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Shigatse lies on the main Friendship Highway from Lhasa to Kathmandu, so, although tourists typically make the trip in Land Cruisers, any two wheel drive car is good for the job.
There are two routes one can take, the south and the north one. The longer route is the one you would normally take on the outbound leg of your trip from Lhasa. Although it is possible to drive the distance in a day, the trip is normally split in two with an overnight stop in Gyantse, leading past Yamdrok Tso.
The shorter route takes about 4 hours maximum, including short stops - and goes direct from Shigatse to Lhasa. This is the route you would normally take on the return leg (if coming back to Lhasa by Land Cruiser).
There is very little traffic on the route by Chinese standards, hence even tourists (who are usually discouraged from driving in China) would be able to drive themselves, if self-drive tours were allowed/became more popular.
Written Nov 6, 2011
This Buddha statue is typical of what can be found in Tibetan monasteries. It is rare to be able to take pictures. The Tibetans cover these figures in silk cloth and put money as offerings as well. The Buddha figure can be recognised based on the position of his hands, symbolising various representations.
Written Mar 29, 2003
The first time I went here was in 2006 when travel was a bit easier. Part of the adventure was taken a beat-up bus from Shigatse to Shalu. This is not very far but back then the bus dropped you off at a dirt road intersection and you had to walk. A nice walk surrounded by the mountains. I think the bus ride was more of an adventure! A unique experience happened. As you may know, many Tibetan travel from Monastery to Monastery to pay respect. The bus was loaded with elderly Tibetan women. During the ride they kept staring at my and pointing to their eyes (I have blue eyes is all I can figure why they did this), then without asking, an older one reached out of her seat and grabbed the hair on my arm and pulled hard! Then she started laughing. They all got a big kick out of this.
Anyway, Shalu is nice and small. I like going to these types of Monasteries because they do not get the traffic of the big and more popular location. The monks and other people are usually so happy to see you. A great experience.
Written Apr 21, 2011