altitude in the world, enters the Nyingchi area in Nang after surging 1,000 km, and is blocked directly by the Himalayas in Mainling, which forces it northward. The river then makes a peculiar U turn around Namjagbarwa Peak and rushes down in Medog before joining the Indian Ocean through India. Its high northern and low southern topographies open a gap in the lowlands facing the Indian Ocean in the southeast, where the warm Indian current moves upstream to meet the cold air from the north, allowing the co-existence of tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and frigid zones -- hence, the peculiar landscape of snow mountains and forests.



Namjagbarwa Peak, the highest in the Nyingchi area and the 15th highest in the world, is 7,780 meters above sea level. The true features of its triangular body are obscured by snow year round and by clouds and fog. West of Namjagbarwa Peak is a steep cliff that reaches the bottom of the valley, and in its northwest stand a series of peaks of more than 7,000 meters above sea level, which join one another like sawteeth capped with thick ice-snow. Three huge valley glaciers have evolved between Namjagbarwa Peak and Naipeng Peak to its south and reach down to the green and immense forest. The La'gyabelei Peak to the north of Namjagbarwa Peak on the other side of Yarlung Zangbo River, a saddle-shaped, double-peaked mountain of 7,234 meters, is also enveloped by clouds and fog all year long. All these mountains and others, such as Seche La Mountain, form the wonderful landscape in the east part of Nyingchi area.


In addition to the mountains, the Nyingchi area also boasts Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, the greatest canyon in the world. While running west, the Yarlung Zangbo River cuts across the Himalayas and thunderously rolls through Namjagbarwa Peak and La'gyabelei Peak. The average depth of the canyon is 5,000 meters, with the lowest point being 5,382 meters. The canyon is 490 km long, and the section from Pai Daduka to Bambo in Medog, 240 km long, is the most precipitous, with a steeper lower part. With a speed as high as 16 meters per second and a volume flow of 4,425 cubic meters per second, the river sweeps over huge stones and thunders forward. In the valley, there are permanent ice-snow, hot springs, streams and waterfalls. Virgin forests that are rich in natural resources spread from the bottom of the valley to the top of the mountain.



The Nyingchi area owes its unique climate and natural environment to its peculiar topography. Different from other places of Tibet, Nyingchi possesses rich soil and resources because of the warm, damp climate with an annual rainfall of 650 mm, a yearly sunlight exposure of 2,022.2 hours and a frost-free season of 180 days. Though surrounded by snow mountains, Nyingchi is a verdant world, with the forest coverage being 46.1 percent. As the third largest forest zone in China, Nyingchi boasts 2.64 million hectares of forests, or 80 percent of the total forest in Tibet. The vast forest includes rich forest resources, forest products, rare animals and rare plants. Nearly all kinds of plants growing from Hainan Island to the North Pole can be found in the Nyingchi area. Altogether, 3,500 kinds of plants have been found and fortified there. Medog National Animal and Plant Reserve Area, Ciba Rare Animal and Plant Reserve Area of Zaya ,GangXiang Village Conifer Reserve in Bome, and Bagyai Ancient Cypress Reserve Area of Nyingchi reflect the basic features of Nyingchi's forest resources.


Nyingchi's distinct, natural landscape consists of snow mountains that stand majestically in the sun and glisten under the blue sky, valleys surrounded by undulating mountains, and luxuriant forests that contain green sky-reaching pines and cypresses; the fragrance of canola flowers at the foot of the mountains attracts butterflies. This all creates a perfect landscape painting on which "four seasons coexist in one mountain and scenery differs every 10 li." Nyingchi is just like a "Green Pearl" resting in the southeast of the Tibet Plateau.


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