The road west from Lhasa divides at the Chusul Bridge and most vehicles follow the paved Friendship Highway along the course of the Yarlung Tsangpo to Shigatse. However, there is an alternative route, the longer but extremely picturesque old southern road that heads southwest to the shores of Yamdrok Tso, before turning west to Gyantse and then northwest to Shigatse – it is this route that most tour groups follow. Expect around six or seven hours’ driving time from Lhasa to Gyantse in a good jeep, but day-trips to Yamdrok Tso from Lhasa are feasible.

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