Tsetang, the capital of Shannan Prefecture, is one of the largest cities in Tibet. It sits on the south bank in the middle section of the Yarlung Tsangbo River with a moderate climate at an altitude of 3,600 meters. It is also recognized as the birthplace of earliest Tibetans, who came from the mating of a monkey and a beautiful cannibal ogress.
Known as the cradle of Tibetan's civilization, Tsetang is home to many cultural heritages. Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet, is located only 30 km from Tsetang and was founded in 779 CE by King Trisong Detsen. Yumbulakhang Palace, the first palace in Tibet also lies in the city. It is also the oldest-known dwelling in Tibet.
Tsetang also features the stunning natural beauty. It is located between two mountain ranges: Himalayas at the northern side and Nyanchen Tanggula to the south. The nearby Yarlung River scenic area is a well-known national scenic park. Spectacular ranges, beautiful lakes, numerous springs and peaceful river valleys constitute its featured landscapes. Famous tourist sites in this area include the first monastery in Tibet—Samye Monastery, the first palace in Tibet—Yungbulakhang, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet—Yamdrok-Tso, burial site of Tibetan Kings, Trandruk Monastery, Samding Monastery and so on.