We are sorry to annouce that, due to multiple COVID-19 cases showing in several provinces, all nature watch activities are temporarily stopped from today. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
Valley of the Cats, aka Angsai, locates in Zaduo County, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. It is 4 hours drive from Yushu city. This area is also whitin the core zone of Lancang River Section, Sanjiangyuan National Park.
Angsai has a typical plateau climate, with little temperature change throughout the year, and a large temperature difference between day and night, with abundant sunshine. The average altitude here is about 3800 meters, and the highest altitude can be over 4800 meters, so it will be very beneficial to spend 1-2 days to acclimate.
Such an high altitute nurtures an unique ecological environment, with an evergreen coniferous forest dominated by alpine cypress, supplemented by some alpine meadows and rocky hills, and also with breathtaking Danxia landforms.
推荐活动 Activities in the Valley
Visiting the Valley of the Cats is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Stunning scenery, a colourful and fascinating culture and wonderful wildlife make any visit to the 'roof of the world' an unforgettable experience. These are some of the activities visitors can enjoy and any visit can be tailored according to how you want to spend your time.
1. 野生动物寻踪 Wildlife Tracing
时长：1-3天 Duration: one to three days
Venture onto the mountain slopes, side valleys and snow-capped mountains in search of the local wildlife, including the elusive Snow Leopard. Follow the favourite prey of the apex predators, Blue Sheep and Yak;
look for gatherings of vultures that often indicate a crime scene, or scan the hill sides and skyline for any silhouette…
The Snow Leopard is extremely well-camouflaged and difficult to spot but with patience and persistence, you may be lucky.
In Tibetan culture, spotting the Snow Leopard is a blessing.
Whether or not your quest is successful in finding the mysterious feline, it will take you to areas offering stunning views of the magnificent scenery and offer chances of sighting the other exceptional wildlife in the area, including the Blue Sheep, White-lipped Deer, White Eared-pheasant, Himalayan Vulture and Golden Eagle.
And if you don't see one, just remember the words of Peter Matthiessen in his book named after this magnificent cat.
When asked if he saw a Snow Leopard during his epic trek through the Himalayas with George Schaller,
he answered,“No. Isn't that wonderful?”
2. 徒步 Trekking
线路A：古塔探秘 Trek A: To The Ancient Tower
Route：Stone momument —— Distant look to Buddha Mountain —— Temple —— Ancient Tower
The Jirigou Ancient Tower is a Cultural Relics Protection Unit of the Qinghai Province with a history of about 700 years.
Among three original towers, two can still be found today, with one of them remains intact. On the way, you can enjoy a splendid view of the snow mountains, Danxia landscape covered with Tibetan junipers that are hundreds of years old, and the meandering Lancang river cutting through the Namsei valley.
线路B：佛头山 Trek B – Buddha Mountain
时长：往返3-4小时 Duration: 3-4 hours;
海拔落差：3900-4100m Elevation: 3900-4100m;
Buddha Mountain is the landmark of Angsai. With the change of sunlight, the mountain shows different faces of a Buddha.
During the trip, please avoid touching the stone, which may cause damage.
线路C：双蛋山 Trek C – Egg Mountain
时长：往返1小时 Duration: 1 hour；
Egg Mountain is close to the road with easy access. From Egg Mountain, you have a view of one of the most famous scared mountains of the area —— Naibon sacred mountain.
3. 牧区生活体验 A Day as a Yak Herder
On this excursion, you will live the life of a yak herder. You will experience herding through several means of transportation.
In the morning, after milking the yaks, take the traditional way, riding on horseback to take these animals to the grazing areas.
Of course, after herding a while, you will need a break with yak milk tea and yoghurt.
This will enable you to continue on horseback to explore the township of Angsai. Later in the afternoon, try the modern way.. most families ride motorbikes now!
You will be taken aback by the natural beauty yaks are able to enjoy every day in the region, either in summer when the grasslands are covered with red blue and yellow wildflowers – mile after mile of a kind of rainbow carpet
– or in winter, when the snow-hooded mountains are encased in a necklace of white.
4. 观星 Stargazing
While you will be stunned by the natural beauty of Sanjiangyuan during the daytime, you will be enchanted by night.
Due to the low-levels of light pollution, Sanjiangyuan is a wonderful stargazing location.
On clear summer nights, when the skies are the darkest and clearest, embark on a journey to explore the mysteries of the universe and enjoy the starry show of the Milky Way, star clusters, nebulae and meteors.
The best two meteor showers are without doubt: the Perseid (mid-August) and the Geminid (mid-December),
during which up to 120–160 meteors per hour can be observed.
According to a Tibetan saying, if one sees a meteor, they will receive God’s intelligence.
To be best prepared, please download a stargazing APP before you arrive or purchase a guidebook!
5. 参观昂赛工作站 A look into Angsai Field Station
Shan Shui Conservation Center is a major NGO in Sanjiangyuan.
Since 2009, it has been carrying out a large set of conservation activities on the ground with the involvement of the local community. Their activities include installing cameras traps on the mountains to better monitor the wildlife, setting up anti-poaching patrols, or creating nature watch activities in the region. Angsai workstation was inaugurated in 2017 and is the first dedicated scientific research station in Sanjiangyuan. It serves as a major outpost for Shanshui conservationists whose actions are deeply rooted in the local community.
Get a deeper understanding of the work of these pioneers by meeting them, learning about their research, their daily challenges, and their unique insights as bridges between the Tibetan herders, the local government and the scientific community. It is also a chance for you to contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts yourself. Contact us for details.
重要须知 Important Notice
Nature Watch services are provided by the Poverty Alleviation Ecotourism Cooperative of Niandu Village, Angsai Township, Zaduo County ("Angsai Cooperative"), which has relevant qualifications. All nature watch fees, and other proceeds are collected and used by the Angsai Community.
Shan Shui Conservation Center provides this website platform for the Angsai Cooperative at no cost, and the Angsai Cooperative provides online booking services.
This website is intended to help promote this project and raise public awareness from a not-for-profit perspective. Shan Shui Conservation Center does not actually provide or perform Nature Watch services, nor does it derive any income from nature experience bookings or other related services.
There are risks associated with traveling to high altitute destinaitons, it is recommended that every visitor read the Highland Travel Risks and Safety Precautions.docx in detail, have a medical check-up before travelling and ensure that you are healthy before planning your trip.
Please purchase a travel insurance for yourself to ensure that your insurance covers the costs associated with accidents and altitude sickness.
Gorups like elderly, minors and pregnant people are at higher risks of travel than the general population.
If you are pregnant or over the age of 50, please consult your doctor to ensure that you are physically able to participate in highland travel, and Angsai Cooperative is not responsible for risks arising from special personal medical conditions.
Minors (under 18 years old) must be accompanied by a legal guardian or authorized other adult to participate in nature watch activities.
预约流程 Booking Procedures
1. Register an account on the website and make a reservation at least 7 days in advance
2. To make a reservation, you need to submit the following information to apply for an entry permit from the Lancang River Section Angsai Management Station of Sanjiangyuan National Park:
* Identity information of each participant, including age, occupation, reason for visit, etc.
* Photo ID of each participant
* Estimated pick-up date, time, location, and contact number
(It takes about 5-7 business days for the Onshai Station to process your application, so be sure to make an appointment in advance)
3. Once the community receives your application, we will arrange for a host family 3-5 days before your departure and send you their information
交通住宿 Tansportation and Accommodation
We suggest that visitors meet their host family in Yushu, the closest city to Angsai. There is an airport and a bus station in Yushu, with domestic flights to/ from Xining, Chengdu and Lhasa and buses to/from Xining.
If you're self-drive, you can also drive to Angsai Township, and meet your host there.
The journey from Yushu to Angsai is around 190 kms on sealed road and it usually takes 3-4 hours (an additional 3-4 hours should be allowed during icy weather). From Angsai Township, there is an unpaved cliff side road which will lead you into the heart of the valley——where your adventure begins.
The journey from Angsai Township to your host family takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
The rugged mountain roads, with unexpected conditions, are for the adventurous traveler. Our guides are experienced in driving, but bumpy car trips can be inevitably uncomfortable.
*Please take full consideration of the road conditions in Angsai when planning your trip*.
Once arrived, you will be staying with your host families and living with them for the rest of your trip. The pristine nomadic lifestye is well preserved here and the living conditions can be described as VERY BASIC comparing to urban standards.
The locals keep the nomadic tradition of living in tents in the summer and change locations once every few months so that their yaks can go to fresh pastures. They move back to winter settlements at late September and stay there until the following April or May.
Depending on the host family and the season of stay, you may sleep in a government-built container hut, in the large bedroom of the host family, or in an adjoining room, or in a large tent with them. Each person will have their own bed, but everyone stays in the same room. Quilts will be provided, but it is still recommended to bring your own sleeping bag.
Top left is the summer ranch tent. Top right is a container hut. Lower left is a winter settlement house for herders. Bottom right is a typical local bed
Most homes have solar electricity for charging cameras and cell phones. All domestic water is brought from a nearby stream and boiled for consumption. There are no bathing facilities. Some homes have built toilets outside the house, if your family does not have one, you will need to find a secluded place outside. Please ask your host family where to go if you are not sure and remember to bring back any used toilet paper and leave it in a rubbish bin.
整个昂赛范围内手机信号非常有限， 只有少数几个区域能接受手机信号（通信或网络）， 请在进入昂赛前和家人朋友联系好，以免造成困扰。同时，您可以在昂赛享受一个不被打扰的假期。
Cell phone signal is very limited throughout Angsai.Only a few areas can receive cell phone signal (communication or internet).Make sure to contact your family and friends before entering Angsai to avoid any inconvenience. Meanwhile, you can enjoy an uninterrupted holiday in Angsai..
Your host can also take you to places for internet if needed.
建议携带物品清单 Suggested Packing List
许多对自然体验感兴趣的人都想知道他们应该带些什么行李到大猫谷来。 我们根据往期游客的经验给出了以下推荐携带行李清单。 其中一些是必备物品（例如一个好品质的睡袋）, 另一些则是选带物品。当然你也可以根据自己的需求来添加或减少一些行李。
Many potential visitors ask what they should bring to the Valley of the Cats. The list below is used by some of the regular visitors. Some items are essential (e.g. a good quality sleeping bag) and others are a 'nice to have'. This list is intended as a guide and can be tailored according to personal requirements and preferences.
Cash, Passport /ID Card
Water-proof jacket, down jacket
Comfortable walking shoes and hiking boots (Snow boots if it’s winter)
Outdoor pants, preferably windproof and waterproof
Gloves, warm socks, warm hat, sun hat
Light shoes for evenings
Water bottle (Thermal if prefer hot water)
Camera, tripod, telephoto lens (for animals), wide-angle lens (for landscape)
Sun cream with SPF 35 or above, sun glasses
Sleeping Bag (3-4 season)
Lip balm, moisturizer
Basic first-aid kit (adhesive plasters, antiseptic cream, paracetamol, etc.)