Tsetang is the capital of Lhokha Prefecture, and is also referred to as the "the cradle of Tibetan Civilization". Located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, it is the birthplace of the earliest Tibetans, holding much of its history. It was once the capital of the Yarlung Valley and a place of great importance for Tibetans. It is said there were thousands of houses, a fort, a bazaar and a gompa during the 19th century.
Your tour guide will take you on a sightseeing tour to the Yamdroktso Lake, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, to witness its beauty and importance to Tibetan pilgrims. Take a guided tour to the Trandruk Monastery, the earliest Buddhist Temples in Tibet and learn about its history and see the Thangka of Chenrezig Buddha statue that is made up of 29,000 pearls.
Tsetang town boasts combinations of cultural and natural scenery. From its beautiful lakes to the peaceful valleys and its many tourist attractions, it is a city that you can take full advantage of any time of the year. Read More...
The thrills of the Tombs of the Tibetan Kings with your own private Tour guide
Join in on the thrilling tour of the Tombs of the Tibetan Kings with your own private tour guide. Among the many tombs found in Tibet, the Tombs of the Tibetan Kings include the Tsampos, their wives and their officials. Covering an area of 3 million square meters, this group of tombs vary in size and offer a fantastic view of the giant tombs lining up from north to south in the valley.
Other sights and attractions of Tsedang include lakes, valleys, monasteries and breathtaking landscape. View the scenery on activity tours such as 4WD tours or horse riding tours to name a few.
Top 10 Things to Do in Tsetang
Samye Monastery is said to be the 1st monastery and the 1st university in Tibet, located 30 km from Tsedang. The building itself has been deconstructed and reconstructed some times but dates back to the 8th century. Explore the wonder of the layout of this magnificent monastery based on Buddhist cosmology with a knowledgeable tour guide and take a tour around its many building that lends insight to the Tibetan Buddhist universe.
The Yumbulagang is said to be the 1st Palace and the oldest building in Tibet overlooking the Tsedang Valley. It is a tapering finger structure with views of patchwork fields is worth the sightseeing tour. There is no known date as to when the Yumbulaganag was first constructed but is said that the first foundations were laid over 2000 year ago. Murals can be seen here that depict the magical arrival of texts from the 5th century.
Yarlung Tsangpo Valley
There is much to do at the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley with its castles, temples, monasteries stupas, peaks and meditation caves. It is just 75 km long but offers days of a venture. With a guided tour, explore the extraordinary nature and serene waters of the braided Yarlung Tsangpo. It is a land that boasts beauty and holds a history of Tibetan culture. Visitors usually stay two or three days to explore the various valleys on foot or bike.
Gangpo Ri mountain
Gangpo Ri mountain is said to be the birthplace of the Tibetan people. Legend has it that Chenresig is in the form of a monkey, mated with white demoness of Sinmo here and that was the beginning of the Tibetan race. It is classed as a significant place for this reason. Near the summit of the mountain, there is a monkey cave that is said to be where the legend happened. Learn more with a tour guide on why its considered a holy mountain.
Tombs of the Tibetan Kings
The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings include the tombs of Tsampos, their wives and their officials. Covering an area of 3 million sq meters, this group of tombs vary in size and offer a fantastic view of the giant tombs lining up from north to south in the valley. The tombs are flat in appearance and are piled with rock and earth. Most visitors come here to explore on guided tour and to climb on to the giant tombs.
Dorje Drak Monastery
The Dorje Drake Monastery is one of the two most important Nyingmapa monasteries. It sits in a remote and romantic lçocation that is ideal for a retreat. Founded in 1632 holds a lot of history. With a tour guide explore the assembly hall that displays the statues of the Guru Rinpoche and Pema Trinley, the five butter sculptures representing the chapel’s five protectors or treasures such as the fragment of a staff belonging to Milarepa.
The Samding Monastery
The Samding Monastery was founded in the 13th century and is one of the only female incarnations in Tibet. It holds an odd history that says it monks and nuns resided there and was associated with the Bodong sect. The Samding Monastery, although not visited as much as the other monasteries, has a lot to offer in term of legends, culture and design. On a guided tour you will be amazed at all the fascinating facts.
Yamdroktso Lake is one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet. It is 130km long and stands at an elevation of 4,441 meters above sea level, making it the largest inland lake in the northern range of the Himalayas. This sacred lake is circumambulated by devout Tibetan Pilgrims in about seven days. Take a sightseeing tour to explore the natural beauty and serenity here. This lake is the largest habit in southern Tibet for migrating birds.
Lhamo La-Tso is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations and is known as the fortune telling Lake for centuries. Traditionally Dalai Lamas made pilgrimages here to seek visions that appear on the surface of the Lake. Many Pilgrims travel each year after fasting for 3 days and refrain from talking in the belief that they will be rewarded with a revelation of their future. There are sightseeing tours whereby you need not fast!
Woka Hot Spring
Looking for a place to relax after all your trekking through Tsedang and guided tours? Then the Woka Hotspring is the place to go with 2 rivers and 7 hot springs. It is well known as the private spring for the Panchen Lama who comes here to go through a process of a "clearance" after worshipping the Lake Lhamo. Visitors come to soak in the water for up to twenty minutes and benefit from its natural minerals.
Travel Tips for Tsetang
Best Time To Visit
The best time to travel to Tsetang is between June to August. This is when the temperatures are the hottest, almost the same as Lhasa. Take a cardigan with you for evening times as the temperatures vary greatly between day night where the temperatures drop to around 10 or 20 degrees Celsius. There is no bad time to visit Tsedang if you do not mind all types of weather and you can get good deals in the winter months on guided tours.
It is not very convenient to change your money in Tsetang; it is a good idea to change it at the airport or the Shannon bank that offers currency exchange. The official currency in Tsedang is the Chinese Renminbi (RMB), or Yuan. It is relatively cheap for tourists here with lunch costing around 50 Yuan/ US$7.50 and a basic dinner for 2 costing around 130 Yuan/US$20. Local beer is around 25 Yuan/ US$3.75.
Know Before Visiting
Tsetang is located at an average altitude of about 3590 meters, an altitude where sickness quickly occurs. Most travellers have a short stay in Lhasa to adapt to the high altitude. In the case that you may experience sickness or want to avoid it, it is recommended to drink enough water, eat fruits and snacks of food which have a high-calorie content such as chocolate. Never stray from the group when on guided tours.
The summer in Tsedang is usually mild and wet, with the most of the annual rain falling then. Winter is cold, dry and windy. July and August are the hottest months but also the wettest months much like Lhasa. The driest months are also the coldest months, December and January. The temperatures are hottest at 20 degrees Celsius and coldest at 10 degrees Celsius. Bring a cardigan because at night the temperatures drop quite a bit.