Shannan, 3,600 meters above sea level, is located in the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra River, and has a mild climate. There are many interesting and historical places, such as the Samye Monastery, the Yumbulagang, tombs of the Tibetan kings, the Trandruk Monastery, and the Yalong River National Scenic Spot.
Tsetang(3550m), 189km southeast to Lhasa, is the second largest town in the
region and the third largest in Tibet. It is the capital of Shannan Prefecture and an important administrative center. For travelers Tsetang is of interest mainly as a jumping board for exploration of the Yarlung valley area.
Built in 779 by Trisong Detsen, the second king of Tibet, it is the first monastery in Tibet made for monks to dwell in. It mixes different constructive styles in building; the first floor is in Tibetan style, the middle in Han while the top in Indian. It is unique and grand. There are many Buddhist statues and frescos inside; the bronze bell, the white marble lions and the stone tablet for the allegiance to Buddha are invaluable relics.
With a history of more than 2,000 years, it is the first palace ever built in Tibet. The murals and frescos inside depict vividly historic figures and other things.
Tombs of the Tibetan Kings
Located in Chongye County in Shannan, it covers a total of 10,000 square meters. Among the tombs from the 29th king to the 40th king, the last king of the Turpan regime, King Songtsen Gampo`s is the most famous.
Yarlong scenic area
It is the originating land of Tibetan nationality. The area is flat and soil is fertile with abundant crops. This simple yet grand scenic area is composed of fields and pasturelands, rivers and valleys, snow-covered mountains and glaciers as well as religious cultural relics, unique folklores and custom. The vegetation is abundant and varied according to the different heights. Historic spots consist of the the following: the earliest palace of Tibet-Yumbu Lakhang; the first temple of Tibet-Samye; the earliest Buddha hall-Changzhu Monastery and the tombs of the Tibetan Kings. There are more than 40 scenic spots for tourists both home and abroad.
Located in Lang Kazi county, it is 4,400 metres above sea level, 800 square kilometres in size and 30-40 metres in depth." Yamdrok" means the upper pasture, and "Yamtso" means green jade. A birdˇ®s eye view reveals Yamdrok Yamtso as a big jade among the mountains. It is very beautiful with cattles grazing and water birds flying. Water power resources are also rich here. There is an 800-metre drop from the lake surface to the Yaluzhangbu river below. A big power station is under construction. Samdin temple, the seat of the only woman living Buddha, Duojibuomu, is at the south end of the lake.
It is one of the earliest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet founded at the same time as the Jokhang and Ramoche in Lhasa. Dating back to the 7th century reign of Songtsen Gampo, it is one of the Demon Subduing temples of Tibet. King Songtsen Gampo`s Chinese wife, Princess Wencheng, preconceive the presence of a subterranean demon in Tibet. Only by pinning this demoness down, could the Buddhist faith take root in the high plateau.