Lhatse (3950m) is situated where the main Tibetan road turns westwards towards Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. During the short summer season, the whole valley is covered with green barely fields and bright yellow mustard meadows. It is a welcome change after the barren lands of the Tibetan plateau. However, the town is really small with only a few thousand people. Nearby a monastery is located as well as a old fort. There is also a small, hot spring located a few kilometers away.
Sakya (Sag’ya, ‘Grey Earth or Clay’), is situated off the main Shigatse to Xegatse route, and was once the base of the Sakyapa Sect (Red Hats), who rose to power in the 13th century. In those times Sakya was the capital of Tibet from 1268 to 1354 and it became the first religious government with a lama as head of state. The sect has numerous followers in Tibet, so Sakya is naturally the object of their pilgrimage.
Located in Sakya, the Monastery stands in two parts on either side of Dongchu River. This Monastery is the centre of the Sakyapa Sect (White Earth Order). The northern part of the monastery was built in the year 1079 and the southern founded in 1268 by a famous Abbot of Sakya, Pagpa, who once ruled the whole of Tibet during the Yuan Dynasty and unfortunately, only the southern part remains. The State Council has classified it as a national protected monument, owing to its valuable number of Buddhist sutras and cultural remains.The Monastery is different from other monasteries because of its architecture, it looks more like a fort instead of a religious institution from the outside. The monastery has big walls with watch towers on each of the corners and has various interesting items for a visit inside!