Dege (Tibetan: Dêgê - Mandarin Chinese: 德格; Dégé), is in Sichuan Province in south-west China. The city is famous for its Tibetan lamasery which hosts an invaluable treasure of wooden printing blocks with Tibetan Buddhist texts. Historically, it belongs to the ancient Tibetan province of Kham and lies at an elevation of 3100 meters, (10,170 ft). Sharing its destiny with Kangding, Dégé's location in a narrow valley and the resulting lack of space has led to a total demolition of the town's original center and its rebuilding with high, distasteful tiled generic Han Chinese-style architecture. Nevertheless the surrounding quarters on the valley's slopes still preserve the old Tibetan traditions including the temple complex that contains a maze of wonderful old style wooden Tibetan buildings just up the road from the temple complex. Dege lies as the last town on the provincial border of Sichuan across from the T.A.R. It is a last stop before the wild Sichuan-Tibet highway leaves West Sichuan and if heading from the east requires a grueling day trip from Ganzi over a 5050 meter pass, well worth the incredible views alone.

Get in

The paved parts of the road leading up from Ganzi are in disrepair with many potholes, while the part over the 5050m Tro La pass is dirt track of rubble in particularly bad condition. The amazing scenery somewhat pays off for the ordeal as you pray you don't go over the edge! As of June 2012, the entire length of the Ganzi-Dege road is under construction (in the process of being paved), and most of it is still in very rough condition.

By bus

From Departure Price (Yuan) Duration (h) Last update
Baiyu ??:?? ??.?? ? 21 June 2005
Ganzi 09:00 60.00 7 21 June 2005
Luhuo ??:?? ??.?? 9 21 June 2005
Manigango ??:?? ??.?? ? 21 June 2005
Kangding 07:00 130Y 2 days* March 2010
Serxi ??:?? ? ? 21 June 2005
Tagong ??:?? ??.?? 16 21 June 2005

*: This includes an overnight stop in Luhuo.

There are minivans from Manigango to Dege; Y50 to 450 Yuan (one person/off season) 3 hours approx.

Travel times include an approximately one-hour lunch stop when arrival is due in the afternoon.

Get around

You can easily visit the town on foot.




There is small food market along the western bank of the river. Jewelery and Tibetan artifacts are sold in small shops.


Plenty of small restaurants are to be found downtown. Some places offer skewered vegetables and kebabs which are barbecued using lots of spices. There are a couple of bakeries selling Baba-Bread and dumplings on the road leading to the monastery.


There is not much nightlife in town. To have a beer, simply visit a restaurant. If you are into Karaoke, there are also some places around.



(Information as of 21 June 2005)
(Information as of 21 June 2005)
(Information as of 21 June 2005)


(Information as of 21 June 2005)

Stay safe

Beware of altitude sickness if travelling here straight from the Sichuan Province lowlands/basin. Also beware the numerous stray dogs. Beggars near the bridge and riverside are quite aggressive in comparison to China and its Tibetan regions in general (including trained children); however nothing one yuan won't do. Dege is subject to travel bans to foreigners during times deemed sensitive by the Chinese government, so if you are a foreigner and you are allowed in, you will be safer if you keep any sympathies you may have for the Tibetan independence movement to yourself.


Go next

Public bus

The bus station and ticket office are situated in the large new building on the main market street, between the two bridges. It is clearly marked in English.

To Departure Price (Yuan) Duration (h) Last update
Baiyu ??:?? ??.?? ? 21 June 2005
Ganzi 07:30 60.00 ? 21 June 2005
Kangding 07:00 92.00 2 days* -1 Sep 2009
Luhuo 07:30 ??.?? 9 21 June 2005
Manigango 07:30 ??.?? ? 21 June 2005
Serxi ??:?? ??.?? ? 21 June 2005
Tagong 07:00 143.00 16 27 January 2008

*: This includes an overnight stop in Luhuo.

Travel times include an approx. 1h lunch-stop when arrival is due in the afternoon.

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