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Xigatse (日喀则; Rìkāzé - Tibetan: གཞིས་ཀ་རྩ), also spelled Shigatse is the second largest city in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. It is located 3800 meters above sea level.


With a population or about 50,000, it is an important trading and administrative center.

Get in[edit]

Located at the intersection of several highways, the city of Xigatse is positioned on the Friendship Hwy. Buses and Mini-buses travel the distance from Lhasa. There is public transportation to Gyantse, Lhatse, Sakya, Dromo, Gampa and Khangmar on a semi-regular basis.

Shigatse Peace Airport is 45 km away from Shigatse city.

Shigatse will also be connected with railway, currently under construction, set to open in 2014. It is the hub of Tibet transport to Nepal and India.

Get around[edit]

All sites of interest are within easy walking distance. Auto-rickshaws are also available.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Tashi Lhunpo [1]. The traditional seat of the Panchen Lamas. It was constructed in 1447 and is where the Panchen Lamas resided and conducted their religious and secular duties. Covering a floorspace of 300,000 square meters, the monastery is enshrined with the world's largest gilded bronze Buddhist statue, the 22.4 meter high statue of Maitreya Buddha.
  • The free market and the gift market in Old Town
  • The ruins of the Xigatse Fortress

Do[edit][add listing]

Linka Festival in Xigatse has been a custom for Tibetan people. This custom has a lot to do with the climate, the environment and the living condition of high land. People walk outdoors during the first day to the fifteenth of May in Tibetan months. They travel to Linka, a beautiful place abundant with trees and flowers, and thus, the festival is gradually formed.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Travelers' checks (but not credit cards) can be used to access cash at the The Bank of China branch near the Shigatse Hotel.

  • David Zakus, 155 College St, #576, 416 978-1458. Check out the beautiful silk carpets for good prices from the local factory in town.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Lots of restaurants around Samdup Hotel

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Accommodation in Xigatse is more expensive than in Lhasa and there are only a few budget options.


  • Fruit Hotel - located across from Tashilhunpo Monastery
  • Samdup Hotel (Sangzhuzi Fandian) Tel:+86 892 882-2252
  • Tenzin Hotel - located across from gift market in Old Town below Shigatse Dzong

Mid range[edit]

  • Shigatse Hotel (Xigatse Binguan), Jiefang Zhong Lu. Tel:+86 892 882-5525 Fax:+86 892 882-1900
  • Zhufeng Friendship Hotel (Zhufengyouyi Binguan), Dechen Potrang Lu. Tel:+86 892 882-1929 - good hotel, but a little far from the downtown area.


Get out[edit]

Xigatse is one of the best places in Tibet to pick up a travel permit, issued at the police station with only an hour or two of waiting. The permit is valid for anyplace in Xigatse Prefecture that you specify. That allows you to go up to the border with Nepal. Interesting places to visit in Xigatse Prefecture include Sakya, Gyantse, Mount Everest, and Tingri.

By Train,There is a train from Bejing to Lhasa. There is a branch from Lhasa to Shigatse, just recently completed. By Air, Shigatse has an airport nearby, the flight is from Shigatse to Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. By road to Kathmandu, Shigatse is on the way of travelling from Lhasa to Kathmandu, it takes about 10 hours driving,484km to the Nepal border from Shigatse. By road to Lhasa,280km, 4 hours driving.

Routes through Xigatse
Lhasa  N noframe S  END

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