About Zhilam Hostel

Who We Are

We are a simple hostel, aiming to provide a junction at a crossroads where travelers can meet each other and where you can speak with local Chinese & Tibetan people in English, giving you valuable travel information and making your travel experience richer!  Zhilam Hostel was created in a peaceful Tibetan-style home and is perched on a quiet hillside above the city of Kangding, Sichuan.  Zhilam is a Tibetan word meaning “the path of peace.”  Come stay with us and gear up for your journey ahead, or rejuvenate after your travels through the rugged mountains of Western Sichuan.  All of us here at Zhilam Hostel are not only working to give you the cleanest, coziest and cheapest accommodations we can, but we are working together with along with our staff to improve the life and situation of those around us.  Our staff works hard to makes this place a home away from home for you!

Click here to Meet the Staff!

Kangding, known in Tibetan as Dardo or Dartsendo, is the first Tibetan region as you travel west from Chengdu.  Lying at an elevation of 2616m / 8580 feet, Kangding has been a main trading center, particularly for tea, between China and Tibetan areas for many centuries.  Even today, most goods traveling from mainland China to the inner regions of the Tibetan Plateau pass through Kangding.

Kangding sits in a beautiful valley along the banks of the Zheduo and Yala Rivers.  These two rivers merge on the east end of town just below the towering Guoda Mountain.  Kangding is the capital of Ganzi (Garnze) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and is part of the traditional Tibetan region of Kham.  Kangding has long been the cultural boundary between Han Chinese and Tibetans.  The city has a population of around 100,000.  Roughly 40% of the population are Tibetans, 40% Han Chinese with the remaining 20% coming from smaller minority groups such as the Qiang, Yi and Hui.  Colorful Tibetan nomads from the nearby grasslands often come into town to buy and sell goods.  Kangding also serves as a gateway to many Tibetan areas of China.

Gateway to where?

Kangding itself is a delightful place to spend a few days to a week with many snow peaks around 6000m to view and enjoy in good weather.  Kangding is also the best place to stay to access to Gongga Trek, Gongga Monastery & the ancient Minyak Kingdom.  However, if you’re looking to widen your checklist of “places visited” then Kangding is a wonderful starting point to acclimatize before heading out to higher altitudes. To the South, one can travel to Deqin, Shangrila and Lijiang (YunNan). To the west, before hitting the TAR border, one can experience one of the highest cities in the world, Litang and the beautiful warm weather and apple orchards of Batang. To the northwest lies the adventures of Tagong, Ganzi, Dege and eventually Yushu (Qinghai). To the northwest also lies Danba with its beautiful ancient towers, Ruoergai and even Jiuzhaiguo.