Yajiang is a modern town of under 10,000 people set in a steep valley along the southern Tibet-Sichuan highway (G318) in Ganzi in Sichuan, at an altitude of roughly 2,900 meters. It consists mainly of one long street (Jiefang Jie), with a large square in the town center and several busy side streets adjoining. The town is dusty, and its buildings are modern and mostly somewhat drab, but the surrounding hillsides are attractive, and there is a temple atop one of them. Because of its altitude and location, it sometimes serves as a stop between Kangding and Litang for bicyclists or those averse to long rides. The town is almost entirely Tibetan; many people do not speak fluent Chinese, and few speak English.
Bus connections to Kanding (5 hours) and Litang (4 and half hours) during the day. As of August, 2012, the highway was being rebuilt, and the roads were in poor condition, so these times should be extended by about an hour each. Private and shared taxis can also be hired along a side street that is downhill from the main road.
There is a small but very atmospheric temple on the top of the hill above the main town. You can spot it, earthy mustard and red coloured. It is only about 10 minutes walk from the centre but finding you way up there in the maze of little allies is a bit hit and miss but worth it. In the afternoon when you can see the locals at prayer which is mesmerizing and you will probably be encouraged to see the rest of the building which feels like the monks personal quarters. They will probably make you welcome with salty butter tea if you hang out there long enough.
Most of the shops in Yajiang are small and informal, serving the needs of the local community. The town does not see much tourism.
There are several Chinese noodle shops along the main street.
A few hostels near the bus station - people will approach you as you get off the bus. Yajiang Hotel (雅江大酒店) is a large but simple hotel near the main square. Phone: 0836 512 4510.