Top ChoiceBuddhist Stupa in Gyantse

Gyantse Kumbum

Gyantse Kumbum

Commissioned by a local prince in 1427 and sitting beside Palcho Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum is the town’s foremost attraction. This 32m-high chörten, with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Samye

Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery

About 170km southeast of Lhasa, on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) is Samye Monastery, the first monastery in Tibet. Founded in 775 by King Trisong Detsen, Samye is famed not just for...

Top ChoicePalace in Lhasa

Potala Palace

Potala Palace

The magnificent Potala Palace, once the seat of the Tibetan government and the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas, is Lhasa's cardinal landmark. Your first sight of its towering, fortress-like walls is a moment...

Top ChoiceArts & Crafts in Lhasa

Dropenling

This impressive nonprofit enterprise aims to bolster traditional Tibetan handicrafts in the face of rising Chinese and Nepali imports. Products are unique and of high quality, and they are made using traditional...

Top ChoiceBase in Everest Region

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp (5150m) was first used by the 1924 British Everest expedition. Tourists are no longer allowed to visit the climbing expedition base camp, so most people have their photo taken at the ‘Mt...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Lhasa

Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple

The 1300-year-old Jokhang Temple is the spiritual heart of Tibet: the continuous waves of awestruck pilgrims prostrating themselves outside are a testament to its timeless allure. The central golden Buddha image...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Shigatse

Tashilhunpo Monastery

One of the few monasteries in Tibet to weather the stormy seas of the Cultural Revolution, Tashilhunpo remains relatively unscathed. It is a pleasure to explore the cobbled lanes twisting around its aged...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Samye

Ütse

The central building of Samye, the Ütse comprises a unique synthesis of architectural styles. The ground and 1st floors were originally Tibetan in style, the 2nd floor was Chinese and the 3rd floor Khotanese. The...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Sakya

Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery

The immense, grey, thick-walled southern monastery is one of Tibet’s most impressive constructed sights, and one of the largest monasteries – home to about 200 monks. Established in 1268, it was designed...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Tsurphu Valley

Tsurphu Monastery

Tsurphu has four main buildings and you could easily spend half a day here – longer if you plan to do the excellent outer kora (pilgrim circuit). If you're short on time, concentrate on the large central assembly...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Main Assembly Hall

The main assembly hall, or Tsogchen, is the principal structure in the Drepung complex and is the one chapel you must not miss. The hall is reached through an entrance on the western side, just past a wonderful...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Site in Samye

Chim-puk Hermitage

Chim-puk Hermitage is a collection of cave shrines northeast of Samye that grew up over the centuries around the meditation retreat of Guru Rinpoche. Chim-puk's Tantric practitioners were once famed for their...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Site in Tsaparang

Lhakhang Marpo

This large building was constructed around 1470. The beautiful murals were repainted around 1630, shortly before the fall of the Guge kingdom. The original chapel door, with its concentric frames and carvings of...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Bayi

Lamaling Temple

The centerpiece of a large walled complex, the colourful Lamaling Temple is a rare example of the Zangtok Pelri style of building. This style, which imitates the 'Glorious Copper Mountain Paradise' of Guru...

Top ChoiceMonastery in Yarlung Valley

Tradruk Monastery

Dating back to the 7th-century reign of Songtsen Gampo, Tradruk is one of the earliest Buddhist temples in Tibet. It was founded at the same time as Lhasa's Jokhang and Ramoche to act as one of Tibet’s...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Mamba

Drigung Til Monastery

Drigung Til sprouts from a high, steep ridge overlooking the Zhorong-chu Valley. The 180-degree views from the main courtyard are stunning and it’s a joy to hang out in the courtyard by the monastery to take in...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Site in Sera Monastery

Sera Je College

This is the largest of Sera’s colleges, generally accessed from a western side entrance. It has a breathtaking main hall, hung with thangkas and lit by shafts of light from high windows. Several chörtens hold the...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Gongkar

Gongkar Chöde Monastery

Surprisingly large, the Sakyapa-school Gongkar Chöde Monastery, founded in 1464, is famous for its 16th-century Kyenri-style murals. It lies 400m south of the highway, around 10km from the airport, along the road...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Site in Tsaparang

Lhakhang Karpo

The large Lhakhang Karpo holds the oldest paintings at Tsaparang and is probably the most important chapel in all of Ngari. The murals date back to the 15th or 16th century but their influences extend back to...

Top ChoiceMausoleum in Ganden Monastery

Tomb of Tsongkhapa

The red, fortress-like structure of Tsongkhapa’s mausoleum is probably the most impressive of the reconstructed buildings at Ganden. It’s above a prominent white chörten. Red Guards destroyed both the original...