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Situated 150km southwest of Shigatse, Sakya is an easy side-trip off the Friendship Highway if you’ve got your own transport; most tours call in here on the way to Everest before overnighting at Lhatse. Public buses run here from Shigatse on weekdays, returning from Sakya at 11am the next morning; it’s a surprisingly slow trip – allow six hours or more each way. If you want to continue from Sakya to Lhatse, get the bus to drop you at the Friendship Highway turn-off, which it reaches around 1pm. The bus from Shigatse to Lhatse passes here about 1.30pm, so you shouldn’t have to wait for long.

Few tour groups stop over in Sakya, but accommodation is available. Turn right out of the bus station entrance – avoiding the miserable guesthouses right nearby – and walk straight ahead for 150m to the Tibetan Hotel (¥81–139), opposite the north wall of the monastery; it is marginally better.

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