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Shigatse Travel Guide
Written on 22nd January 2017

Introduction of Shigatse

Located in the alluvial plain at the confluence of Brahmaputra and Nianchuhe rivers, Shigatse, the seat for every generation of Panchen Erdeni is 273 kilometers west to Lhasa. At an elevation of 3,800 meters, with the area of 3,875 square kilometers and population of 820,000, it is the second biggest and the only county-level city in Tibet. Ambitious travelers come to Shigatse from all parts in order to witness of Mt. Everest, they know it only as a stopover en route to Everest Base Camp. Nowadays, Shigatse has become an important tourist attraction and transit of Tibetan golden tourist route, attracting countless tourists at home and abroad with its mysterious Tibetan Buddhism culture.



What to see in Shigatse

Shigatse is full of traditional Tibetan charm and culture. The busy city market is surprisingly full of fruits and vegetables, meats and grains as well as fine local handicrafts and artwork. Tibetan inhabitants still tenaciously hang on to traditional ways. 


Shigatse is the most colorful area in Tibet with vast grasslands, fertile fields in river valleys, flourishing semitropical jungles and snowfields at high altitudes. The famous scenery spots include Xiqin Spring, Yatung Spring, Yongzelucuo Lake, Tashilumpo Monastery, Palkor Monastery in Gyantse, Sakya Monastery, Pingcuolin Monastery, Juenang Monastery, Pala Manor and etc. Furthermore, the Everest Nature Reserve, with an area of more than 30,000 square kilometers, is around it.


The annual Zhanfo Festival and Tiaoshen Festival in Tashilumpo Monastery, Ximuqinbo Festival in Xialu Monastery and Tibetan drama shows have won a high prestige in the world for their distinct styles. In addition, Shigatse is rich in medicine resources, among which there are more than 300 kinds of medicines for common use, such as aweto, fritillaria, gastrodia tuber, hsueh-lien-hua, rhodiola root and rhubarb.


Tashilumpo Monastery

Tashilumpo Monastery



Banking Service:

China Construction Bank, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China have established branches in Shigatse. In addition, there are ATMs in the city.



Accommodation in Shigatse 

Though Shigatse is Tibet's 2nd largest city, accommodations have been developed a bit recently years. There are only 3-4 star rated hotels and various guesthouses, but clean, spacious rooms with private bathrooms are available. 



Dinning and Restaurants in Shigatse 

Eating well in Shigatse is quite affordable. The few restaurants with English menus are scattered around serving Chinese food , Tibetan food and some Western food. The Gangjinalinka Tibetan Restaurant serves local food but it's popularity can be a problem—it's a popular tour group spot, making for crowds and slightly higher prices than you'll find at lower-profile restaurants. If you're in search of something other than Chinese or Tibetan food try Tashi Restaurant which serves pizzas and Nepali stir-fry as well as delicious breakfasts; it's a little pricey but still affordable.

Tip: Shigatse is higher than Lhasa, if you're coming from Lhasa, drink lots of water and pace yourself to avoid altitude sickness and shortness of breath. 



Shigatse weather & Climate, Best time to visit Shigaste

This is a rough guide to when to travel to Shigatse, Tibet. The best time to visit Shigatse is from April to October, with the peak months from May to September. Please advoid the first week of October to come as it is our national holiday.  


The general weather features of Shigatse are as below:

  • Thin air, low air pressure ,  lack of oxygen.

  • Strong radiation of sun, long hours of sunlight (average 3,300 hrs per year) and strong plateau ultraviolet.

  • Frost free period lasts more than 120 days without heavy snow and the snowfield mainly lie in the south of Yatungpali-Nyalam-Tingri line.


Shigatse is sunny and mild with yearly average temperature of 6.3℃, Since the weather as well as the tourist establishments are all desirable, you can come to enjoy the beautiful scenery anytime, with a minor lose of less green and life in winter than summer. As for those who are interested in Tibetan Buddhism, don't miss the Zhanfo Festival and Tiaoshen Festival in Tashilumpo Monastery, the Ximuqinbo Festival in Xialu Monastery and the Tibetan dramas as well. Meanwhile, the period from May to July is the best time to travel in Shigatse. It will be fine mostly, clouds rolling in the sky, slowly moving its dark shadow over a vast stretch of golden rape flowers and green highland barleys; Everest unveiling on occasion from dark clouds that hangs around it most of a year, bringing about happiness and luck to those who come to appreciate it reverently. You can go to anywhere of the semitropical region in the south, although it usually rains heavily there.

Tip: 

  • Traveling in summer or autumn, you can dress cotton intimate apparels because the temperature differs greatly between day and night (cold in morning and night while hot at noon);

  • Take on a topee and do not forget a collapsible umbrella or raincoat in summer and autumn.

  • You should be all kit out in winter and spring to protect yourself from the cold and wind.

  • Sunglasses is absolutely necessary for all seasons to protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation and glisten of the snow (especially when your destination is Everest); suntan lotion, skin cream and lipstick are also essential in the dry air and scalding sunlight, so, dear sirs, don't be careless just because you are males, for there are really some guys who left with burnt noses.


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