Danba Travel Guide, Kham Sichuan
Lies in a valley 350km west of Chengdu along the east border of Ganzi, halfway between Kangding and Maerkang from south to north. Danba's landscape varies vertically from the high-altitude snow-capped mountains to the low-altitude grasslands and valleys. The population is principally composed of ethnic Tibetans.
Recognized as "the Kingdom of Watchtowers" and "Beauty Valley", Danba is well-known for the spectacular watchtower groups, the representative Tibetan villages and the pretty Tibetan ladies. It's also a very popular tourism site for Chinese.
Tibetan villages / watchtowers
When to go? -- May ~ Nov.
How long? ---3~5 days
Getting there and away
Bus from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station, departing at 6:30am / 7:00am [Y91 / 9~10 hrs].
You can head for Danba after visiting Siguniang Shan, it's only 55km and 1.5hrs ride from Xiaojin to Danba.
There are also buses from Kangding, Maerkang and other directions in the region.
For moving on, recommend you go to Bamei, which is 84km southwest uphill of Danba,with Tagong 30km ahead southwards, unless you come northwards from Xinduqiao.
Most of the villages of interest are within a 10km radius from town. Vans ferry passengers to/from those villages for Y10 one way, leaving only when relatively full. A better option is to charter a vehicle to cover a few villages together. Y100/day.
Ample hostels in Danba town, Y100/std. dbl.
Accommodation are also available in those stylish Tibetan villages such as Zhonglu and Jiaju, Y60, incl. 2 meals.
Watchtowers – scattered in the valley singly or in group / built with stones hundreds of years ago for defensive and communication purposes.
Tibetan Villages – Danba has the most beautiful ethnic villages in China. Jiaju and Suopo are well worthy of a visit for their spectacular watchtowers and fortress-like houses. Entrance fees from Y15~Y30.
Sights around Danba
- Dangling - 68km northwest of Danba Town with harsh access, very undeveloped but reputed for breathtaking ecosystem consisting of snowy mountains, alpine lakes, hot springs and virgin forests, meadows and pastures.
Get in: charter a 5~6 seats land cruiser in Danba town at Y600/day, or take bus from Danba to Goukou first, then charter a vehicle there to Dangling.
In the Dangling scenic zone, either trek on foot or on horseback at about Y100/day, incl. guide. Huluhai is a highlight in Dangling.
- Donggu Natural Bonsai - hidden in a shallow valley at Dongku village, 21km southwest of Danba town, on the way to Bamei and Tagong. The area is attractive for a 30km south stretching beautiful valley along the Maoniu River, which presents a varicolored amazing sights in autumn. There are a few hot springs within Maoniugou, where accommodation is around.