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Shigatse Travel Guide

Shigatse, also Xigatse, means "fertile land" and stands at the junction of the Yarlong Tsangpo and Nyangchu River. It used to be the capital of Tsang and now is the capital of Shigatse prefecture. Shigatse is about 300 km from Lhasa, it is an important stop between Lhasa and west Tibet where pilgrims and tourists often wander. Shigatse has a population of over 80,000, of which 97% are Tibetan. It is the second largest city within Tibet has undergone large scale development.

The summer in Shigatse is usually mild and wet, and brings most of the annual rainfall. Winter is cold, dry and windy. There are wonderful monasteries comparable with those in Lhasa, like Tashilhunpo, Sakya and Shalu, etc. The highlights of Shigatse is surprisingly high snow covered peaks. Most of the highest peaks in Tibet, including Mt. Everest, are around Shigatse.

Although Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet, the accommodation options are limited. The hotel is not as many as Beijing or Shanghai. The Bank of China near Shigatse Hotel accepts travelers' cheques but does not accept credit cards. The post office handles international letters and faxes, but does not accept parcels. Shopping in the open market is an interesting experience for most people.