Bordering Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan to the south, Shigatse Region is located in the southern part of Tibet. It used to be called Tsang by Tibetans. Covering an area of 182,000 sq km (about 4,497,319 acres), the region consists of one city, Shigatse City, 17 counties including Gyangtse County, Sakya County, and Tingri County, and a trading port, Zhangmu Town. Most of the people living here are Tibetans. Other nationalities such as Han, Hui, Mongolia, Manchu, and Miao have also lived here for centuries. There are also less than one thousand Sherpas living in and around Zhangmu, Tingri, and Dinggye.
Shigatse City, which is the second largest city of Tibet, is situated at the junction of the Yarlung Tsangpo River and the Nyangchu River. The first Dalai Lama ordered the construction of the Tashilhunpo Monastery in 1477. The city then became the political, economic and cultural center of Tsang. As the seat of the Panchen Lamas, it was also the sovereign place in Tsang. Palkhor Monastery , Shalu Monastery , Sakya Monastery in and around the city make the place a land of splendid art and culture based on strong feelings of devotion.