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Dear Floria Zhao,

I'm writing you to say thanks for all your help in organizing our Tibet tour. We enjoy every second of them and also our tour guides were excellent !!! You, your tour agency and the tour guides made our trip to Lhasa a fascinating one! We love your organization skills and every place you take us! Keep up the excellent work!!!

One again, thanks a lot!
Aranza Torrado
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Lhasa Travel Guide  »  Shigatse Prefecture Travel Guide
Shigatse Prefecture Travel Guide

Location: Shigatse is 273 kilometers west to Lhasa

Population: 820,000

Area: 3,875 sqaure kilometers

Nationalities: Han, Hui, Mongolian, Tu, Manchu, Miao, Zhuang

Climate: There are mainly 3 kinds of regional climate in Shigatse: temperate semiarid monsoon climate of plateau in the region north of the Himalayas and south of the Nyainqentanglha, semi-frigid semiarid and arid monsoon climate of plateau in a few regions north of the Nyainqentanglha and temperate monsoon semi-humid climate of plateau in the region south of the main ridge of the Himalayas.

Airline – Gongga Airport of Lhasa is about 400 kilometers from Shigatse City, so heading for the airport, the passengers need take a coachto Qushui and then transfer.
Highway – Shigatse, one of the transportation hubs in Tibet, possessesa network of highways within it, e.g. National Highway 318, Shigatse-Yatung Highway, and National Highway 219 leading to all directions.
As for most tourists, to charter a car is preferred. Reference fares are as follows:
Common imported jeep: RMB ¥3-3.5per kms
Luxury imported jeep: RMB ¥3.5-4.5per kms
Mini bus that can seat 20 persons: RMB ¥5.5-6.5per kms
Coach that can seat 40 persons: RMB ¥7-8per kms

Local Specialties:
Terrines, broadswords, bracelets, figures of Buddha, and necklaces

Local Food: Tibetan sausage, high-land barley wine, yak butter, beef mutton, milk tea dried meat and smashed meat

Major Attractions:
Tashilhunpo - Tashilhungpo Monastery is the seat of the Panchen Lama and one of the most famous six Gelupa monasteries along with Drepung, Sera, Ganden, Ta'er, and Labrang. Built 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama, the monastery is famous for its Grand Hall housing the tomb of the fourth Panchen Lama apart from a giant statue Maitreya Buddha.

New Palace of Panchen – New Palace of Panchen lies to south of the Tashihunpo Monastery. It is famous as the summer palace of the tenth Panchen Lama (1938-1989). It greatly mixes both traditional and modern architectural styles. Green plants cover the palace, making a natural and peaceful enviroment.

Shigatse Fortress - Shigatse Dzong was the former residence of the kings of Tsang. It was originally built in the seventeenth century by Karma Phuntso Namgyel when he was king of the Tsang region. Its design was used as the basis for the later construction of the Potala. The fortress was initially destroyed by the Dzungars in 1717 and later was ruined in 1959. The Shigatse Dzong has now been reconstructed and is perched on the north of the Old Town. Shigatse Dzong is like a miniature Potola Palace.

Shalu Monastery – Shalu Monastery, also know as Schalu Kloster, situated 20kms southeast of Shigatse, is a perfect combination of Han and Tibet architecture styles. Shalupa included magical feats that monks learned to do. Some monks wore thin clothing in cold weather. They were able to raise their body temperatures to such a level that warm clothing was not needed. Other monks were able to run by leaping superhuman distances. covering long distances without rest.The monastery is architecturally distinctive. In 1329, an earthquake destroyed the monastery. In 1333, Buton rebuilt it under the patronage of the Chinese Mongolian emperor. Since many Chinese Han artisans participated in rebuilding the monastery, combining the local Tibetan style with that of Chinese Yuan Dynasty.

Sakya Monastery - Sakya Monastery, also known as dPal Sa skya or Pel Sakya, is a Buddhist monastery situated 25 km southeast of a bridge which is about 127 km west of Shigatse on the road to Tingri in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Sakya Monastery is the seat of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was originally founded in 1073, by Konchok Gyelpo (1034-1102). It houses more than 28,000 volumes of sermons, ranking the first among temples in whole the country. It is divided into the south and north two parts. The fortress-like southern monastery at Sakya was founded in 1268. The south part is of typical Yuan Dynasty style of resembling castles.

Located in the Nyang Chu Valley, 100km east of Shigatse and 240km southeast of Lhasa, Gyantse is strategically an important towm connecting Lhasa to its northeast, Yakong to its south and Shigatse to its Northwest. Gyantse is famous for its grand Kumbum Chorten (One hundred thousand holy images), which has 77 chapels and 108 doors for worshipping over 10000 images of Buddha. The Gyantse Dzong is Gyantse's town fort sitting upon a hill just north of the town. The fortress was heavily damaged during the British invasion of 1904.

Major Attractions:
The Pelkor Chode – Pelkor Chode Monastery is the main monastery in Gyantse, Tibet. It is the most notable for its Kumbum, which has 108 chapels in its four floors. The monastery was founded in 1418 and became an important centre of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It has 77 chapels and 108 doors for worshipping over 10,000 images of Buddha.

Dzong – Dzong architecture is a type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas, most notably Bhutan. The architecture is massive in style with towering exterior walls surrounding a complex of courtyards, temples, administrative offices, and monks’ accommodation.

Rongpbu Monastery - Located 100 km southeast of Shegar, Rongpbu Monastery is a monastery of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism in Basum Township. It lies by the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier at 5,100 metres above sea level, the highest monastery in the world. It takes 5 hours on the bumpy and dusty roads from Shegar to Rongbuk Monastery. It only takes 2 hours hike to E.B.C from Rongphu.

Base Campe (Mt. Everest) – There are two base camps on opposite sides of Mt. Everest to the South in Nepal, and to the North in Tibet. Located at the altitude of 5,360 meters is South Base Camp in Nepal and at 5,208 meters is the North Base Camp in Tibet. These camps are rudimentary campsites on Mount Everest that are used by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent. South Base Camp is used when climbing via the southeast ridge, while North Base Camp is used when climbing via the northeast ridge.

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