Central Tibet Highlights – Part III

Palgor Chorten, Gyantse

Palgor Chorten, Gyantse

When we are done with the Lhasa and Tsetang, heading a bit further southeast-ward, we have Gyantse, Yamdrok Lake, Shigatse and Mt. Everest, and Namtso in the north on our way back to Lhasa before finishing from your lovely Tibet tour.

Yamdrok Lake

Taking the southern road out of Lhasa, there is the dazzling Yamdrok Yutso (Turquoise Lake) by KambaLa Pass, shaped like a coiling scorpion, the road does not show much of it if one is to check further, but the portion that the road shows is spectacular. On a clearer day, the lake adds an unnaturally deep blue contrast to the scene. Yamdrok Lake is one of the four holy lakes, some Tibetan pilgrims even circumambulate the 70 km long lake.


When you are in Gyantse, the first thing that will catch your sight and wonder is Gyantse Kumbum or Pelkor Chorten (Stupa), its architectural structure is unique, even in Tibet. The stupa is old of course, built around 1427 by a Gyantse Prince, and is located next to the Pelkor Monastery. The Gyanste town as a whole is still an authentic Tibetan beauty, remote and friendly.


Shigatse - A panorama from Dolma Ri

Shigatse – A panorama from Dolma Ri


90 km northwest of Gyantse lies Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet and the traditional capital city of Tsang, hugely enlarged the recent modern buildings and traffics. Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is the only sight you will see there, and an empty Dzong (fort). The monastery lies in the west of the city, on an uphill Dolma Ri (hill) like most of the monasteries in Tibet overlooking the town. The monastery is most of the time half-crowded and vast enough to not look so.

The central Tibet isn’t all with I have described, if you have time, take some off-road trips, there are many more to explore and admire. Explore Tibet has the best of itineraries for all kinds of travellers and interests; 7 Days Yamdrok Lake Camping, 8 Days EBC Exploration