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Top Choice Buddhist Monastery in Samye

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 its p…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Samye


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 co…
Top Choice Buddhist 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 ha…
Top Choice Buddhist 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 abilit…
Top Choice Monastery 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 demoness-subd…
Top Choice Buddhist 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 the …
Top Choice Buddhist 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 to…
Top Choice Lake in Northern Ü


The waters of sacred Nam-tso, the second-largest salt lake in China, are an almost transcendent turquoise blue and shimmer in the rarefied air of 4730m. Most people come here for the scenery and for the short but pi…
Top Choice Buddhist Monastery in Northern Ü

Sili Götsang

A 4km drive north of the turn-off to Taklung brings you to Sili Götsang, an amazing eagle’s-nest hermitage perched high above the main road, home to 10 resident monks.
Top Choice Cave in Drak Valley

Drak Yangdzong Caves

From Chusi Nunnery it’s a tough 1½-hour climb up to the Drak Yangdzong caves. Access to the upper caves is via a 10m ladder secured with strips of yak hide. Note that the caves are very narrow and slippery in places…