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Kora around Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet

KEY FACTS ABOUT SHIGATSE

Second largest city in Tibet
Capital of Tsang Province, currently the administrative center of Shigatse Prefecture
Altitude: 3900 meters
Population: 870, 700 people
Location: about 250km from Lhasa via Friendship Highway
Another spelling: Xigatse, Xigaze, Rikaze

ABOUT SHIGATSE

Shigatse and Tashilhunpo Monastery in Tibet

Shigatse, the capital of the province of Tsang, is 354 km west of Lhasa. It is located 90 km west of Gyantse on the south bank of the Brahmaputra at the point where the Nyang Chu River flows into it. It can be reached by two routes from the capital via the Northern Road, which runs from Golmud and reaches Shigatse via the Daktsuga ferry over the Brahmaputra, of the Southern Road via the town.

Shigatse has long been the commercial and political center of the Tsang region. The massive old fort or dzong in Tibetan dominated the city landscape. In the past, during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Kings of Tsang lived there. Unfortunately, it was almost completely destroyed. The new castle built in its place is beautiful but lacks the charm of the original building.

Since the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse served as the seat of the Panchen Lama. His monastery, Tashi Lunpo, is the only place of genuine interest left. Recently the Panchen Lama built a new palace, the Dechen Potrang but this is a building with little attraction.

HOW TO TRAVEL TO SHIGATSE

Shigatse train station
Shigatse train station

There are 3 main ways to reach Shigatse:

  • By air. There is an airport in Shigatse. It currently connects the city with Xian and Chengdu in China with non-stop flights and with several large Chinese cities with a stopover flight.
  • By train. There is a new railway station in Shigatse opened in 2016. Currently, the train connects Shigatse with Lhasa, and trains run twice a day. The duration of the train ride is 4 hours. Since the Tibet-Qinghai railway connects Lhasa with large cities in China, you can transfer from any of those trains to the train to Shigatse.
  • By road. Most of the travelers arrive in Lhasa first. From Lhasa, you can reach Shigatse by car. The distance between the two largest cities in Tibet is about 250km.

Shigatse is traditionally the stop-over point on the way to the Everest Region. The road continues from there to Shegar, Tingri, and Mount Everest Base Camp from there, as well as to Gyirong port – the newly opened border between Tibet and Nepal.

WEATHER IN SHIGATSE

Shigatse Annual weather graph

The weather in Shigatse is similar to the weather in Lhasa. April to October the weather is pleasant with warm days. Even in summer day and night time temperatures are very different. Be prepared to layer your clothes as the temperature drops significantly. Because of the strong summer radiation, you should bring sunscreen and sunglasses. You can also wear a long-sleeve shirt even in summer and a baseball hat or wide-brim hat for sun protection.

Shigatse Precipitation graph

Overall, the climate is dry with some rains during summer, mostly in July and August. Even during the rainy season, it mostly rains at night. During the daytime, it can be cloudy in summer. Because of the warm weather, summer is the most popular season for tourists. For landscape photography, it is best to travel outside of the rainy season.

WHERE TO STAY IN SHIGATSE

Since Shigatse is located on many vital transportation routes, many travelers stop there to explore the city and to take a break while traveling to Lhasa, Gyantse, or Everest. You will find many hotels, ranging from simple 3-star hotels with basic amenities, to high-end 5-star hotels.

Even in the simple accomodations, you can expect to have a shower with hot water, Wi-Fi, and an option to have breakfast. In our group tours, we usually stay in mid-range accomodations, such as the Gesar Hotel.

PLACES TO VISIT IN SHIGATSE

TRAVEL TO EVEREST IN TIBET


JOING AN INCREDIBLE ADVENTURY AND VISIT LHASA, SHIGATSE AND EVEREST IN 8 DAYS TOUR.

CULTURAL EXPLORATION, INCREDIBLE LANDSCAPES, RELIGIOS PLACES AND MAJESTIC HIMALAYAS.

RECOMMENDED TOURS VISITING SHIGATSE

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