Shigatse prefecture

Shigatse Prefecture Travel Guide

Shigatse prefecture (གཞི་ཀ་རྩེ།) is the central prefecture of Tibet. The area is traditionally known as Tsang. Bordering Lhasa and Lhokha on the east, Nepal on the south, Ngari prefecture on the west and Nagqu Prefecture on North. It is the home to the Most famous monastery of Sakya Monastery and Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, Famous mountains like Mt Everest and Himalaya region.


Geography of the Shigatse prefecture

The prefecture is sandwiched between the great Himalaya and northern highland of Tibetan Plateau with Yarlung Tsangpo river flowing in the middle. Many of world 8000+ meter mountains are located in this prefecture. The flow of Yarlung Tsangpo makes the majority of the central area fertile. The region of Gyantse and Shigatse town is well known as the breadbasket of Tibet Autonomous region for its high production of wheat and Barley.

The Main city of the prefecture is Shigatse town. The town is located at the 3846m above the sea level. The second biggest city in the prefecture is Gyantse. The Town is well known for its beautiful stupa and fort. It is located at the 4033m above sea level.  For its average high elevation, it is recommended to stay in Lhasa city for three days to acclimatize before traveling to this prefecture.

Popular destinations in the Shigatse prefecture.

Mount Everest Basecamp is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the prefecture. Yamdrok Lake and Pangong Tso lake are two most popular and beautiful lakes in the prefecture. There are two Gateways to reach Nepal from the prefecture. These are Kyirong and Zangmu town. right now the Later one is closed for international travelers to cross and only Kyirong is open for travelers to cross country travel.

Getting to Shigatse Prefecture

You can reach this prefecture overland from Nepal. From Lhasa ( the major gateway city in Tibet). You can either take the car to the prefecture or take a train to Shigatse. The prefecture has an airport called Shigatse peace Airport. Thought it is not a popular flight destination for international travelers yet there is a daily flight from Chengdu.

High Altitude Sickness and Elevation

The Elevation of Shigatse prefecture above 3800m above the sea level. While the average elevation of Tibet as a whole is 4500m. We also have some areas which are located at lower elevated than the Shigatse like Lhasa city, Tsedang, and Nyintri area.

It is very common for travelers to suffer from the high Altitude sickness upon arrival in Shigatse. We would recommend staying in the lower places before coming to Shigatse. It might take a day or days to acclimatizations in Lhasa. For some, it can be severe and for some, it could be little breathlessness while climbing the stairs.

Most Responsible travel agency in Lhasa would start all the tours from Lhasa, as it gives some days in Lhasa City to acclimatize before moving up to the higher elevation. Majority of the trip in Tibet will have three days in Lhasa to visit the sight in the city in additional with acclimatization process. With us, we provide Oxygen cylinder in the hotel room in an emergency and 24X7 assistance from the hotel staffs and us ( The Tibet travel agency). You can always call us if you need help).

We would like to recommend visitors to go to Shigatse city only after the proper adaptation. Lhasa city has the best medical facilities in the Entire Tibet and best transportation transit if you need to evacuate. Which is why it is best to stay in Lhasa until the proper acclimatization.

There are many locally produced Medicine for the high elevation; Some local Tibetan Medicine. But we always recommend all our clients to consult their doctors about the plans to go to Tibet and bring their own medicine. We want to suggest you the same.

Tibet Travel Permit for Shigatse Prefecture

Though we will take care of all the required Tibet Travel permit for Shigatse Prefecture. If you would like to know in detail about the permit requirement to Shigatse Prefecture. Here is the information.

If you are visiting the Shigatse Prefecture, the permit required are the primary Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens Permit, and Border permit. It usually takes about 12 days in getting that basic permit done. The alien permit is an additional basic permit required, but the border permit is needed only if you are going to the Mount Everest basecamp and overland journey from and to Nepal.

But you must keep in your mind the permit situation is different as per the mode to transportation into Tibet as follow:

  1. If you are taking a train from other cities in China beside Chongqing. You have required only the photocopy of your Tibet permit. Hence we will send you a copy in an email, and you can make the printout.
  2. For the train from Chongqing to Lhasa. The Train station in Chongqing will need to see your original Permit. For this, we will have to send you original permit to your hotel in Chongqing.
  3. Taking the flight to Tibet from any part of China, we will need to send your Original Tibet travel permit. Any airport in China will require to see your original Tibet travel permit before boarding into the flight.
  4. The permit will be at the border with your tour guide for all the travelers coming from Kathmandu to Tibet.  If you are taking the overland journey from Nepal to Tibet, your guide will be at the China custom at the border port with the permit. For the flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, your tour guide will be with the permit waiting for you at the China Custom counter in Lhasa Airport.

The southeastern part of the Shigatse prefecture is lower at 3800 meters. Elevation at the other part of the region is mostly above 4500m. In the lower region, it is warm in summer and in the coldest winter months, the temperature is above freezing during the sunny days. The climate is a semi-arid monsoon, with a low average temperature of 1.2 to 7.5 °C (34.2 to 45.5 °F). Average annual precipitation is 466.3 millimeters, with 85% falling in the June–September period. Typically there are 3,000 hours of sunshine each year.


Best times to visit.

The best time to come to Shigatse prefecture in April to Mid June and September to November. During those days it is warmer and no rainfall on average.

If you would like to enjoy a Tibet tour without many tourists. Winter is an excellent time to come to Shigaste.

Hotels in Shigatse Prefecture

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Tashi Choeta

Tashi Choeta Hotel is a four stared Tibetan Hotel in Shigatse. This hotel is known for it interior.

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Gesar Hotel

Gesar Hotel is four stared hotel in Shigatse. It is most preferred hotel in Shigatse.

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Roof of the world

Roof of the world hotel is a new hotel in town of shelkar near the Mount Everest basecamp.

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Snow leopard

Snow leopard hotel is a standard hotel in Shelkar, near the Mount everest basecamp.

Rongbuk Monastery Guest House

Rongbuk monastery

Rongbuk monastery guest house is a simple accommodation in the Rongbuk monastery at the mount everest basecamp.

Tent Hostel

Tent Hostel

Tent Hostel at the Mount everest basecamp can accomodate up to 8 poeple, It a very basic accomodation

Equipment, and Packing Checklist


  • Comfortable, broken-in hiking shoes or hiking boots with Spare laces
  • 3 or 4 pairs of hiking pants ( at least 1 pair of waterproof/windproof hiking pants
  • *1 pair of comfortable tennis shoes, flip-flops or croc-style sandal to wear
  • 2 or 3 pairs of cotton socks
  • 3 or 4 pairs of wool socks
  • 4 to 6 pairs of underwear (*trekker should bring some spandex or non-chaffing underwear)
  • 1or 2 sets of thermal underwear (tops and bottoms)
  • 1 set of warm pajamas for overnight
  • Mid-weight or heavyweight winter coat ( down recommend for treks and any Tibet Travel in the month from October to April) 
  • Lightweight hooded rain jacket for treks and any travel done from April thru October
  • Warm Hat
  • Warm gloves
  • Scarf (Optional)
  • Sun Hat with the wide brim
  • 2 or 3 fleece tops
  • 4 to 5 T-shirt (Mixture of short and long sleeved. *Wicking shirt should be used for treks.)


  • *1 lightweight, quick0drying towel
  • *Gaiter (optional for trekkers)
  • *bandana (optional for trekkers)
  • *mid to heavyweight sleeping bag of -12°C to -18°C (10°F to 0°F)
  • Sunglass with UV Protection
  • Protection small flashlight (torch) or headlamp with extra batteries
  • 1 liter Nalgene bottle
  • Small thermos for tea/hot water
  • *day pack that is 30L to 40L in size ( Only if you are trekking)
  • *2 durable trekking poles ( Only if you are trekking)
  • 1 or 2 small plastic bags for dirty clothes, etc
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry items
  • Sunblock/ Sunscreen that is SPF 35 or higher
  • Lip balm that contains sunscreen
  • Skin moisturizer (optional)
  • Anti-Bacterial hand sanitizer
  • Small hand-held mirror (Optional)
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products
  • Shaving products
  • Travel size Soap and Shampoo
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Wet wipes
  • 2 to 3 rolls of toilet papers
  • Nail clipper
  • Band-Aid and moleskin for blisters
  • Earplugs
  • Cotton buds/Q-tips


  • Medicine to treat travelers Diarrhea
  • Anti-biotic ointment for minor cut or blisters
  • Personal Tylenol, ibuprofen, cold medicine, antihistamine, etc
  • Diamox / Acetazolamide (Optional….contact your doctor for details)
  • Medicine if you are prone to motion sickness (optional)
  • prescription drugs (contact your doctor)


  • iPod/iPad/Kindle(optional)
  • Batteries for personal items (Camera, Flashlight, etc)
  • plenty of memory cards for your camera
  • passport/ money holder
  • extra copy of your passport and Chinese Visa (Make an Extra copy of your travel permit in Tibet)
  • Protein bars, Chocolate, dried fruit or Other snacks of your choice.
  • Electric outlet adapter for China
  • Small notebook with pen
  • 3 to 4 small zip-lock bags

Festival in Shigatse Prefecture

Losar Tibetan New Year བོད་ཀྱི་ལོ་གསར།

Losar, The Tibetan New Year 

Losar means Tibetan New year. This is one of the most important festivals in the entire years, similar to the Christmas in West and Spring festival in Other parts of China. During the Tibetan New year, we will make sure every one of back home to celebrate it…

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Saga Dawa Festival

Saga Dawa

Saga Dawa festival is a month-long festival which is commemorated on the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, Buddhist all over the commemorate the life of Buddha. Many travel website and many other websites regard it as the celebration…

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Gyantse Damak Festival

Gyantse Damak Festival

Gyantse Damak or the Gyantse Horse racing festival is celebrated in the town of Gyantse. The Gyantse is considered as the leading producer of barley in Tibet, and the town has significant cultural Influences in Tibetan Culture and tradition

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Tibetan Bathing Festival Karma Rishi སྐར་མ་རི་ཥི་།

Tibetan Bathing Festival

Tibetan Bathing festival is one of the unique festivals you will come up with while you are traveling in Tibet. The festival is of a week long, and sometimes it is called Tibetan Bathing week. Its celebrate on the 1st Week of the seventh month….

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Ongkhor festival

Ongkhor Festival

Ongkhor is one of the most important festivals for Tibetan farming communities in a year. This festival is the celebrations to bring good luck for the annual harvesting from the Farmland. The festival is normally celebrated…

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Palden Lhamo Festival

Palden Lhamo Festival 

Palden Lhamo festival is celebrated only in Lhasa. People from other parts of the Tibet would call it Lhasa’s Palden Lhamo festival. The festival falls on the 15th days of the 10th month of Tibetan Calander. This is the celebration….

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Places to visit in Shigatse Prefecture

Mount Everest Basecamp

Mount Everest Basecamp

Everest Base camp on this website refers to the tourist base camp at the foot of Everest in Tibet. It has become a trendy tourist destination in Tibet for both trekkers and travelers…

Gyantse རྒྱལ་རྩེ་།


Gyantse is located at 3977 meters above sea level and 254 km south-west of Lhasa. The town is located between Karola glacier and Shigatse town…

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery བཀྲ་ཤིས་ལྷུན་པོ་།

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery

Tashi Lhunpo monastery is one of the four main monasteries of Gelugpa Monastery in central Tibet, others include DrepungSera, and Gaden

Peikutso lake

Peikutso lake

This is the 14th Highest lake in the world. Peikutso lake is a beautiful alpine lake near Shishapangma. Due to its remote location, a very tourist goes there.

Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery

The Sakya monastery is the principal Monastery to the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. You can reach the monastery on your way to Shelkar town.

Gyantse Dzong

Gyantse Dzong

Gyantse Dzong is one of the most beautiful castles in the world. It is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. Perched high above the town of Gyantse.

Gyantse Kumbum Stupa

Gyantse Kumbum Stupa

Gyantse Kumbum Stupa is the multi-storied aggregate of Buddhist chapels in Tibetan Buddhism. The most famous Buddhist Stupa in Tibet.

Gyantse Palchoe Monastery

Gyantse Palchoe Monastery

Gyantse Palchoe Monastery is the main monastery in the Gyantse Valley. The Monastery is considered one of the most beautiful monastic complex.

Samding Monastery

Samding Monastery

Samding Monastery, The monastery of  Soaring Meditation is located in a peninsula extending into Yamdrok Lake about 10 kilometers of Nangartse.

Shalu Monastery

Shalu Monastery

Samding Monastery, The monastery of  Soaring Meditation is located in a peninsula extending into Yamdrok Lake about 10 kilometers of Nangartse.

Rongbuk Monastery

Rongbuk Monastery

Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. The monastery is located on the north side of the Mount Everest in Tibet, near the Everest basecamp.

Cho Oyu Basecamp

Cho Oyu Basecamp

Cho Oyu Basecamp is easier accessible from the Tibet as compare with Nepal. You will only require an addition to visit it from Thigri. It is only 43 Km from Shelkar.

Shelkar fort and Monastery

Shelkar fort and Monastery

Shelkar is also called as the New Tingri town on central west Tibet. The town is very well known for its Shelkar Chode Monastery

Shishapangma Basecamp

Shishapangma Basecamp

Mount Shishapangma is the 14th Highest mountain in the World. It is located entirely in Tibet at 5 Kilometers from the Nepal Border.

Recommend Tours in Shigatse Prefecture

10 Days Tour to Everest Basecamp
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kashgar to lhasa overland tour
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Kashgar to Lhasa Overland tour
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Shalu to Nartang Trekking Tour
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9 days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and Namtso Lake
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Central Tibet loop 8 days
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Our Special Arrangments

For maximum exposure to Tibetan Culture, religion, history, and crafts. We have extensive special arrangements to give you good cultural and traditional experiences.

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Responsible Tourism

I-Tibet travel and Tours is fully committed to responsible and Sustainable tourism practice in Tibet. Our privilege to be able to host you in Tibet also makes our responsibility in protecting nature and contributing back communities.

As a Local Tibetan travel agency in Lhasa. Our staffs are 100% local Tibetan tourism professionals. Additionally, We only use local Tibetan guides, other tours crews, and local business. 100% of the travel money goes to locals. Besides, We use 3% of the net profit into Environmental and social initiatives.

Being Tibetan, We know how vital the Tibetan environment is for the entire world. Mountains, glacier, and rivers are all cherished in our culture. We do our best to reduce the environmental impact of your tours in Tibet.

Following are Our ways:

a) No Small plastic bottles in the tour

All the drinking water are provided in the bigger container. So all visitors are asked to bring his/her own water bottle. In this way, we reduce hundreds and thousands of small plastic bottles. All the bigger containers are provided back to the manufacturer for reuse.

b) Incentives for practice

Incentives are given to guide and drivers. Who follow our strict directories on ethical practice towards sustainable and responsible tourism practice.

c) Staff Training every winter

Winter is a low season in Tibet tourism.  We provide skill training required for the practice of Responsible and Sustainable tourism practice, first Aids and emergency first responder training. One of our managers is certified Humanity Supply Chain management by fritz institute. We work closely with individuals from institute like Tibet Eco Travel initiatives and Local Tibet Red Cross society and other NGOs.

d) Tree Plantation

Some portion of the tour money  are save for our 1000 Tree plantation project. We will plant trees when we will have enough funds.

e) Smaller group size

All our tours are a small group to reduce environmental Impact. Since traveling in a smaller group has less impact on committed in an area than a big group. Therefore all our tour groups are small.

f) Trekking tours and environmental care in the wilderness of Tibet

During your trekking Tours, you will be walking across a very fragile ecosystem.  We do take extra care in our trekking tours preventing environmental effects. Following are how are take care of our environment our trekking tours.

1: We nothing leave mother behind.

We make sure we take all our rubbish and leave nothing behind.

2: We protect the grassland

A little destruction of Tibet’s fragile environment is irreversible. So, in the trekking tours, we will not make drainage surrounding your tent. Instead, we will provide trekkers with a better tent with bathtub style floors which prevent water from getting into the tent. We don’t put a small tent toilet. Even if we try to put the grass back, it is not the same. So when you are answering your nature called please enjoy the view.

3: Collecting the garbage along the way.

We have a saying in Tibet, “if you can’t help, don’t harm.” Here is our helping part. We always have extra yaks carrying the Garbages, our yak men will be collecting while waiting for the clients at the campsite. Yak man walks faster than all, and they have free time at the camp. While cook prepares for meals and drinks, We pay yaks men’s incentives in collecting the rubbish around the camp.

I-Tibet travel and tours, identify its self as a social enterprise.  For this, we dedicate 3% of our annual net profit to Social and environmental projects. Every winter we buy winter clothes for small children and donate to schools. In this way, besides donating winter cloth, we are also encouraging them to go to school.

It is important to make our guest understand Local Culture, Beliefs, and Ethics. Hence it will make it more comfortable during Our special tour arrangements. Like, your home visit, culture programs, and our others.

Sustainable toursim in Tibet

I-Tibet travel is local Tibetan travel agency based in Tibet. Being register in the year 1991, as Tibet Whole world international travel Co.Ltd.  Makes one of the oldest Tibetan travel agency in Lhasa. Thus we can to make all the Document require for your Tibet travel including travel permits. Our service includes wide ranges of Tibet tour packagesTibet group tour for Budget Travel. Also, You can book your Tibet flight tickets and Tibet train tickets. So, We hope you will choose a Local Tibetan travel agency to travel to Tibet.

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