A two hour drive from Gyantse, Shigatse is the capital of the central Tsang region, and Tibet's largest city. Long a political rival to Lhasa, Shigatse is the seat of the Panchen Lamas, the second-highest lamas in Tibet, after the Dalai Lama. Like Lhasa, Shigatse has an old town, with a range of rambling alleys, compounds, and monasteries, as well as a newer, more modern enclave.


A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.

Family Dinner

Have dinner in the home of a local family, learning about their way of life in this remote region.

Gang Gyen Carpet Factory

Tour the Gang Gyen carpet factor with your guide, and witness the intricate weaving processes involved in making Tibetan carpets.

Ngor Monastery

Hike around the hills of the Ngor Monastery outside of Shigatse, following a popular pilgrim and trekkers’ trail between the Ngor and Nartang monastic complexes. Founded in 1429, Ngor is a lovely small monastery with beautiful surroundings.

Old Shigatse

Explore Shigatse with your expert guide, visiting the bazaars and the remains of the old dzong, or fortress. Once a testament to the power of Shigatse’s Tsang kings, the dzong was recently rebuilt and restored to its former state.

Tashilunpo Monastery

Visit the Tashilunpo Monastery, home to the Panchen Lama, a ranking spiritual figure second only to the Dalai Lama in importance. Founded in 1447, the monastery is a large compound of chapels, courtyards, and byways. Within the monastery is a tall, 75-foot (23 meter) statue of the Maitreya Buddha, finished with gold leaf, as well as a population of resident monks. Like the Potala in Lhasa, Tashilunpo houses several impressive funeral chapels for the Panchen Lamas, including that of the 10th, who passed away in 1989 and whose chortem, or stupa, cost an estimated $8 million to build.

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