or the "ground of the gods', has been
the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region
since the 7th century when Sron-btsan Gam-po
built his palace where the Potala now stands
and attempted to unify the various clans
in the area. This is the first stop for
most visitors to Tibet and, although the
journey here is not as exciting as it once
was, a tip here is still an essential part
of any visit to Tibet. Lhasa is famous for
being one of the highest cities in the world,
towering 3,600 meters above the banks of
the Lhasa River, but what really knocks
you out here is the full scale impact on
your senses of the breathtaking beauty,
unique landscape and the holy atmosphere
of this religious center.
Most of the historical sights here
date back to the 1600s when the magnificent Potala
Palace was built. The Potala dominates the skyline
but Jokhang is considered the spiritual center
of the city and there are numerous other small
active temples dotted about. Pilgrims still flock
to Lhasa to see and experience the remaining enclaves
of tradition. Despite the important religious
and historical legacy of the city, Lhasa has changed
a lot in the past 40 years than ever before. Although
pilgrims still visit here, they are now joined
and compete for space with western tourists and
"renovating" and "modernizing"
influence is fast changing the unique flavor
that makes Tibet and Lhasa so special. Before
the Han people moved in to the city in 1951,
only about 20,000 people inhabited this
small area. Today, there are some 160,000
inhabitants here, including many businessmen,
here to utilize the modernization and development
of Lhasa. In some aspects this is changing
the face of Lhasa for the worse. For the
adventurous travelers, however, this remains
a city of intrigue and there is more than
enough to hold you here for a few days.
Modernization too, means that facilities
are better in the capital city than they
are elsewhere in the province. 80% of the
population of Tibet lives in the countryside.
Outside Lhasa is where the more authentic
and traditional aspects of the region can
be enjoyed and experienced.
Yunnan is a perfect showpiece of China's
many natural wonders, rugged, wild, and unspoiled. The province
is famed for its multitude of ethnic groups, of China's fifty-five
officially recognized ethnic minorities, twenty-five can be
found in Yunnan. Here visitors could find snow-capped mountains,
mysterious deep valleys, peaceful highland lakes, magnificent
Karst hills, tropical rainforests, and torrential rivers.
As the capital of China, Beijing is the
political, cultural, and intellectual center of the country.
Beijing has so much to offer travelers. The celebrated tourist
center is filled with historical highlights, the most well known
ones are: Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple
of Heaven, Ming Tombs...
Tibet Autonomous Region, a mystical land
called "the Roof of the World", more than 50 peaks in this area
are higher than 7,000 meters, and 11 peaks exceed 8,000 meters.
Mt. Everest - the world's highest peak is located in Tibet.
Tibet offers fabulous things to see, including unique Buddhist
monastery, breathtaking high-altitude lakes, stunning views
of the snow mountains and brilliant Tibetan culture.