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Shigatse (3800m) is located at the confluence of the Nyangchu River and the Yarlung Tsangpo River, 250km west of Lhasa. It is the second biggest city in Tibet and has a history of more than 500 years. As the historical capital city of Tibet, Shigatse is a political, economic, cultural and religious center, and it is the residence of the Panchen Lama.
Regular buses from Lhasa to Shigatse can easily be found in Lhasa city. There is a ticket office near Gyitri hotel, where morning buses departing at 08:00, 08:30 and 09:30 are available. For other times, you can check at the bus station. The last one departs at 16:00 in the afternoon. The ticket charge for the shuttle busses varies from CNY50.00 to 60.00 per person. If you would like to take a small bus, the price is about CNY100.00.
Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse
Qyangchen Monastery is located in Rinpung County in the Shigatse area. It is situated at the foot of Mt.Gongbagyabu, with an altitude of 3800m, facing south. The temple, which was built starting in 1432, belongs to the Gelukpa sect. This temple has the Maitreya Buddha, one of three Maitreya Buddhas in Tibet. The image is 13 meters high, cast in purple copper. Every year from Jan 01 to Jan 15 according to the Tibetan calendar, they hold a Dabianshen festival in this temple. Starting each Jul 15, there are three days of dance activities for the Tibetan religion. Stay overnight at Shigatse. Being a traffic hub of Tibet, you will find all levels of hotels here with the costs varying from CNY25.00 to CNY300.00. Among them, the Shigatse Hotel and Gyangtse Hotel are the best ones. The room rate is about CNY300.00 net per room per night. The Syangtse hotel is recommended by many visitors. It is in the city center and the price is about CNY100.00 net.
Transportation in Shigatse is convenient. Taxies within the city area all cost CNY10.00 net per time. If you take a tricycle, it is about CNY2.00 to CNY3.00 net per time. Chartering a car is always the first option for travelers. You can get that service at the China International Travel Agency near Shigatse hotel. The rate for your reference: CNY3.00 to CNY3.50 per kilometer for regular Landrover, CNY3.50 to CNY4.50 per kilometer for deluxe Landrover, CNY5.50 to CNY6.50 per kilometer for a mini-bus with 20 seats, CNY7.00 to CNY8.00 per kilometer for coach with 40 seats.
Sera Monastery, Lhasa
On your second day, visit the Tashilunpo Monastery, Dechen Gelsang Potrang and the Schalu Monastery. The Tashilunpo Monastery is located in the southwest part of Shigatse, and is the residence of the Panchen Lama. It is the biggest temple of the autonomous region of Tibet. You can walk or take a tricycle there. The admission fee is CNY55.00 net, and it is open from 09:30 to 12:30 and 15:30 to 18:30. If you need to hire a guide, it is about CNY50.00 net.
Dechen Gelsang Potrang was the summer palace for the Panchen Lama of 7th to 10th generations. The building was ruined by a flood in 1954, and was rebuilt afterwards, so it is also called the Panchen New Palace. The palace is located northwest of Shigatse, 20 minutes' walking distance from Tashilunpo Monastery. You can also go there by tricycle. The admission fee is CNY30.00 net.
Schalu Monastery was reconstructed in the Yuan Dynasty. There are many cultural relics such as the Moral of Scriptures remaining, which are well preserved at this temple. The temple is 20km south of the city and the best way of going there is to hire a car. Admission fee is CNY40.00 net. Stay overnight in Shigatse.
On the third day, travel back to Lhasa.
Devout Buddhist Tour: 7 days, Lhasa - Gyangtse - Shigatse - Lhasa
More Hiking Routes:
Lhasa Discovery: 2-day Lhasa City Tour
Lhasa-Shigatse-Yadong: to conquer the Gambala snow mountain and pay a visit to the feudal serfdom manor
Shigatse Sightseeing: 2-day Shigatse Route