Upper Viewpoint


A 10-minute walk from Sera Ütse is this superb viewpoint, probably Lhasa’s most scenic picnic spot. From here a new road continues east down into the Dode Valley, though it’s possible for fit climbers to detour straight up the hillside to the summit, a knob of rock covered in prayer flags.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lhasa attractions

1. Sera Ütse

0.33 MILES

From Sera the steep, relentless climb to the yellow-walled Sera Ütse retreat takes at least an hour (look up and see it high on the cliff above Sera; if…

2. Keutsang Ritrö

0.39 MILES

This retreat complex high in the hills above Lhasa is home to 23 monks. The original hermitage lies in ruins in an incredible location on the side of the…

3. Rakadrak Hermitage

0.56 MILES

This hermitage high above Lhasa has three simple caves associated with Gelugpa founder Tsongkhapa. It's best visited on a hike from Sera Monastery to the…

4. Hardong Kangtsang

0.84 MILES

Hardong served as a residence for monks studying at Sera Je College. In the first inner chapel, look for a photo of Ekai Kawaguchi, the Japanese monk who…

5. Chöding Hermitage

0.86 MILES

A path branches off the kora (pilgrim circuit) up side steps beside the thangka wall to the Chöding hermitage. The hermitage was a retreat of Tsongkhapa's…

6. Phurbu Chok Monastery

0.87 MILES

Phurbu Chok Monastery and its hilltop Rigsum Gonpo Lhakhang, dedicated to the popular trinity of deities, are best visited on a hike from Sera Monastery…

7. Debating Courtyard


There is usually monk debating here on weekday afternoons from around 3pm to 5pm, which provides a welcome relief from peering at Buddhist iconography…

8. Thangka Wall


Next to some rock paintings is this support wall, used to hang a giant thangka during festivals.