Shigatse Travel Guide

In the southwest of Tibet, there is a plain formed by the confluence of the Yarlung Tsangpo and Nyainchu River. Shigatse - the second largest city in Tibet comes after Lhasa, is sitting there. With the average elevation from 3,840 to 4,464 meters, Shigatse owns various of different landscapes. Endless meadow, fruitful cropland, spectacular snow-covered mountain....you can find all the awe-inspiring scene that impresses you in Shigatse. Besides, the pleasant climate and fertile land provide a stable life for the local people, therefore, it is regarded as “the Manor of Happiness”.


The biggest highlight in Shigatse natural tours is the highest mountain on earth – Mt. Everest, which attracts thousands of travelers to come every year. Apart from natural attractions, Shigatse has many religious scenic spots as well. After all, it’s a city over 600 years and the domain of Panchen Lama. The famous Tashilhunpo Monastery, Phalkor Monastery, Sakya Monastery…are all located here. It’s definitely a place where you can explore Tibetan Buddhism more deeply.

Shigatse city in Tibet map
Shigatse Attractions

Shigatse is the highest city in Tibet which attracts lots of travelers by its charming views. Majestic Everest, ancient Tashilhunpo Monastery, Sakya Monastery, crystal-like Peikutso Lake, shining Karola Glacier and so on are all recommended places to go. Set foot on this beautiful high plateau, and explore the highlights by yourself.

How to get to Shigatse
Attractions around Shigatse city

At present, there are two main gateways for travelers to get to Shigatse - Lhasa and Nepal.

If you choose an overland route from Lhasa to Shigatse, you can take a car or bus. The distance between Lhasa and Shigatse is about 271 kilometers, and it takes five hours to arrive at the destination. What’s more, taking a train to Shigatse from Lhasa is available now because of the extension of Qinghai Tibet Railway. The railway distance from Lhasa to Shigatse is about 197 kilometers, and it takes travelers 2:55 hours to arrive at the destination.

Some travelers will take Nepal as an entry point. If you prefer an overland tour,  the G318 Friendship Highway via Gyirong Port is available. Currently, there is neither flight nor train heading from Kathmandu to Shigatse. According to the official announcement, a railway between Kathmandu and Shigatse will be built in the coming years. Before entering the border of Tibet, you should prepare a certain permit named China Group Visa in advance, which equals China Visa and just for travelers getting to Tibet from Kathmandu. View more >>

Shigatse Weather
The weather in Shigatse area.

As the reason for the high altitude, the main characters of Shigatse weather are thin air, strong UV rays, low air pressure, low oxygen content. The division of the wet season and the dry season is clear. Normally, from October to April in the next year is the dry season. From May to September belongs to the wet season. The rainfall reaches the highest point around the year in June and August. If we must say the best time to visit Shigatse, it is from June to November when the weather is warmer and visibility is better. View more >>

Shigatse Travel Tips

Tip One: Best Shigatse Tour Route

Here are two popular Shigatse tour routes: Lhasa → Yamdrok Lake → Gyantse → Shigatse; Lhasa → Gyantse → Shigatse → Mount Everest. The former route shows you the best views in Lhasa, enjoy the alpine lakes, majestic monasteries in Gyantse and Shigatse. The latter route takes you to see the stunning sunset and sunrise of the highest mountain Everest in addition.

Tip Two: Permits Needed in Shigatse

The priory permit is the Tibet Travel Permit. All foreigners should hold this permit when entering the Tibetan border. Besides that, in some certain areas such as Mt Everest, you must apply for Alien Travel Permit. Please keep them well, because the application of those permits is very complex.

Tip Three: How to deal with high altitude in Shigatse

Compared with other places in Tibet, the altitude of the attractions in Shigatse is higher. Therefore, the chance to suffer from altitude sickness is greater. You'd better pay more attention to it. Usually we will let travelers stay several days in Lhasa city before heading to Shigatse for better adaption. High altitude sickness often happens when they arrive at Everest Base Camp. Do not take fierce activities such as jumping, running, etc. Drink more water and have more fruits and vegetables. Once you feel uncomfortable, you should decline the altitude.

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