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Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture

Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture is located in the northwest of Sichuan Province, bordering Gansu to the northeast and Qinghai to the northwest. As the second largest inhabited region of Tibetan and Qiang people, it has an area of 84,000 square kilometers. Aba Prefecture lies along the southeastern frontier of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and parts of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the Hengduan Mountains extend to its territory. Tableland and alpine valleys make up the main landform of the prefecture. The climate of the prefecture is complex and varied for the complicated geography and landform. The northwestern tableland area has a continental plateau climate with chilly winter and cool summer. Under its jurisdiction, there are 13 counties, including Barkam, Xiaojin, Zoige, Hongyuan, Zamtang, Wenchuan, Songpan, Jiuzhaigou, and Heishui. The northern part belongs to Amdo region traditionally, and the western part belongs to Kham region.

The complex topography and diverse climate in Aba Prefecture constitute a unique geographical environment, retaining the world's animal and plant resources which were extinct elsewhere, such as pandas, dove trees and other living fossils; retaining the quaint magnificent natural landscape which is hard to find in industrial civilization, such as the world natural heritage of Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong. Aba Prefecture owns rich world-class tourist resources. The prefecture has established 24 nature reserves, which cover ​​29% of the total area in this region. There are four national nature reserves here, which are Jiuzhaigou Valley, Huanglong Valley, Wolong National Nature Reserve, Mt. Siguniang and Zoige Wetlands. Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong own three titles: "the World's Natural Heritage", "the Man and the Biosphere Reserve" and "Green Global 21". Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - Wolong, Mt. Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains were listed as the World Natural Heritage on Jul 12, 2006. So far, among the five world natural heritages in China, three are located in Aba Prefecture. In addition, there are five provincial scenic spots such as Kalong Valley, Miyaluo, Bipeng Valley, and Jiuding Mountain. The rolling mountains, crisscrossing rivers, and rare and diverse flora and fauna constitute the magnificent natural landscapes in the northwest plateau of Sichuan Province.


For its rich and deep historical and cultural heritages, Aba was called "the Nationality Corridor" by Fei Xiaotong, the famous ethnologist and sociologist in China. For thousands of years, a multitude of Chinese ancient ethnic minorities, including Qiang, Tubo, Han and Hui, had worked collaboratively on the development of Aba, leaving the land abundant culture accumulations and unique ethnical customs. There are 8 national key cultural relics protection sites, including Barkam Zhuokeji Chieftains Fortress, Songgangzhibo Towers, Songpan Ancient Town, and Zamtang Bangtuo Monastery. The sarcophagus graves near the upper Minjiang River and the bronzes, jades, gold and silver wares, and potteries unearthed from them reproduce the unique cultural characteristics and the wisdom of Qiang ancestors. Moreover, the Guozhuang dance, Qiang costumes, Qiang embroidery, Qiang folk songs and food culture are all fascinating.


Aba Prefecture owns rich natural landscapes as well as historical and cultural landscapes, showing harmony between the man and nature. Because of this, Aba is hailed as one of the best ecotourism destinations by world tourism experts.