Shannan (or Lhoka), literally means south of the mountains, is a prefecture-level city in the southeastern Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is located in the south of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains and on the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Valley, formed by the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Lhoka region is often regarded as the birthplace of Tibetan civilization. It borders Lhasa in the north, Xigaze in the west, Linzhi in the east, India and Bhutan in the south.
Shannan has a typical southern Tibet geography in term of high mountains, lakes and rivers. There is a gradual decrease in elevation from west to east with an average elevation of about 3,700 meters. There are numerous snow-capped mountains and glaciers, and there are more than 10 snow-capped mountains over 6,000 meters above sea level.
Shannan has numerous lakes and abundant water resources. The middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, the city’s largest river, form a broad stretch of 302 kilometers in the city, with a maximum width of 7 kilometers.
Shannan is rich in barley, wheat, broad beans, peas, corn, buckwheat, rape and other crops. It is one of the major producing areas of grain and oil in Tibet.
Shannan is the largest chrome ore resource base in China. Due to its superior geological conditions for mineralization, Shannan’s advantageous mineral resources are lead-zinc, rock gold, and copper. Potential minerals include limestone, crystal, mineral water, marble, and geothermal resources.