Gyantse Town, once to be the political, economic and transportation center of Tsang, is a famed historical and cultural place located in Gyantse County, Shigatse Prefecture. It strategically lies in the Nyangchu Valley on the trade route, linking the traders between India and Tibet as well as the pilgrims journeying across the Himalayan Plateau in the ancient times. Now it plays an important role in connecting Kathmandu and Lhasa by sitting on the friendship highway. With the good climate and fertile soil, Gyantse area is also rich in natural resource and honored the Granary of Tibet. Nowadays, it is no longer the most developed town and not fast-growing as some other places, but it remains its original charm and manages to leave you a wonderful experience. In Gyantse, you are able to admire the natural sightseeing and historical sites.
Gyantse – City of Hero
In Tibetan language, Gyantse literally means “the summit of the victory and the residence of the King”. When the British army invaded Tibet in 1904, the soldiers and Tibetan people stationed in Gyantse and fought with the invaders to guard their homeland. After they run out of ammunition and food supplies, they still held on to the garrison for three more days. The descendants are moved by their spirit and honored Gyantse as the City of Hero.
Owing the long history and special geographic position, there is plenty more to see. Gyantse’s greatest sight must be Gyantse Kumbum in Palcho Monastery, the outstanding architectural wonder and the largest chorten survived in Tibet. In addition to that, Pala Manor and Gyantse Dzong are the good places to catch a glimpse of the old life of Tibetan nobles and explore the heroic history. Besides, Gyantse also shows a view of idyllic scenery. During late spring and autumn, you might see the sowing and reaping scenes.
Useful Gyantse Travel Notes
1. How to Plan Gyantse Travel
Most people like to transfer to Lhasa firstly and have a city tour to visit the landmarks, including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery etc. They usually drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake and Karola Glacier on Day 4. After a visit to Palcho Monastery and Kumbum Stupa, continue to the tour to Shigatse. Some tourists like spend one night in Gyantse for a full exploration. On the night, you can watch a landscape drama called Impression of Gyantse, which exhibits the traditional Gyantse folks, intangible cultural heritage, Tibetan art and the history. After the sightseeing in Shigatse, tourists will choose to continue the trip to Everest or drive back to Lhasa directly.
2. High Altitude Sickness Tips
The elevation of Gyantse reaches to 4,000 meters and some tourists may suffer from the High Altitude Sickness. According to our experience, several days’ stay in Lhasa (about 3,650 meters) will be helpful for plateau-acclimatization. Just in case, you are suggested to take a physical examination before traveling to Tibet, drink more water, keep warm, and avoid strong activities in the plateau area. Your tour operator will also prepare oxygen supply for emergency use.
3. Wearing and Packages
Remember to pack and wear for high plateau travel. . Keep warm and protect yourself from the harsh natural power is the biggest thing to concern. You are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). If you want to go to Mount Everest, down jacket is also recommended. A pair of gloves is also helpful for possible snow at Mount Everest. You should also bring rain gears if you travel in July and August.
4. Necessary Permits for Visiting Gyantse
To visit Gyantse, you only have to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit), issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. If you want to extend your tour to Mount Everest, the Border Pass is also necessary. Travelers can’t apply for these permits on their own. You have to let a China Travel Agency to apply for the permit on behalf of you. It usually needs about 15~20 days to obtain the permit.
Most Recommended Gyantse Tour Packages
Following are some other recommended Gyantse 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.