Tsedang is 191km from Lhasa and 87km from Gonggar Airport. As an important Chinese administrative center and army base, Tsedang is the fourth largest city in Tibet and the capital of Shannan prefecture. The center of town is a modern, thoroughly Chinese city where you’ll find decent restaurants, overpriced accommodation and a couple of internet cafes. Most travelers use Tsedang as a base to visit outlying sites of the Yarlung Valley, including the first monastery in Tibet Samye Monastery, the first palace in Tibet Yumbulagang and Trandruk Temple. Tsedang is said to breed the first generation of Tibetans, the descendants of monkey god and Raksha. If you are planning to do a Tsedang tour, this guide will help you to learn more about this fantastic area.
Elevation: 3560 meters
Location: Around 191km from Lhasa, and 87km from Gonggar Airport
Area: 150 square kilometers
Airport: Gongkar Airport
Train Station: Shannan Railway Station (in built)
Highlights: Yamdrok Lake, Samye Monastery, Yumbulagang Palace, Trandruk Temple, Tombs of the Tibetan Kings.
When to go to Tsedang
It is suitable to visit Tsedang all year round, the average temperature of Tsedang is about from 2℃ to 18℃ especially from April to September, the temperatures are more comfortable during these months, with days surprisingly warm and nights pleasantly cool. Sunlight is strong at this altitude so always wear sunscreen.
How to go to Tsedang
Tsedang is about 191km from Lhasa, 87km from Gonggar Airport and 139km from Lhasa train station, the road to Tsedang is smooth, paved and flat, it is sufficient for you to prepare three hours to drive from Lhasa to Tsedang. There are buses running to Tsedang from Lhasa, but foreign tourists are not allowed to take public transportation in Tibet, so booking a tour with travel agency and they will help you arrange separate vehicle to travel to Tsedang.
Most tourists would choose Lhasa as their first destination in Tibet, these tourists will take plane or train to arrive in Lhasa firstly. Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, you can visit majestic Potala Palace, look the pilgrims coming and going outside Johkang Temple, see the largest scale of sutra debating in Sera Monastery, experience local Tibetan Sweet Tea and enjoy sunshine in Barkor Street. After your sightseeing in Lhasa, we’ll arrange a vehicle and guide for you to Tsedang and explore more Tibetan culture and architecture. For some other tourists, they may choose Tsedang as their first destination, after their arrival at Lhasa train station or Gonggar Airport, our guide will pick you up and start your Tsedang trip.
Tsedang is known as the "the cradle of Tibetan Civilization", there are so many things to see and do here. Tsedang is undoubtedly a perfect combination of historical relics and dreamy natural sites. Below are some of the most recommended scenic spots in Tsedang.
Yamdrok Lake, located around 114km to the southwest of Lhasa. The average altitude of Yamdrok Lake is about 4,441 meters, it covers an area of around 638 square kilometers, and average depth of the lake is around 30 meters. For Tibetans, it is one of the three holy lakes (the others are Namtso Lake and Manasarovar) and home to wrathful deities. Yamdrok Lake is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la. The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is a fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Yamdrok Lake is shaped like a coiling scorpion. It doubles back on itself on the western side, effectively creating a large island within its reaches. Yamdrok Lake is one of the most popular tourist spots in Tibet, and thousands of foreign tourists come to the lake every year. The best time to visit Yamdrok Lake is from May to mid-November, the temperature is relatively warm during that time, and the recommended visiting time is two hours.
Samye Monastery, the first monastery in Tibet and the place where Buddhism was established, was founded in 779 by Trisong Detsen. It is located north of the Yarlong Tsangpo River, about 30km from Tsedang as the crow flies. Samye Monastery is surrounded by barren mountains and dramatic sand dunes and approached via a beautiful river crossing, the monastery has a magic about it that causes many travelers to stay longer than they had intended. At the center was the large, three-storeyed Great Hall, surmounted by gold roofs and enclosed within a protective cloister with elaborate gates at the cardinal points. Opposite the corners stood four big stupas built by individuals in different pagoda styles and coloured red, white, green and black. Many surrounding buildings and temples completed the monastery. From May to October is the best time to visit Samye Monastery, and recommended visiting time is two or three hours.
Yumbulagang Palace, the first palace in Tibet. The castle of Yumbulagang is the oldest-known dwelling in Tibet, reputedly the home of the Yarlong kings. It stands 12km south of Tsedang, perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the valley, the towering and outstanding Yumbulagang looks like a blockhouse. Yumbulagang is mainly divided into two parts: the front part is multi-layer palace, while the back part is a square watchtower of a high blockhouse connected with the front part. A steep track goes up from the road to the castle’s base. Here, one can circle the building clockwise and avoid a steep flight of steps, while getting a fine view of the valley and fields below, where agriculture first occurred in Tibet some 2,000 years ago. The way leads in through a primitive kitchen and upstairs to a terrace. The small chanting hall has been richly redecorated under the supervision of five resident monks. The best time to visit Yumbulagang is from May to October, and the recommended visiting time is two or three hours.
Reconstruction of this ancient monastery took many years, and much has been lost, but visitors can still sense the quality and strength of the site. An entranceway and cluster of buildings stand in Trandruk village, five kilometers south of Tsedang on the road to Yumbulangang. The temple, one of the first in Tibet, is thought to have been founded in the seventh century during the reign of Songtsen Gampo, perhaps by the great king himself. It was one of a group of strategically placed temples intended to subdue an earth-demoness who brought danger and destruction to the realm. The original temple was made of wood and thatch. In the 14th century it was rebuilt, enlarged and turned into a monastery. The temple contained numerous halls, including a Great Hall that was said to resemble the Johkang. It was famous for its huge bell and sublime statuary. Although small, the temple owned a disproportionate number of masterpieces of Buddhist art. The best time to visit Trandruk Temple is from May to October, and the recommended visiting time is two hours or so.
Tombs of the Tibetan Kings
In a valley 27km south of Tsedang are large mounds of earth resembling natural hills but believed to contain the tombs of Tibet’s later kings. The road follows a river to the town of Qiongjie and enters the valley one kilometer beyond the bridge. The biggest tumulus, on the right, is ascribed to King Songtsen Gampo. Steps lead up to the side to a charming little temple on top. The temple was rebuilt and its murals restored in 1983. Three monks care for it and tend the flowers and apple trees in its courtyard. There are not many tourists coming here, no imagined tomb, only a simple mound of earth, but can let you get inexplicable feeling. The best time to visit Tombs of the Tibetan Kings is from May to October, and the recommended visiting time is two hours or so.
Tombs of the Tibetan Kings
Wherever you are going to visit in Tibet, the Tibet Travel Permit is a must, and it’s issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. Foreign tourists are not allowed to apply for Tibet Travel Permit on their own, it can only be applied by travel agencies. If you decide to go to Tibet, book tour with a travel agency like us, then we’ll apply for Tibet Travel Permit for you before you enter Tibet. Without Tibet Travel Permit, foreign tourists cannot board plane or train to Lhasa. Besides, Aliens’ Travel Permit is also necessary for Tsedang tour. This permit can only be applied after entering Tibet. Moreover, your tour guide will apply it with your Tibet Travel Permit and passport.
Hello, we are considering to travel in Tibet in summer. We are a family of 5, two adults and three kids, age 13(then), 10, 8. We are interested in the 10 days Mt. EBC & Namtso Lake Group tour. We are US citizens with valid 10-year Chinese multiple entry visa, which we have applied when we went to Beijing in 2019. We are currently living in South Korea.
1. Are kids suitable (or even allowed) for this tour?
2. If kids can join, are there any discount deals for kids?
Dear Ms. Ho***,
Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour and welcome you to join our 10 days Mt. Everest & Namtso Lake group tour. For your questions: 1. Your kids are suitable for this tour. Travelling in Tibet is as safe for kids as it is for their parents. While the high Tibetan plateau may be the highest place on the planet, very often, the kids that visit this region are more adaptable and have fewer problems than their parents. We also have arranged wonderful Tibet tours for many families with kids such as a tour to EBC for a family with a 3-year-old son, a 9-year-old girl and a 11-year-old boy, they did have fun in Tibet and there is no problem for them. Or you can take some medicine under the guidance of doctor to prevent high altitude before enter Tibet. 2. If kids travel with you, we'll offer some discount for them, please check your email and find more detailed information. Thanks & Regards
Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side