In the hills just to the north of Lhasa is an ancient pilgrimage circuit that starts at Phabongkha, a temple dating from the 7th century and perched upon a huge boulder that is said to be the residence of a tortoise. From Phabongkha the trail climbs higher to Tashi Choling, a small monastery that was the residence of a famous lama, then climbs higher again to Takten, a retreat of meditation caves. The views below are incredible, with the back side of the Potala Palace dominating the valley floor. From Takten you can descend back to the Lhasa Valley via Chubsang ani gompa (nunnery), via a steep, narrow trail; continue climbing to Sera Tse, another cave retreat directly above Sera monastery, and then onto the Dode Valley via three more active meditation retreats. Due to the altitude involved, this hike should only be attempted if you have spent at least 3 or 4 days acclimatizing in Lhasa.

This place was recommended by: Gary McCue