Dartsendo (Kangding) is a fairly big town nestled in a steep river valley at the confluence of the swift Zheduo and Yala Rivers, known as the Dar and Tse in Tibetan. If you`re en route to western Sichuan, it`s worth staying for a few days to take in the sights and check out some of this dreamy scenery. Towering above Dartsendo (Kangding) is the mighty peak of Minya Konka Mountain (7555m).
Arriving in Dartsendo (Kangding), there is a tangible sense that you`ve reached the end of the Han Chinese world and the beginning of the Tibetan. The town has been a trade center between the two cultures of centuries with the exchange of yak hides, wool, and Tibetan herbs and, especially, bricks of tea from Ya`an wrapped in yak hide. It also served as an important staging post on the road to Lhasa, as indeed it does today. Dartsendo (Kangding) was historically the capital of the local Tibetan kingdom of Chakla and later, from 1939 to 1951, the capital of the short-lived province of Xikang.
In ancient times, Kangding was known as “Arrow-making Stove”. In the east of Garze, Kangding is located in the transition zone between the mountains by the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with the terrain sloping from west to east. Since ancient times, Kangding has been the political and cultural center of Kamba region, as well as an important passageway on the Ancient Horse and Tea Road. With snow-covered mountains, glaciers, lakes, hot springs and splendid Kamba culture, Kangding is a place of scenic and historic interest. Kangding Love Song is very popular among the Chinese people and enjoys a high reputation throughout the world, making Kangding the homeland of lover songs. The noted Paoma Mountains, vast Tagong Grassland, magnificent Kongkar Mountain with an elevation of 7,556 meters, primitive Moge Co, picturesque Yulongxi Grassland and colorful Quanhua Pond all show the uncanny workmanship of nature.