Covering an area of 182,000 sq km (about 4,497,319 acres) and nurturing a population of 845,300, Shigatse is the second largest city of Tibet. Stands at the junction of Yarlung Tsangpo and Nyangchu River, it has fertile lands, that is why it is also given the name of “the fertile land”. Being richly endowed by nature, it has a lot of natural scenic sites. Among which, the best known is Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Every year, thousands of travelers from across the global to Shigatse to challenge the utmost limits of human beings, some of them are failed, some of them are succeeded. Do you want to take an adventure to Shigatse? If you are planning a Shigatse tour, this guide might be helpful to you to make a perfect plan.
Tip 1. Learn about the Shigatse Profile
Tip 2. When & How to go to Shigatse?
Tip 3. What to See & Do in Shigatse
Tip 4. Where to Stay in Shigatse
Tip 5. Necessary Permits for Shigatse Tour
Tip 6. Tips for Packing List of Shigatse
The Map of Shigatse
Elevation: 3848 meters / 12,625 feet
Location: Around 250km southwest from Lhasa, and 90km northwest from Gyantse.
Highlights: Mount Everest, Tashilhunpo Monastery
Major Tourist Counties: Tingri County, Gyangtze County, Sakya County, Lhatse County, Saga County, and Gyirong County
More Counties in Shigatse: Namling County, Ngamring County, Xaitongmoin County, Bainang County, Rinbung County, Kangmar County, Dinggye County, Zhongba County, Yadong County, Nyalam County, and Kamba County.
1. How to Get to Shigatse?
Currently, tourists can go to Shigatse by two ways: directly fly to Shigatse from Chengdu and travel from Lhasa to Shigatse by train or car. Usually, travelers choose the latter way. There are many reasons for this result. Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, is normally the first stop of tourists’ Tibet journey. As a window of Tibet, Lhasa has so much to tell travelers. From tranquil Potala Palace, busy Barkhor Street, to holy monastery, every architecture has its history to tell. Besides, starting from Lhasa is also good for your body to adjust to the high altitude sickness. Ascending slowly from low altitude to high altitude is a good way to acclimatize. Lhasa, locates at around 3500m above the sea, is a nice start point of your journey.
Train to Shigatse
If you are departing from Lhasa, then you can get to Shigatse by train or car. Taking train is convenient and time saving. Only takes 3 hours can tourists arrive at Shigatse. But if you want to see more attractions, you can choose car-driving, which allows you to enjoy more wonderful sceneries like Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Palcho Monastery, etc. However, if you have visited Lhasa many times before and don’t want to visit it again, just directly fly to Shigatse from Chengdu.
2. Best Time to Travel to Shigatse
Actually, Shigatse is suitable for traveling all year round. The weather in this place is always sunny and warm, with an average temperature of around 6.3°C. But it should be noted that Mt. Everest weather is more complicated and harsher than other places of Shigatse, so you ‘d better avoid visiting Mt. Everest in winter.
There are so many things to see and do in Shigatse. Outdoor activity like Mt. Everest trekking and hiking is available for people who want to challenge themself. Indoor activity like visiting Tashilhunpo Monastery give you great chances to explore the history of Shigatse. No matter which activity you like better, below are some of the most recommended things to do in Shigatse.
Top 1. Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery
Tashilhunpo Monastery is a must-see attraction in Shigatse. Insides this monastery seats the world’s largest gilded Qamba Buddha bronze statue, which was made up from 335kg of gold and built by 110 artisans. It took over 4 years to finish this marvelous work. The statue’s hair is decorated with more than 30 big diamonds, and body is dotted by various precious jewels and stones like pearls, corals, and chrysophorons. You will be definitely attracted by its magnificent designation.
Note: If you want to visit all the chapels, you’ d better to come earlier, since parts of the chapels in the monastery are closed between 12:00 am-2:00 pm.
Top 2. Visit Shalu Monastery
Shalu Monastery mainly features its special architectural style and collections. The architecture of this monastery is a combination of Chinese and Tibetan styles. Inside it preserved with a mass of murals, Buddha statues, scripture, Thangka, musical instruments, and some other cultural relics.
Top 3. Trekking to Mt. Everest or See the Sunrise of Mt.Everest
Everest Base Camp
located on the Himalayas and peaks at an altitude of 8,848 meters (29,029 ft.), Mt. Everest is the earth’s highest point. If you are looking for an experience that will “wow” your friend, then taking a tour to Mt. Everest.
There are various hotels in Shigatse that can meet tourists’ needs. From brilliant luxury hotels, comfortable hotels, to budget hotels, all of them can give you a good experience. They are normally equipped with basic facilities like cozy rooms, big beds, and brilliant service, etc. Here we select some of the most recommended hotels in this guide. All of these hotels are selected based on the travelers’ opinions on tripadvisor, so you don’t have to worry it is ad. According to travelers’ budget, we divide hotels into three types: luxury hotel, comfortable hotels, and budget hotels. Under each type we choose some of the most available hotels to recommend to you. Now, you can read this guide to get the best hotel.
Normally, tourists need to prepare for 3 documents to travel in Tibet, they are Tibet Travel Permit, valid passport, and Chinese visa. Issued by Tibet Travel Bureau, Tibet Travel Permit is a must entry pass to enter to Tibet for every traveler. Travelling with Tibet Travel Permit, also called TTB Permit, you can go Lhasa and its surroundings, main tourist roads in Nyingchi, Gyantse, Shigatse, Namtso and Naque. If you want to explore places that are “non-opened” or “restricted”, such as Mt. Everest Base Camp and Tsedang Samye Monastery, you need to further apply a “PSB Permit” , which is issued by the Local Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet. It is easy to apply for this permit, usually, your guide will help you arrange it.
Note: We can help you arrange your Alien’s Travel Permit upon your arrival at Lhasa, since we need your original passport and Chinese visa.
The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.
I'm interested in the 14 day trip from Lhasa to Nepal trip. In in January or February would be great. how much would that be? is there space?
best regards Mo***
Greetings from Nancy at Budget Tibet Tour, thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry. Sorry we do not have any group tour in Jan or Feb to Kailash as there will be heavy snow and the road will be blocked, and also the area would be closed, and no one do the business there, no hotel, no restaurants there. So from Nov to March we would not send any groups there.
If you would like to do this tour, you must plan it from April to Oct. and at present we have the group tour in next 6th May and 29th May, and we will have more available date in future. if you are interested in joining in this, please kindly let me know. Best regards.
Email to Nancy about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side