With a population of 80,000 people and at an elevation of 3,840 meters, Shigatse is the 2nd largest town in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. As the seat of the Panchen Lama and the former capital of Tibet, Shigatse is a must visit stop on the road from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp.
You can spend a whole morning walking the Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse and then doing the pilgrimage kora around the monastery. If you have the time, spend 2 nights in this town and get refreshed before you head out into the wild highlands of Mount Everest Base Camp.
The drive from Lhasa to Shigatse (via Yamdrok Lake and Gyantse) is a total of 355 km. It is best to break this drive up into two days, spending the first driving day (260km) from Lhasa to Yamdrok Lake to the Karo La Glacier to Gyantse. And then the second day driving 90km from Gyantse to Shigatse.