After a morning of exploring the monastery and chorten at Gyantse we were on our way to Sakya. On the road we passed on number of tourist cycling – There are cycle trips from Lhasa to Kathmandu. It would be a pretty hard ride, the highway is really good but it is cold, windy and there are countless mountains passes that have to be conquered. We stopped for lunch in Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet and our guide also had to organise special permits for Everest Base Camp.
We arrived in Sakya mid-afternoon and just had enough time visit the monastery before it closed. The main building of the monastery is very large, the ceilings were massive and it house huge statues of Buddha’s and Bodhisattva. This was the seat of the head of the Sakya tradition until he went into exile in 1959; he has since lived in India where the monastery has been re-established. During the 13th century the head of the Sakya tradition governed Tibet until the Gelugpa tradition rose in prominence. Most of the buildings are still in ruin from the Cultural Revolution, after visiting the main building I headed to the edge of the town and explored the ruins along the mountain side until sunset.