prefecture in China's Tibet Autonomous Region
Asia > East Asia > China > Southwest China > Tibet > Ngari (prefecture)

Ngari prefecture (also known as Ali prefecture 阿里地区 Ālǐ Dìqū) is in the far west of Tibet, it's an extremely remote area with nearly no infrastructure of any type. Nicknamed the "Top of the Roof of the World".


Map of Ngari (prefecture)
  • Ali - AKA Sengge Khambab and Shiquanhe, The prefecture capital, a small town (55,000 as of 2017) of no interest for the tourist, other than to stock up on supplies and have a hot shower. While there is little to do in the town itself, the surrounding area has plenty to do and see, and people visiting Ali often head to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.

Other destinationsEdit

Mount Kailash - The reason most people make the long journey out to this part of Tibet, a holy mountain for Tibetan Buddhists and for Hindus and Jains.

The ruins of the ancient Guge Kingdom are a popular destination for tourists, under protection by the Chinese government as an important historical and cultural site. This lost civilization has left only ruins and a few legends behind it but is an amazing place to explore.

Other great places to visit in the area are the Tsada Clay Forest in Zanda County, which has been declared a national park, where you can see the largest tertiary strat earth forest in the world, and the oldest monastery in Ngari Prefecture, Tholing Monastery, where dozens of ancient wall paintings and frescoes have been preserved.

Other nearby places of interest include the Piyang and Dungkar Grottoes, Gurla Mandhata, Korjak Monastery, and Chagcam Cake Salt Lake.


Get inEdit

Get aroundEdit

Independent Travelers: The police in Ali generally give out travel permits without problems, the only difficulty being is they fine you for being there in the first place without a permit. Together, the fine and the permit are likely to be around ¥400.

Transportation here is a major difficulty. There are only a few paved roads, in the immediate vicinity of Sengge Khambab. If you are not on a jeep tour, you will probably end up traveling by truck. This is often very costly and if you end up in the back of the truck an unpleasant way to travel as you see nothing of the spectacular scenery. It also may mean waiting for a couple days for a ride on occasion. In the more mountainous areas the road may get washed out and not be repaired for a week or two, camels have been known to be used as a short term replacement.

Jeep Tour: you will likely go as a group of a few jeeps and a support truck, don't expect to stay to the itinerary to closely, as river crossings and vehicle break-downs often cause delays.

==See== simbiling monastery gompa




Stay safeEdit

The main safety concerns relate to the extreme remoteness of the area. Always bring a couple days of food with you when traveling outside of a village, and carry a few liters of water when traveling by truck, (The driver will probably have a big jerry can, but don't be dependent on it). In summer it can be warm when the sun is out, but change as soon as it's overcast to wintery conditions. Hail is common, and snow not unknown in the middle of summer. Bring a good sleeping bag, and warm cloths.

Go nextEdit

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