Gyantse was once a thriving town on the trading route between India and Lhasa, which led to the emergence of a powerful local elite and the construction of some impressive architecture. In more recent years Gyantse's remote location has protected it from the eyes of the Chinese developers, and today it is one of the few towns in the vicinity of Lhasa where an authentic Tibetan feel remains relatively undiluted. The main cultural attractions in Gyantse are the 15th Century Pelkhor Monastery and the awe-inspiring Gyantse Kumbum Monastery, a 6 storey chorten housing small chapels filled with paintings and statues, which is the largest of its kind in Tibet. Pre-dating the monastery is Gyantse’s hilltop fort, built in 1268 and notably damaged by the British in 1904 as they chased the then Dalai Lama into Mongolia. The gently sloping countryside surrounding the town is ideal for walking, and the quiet backstreets where locals go about their daily lives, make Gyantse a worthy place to stay a day or two.

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