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Lhasa & Around| Centre Tibet| Everest Region| Overland to Kathmandu| Kailash & Manasaovar| Eastern Tibet

What to See in Central Tibet

With most of its major sights relatively close to Lhasa, and the rich culture of this region, Central Tibet draws the crowds. This is no reason to avoid it. Gyantse, in the Nyang-chu Valley, famed for the largest chörten (stupa) in Tibet, and hiking in Yarlung Valley, widely considered the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Shigatse is the second biggest town in Tibet. Shigatse means in Tibetan "The Estate that fulfills one's Wishes ". Tashilhunpo Monastery is its major historic attraction. Base yourself in Tsetang and marvel at the monkey cave in Gangpo Ri or walk the monastery kora (pilgrim path). Your trip will take you past glittering mountain turquoise lakes and over high passes draped with prayer flags.

Potala Palace
Ratings:
1
Potala Palace

Potala Palace which Tibetans proudly claim to be the prime miracle since the creation of this world, it is beautiful, that it is a golden feather upon the roof of the world.

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Jokhang Temple
Ratings:
2
Jokhang Temple

Join the shuffling lines of awed pilgrims around the glowing shrines of the Jokhang, Tibet's holiest temple. It is not to be missed by any visitor to Lhasa!

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Pelkhor Monastery & Kumbu Stupa
Ratings:
3
Pelkhor Monastery & Kumbu Stupa

The renowned Pelkhor Monastery is different to others in Tibet for its architecture combining stupa and temple, with temples in the stupa and vice versa.

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Tashilumpo Monastery
Ratings:
4
Tashilumpo Monastery

Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama, is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking tulku lineage in the Gelukpa tradition.

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Sakya Monastery
Ratings:
5
Sakya Monastery

The Sakya Monastery was built in 1073 by Khon Khonchong Gyalpo, which is located in the city of Sakya, in the Tibetan region of Tsang, about 100 miles north of the border between Tibet and Nepal.

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Yumbulagang Palace
Ratings:
6
Yumbulagang Palace

Yumbu Lakang, reputed as the first palace in Tibet history, is also the oldest extant building and the first palace in Tibet. It's a worthwhile visit for those Tibetan history fans.

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Samye Monastery
Ratings:
7
Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery to be founded in Tibet, is famous for its sacred mandala design and a popular pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists.

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Trundruk Monastery
Ratings:
8
Trundruk Monastery

Trundruk Monastery in the Yarlung Valley is the earliest great geomantic temple after the Jokhang, and the largest and most important of the surviving royal foundations in the Yarlung Valley.

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Samding Monastery
Ratings:
9
Samding Monastery

Samding, a Geluk Ani gompa was built on a hill on a peninsula jutting into the sacred lake, Yamdrok Tso, provides excellent views of the Dumo plain and the mountains to the south.

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Ralung Monastery
Ratings:
10
Ralung Monastery

Ralung Monastery, located in the Tsang region of western Tibet, south of the Karo La, is the traditional seat of the Drukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Gyantse Dzong
Ratings:
11
Gyantse Dzong

Gyantse Dzong or Gyantse Fortress is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet, perched high above the town of Gyantse on a huge spur of grey brown rock.

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Pala Manor
Ratings:
12
Pala Manor

A ten-minute drive from Gyangtse will take you to Pala Manor, a place that will give you something of an insight into the lifestyle of the wealthy landowning people who once lived in this area.

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Yungdrungling Monastery
Ratings:
13
Yungdrungling Monastery

The Bonpo Yungdrungling Monastery is located across the river from the road between Lhasa and Shigatse. Once the second most influential Bon monastic institution in Tibet, it used to be home to 700 monks.

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Summer Palace of the Panchen Lamas
Ratings:
14
Summer Palace of the Panchen Lamas

The seventh Panchen Lama, Tenpei Nyima, built the palace in 1844. If you have extra time in Shigatse, pay a visit to the Summer Palace of the Panchen Lamas on the south end of town.

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Shalu Monastery
Ratings:
15
Shalu Monastery

Shalu Monastery, also Schalu Kloster, situated 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Shigatse, is a perfect combination of Han and Tibet architectural styles.

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Phuntsoling Monastery & Jonang Kumbum
Ratings:
16
Phuntsoling Monastery & Jonang Kumbum

It's worth to take a few hours' diversion to Phuntsoling Monastery. Not only is the drive here along the winding Yarlung Tsangpo highly scenic, but so is the monastery itself, situated at the bottom of a gargantuan sand dune.

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Xiqian Hot Springs
Ratings:
17
Xiqian Hot Springs

Tibetans come from far and wide to bathe in the healing waters of Xiqian hot springs, which are said to cure a multitude of ills, especially skin irritations.

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Dorje Drak Monastery
Ratings:
18
Dorje Drak Monastery

Along with Mindroling Monastery, Dorje Drak is one of the two most important Nyingmapa monasteries in Tsang. It is on the northern bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo.

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Drak Yangdzong
Ratings:
19
Drak Yangdzong

Drak Yangdzong, up in the mountains, is one of the most sacred caves of Guru Rinpoche's hermitage. It's worth to take an adventurous off this beaten track trip.

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Dongphu Chukhor Monastery
Ratings:
20
Dongphu Chukhor Monastery

The Dongphu Chukhor Monastery is located in Chitosho village, which is known for its easy, slow pace and is run in a traditional manner.

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