Tibet has long been a place of spiritual importance and religious wonder to locals and tourists alike. Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, was the former home of the Dalai Lama, the Spiritual Leader of Tibetan Buddhism and the history of Buddhism in this special region has existed since the 8th century. The importance and popularity of Tibetan Buddhism has made it a dominant realigion not only in Tibet, but also in Mongolia, part of Russia and north east China. Though no longer the home of the Dalai Lama, the presence of the religion in both the architecture and way of life is still prominent and an important factor in Tibetan way of life. China Holidays offers a Group Tour called ‘a Tibetan Expedition’ which provides China Holidays customers with an extensive tour of the Tibetan region, including visits to Lhasa, Gyantse, Mount Everest and many other sights of interest.
Tibet’s most popular tourist destination is Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and former home of the Dalai Lama which sits on top of Red Hill in Lhasa. The Potala Palace was built in the 17th century under the instruction of the 5th Dalai Lama as the seat of government and as a formal residence for the Dalai Lama. The building is extremely iconic, standing 13 storeys high and contains over 1,000 rooms. The Potala Palace is made up of two sections, the Red Palace and the White Palace. These two palaces are distinguished by the colour of the walls of the building, separated, non-surprisingly, into red and white.
Lhasa is also home to the Norbulingka Palace, which is similar in function as the Summer Palace in Beijing; acting as the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama. Norbulingka, along with the Potala Palace, have both gained UNESCO status and are seen as prime examples of Tibetan religious architecture. Norbulingka is home to many beautiful parks which are regarded as the best example of Tibetan horticulture in the region. Norbulingka was commissioned in the 18th century and became extremely popular with the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas, the last two Dalai Lamas to take residence in Tibet.
Tibet is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscape. If you decide to travel from Lhasa to Gyantse down the Southern Friendship Highway which connects China with Nepal en route, you will see the Yamdrok Lake and the Karo La Glacier. The Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet, spanning a length of 72KM. Yamdrok Lake is said to be the transformation of a religious goddess. The land around the Yamdrok Lake is famous for its herdsmen and Yak which are prominent due to the rich pasture in the area. Along this route on the Southern Friendship Highway, visitors can also see the Karola Glacier which stands at 5,560M which, when the sun is shining brightly, offers an intense white vision.
One of the most well-known and impressive sights in Tibet is Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, rising to an incredible 8,850M in height. Though climbing to the top is to be left only to those with the correct skills and fitness level, a visit to the Base Camp at 17,000ft is a must do. From the Base Camp, tourists can see the north face of Mount Everest. Being this close to Mount Everest is the only way to truly understand how tall this natural beauty really is.
Tibet as a whole is at an extremely high altitude and we would advises visitors to check with their GP before travelling there. An old Tibetan method of dealing with the altitude is eating ginger which helps fend off altitude sickness. You can take ginger in many forms, including ginger tea, ginger biscuits or in pill form as a ginger supplement. If you have breathing problems, it is advised against travelling up Mount Everest to the Base Camp as the altitude is extremely high here.
Tibet is a region of natural beauty, extensive history and religious abundance and is growing all the time as a tourist hotspot.