Gyangze Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • crazy chef!
    crazy chef!
    by blueskyjohn
  • Here is what the game table and pieces looks like!
    Here is what the game table and pieces...
    by Confucius

Gyangze Things to Do

  • The Kumbum

    The Kumbum is the main attraction at Pelkor Chode. Kumbum means 0ne hundred thousand holy images. Not quite that many but there a lot. The Kumbum is arranged like a mandala, especially if you were to view it from directly over head. As you ascend, in a clockwise direction, there are small chapels along the way. Each chapel has statues of deities as...

  • Back streets of Gyantse

    Gyantse is small enough to take some time to explore the back streets a bit. It is safe and you can meet some unique individuals along the way. Several have an amazing backdrop of the Gyantse dzord. A good route is to work your way towards the dzord. Pelkor Chode is to the left. Makes for a good side trip excursion if you are walking to the...

  • Simi La

    Simi La is the third and last pass you go through just before reaching Gyantse if you take the old road from Lhasa. There are some local Tibetans selling some items on make shift tables. There is also a restroom that is in poor shape. But if you have to go and need the privacy, this will do. Simi La overlooks a small lake that makes for a nice...

  • Pelkor Chode Monastery

    Pelkor Chode is the largest and main monastery in Gyantse. The entrance is unique as it is a walkway lined with prayer wheels that lead directly to an extremely large prayer wheel that is housed inside a dedicated building. To the left is the main attraction, the Kumbum. This is a large three dimensional mandala which surrounds a stupa. There is a...

  • Palcho Monastery and Kumbum

    This monastery is the main reason of visiting Gyantse. You’ll enter Palcho Monastery by walking between two lines of prayer wheels. Inside, in front of you, stands still the main building of the monastery. And on the left there is Kumbum, the biggest stupa of Tibet.The monastery was built between 1418 and 1428 by the second prince of Gyantse. It is...


    when in gyangze, it is very possible to get so overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of both the kumbum and the dzong that one might overlook the rabse is quaint when compared to the aforementioned landmarks but just as interesting. it's a small complex of structures with stupas and prayer wheels everywhere. at the time of my visit (aug,...

  • Gyantse Dzrong (old fort)

    The Gyantse Dzong (old fort) towers above the village and offers a fine view over the valley although now much in the way of sights inside. The walls of the current structure were reputedly built in 1268 as a reaction to the rise of Sakya power. The palatial castle was built in 1365 by which time the price had acquired influence at the Sakya and...

  • The Kumbum stupa

    The Kumbum ("10000 images") stupa is Tibet's largest and probably most magnificant stupa. Filled with numerous chapels, statues, frescoes and paintings it is well worth a visit. Located next to the monastery it is open from 9.30am but the monks seem to open and close the temples at will.

  • Pelkor Chode

    To the north, if you walk along the road that takes you around the fort, you'll come to the Pelkhor Chode Monastery. The Tsuklakhang was built in 1418-25 by a prince with affiliations to both the Sakyapa and Zhalupa schools. Beside this temple the Kumbum stupa was completed in 1427. The surrounding colleges numbered 18 by the early 19th Century...


    i woke up very early to watch the the first rays of the morning sun hitting the majestic walls of the gyangze dzong. it was surreal!if you're up to it, do the same. it's a beautiful sight!there's a plaza just south of the mount from where you can just sit and watch it all unfold. enjoy!


    if you ask me, the best way to climb the kumbum is to take the outside way up and then the inside way down - or the other way around. the point is, to see everything inside as well as all the great views outside. what i did was take the external route up, circling the outer ledge of each level before taking the stairs up to the next. this way, i...


    if you like the charming man (the local, not me) in this photo, then stop by the fields surrounding gyangze proper. there, you'll get up close to the locals as they go about their work. this is a really good way of understanding what life in a tibetan farming village is all about (as a referrence point, the gyangze dzong is in the background of the...

  • PALA MANOR: insight to tibetan life

    when in gyangze, you might want to check out pala manor, the former residence of a famous upper class tibetan family. it may be considered a mansion as it is rather expansive compared to typical tibetan houses of the time (and tibetan houses of the present, actually)there are mannequins inside some of the rooms that depict domestic tibetan life -...

  • Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum

    At the northeast corner of Gyangze is one of China's most beautiful temples. The Kumbum inside Pelkor Chode Monastery (Bai Ju Si) is a unique attraction with its octagon pyramid-like shape. It is 107 feet tall and has 108 doors, most of which lead to small shrines. You can go up to the top level by level using the inside stairs and ladders.There...

  • Dzong: The Acropolis of Gyangze

    When you arrive in Gyangze, one of the first sights you'll notice is this big old fortress on a hill at the east side of town. The foundations date back to the mid 14th century but the fort sustained considerable damage in 1904 when the British military demonstrated the use of advanced artillery on it during the Younghusband mission to Lhasa from...


Gyangze Hotels

  • Gyantse Hotel

    The hotel's official rating is ***, which did mean it was pretty basic - and so it was (it would not...


Gyangze Restaurants

  • Good food, crazy chef!

    Walking down the street through the market area, this man kept following us saying he owned the best restaurant in Gyantse and we should come for dinner. Being our first and only night in town we took him up on it.The restaurant is really nothing special from the outside and for that matter from the inside as well. There are many note books that...

  • Ai Fang pancakes

    The restaurant of the Jian Zang hotel is OK, but the food is not outstanding. Just the normal dishes they serve in tourist restaurants in Tibet. The Ai Fang pancake is not on the menu, but you have to get one for dessert. It is a thin pancake filled with apple. It is named after Ai Fang, the chinese name of our tourleader, she is the one that told...

  • relaxed atmosphere

    All over Tibet you will find restaurants called Tashi. They serve tibetan, chinese and western food and almost always have an english menu.It are real tourist restaurants tough and you will never find a tibetan eating there.Food here is good and tasty for a reasonable, but a bit higher (you are the rich tourist) price.


Gyangze Transportation

  • Renting a bicycle from Gyangze hotels

    Renting a bicycle is easy in Gyangze and facilitates exploration of areas off the beaten path beyond the city limits. It's also good exercise after the long bus ride from Lhasa.There are two different rates for bicycle rental; hourly and a daily flat rate. For example, the Gyangtse Hotel rents bicycles for 5 yuan per hour and at the Jian Zang Hotel...


    if you want a nice young tibetan guide who speaks english to take you to and around gyangze from lhasa, you can get in touch with nga wang. he was my guide during my solo tour around lhasa/gyangze/xigaze/nam-tso last august, 2006. he's very helpful and will take good photographs of you! (in case you're also traveling alone).he can also arrange your...

  • The road south from Gyangze: Highway...

    Highway 204 goes from Xigaze all the way south to the India border in Yadong county, passing through Gyangze. You will easily find plenty of vehicles for hire that do the route back to Xigaze, but it's challenging to find drivers going south on 204 or east on 307. Through bargaining and negotiations, you should be able to find a car and driver to...


Gyangze Local Customs


    keep an eye out when traveling to gyangze from lhasa because it's possible to come across mini festivals along the way. these colorful gatherings by the roadside can be anything from a religious celebration to a farming or trade fair. whatever they may be, stopping by and having a look is always a good way to immerse into the local culture. so, if...

  • "Sho Me The Money!"

    The Tibetan game of "Sho" is a game similar to backgammon in which players throw dice to determine moves marked by a path of shells. It's very popular on the side streets of Gyangze. ("Sho" is the Tibetan word for the standard "dice" used in this game.)You'll see a round yak leather pad used as a gaming table and old Chinese coins along with cowrie...

  • Exhibition of traditional costumes

    In the big entrance hall of out hotel in Gyantze was an exhibition of traditional costumes. The colourful dresses were richily decorated and embroidered. They told us that, these dresses were only used for special occasions. That's why we didn't see any Tibetan, walking in the streets in such a costume. That was a pity, but by this exhibition we...


Gyangze Warnings and Dangers


    as of last august 2006, the southern friendship hiway from yamdrok-tso to gyangze was closed. the classic itinerary from lhasa to gyangze to shigatse and back to lhasa had to be negotiated differently - vehicles had to go from lhasa west to shigatse via the northern friendship hiway then from shigatse southeast to gyangze via the southern...

  • monastery dogs

    Around the monastery there are a lot of dogs. These dogs are not the nice type that like to be cuddled, but they do bite!So be aware of them and as long as you don't come too close there is no problem.

  • Be aware of unstable grounds

    Walking through muddy streets can be more difficult than you think. Sometimes it looks like a stable piece but when you put you foot down you get sucked in. This happened to our tourleader, and we were happy it weren't our shoes and pants that needed a cleaning. Boy this was smelly....


Gyangze What to Pack


    when making the trip to gyangze (usually from lhasa), you'll be on the road for several hours. the places along the way where you can stop will be few and far between so make sure you bring an adequate supply of bottled water (adequate depends on how quickly you get thirsty).this area of tibet is very dry (you'll even see sand dunes along the...

  • WATCH W/ ALTIMETER (it's all about...

    bring a watch with an altimeter (i had a suunto xlander).if you're going to tibet, you'll be encountering elevations you're likely never to encounter again - personal altitude records is what i mean. might as well record it, right?also, better to be aware of the elevations you reach so that you can better "hike high, sleep low" - the general rule...

  • Gyangze Hotels

    1 Hotels in Gyangze

    2 Reviews

Gyangze Off The Beaten Path

  • Confucius's Profile Photo

    by Confucius Written Oct 7, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rent a bicycle from a Gyangze hotel and go north on Highway 204 past Pala Manor about 4 kilometers and you'll see a quaint village on the right flanked by old ruins. The ruins of an old monastery are on top of the hill and below are traditional Tibetan farmhouses. You'll see the typical countryside icons of horse carts, dirty kids, and peasants carrying wheat on their backs all set against the beautiful backdrop of this scenic valley. The road here is not paved and I didn't see any stores, so be careful with your bicycle and bring your own water.

    I don't even know the name of this village as it's too small for Chinese maps. Perhaps it's just part of Gyangze but it's a long hike from town across farm fields and down dirt roads. The people here are very friendly and everybody seems to be quite photogenic as well. The little boy in my additional photo followed me everywhere on foot until I got back on my bicycle and left the village.

    You should be able to go in the morning and return to Gyangze in time for a quick lunch. It's a fun excursion if you're eager to get away from the city for a while and observe Tibetan country life.

    This is the little village I visited from Gyangze! This is the little boy that followed me everywhere Old ruins are atop the hill, Tibetan houses below!
    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

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Gyangze Favorites

  • some facts

    Gyangze is located in the southern part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region along the Nyang Qu river. The county covers an area of 3,800 square km at an average elevation of 4,100 meters. It consists of 18 townships, one town, 157 administrative villages with a total population of 62,000.Gyangze Town is 4.5 square km large and has a population 10,800....

  • See the main sites in one day

    Gyangze is not that big, and there are only two major sites in town. Go to the Dzong (fort)on top of the hill in the morning, when it is not too hot to climb the hill. Enjoy the museum and the view and go down to have lunch.From 15:00 you can visit the monastery and the Kumbum which are on the same premisses.Have dinner in town and after a good...

  • Historical Buddha "Gautama"

    This venerated statue actually represents the historical figure of the Buddha "Gautama" and not one of its many representations. Statues like these abound in Tibetan monasteries, but it is rare to be able to photograph them.


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