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Shigatse, also known as Xigatse, is Tibet's second largest city after Lhasa and was formally known as the most important political, cultural and economic centre of Tsang. Located at the confluence of the Nyang and Brahmaputra Rivers, Shigatse is the ideal spot to stay overnight when travelling to Mount Everest Base Camp or onwards to Kathmandu. A photographer's dream, this prefecture-level city sits elevated at 3,840 metres above sea level and is entirely encircled by snow-covered mountains. The best local sites include the 600 year-old Tashilhunpo Monastery - the seat of the Panchen Lamas - the Shigatse Fortress and the town market, where you can find all kinds of traditional Tibetan products and interact with the friendly locals. There are various festivals held throughout the year in Shigatse, including Gstang New Year and the grand Buddha Unfolding Festival celebrated in Tashilhunpo Monastery. If you are lucky enough to visit during this time, you will see the three large thangkas of the Three Periods of Buddha unveiled, one on each day./p>
Best time to be there
The severe climatic conditions and great discrepancy in daily and seasonal temperatures are due mainly to the high altitude. Mid-spring, summer and early autumn get rather warm. Early spring gets cold, especially in the mornings and at night. A similar climatic situation applies to the late autumn and winter months.
Lahasa via Chengdu, China or Kathmandu, Nepal
2 hours from Chengdu or 1 hour 5 minutes from Kathmandu
GMT +7 hours
Visa required for UK passport holders
Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
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