Xigatse prefecture (日喀则地区; Rìkāzé Dìqū) is in Central Tibet. It has numerous places of interest for tourists, and has good public transportation by Tibetan standards.
Cities, Towns, & Villages
- Xigatse - the capital, and the only real city in the prefecture.
- Gyantse - the fourth largest city in Tibet. Home to a famous stupa.
- Dram - town located at Nepal border
- Lhatse - a minor town with little tourist interest, but important as a transportation hub as it is final destination for all public transportation in the direction of Mount Kailash and Nepal. There are a few guest houses and several shops.
- Nyalam - site of 'Milarepa's cave'.
- Sakya - a large village with an important old monastery.
- Shelkar - launching point for the landrover trip to Qomolangma National Nature Reserve.
- Tingri - the closest town on the "highway" to Nepal and Mount Everest. It offers a wide, but simple choice of accommodation and is a good place to view Mount Everest. With camping equipment, it's also possible to trek to Everest back camp - a journey of about four days.
- Zhangmu - called in ancient time, Tajiaogabu, in Tibetan words means a nearby port, is an important extension branch of the tea horse road.
- Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. A reserve spanning the foothills of the northern side of Mount Everest.
- Tashihunpo Monastery - The monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's Mountain) in the center of Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city, and serves as the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking tulku lineage in the Gelukpa tradition in Tibetan Buddhism.
- Nyalam Pelgyeling Monastery, 10 km north of the village of Nyalam. A monastery built around a cave where the enlightened yogi Milarepa (1040-1123) and his disciple Rechungpa spent many years in meditation.
As Shigatse is located at an average altitude around 4,000 meters, high altitude sickness easily occurs. As most travellers to Shigatse prefer to have a short stay in Lhasa for adapting to the high altitude. In this case, the chance to experience altitude sickness in Shigatse might reduce.