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Gyantse, 200km southwest of Lhasa, once the third largest town in Tibet, is one of the least Chinese-influenced towns in Tibet. Most members of Tibet's current generation of political leaders hail from Gyantse.

Lying in the Nyangchu valley along the main routes from India and Nepal to Lhasa, Gyantse was a trading town for goods from Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan, and the closure of the border at Dromo.

Gyantse has many attractions, such as the Gyantse Kumbum, Pelkor monastery and the Gyantse Dzong. Palkhor Monastery was built in 1427 and is notable for its superb Kumbum (10,000 images) stupa. The dzong (old fort) that towers above the village offers a fine view over the valley.

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