Gyantse (or Jiangzi) is now a county under the administration of Shigatse Prefecture. The Gyantse Town is located 250km southwest of Lhasa and 100km southeast of Shigatse. It takes about 5 hours to drive from Lhasa to Gyantse and 2 hours to drive from Gyantse to Shigatse.
Gyantse is normally considered the third largest town and historically one of the most important regions in Tibet. It has the important transportation hub linking Lhasa, Shigatse and Yadong.
Gyantse is a must to visit place for most first time travelers in Tibet. People either go from Lhasa to Gynatse or go from Shigatse to Gyantse, or from the Nepalese and Chinese border city – Zhangmu Town.
Gyantse lies in the north of the middle section of Nyang Chu River, a tributary of Yula Tsangpo River and surrounded by the continous mountains in the north and south. The major attractions in Gyantse include Gyantse Dzong (Fort), the Palcho Monastery and Palha Manor.
After driving cross Karola Pass which is the divided line between Gyantse County and Langkazi County, we are approaching Gyantse Town. Soon we see an archway written with the welcoming words”The Ancient Gyantse Town welcomes you!”. Now it is almost 2pm.
Gyanstse is full of fertile land with the Nyang Chu River running to the south of Gyantse from west to east. Gyantse is a much developed agricultural county, which is acclaimed as the hometown of barley in the world. On the way to the downtown of Gyantse, we see a great amount of barley fields on the both sides of the road between the mountains.
The town of Gyantse is in sight! The first construction that catches our eyes is Gyantse Dzong dominating the city on a high hill in the west of the town.
With the government policy of “Go West and Develop West”, Gyantse has been entitled to the huge support from othe developed cities and provinces in China incuding Shanghai, which has given Gyantse the greatest assistance in terms of finance and technology. The main road in Gyantse is named “Shanghai Road” in praise of the efforts made Shanghai government.
We arrive at Gyantse at 2pm and all feel much hungry after 5 hours’ driving and sightseeing on the way from Lhasa. There are several restaurants in Gyantse offering western food. We choose Gyantse Kitchen for our lunch. Actually this restaurant mainly offer Nepalese food.
After lunch, we are arranged to visit Palha Manor 2km in the southwest of Gyantse town. We pass the bridge over Nyang Chu River.
Palha Manor is the only remaining manor in the old time in Tibet. It once belonged to one of the three nobilities in Tibet. Before Tibet’s liberation, Palha family had 37 manors, 12 farms, over 30,000 mu of land, 3,000 serfs, in Gyantse, Kangma and Bairang. Now in the remaining manor there are a three-storey building with a residence area of 5,000 square meters. 82 rooms and serf yards and some well preserved property.
Kitchen for serfs
Butlers Room. The manor once had a senior butler, outside butler and inner butler. They had a great power and were responsibel for the host’s life and all trifles around the manor.
The servants house.
After finishing our short trip to Palha Manor, we continue our road trip to Shigatse, 100km northwest of Gyantse. Again we pass by Gyantse Fort.
It is an easy driving from Gyantse to Shigatse along the smooth asphalt road teemed with trees and barley fields.
Gyantse Travel Tips
1. Where to stay in Gyantse
1) Gyantse Hotel 0892 – 8172222
2) Wutse Hotel 0892 – 8172888
3) Jian Zang Hotel 0892 – 8172324
2. Where to dine in Gyantse
1) Gyantse Kitchen 0892 – 8176777
2) Tashi’s 0892 – 8827512
3. Gyantse Shopping