Introduction of Shigatse
Located in the alluvial plain at the confluence of Brahmaputra and Nianchuhe rivers, Shigatse, the seat for every generation of Panchen Erdeni is 273 kilometers west to Lhasa. At an elevation of 3,800 meters, with the area of 3,875 square kilometers and population of 820,000, it is the second biggest and the only county-level city in Tibet. Ambitious travelers come to Shigatse from all parts in order to witness of Mt. Everest, they know it only as a stopover en route to Everest Base Camp. Nowadays, Shigatse has become an important tourist attraction and transit of Tibetan golden tourist route, attracting countless tourists at home and abroad with its mysterious Tibetan Buddhism culture.
What to see in Shigatse
Shigatse is full of traditional Tibetan charm and culture. The busy city market is surprisingly full of fruits and vegetables, meats and grains as well as fine local handicrafts and artwork. Tibetan inhabitants still tenaciously hang on to traditional ways.
Shigatse is the most colorful area in Tibet with vast grasslands, fertile fields in river valleys, flourishing semitropical jungles and snowfields at high altitudes. The famous scenery spots include Xiqin Spring, Yatung Spring, Yongzelucuo Lake, Tashilumpo Monastery, Palkor Monastery in Gyantse, Sakya Monastery, Pingcuolin Monastery, Juenang Monastery, Pala Manor and etc. Furthermore, the Everest Nature Reserve, with an area of more than 30,000 square kilometers, is around it.
The annual Zhanfo Festival and Tiaoshen Festival in Tashilumpo Monastery, Ximuqinbo Festival in Xialu Monastery and Tibetan drama shows have won a high prestige in the world for their distinct styles. In addition, Shigatse is rich in medicine resources, among which there are more than 300 kinds of medicines for common use, such as aweto, fritillaria, gastrodia tuber, hsueh-lien-hua, rhodiola root and rhubarb.
China Construction Bank, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China have established branches in Shigatse. In addition, there are ATMs in the city.
Accommodation in Shigatse
Though Shigatse is Tibet's 2nd largest city, accommodations have been developed a bit recently years. There are only 3-4 star rated hotels and various guesthouses, but clean, spacious rooms with private bathrooms are available.
Dinning and Restaurants in Shigatse
Eating well in Shigatse is quite affordable. The few restaurants with English menus are scattered around serving Chinese food , Tibetan food and some Western food. The Gangjinalinka Tibetan Restaurant serves local food but it's popularity can be a problem—it's a popular tour group spot, making for crowds and slightly higher prices than you'll find at lower-profile restaurants. If you're in search of something other than Chinese or Tibetan food try Tashi Restaurant which serves pizzas and Nepali stir-fry as well as delicious breakfasts; it's a little pricey but still affordable.
Tip: Shigatse is higher than Lhasa, if you're coming from Lhasa, drink lots of water and pace yourself to avoid altitude sickness and shortness of breath.