Tibet Autonomous Region is located in southwest China and borders Xinjing Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunan provinces. In south and west, it borders Myanmar, India, Bhutan, sikkim, Nepal area. It has an area of 1.2 million square kilometers and a population of 2.59 million. Of its more than 30 ethnic groups such as Han, Monba, Lhoba, Hui, Mongl, Naxi and Nu, the Tibetan account for more than 92.2 percent. The main part of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, the region has an average elevation of more than 4,000m and is famous as the "Roof of the world" and the "third pole of the earth." The Mt. Everest = (Mt. Qomolangma = Chomolongmo = Sagarmatha) in the bordering area of China and Nepal is 8,848m above sea level, the gighest peak in the world.
Tibet has a plateau climate featuring a remarkable change vertically and a big temperature change during the daytime and the night. The north Tibet plateau is dry and cold. It has a low temperature, a long sunshine time, a strong radiation, less rainfalls and a small density of air. Agriculture and livestock are the economic pillars of Tibet, cultivating mainly sheeps, goats, and Yaks, and growing maily barly, wheat, potato and rape. Also the region produces the famous medicinal materials such as musk, pilose antler and snow lotus, which enjoy a good reputation at home and abroad. Tibet leads the country in the deposits of hydropower and thermal power and ranks second in the solar energy in the world.
As early as in the late Paleolithic Age the People were found here. In the seventh century, King Songtsan Gambo united Tibet and established the Tubo kingdom. During the seventh and eight centuries, the kingdom established marriage relations twice with the Tang imperial court. In the 13th century, Tibet became an administrative area under the Yuan Dynasty. In the 17th century, the 5th Dalai Lama established the Kadam Potrang government . The Qing government accepted this local government and sent a minister to the region. After the Revolution of 1911, the Republican government established a representative office in Tibet in order to strengthen its management of the local government. After the founding of the people's Republic of China in 1949, the Tibet Autonomous Region was foundet on September 1, 1965.
Tibet was once the most expensive and most difficult place to travel, but since 1984 it has become accessible to all travelers. Many different animals and people roaming the stark and rugged plains. Living on this harsh plateau, Tibetans have learned to endure incredible hardships with a great sense humor and east-going hospitality. The biggest drawback to visiting Tibet is that all other places seem dull in comparison. The Land of Snows is a very special place, and once there it is difficult to leave behind the medieval magic of temples and people. Tibet has a long history and beautiful landscape. Its brilliant and ancient Monasteries and unique local customs attract flocks of tourists. Lhasa, Xigatse, Lhoka, Nyingchi, Nagqu, Ngari and Qamdo have different landforms and fantastic customs. You are welcome to Tibet and to have a look of these rare wonders in the world.
Potala Palace: Standing on the red hill on Beijing M. Road, Lhasa, the Potala Palace is the highest of its kind in the world. The palace was first built in the seventh century and was damaged in the eigth century. In the 17th century, it was rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 3 years. Its 13 story main building is 117 meters high and is composed of the red and white palace, with the red one in the middle. The main building consists of the hall of stupas of Dalai Lamas from various historical stages and hall of Buddhas. The white palace is the residence of the Dalai Lamas and place for handling political affairs.The Potala Palace houses great amount of rare cultural relics including the Pattra-Leaf scripture from India, Bak'gyur and the imperial edicts, golden seals and titles of nobility from the Quen emperors to the Dalai Lamas.
Opening hours: Slack season: 09:00 - 16:00, Busy season: 07:30 - 1600 On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, more places are open to visitors.
Jokhang Monastery: Located in the center of the ancient city of Lhasa, the Jokhang Monastery was built in the 17th century by Songtsan Gambo, the Tang Princess Wen Cheng and Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti. Its 4 story main building demonstrates the combination of the Han, Tibetan, Indian, and Nepalese architectural styles, as well as the Mandala world outlook of Buddhism. With the hall of Amitayus Sutra as its center, the monastery symbolizes the nuclear of the universe. The hall of Sakyamuni is the essence of the monastery. Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00.
Photos can be taken in front of the monastery and on the top floor. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls. It is unkindly to take a picture of Tibetans who stretch their body forward to pay their respects to the Buddha in front of them.
Sera Monastery: At the foot of the Wuze hill in Sera to the north of Lhasa, the Sera monastery is one of the 3 great monasteries in Lhasa and one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Buddhism in Tibet. It was built by one of disciples of Zonggaba in 1419.On 27th of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar, the monastery holds the grand Sera Bungchen festival, which attracts folks of Buddhist and others. Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00.
Klukang Monastery: Located in the northern part of the old city of Lhasa, the Klukang monastery was built in the mid 17th century. It was damaged and rebuilt several times. The monastery houses many murals and the statues of Sakyamuni, Maitreya and others. The main hall houses a gilded full length statue of the eight year old Sakyamuni brought to Tibet by the Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti. The monastery is the location of the Tantric College of the Gelug Sect in Tibet.
Norbu Lingka: Norbu Lingka means a lovely garden in Tibetan. Located in the western suburbs of Lhasa, it has been a palace for the Dalai Lamas to stay to escape the summer heat. It was built in the 1740s and covers an area of 360,000 sq. meters. It was once a place of bathing and recuperation of the 7th Dalai Lama. The Qing minister stationed in Tibet built the 1st palace here. Since then, the 8th, 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas built their own palaces here too. Continuous expansions in the past 200 old years have turned it a large scale and Tibet style palace complex and garden. On festivals and holidays, the local people in their splendid attires come here with food and tents to sing and dance over night.
Barkor Street: Barkor street is the shopping street around the Jokhang monastery. Being 500 meters long, it is also a way along which the pilgrims walk around the monastery while turning prayer wheels in their hands.
Gandian Monastery: In Dagze county 60 km to the east of Lhasa, it is one of the 3 great monasteries in Lhasa and one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug sect. Gandian means happiness and contentedness in Tibetan. The Gandian monastery was built in early 15th century under the supervision of Zonggaba, the founder of the Gelug Sect.The main buildings include the Coqen hall, the Chamber of Zonggaba and the College of Yangbajian.
Drepung Monastery: On the slope of the Wuze hill in Genbei five km. northwest of Lhasa, the Drepung monastery was built in 1416 and is the largest of the monasteries of the Gelug Sect. it covers an area of 250,000 sq. meters. In its heyday, it had more than 10,000 monks. The monasteries has trained a large group of talents for Tibetan Buddhism. The 5th Dalai Lama lived here before he moved to the Potala Palace. It houses plenty of historical and cultural relics and Buddhist classics. In the exciting Shoton festival, "Sunning the Buddha" by the monastery has been one of the most magnificient religious activities in Tibet. Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00, Taking photo costs 20 yuan in each hall.
Yangbajain: In Damxung county, Lhasa, Yangbajain contains rich geothermal resources and is famous as a geothermal museum. The well known Ynagbajain Geothermal power station stands here. It has hot springs everywhere and when the valve is switched on, hot water spurts several meters or even dozens of meters high, constituting a magnificent scene.
Yaowang Hill: On the hill opposite the Potala Palace, originally there was the Yaowang temple or the college of the Tibetan medicines. The senior monks in the temple were doctors who served the Dalai Lamas. In the 1960s, the college was merged with the Hospital of Tibetan medicines to the west of the Jokhang monastery. The temple is a ruin now.
Dragon King Pond: At the rear of the Potala palace, a pond was left after the earth was collected for the construction of the palace in the mid 17th century. The 6th Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso built a 3 story octagon pavilion in the middle of the pond and took a rest in it. The pavilion has the name for a statue of Dragon King in it.
The Lower Tantric College: This college was established in 1433 by Jizun, a disciple of Zonggaba for the development of tantrism. It is located on the northern side of Beijing E. road, Lhasa. The main hall has 4 stories. On the 1st floor is the Great hall of Buddhist Sutra. On the other floors are some 70 rooms.
Yombulagang Palace: In Nedong County, eight kilometers to the south of Zetang Town, it is the first palace in Tibetan history. It was said that the palace was built in the second century B.C by the first king Nyatri Tsanpo. It houses the statues of the three- world Buddhas and Tsanpos of various historical stages including Nyatri Tsanpo, Lhatu Turi Niantsan, Rabajin, Songtsan Gambo and Trisong Detsen.
Samyae Monastery: On the northern bank of the Yarlung Zambo River in Chanang County, Lhoka Prefecture, the monastery was built in 779 under the supervision of Master Padmasambhava and Tibetan king Trisong Detsen. It is the first monastery for the monks in Tibet. The magnificent and unique Central Hall is three story high. The first floor is of the Tibetan architectural style, the second the Han style and the third the Indian style. The halls in the monastery house many statues and murals. The monastery has bronze bells, carved marble lions and tablets marking the develop-ment of Buddhism. All these are valuable cultural relics.
Minzholing Monastery: The monastery was built in the late 10th century and had its current name when it was rebuilt in 1677. It is one of the three great monasteries of the Rnyingma Sect. The monastery has paid attention to the research of Buddhist classics, astronomical calendar, calligraphy rhetoric and Tibetan medicines and is famouse for its achievements in these fields. Over the year the recommendation of the " Chronology of the Tibetan Calender" has been formulated by the monastery, and it is famouse as the first academy of Lamaism in Tibet