The small but rapidly growing village of SAKYA (萨迦, sàjiā), set in the midst of an attractive plain, straddles the small Trum River and is highly significant as the centre of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. The main reason to visit is to see the remaining monastery, a unique, Mongol-style construction dramatically visible from far away. The village around is now a burgeoning Chinese community, full of ugly concrete, and can be crowded with coach parties in peak season, but while it’s not a place to linger, the monastery makes this a more than worthwhile side-trip from the Friendship Highway.

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