Gesar Hotel

Gesar Hotel 3

Shigatse is a place you don’t want to miss if you travel to Tibet. As the second largest city in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Shigatse is full of fascinating history and local culture. Shigatse is a modernized city where travelers can find many spots to enjoy the hospitality of the Tibetan people and their distinct culture. Such as that found …

Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit

1. What is a Tibet Travel Permit? Firstly, a Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) is NOT a visa or any other kind of stamp that goes in your passport. It is a completely separate document that is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. It has two pages: the first page is the “permit” page and lists the name of the registered …

Tibetan Family Kitchen

Tibetan Family Kitchen Dining Area

Tibetan Family Kitchen was founded by a young and enthusiastic Tibetan couple in 2013.  Namdon and Lumbum used to be guides in Lhasa but unfortunately in 2012 there were no tour groups in Lhasa, and so they became jobless. With the help and encouragement of Namdom’s sister, they decided to open a home-style restaurant, as both of them are great …

Sonam International Youth Hostel

Sonam Hostel

Sonam International Youth Hostel was founded by a capable Tibetan lady, Nizhen, in 2008.  As a result of the train to Lhasa opening in 2006, the tourism in the area developed greatly. As Nizhen had a few years of experience in running a hostel in mainland, China, she decided to open a Tibetan style hostel in Lhasa. The hostel was …

Metok Karpo Restaurant

Metok Karpo Owner

Metok Karpo is a gem of a restaurant located near Barkor in central Lhasa. Though it is hidden away in a narrow alley beside the Snowlands restaurant, it is well worth the effort to track it down. The low doorway is on your right hand side if you are walking from the main street, and it is usually full of …

Yamdrok Yumtso (Yamdrok Lake)

Yamdrok Lake Tibet

Yamdrok, Yamdroktso (ཡར་འབྲོག་གཡུ་མཚོ།  ), or Yamdrok Yumtso, is a breathtaking lake lying between the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, and the town of Gyantse. Yamdrok Lake is viewable along the old Friendship Highway that links Tibet with Nepal, and is a favorite route for those heading to Everest Base Camp. Sitting at an altitude of 4,441 meters above sea level, the lake is 130 …

Lhasa

Jokhang Temple from Lhasa's Barkhor Square

Lhasa (ལྷ་ས་) has been considered the capital of the Tibetan peoples since as early as the 7th century. After conquering several surrounding kingdoms and two significant political marriages with Chinese and Nepali princesses, Songtsan Gampo became the first leader of a unified Tibetan Empire. He began construction on a palace which formed the foundation and determined the design of the current …

Shigatse (Rikaze)

Shigatse

Also known as Rikaze (日喀则), Shigatse (གཞིས་ཀ་རྩེ་ས་) is the second largest city in Central Tibet. It is a prefectural capital city with a population of over 700,000, and is most famously known for Tashilhunpo Monastery. This monastery is home to the Panchen Lama, the second highest lama in the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and best survived the excesses of China’s …

Chomolungma (Mt. Everest)

Mt. Evereset by day.

Also known as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ། )in Tibetan, (珠穆朗玛峰 in Chinese), the mere mention of the name “Everest” already evokes enough pictures in our imaginations: ice axes, climbing ropes, avalanches, sherpas, basecamps and lots and lots of snow. The tallest point from sea level on planet earth (8,848m) is assisted to its dizzying heights by the craggy edge of the vaulted Tibetan …

Tsetang ( Zedang)

Zedang Yubulangkang

Nestled in one of the most fertile regions of the Yarlung Tsampo River basin, Tsetang (རྩེད་ཐང་།) was the perfect place to start a new civilization. Referred to as Zedang in Chinese (泽当), Tibetans consider this quaint city the birthplace of their people. According to legend, the union of an ogress and a monkey led to the first Tibetan people. Regardless …

Peiku Tso

Salt line on the shore of Peiku Tso

Imagine you are a flea on the head of a king with a crown of peaks all around you. The stretch of road on the way to Peiku Tso is something like that. The king’s forehead is facing south with the crown jewel set upon the tallest point – Shisapangma – the 8,013 meter point that is the highest mountain …

Drepung Monastery

drepung Monastery Tibet

Historically, the most significant monastery in Tibetan Buddhism, Drepung Monastery(འབྲས་སྤུངས་དགོན་པ།) used to be the seat of political and religious power in Tibet (before the Potala Palace was built). This significance came in part due to its location just outside of Lhasa, and in part due to it being the primary seat of the Gelugpa sect. The Gelugpa sect practices celibacy, …

Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery

History of Samye Monastery Two hours drive southeast of Lhasa sits Samye Monastery(བསམ་ཡས་དགོན་པ།) – the oldest Buddhist training institution in Tibet, established in the lifetime of Padmasambhava in the eight century. The temple monastery compound is enclosed by a circular brick wall. It is said that from above, the circular wall and its contents resemble a Mandala – a Hindu and …

Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery Hillside Tibet

Located 50 km northeast of Lhasa, Ganden Monastery (དགའ་ལྡན་དགོན་པ།)is a relatively quick trip outside of Lhasa for visitors who wish to see the monastery, and enjoy the beautiful view of the valley below. Ganden Monastery is the biggest of the Gelugpa Monasteries, and was the first founded in the sect. Tsongkhapa was the founder of the Gelugpa sect (also known …

Kang Rinpoche (Mt. Kailash)

Mt Kailash

Mt. Kailash (Kang Rinpoche/གངས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ) in Western Tibet (TAR) is one of the most venerated religious sites in the world. Four separate religions consider the mountain holy, so it is no surprise that it is pilgrimaged by thousands each year. Conceivably, that number would most likely be greater if it weren’t so difficult to obtain permits to the area. Kailash is …

Sera Monastery

Sera monastery

Sera Monastery (སེ་ར་དགོན་པ།) is one of the most beautiful monastery compounds you will see in Tibet, and one of Lhasa’s several great religious institutes. Built on the gentle slope of a mountain overlooking Lhasa, its white stone roads and walkways feel almost Mediterranean. The roads are lined with beautiful trees and the debating courtyard looks like a private garden for …