Mêdog County

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Mêdog County
Location of Mêdog County within Tibet
Location of Mêdog County within Tibet
Mêdog County is located in Tibet
Mêdog County
Mêdog County
Location in Tibet
Coordinates: 29°29′N 95°30′E / 29.483°N 95.500°E / 29.483; 95.500
Country People's Republic of China
Region Tibet
Prefecture Nyingchi Prefecture
County seat Metog
 • Total 34,000 km2 (13,000 sq mi)
Elevation 1,500-3,500 m (−10,000 ft)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 10,963[1]
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)

Mêdog, Metok, or Motuo County (Tibetan: མེ་ཏོག་རྫོང་,Wylie: Metog Rdzong; simplified Chinese: 墨脱县; traditional Chinese: 墨脫縣; pinyin: Mòtuō Xiàn) is a county of the Nyingtri Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China. Chinese claims include parts of Arunachal Pradesh, south of the McMahon Line, what was casus belli for the 1962 Sino-Indian War.


Medog County is located in the southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region and at the lower branch of Yarlung Tsangpo River. Medog County covers an area of 30,553 km2 (11,797 sq mi). The average altitude of the county is 1,200 m (3,900 ft) above sea level.་Metok county is also called Pemakö.

Climate and wildlife[edit]

Medog has a favourable climate caused by the relatively low elevations in parts of the county (down to just 600 m above sea level in the Yarlung Zangbo river valley) and by the South Asian monsoon, which brings moisture from the Indian Ocean. The area is lush and covered with trees and includes the Medog National Animal and Plant Reserve Area. It has more than 3,000 species of plants, 42 species of rare animals under special state protection, and over a thousand hexapod species.[clarification needed]


Mêdog used to be the last county without a permanent road access in China, due to the landscape of being surrounded by several high-elevation mountain ranges. A first, simple road was built in 1970s, nevertheless it was usually blocked by ice and snow on the mountains in the winter, made it only a seasonal access. In December 2010, the Chinese government announced a project of renovating the road into a permanent highway from Bomê to Mêdog County,[2] including excavation of a new tunnel under the mountain range. The renovation was completed in 2013.

Before the completion of the highway, transportation in Mêdog primarily relied on foot. Hiking to Mêdog is also a popular activity among tourists, although Mêdog hiking is generally considered as highly exacting and risky. A primary route of accessing Mêdog begins in Bomê County, which inspired the route of the current permanent highway. Another important route for traveling to Mêdog on foot starts in Paizhen(派镇, a township in Mainling County) and travels all the way along the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon to Mêdog township, which is a route particularly popular among backpackers.


Farming is the main industry in Medog County. It is abundant with paddy, soybean, cotton and gingeli, etc. Hairy deerhorn, gastrodia tuber, muskiness, and hedgehog hydnum, etc. are special products of the area.


Medog county has a population of 10,963 according to 2010 census,[3] and most people who live in the county are of Tshangla, Khamba people and Lhoba ethnic group. The most renowned part of Medog is known as Pemako. Its inhabitants speak a form of Tshangla (Chinese: 仓洛, Cāngluò) related to that spoken in eastern Bhutan. They practice the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Population according to 2009 in Various villages:

Medog Towship/Metog with a total population of 1,878

Baibung Village/Bepung with a total population of 2,138

Dexing Village/Beshing with a total population of 1,549

Damu Village/Tamu with a total population of 729

Phomshen Village with a total population of 1,266

Gyalhasa Village with a total population of 812

Gandain Village with a total population of 647

Gedang Village with a total population of 680[4]

Medog county is surely not a homogeneous society, different ethnic people lived here from many years, people like Pemakopas (Tsangla), Kongpowas, Poba Tibetans and Lopas (Adi, mishis etc.) live here but Pemakopas make up the majority about 65-70% of the total population of 10,000-15,000, remaining are Khampas, kongpowas and Lopas. (According to 2001 census in Metok county (Dzong) there are about 10,000 people ). In exile Pemakopa people spread through the world, but mainly concentrated in Tibetan Settlement of Miao choephelling, Tezu Dhargyeling, Tuting and area, Orissa-Jerang camp, Tibetan Women Centre - Rajpur, Clementown, Delhi area, some in Europe and North America.

Frank Kingdon-Ward was the first Westerner to describe the area in his 1925 book, Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges. In his 1994 "Tibet Handbook", Hong Kong-born Victor Chan describes the extremely difficult trek from Pemakö Chung to the beyul Gonpo Ne, one of the remotest spots on earth. A modern journey by Ian Baker and his National Geographic-sponsored team to Pemakö received book-length treatment in his 1994 The Heart of the World.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

The website of Mêdog Government: http://www.motuo.gov.cn/


Coordinates: 29°29′N 95°30′E / 29.483°N 95.500°E / 29.483; 95.500