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Lasa Shi, China

Hike from Pabongka Monastery to Sera Monastery

2.8 Miles Total - 1312.3 ft gain - Point-to-Point Trail

Originally added by Rachel Davidson

Visit two of the most ancient and culturally important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and enjoy sweeping views of the Lhasa Valley.

This route follows a narrow goat and yak trail high up in the hills overlooking the capital of Tibet. Though the trip is not very long or steep, tourists visiting from sea level will feel the strenuous effects of altitude as they complete this trek (elevation highpoint is around 13,000 feet).

Begin your day with a tour of Pabonka Monastery, a 7th-century sacred site that was actually the location of the first written Tibetan alphabet. You'll leave the monastery on its uphill side and follow one of the many faint trails up and towards your right. Pretty soon, you'll become immersed in hundreds of prayer flags draped from ridgeline to ridgeline across the valleys leading you to Sera.

Along the way to Sera Monastery, you'll pass a number of smaller sights like the Tashi Choling Hermitage, Takten Nunnery, and Rakhadrak Cave Hermitage. There should be plenty of people in these areas who will invite you into their homes or prayer sights. It's good practice to accept any tea or holy water given to you, and to leave small amounts of money on their altars as a token of appreciation.

Be prepared to encounter yaks, farmers, nuns, and pilgrims along the trail. If you ever find yourself turned around or wondering where to go, one of these gracious and kind locals will be happy to show you the way. 

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