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Barkam (马尔康) is the prefectural capital of Aba Tibetan & Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. It is also known as Ma'erkang. The population is largely Han Chinese, although there are also Tibetans living in town and passing through.

Get in[edit]

There are two bus stations in town: the East Bus Station and West Bus Station. Buses for Hongyuan, Jiuzhaigou (12-14 hours, mostly over rough roads), Lanmusi and other destinations in Northern Sichuan depart from the East Bus Station. Bus staff may be concerned about selling tickets to foreignors due to checkpoints along the road. Contact the local police if there is any doubt.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Zhuokeji is a village about ten minutes taxi ride (20-30 Yuan, negotiate before you leave) over rough road east of Maerkang. It features a watchtower fortress once occupied by a local chieftain which has been extensively renovated. Mao Zedong stayed at the watchtower several times during the Long March, and the interpretive signs outline both his involvement and the history of the local Tibetan people. The entry price is steep at 60 Yuan, but there is plenty of atmosphere. Across a small stream is a village featuring traditional Tibetan architecture.

The Miyaluo and Bipenggou scenic areas are very beautiful in the autumn due to the colourful fall foliage around the lake with a mountain backdrop.

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are lot's of places to eat. Noone speaks English in this town, but restaurants have pictures of dishes on the walls.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Dorms are reserved for Chinese people, and many places are not allowed to rent out to foreigners. Hotel prices are down to 120 for a double, but you have to look for it, and even big hotels don't have wifi.


Get out[edit]

Bakam is the capital of Aba state, there is easy bus transportation to most of the places in Sichuan, especially local Jinchuan, Xiaojin, Danba, and Chengdu.

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