"GORGEOUS GYANGZE!" Top 5 Page for this destination Gyangze by mavl

Gyangze Travel Guide: 68 reviews and 294 photos


before i go on about how absolutely stunning this dusty (and i mean that in an endearing way) and quaint tibetan town is, i just want to make sure that you guys avoid this shortcut that my guide and driver took as we left gyangze for lhasa.

a few minutes into our journey back to the northern friendship hiway (the southern friendship hiway which is a faster route to lhasa was closed), they turned off the road apparently to avoid going all the way back to shigatse (where we'd already been the previous day) - without telling me!

before i could ask where we were going, the road disappeared and we were in the middle of nowhere - the kind of nowhere where nobody would find you for two, maybe three months if your 4x4 broke down! we were snaking our way in between the mountains and over sand dunes (yes, there are sand dunes in tibet) which were turned into mud by the previous night's rain. my mobile phone had no signal and as the ground kept collapsing under us, i honestly thought i was never going to see civilization ever again.

the very real possibility of breaking down and eventually dying there of thirst or loneliness (whichever came first) weighed heavily on my mind, but not as heavily as never being able to show everyone back home the fantastic photos i'd taken so far! (if you've been to tibet, you know what i'm talking about - the light is just so much better here)

after about an hour (mostly spent trying to figure out how to make SOS smoke signals out of my guide and driver's clothes, hair if need be - they're both nice but i was still pissed they didn't consult me before taking this shortcut), a powerline pole finally appeared in the distance!

we were saved, i wasn't going to die there after all and, most importantly, i would someday be able to wear the authentic monk's outfit i got at lhasa three days earlier!

oh, the tip? please see "warnings and dangers" below.


...this is really a beautiful place.

gyangze, with it's rich culture, diverse architecture, and almost sleepy character is the kind of place that captures one's heart forever. lhasa is amazing but i definitely left my heart in this town.

will gladly go back for it, anybody wanna come along?

(too far away? just visit the travelogue to see more of gyangze then, enjoy!)

  • Intro Updated Jul 18, 2008
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Reviews (10)

Comments (18)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Nice page

    • mavl's Profile Photo
      Oct 29, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      thanks, still the best trip i've taken.

  • liliana91's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    Lovely photos! and good reviews.

  • Homanded's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    How is it going my friend? I'm glad I have new travelogues and tips from you to check out! Be well, Homer

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    I want to see the Dzong --- I like those kinds of buildings on top of a hill...There's so MUCH to see in China!!! Sigh, wish I could leave tomorrow and fly there....Norman :)

  • Hikerpark's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2008 at 3:02 AM

    Wow, what an interesting place Gyangze is. Great tips here!

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2008 at 2:46 AM

    Hey Miko! Check out my Karlsruhe page! Some drunken pics on there already!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Almost ashamed to say 15yrs ago I started learning Mandarin with a yearning for Tibet-still not got there but the yearning &learning Chinese is still there!thanx4 sharing yr travels - watched a docu last wk on this town so saw yr pg &of course a beeline!

  • Helga67's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Excellent writing. I hope the southern Friendship Highway is back open by the time we'll arrive there because I don't want to take that shortcut either.

  • Mar 21, 2007 at 12:28 AM

    wow! excellent additional update on your travelogues!

  • i-s-a's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2007 at 11:10 PM

    tibet beckons!

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