5 Days Lhasa and Yamdrok Holy Lake Tour from $575
Natural Beauty Admiring
6 Days Tibetan Buddhism Tour (Lhasa & Tsedang) from $642
Cradle of Tibetan Civilization
6 Days Tibetan History Trace Tour (Lhasa & Tsedang) from $642
Cultrue and History

Shannan Travel Guide - Attractions, Transporation, Weather, Tours

Shannan, also named Lhoka in Tibetan, is a long-standing prefecture-city located in southeast Tibet. Literally meaning the south of mountains, it lies in the southern side of Gangdise Mountains and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. As the western border area of China and owning a boundary line of over 600km, Shannan holds the very important strategic position. Adjacent to Lhasa and with Lhasa Gonggar Airport in its geographic scope, Shannan is developed to a popular tourist’s destination featuring in both natural landscape and cultural relics. Regarded as the gathering place of Tibetan culture, it is said to enjoy about 10 Firsts in Tibet, including the first palace, the first King, the first monastery the first slavery regime, the first farm land, the first village etc. Apart from the historical sites, you will embrace the magnificent ranges, spectacular lakes, peaceful valleys, Buddhist monasteries as well as grand palace. 

Tsedang – the Cradle of Tibet Civilization

Situated in the middle and lower reaches of Yarlung Tsangpo River, Tsedang (capital of Shannan) breeds the ancient Tibet Civilization. It has been the seat of ancient emperors of Tibet for a long time. What make it so famous is Yumbulakang Palace – the first place in Tibet, and Samye Monastery – the first monastery in Tibet. Both of them hold an important statuse in Tibetan Buddhist culture and hisory. If you want a deep Buddhist exploration, Tsedang is a must place worthy of your visit.

Top Shannan Attractions

With plenty of natural scenery and cultural sites, Shannan never disappoints every tourist by its great charm. If you love the lakes and want to take some nice shots, Yamdrok Lake is the best choice. For those tourists who are interested in Buddhist culture or history, you can pay a visit to Yumbulakang Palace and Samye Monastery. Besides, seeing view of Yarlung Tsangpo River is also a visual treat on your journey. Take a glance of the most popular attractions:

Yamdrok Lake

Type: Holy Lake & Natural Site

Altitude: 4,441 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Among the three holy lakes in Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake is the most reachable one. Without an outlet, it seems like a natural reservoir with a perfect balance between the melted snow water and the evaporated lake water. By standing the hilltop around, you can have a far view of the fresh water under the sunshine.

Samye Monastery

Type: Architecture and Culture

Altitude: 3,700 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Built in 762, Samye Monastery is the first official Buddhist monastery, also one of the most influential monasteries in Tibet. Its architecture features in the Tibetan, Chinese and Indian style, which makes it called three-style monastery. There are many precious murals cherished in the monastery as well.

Yumbulakang Place

Type: Historical Buildings, Religious Site

Altitude: 3,700 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Yumbulagang Palace is the first palace in Tibet built by the first Tibetan King, Nyatri Tsanpo, in the 2nd Century BC. As one of the first buildings in Tibet, the palace has a watchtower styled building with many historical relics kept inside. It is a must see for tourists who are interested about Tibet history.

  • How to Get to Shannan

    Shannan Travel 2017/2018

    Two main transportations to Shannan are taking flights from major cities of China and by driving from Lhasa.

    Flight to Shannan: Lhasa Gonggar Airport is just located in Gonggar County of Shannan, about 100km away from Tsedang. Tourists can take domestic flights to this airport from many major cities of China, like Bejing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xian, Chongqing, Kunming, Shangri-La etc. and international flights from Kathmandu. Then you can drive about 1.5 hours to Tsedang Town.

    Driving to Shannan: Many tourists prefer a Lhasa city tour before turning to Shannan. You can spend several days visiting the landmarks of Lhasa, and then drive to Tsedang. The road between Lhasa and Shannan is in good condition and it takes about 2 hours to transfer between them. On your way, you will have a nice sightseeing of Yarlung Tsangpo River. Read more>

  • Best Time to Visit Shannan

    Shannan Travel 2017/2018

    Benefited from the warm and moisture laden winds of the Indian Ocean, Shannan has a relatively proper climate and weather with an average annual temperature of 7.4~8.9 °C. The temperature gap between day and night varies largely and tourists need to always keep warm at night. It is also necessary to bring some sun blocks to protect your skin from sun burn.

    If Shannan is your only destination in Tibet and you only want to explore the landmarks (Yamdrok Lake, Samye Monastery and Yumbulakang Palace) of Shannan, you can visit all the year around. If you want to explore Shannan attractions fully, April to October is the best times for you. Read more>

  • Where to Accommodate in Shannan

    Shannan Travel 2017/2018

    There are various hotels in Shannan ranging from four-star comfortable hotels to economic guest houses and most of them are gathered in Tsedang. Recommended hotels include:

    Yalong River Hotel: Yalong River Hotel is a four-star hotel with well-quipped facilities and Tibetan style decoration. Offering special Tibetan food, Sichuan cuisine,western dishes, Japanese food and Korean food for your choice, the restaurants is praised as the best restaurant in Shannan. There are also available cafe and sunna, so you can have a really good rest in this restaurant.

    Tsedang Hotel: Tsedang Hotel, also a good choice for accommodation, is the largest hotel located in the center of Tsedang. With architecture of Tibetan, Chinese and European style, Tsedang Hotel enjoys an eyes-catching appearance. It is also a four-star hotel providing good facilities and helpful service. Here you can have a good time in the central garden, delicate cafe, salon, bowling alley, billiard room, fitness center etc. Read more>

  • Useful Shannan Travel Notes

    • 1. How to Plan Shannan Travel
      Being reached conveniently, Shannan can be listed in your itinerary as your first destination in Tibet. It is common to have a 6 days tour combining Shannan and Lhasa. After the arrival on day 1, you can visit Yumbulakang Palace, Samye Monastery and Yamdork Lake on day 2 and then drive to Lhasa for accommodation. In the next two days, just immerse yourself in the strong Buddhist atmosphere by visiting the landmarks of Lhasa. The last day is for departure. Some other travelers take Lhasa as the starting point and then transfer to Shannan instead.
    • 2. Packing and Wearing
      What you can’t forget is to bring your passport, Chinese Visa and all needed permits, without them you are unable to have a Tibet tour. Then it is recommended to pack your stuffs in two bags – a bigger backpack and a smaller carry-on bag. The smaller one can be used for daily activities and be put into the large backpack when necessary. It is also important to bring the necessary medicine and sunscreens.Because of the special geography and climate, you have to wear properly to keep warm.
    • 3. High Altitude Sickness Tips
      The average altitude of Shannan is about 3,700m (12,139ft), really low compared with some other regions in Tibet. While visiting the landmarks in/around Tsedang, like Yumbulakang Palace, Samye Monastery and Trandruk Monastery, tourists seldom get a serious High Altitude Sickness. If you want to drive to Yamdrok Lake, you need to pass Kambala Pass with a high altitude of 5,030 meters. Remember to drink more water, keep warm and avoid strong activities. Your tour operator will also prepare oxygen supply for emergency use.
    • 4. Necessary Permits for Visiting Shannan
      Traveling to Shannan or other areas in Tibet, Tibet Travel Permit is a must. It is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau only and can be applied by travel agencies on behalf of you only. It must be obtained before you getting to Tibet, because you are not permitted to board your flight or train without it. Besides, Aliens’ Travel Permit is necessary to Shannan Prefecture. It is applied after you entering Tibet. Your tour guide will apply it with your Tibet Travel Permit and passport. In some places of Shannan, you need a Border Pass as well.

    Most Recommended Shannan Tour Packages

    Following are some other recommended Shannan tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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