Gar county of Ngari
Gar, one of the frontier counties, lies in the west of Tibet. The town sits at an elevation of 4,255 meters with a population of 12,000, and covers an area of 17,197 square kilometers.
The town Gar got its Chinese name by the Shiquan River which runs by the town and it is the upper reaches of the Indus River. Its English name "Gar" means “tents and barracks", because it used to be a military station in the past.
The river banks of Shiquan used to be an area of barren land. When the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway opened for transportation in 1964, military camps and simple public facilities were suddenly emerged. In 1966, the Administration Office of the Ngari Prefecture moved here from Burang and started constructing a town on the barren field. The Gar County government moved here later in 1988.
Nowadays, Gar has become a hub of transportation, economy, culture, and border trade in western Tibet. From the central flower terrace, four straight streets extend to four directions. The southern one is for commercial exchange, while the east and west sit the regional government office buildings. In the north, the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway runs towards the Ritog County and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Settle here you can visit the Ruins of Guge Kingdom and Kolca Monastery to the south. By the way, you can also have a look at the Burang International Market on the way to Kolca Monastery. You will have a special taste of Tibet culture trip and admire the mysteries of the land.
The Gar town is not large, but it is full of vitality and can satisfy all your travel needs in Tibet. Due to water shortage and energy scarcity, the town has to provide water and electricity at certain times everyday.
The town has rather complete social facilities and public service. There are now over 1,000 private dealers coming from Sichuan, Gansu, Xinjiang and other places of China, some are engaged in restaurants and shops, some are occupied in car repairing, and some devote themselves in clothing and entertainment industry. Besides 300 taxi cabs or more, some jeeps and motorcycles are also at your service, the rent costs is 5 to 10 yuan (US$0. 8-1.5) per kilometre.
Shiquanhe is 1,586 kilometres away from Lhasa. The bus from Lhasa to Gar is already in business and the construction of the Gar Airport is under planning. The Foreign Affairs and Public Security telephone number of Ngari Region is 2821542, the long-distance code is 0897.