Seda or "Sertar 色达县 is a remote county of Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. It is one of the 18 counties under the administration of the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, covering some 9340 square kilometres.
Sêrtar, which means "golden horse" in Tibetan, lies in the southeast of the Tibetan Plateau and in the historical region of Kham. It is home to the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, the largest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world. The institute, which was founded by lama Jigme Phuntsok in 1980 and started off with just a few monks, now houses tens of thousands of monks and pilgrims from around the world.
Bus from Chengdu Chadianzi bus station; 1 daily,depart around 6 am and arrive in Seda town around 8 pm; 208 RMB. From Ma Er Kang(马尔康 ; tib. Barkam) 1 daily, depart at 6 am. The driving time is about 14 hours. In summer, the bus will arrive in the Seda county around 21:00, but if in winter the bus will stop at Maerkang for one night and arrive in the Seda county at noon.
Also shared minivan from Ganzi, Luhuo, Kangding, Ma Er Kang
Shared SUV (4WD; Toyota Prado/Pajero or Landcruiser). In front of Kangding Hotel, Wu Hou Ci District (Tibetan area in Chengdu) 300-500 RMB/seat - depending on seat position, next to the drivers is 500 RMB). Depart from Wuhouci around 4 am. arrive in Seda town 5 pm.
It is also possible to take a 4WD from Jiuzhaigou direct to Seda for 1800 RMB. It takes around 14 hours.
As Seda and Larung Gar sit at around 4000 metres above sea level make sure you are acclimatized before going there.
Shared minivan to Larung Gar. Daihatsu Y7 each. Rent a car from Third Pole Tour .
From Seda to Ganzi County
It is possible to reach Seda directly from Ganzi, or from Kanding via Luhuo. Ganzi/Seda minivans(via Luhuo route) are relatively frequent, especially in the early morning before 9h, at 50-55RMB fair price, ride takes 5.30h (driver will try to get 70RMB). From LuHuo, frequent minivans run for 40RMB, aprox 3.3h.
From Seda to Kangding
There are daily buses at Seda Bus Station to Kangding. The driving time is about 10 hours.
Larong Wuming Buddhist Academy is the world's largest active Tibetan Buddhist Academy/ School. It is located at in Seda County, Ganzi Tibetan Prefecture, Sichuan Province, and about 780km away from Chengdu. Visiting there, visitors can spending a half day to explore the academy. And then to experience Tianzang Funeral personally at 13:00 and up to 16:00. In the evening, climb to the top flatform, near to Larong Hotel, you can look down at the whole valley and enjoy the silent and dazzling night.
In the county, it is easy to buy some necessaties of life.
"Accommodation for foreigner" *"Xidu International Youth Hostel" 色达西渡国际青年旅舍 No.9 Jiefang Road. Sertar town. Tel. 18030908551(Li Xing "Zebra" the reception's no.) Boy and girl dorm with shared bathroom. 65 RMB/night. Private room 198 RMB.
From Seda to Chengdu
There are two ways back to Chengdu from the Seda county. One is to buy direct regular bus departing at 6:30 from the Seda Bus Station. And the station starts to sell tickets at 8:30, so please buy your bus ticket one day in advance. The bus will arrive at Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station at about 20:00. The other is to buy bus ticket to Maerkang first and then change the next day bus back to Chengdu(6 hr). It takes two days, but there are several buses from morning to 4 pm.