Tibet Travel Guide

by our Tibet expert Conrad Freethy
Conrad FreethyWith an average elevation of 16,000ft, it’s little wonder that Tibet is known as the ‘Roof of the World’. For many years inaccessible, it is gradually becoming known, first to back-packers, now to other more intrepid travellers. Lhasa, the capital lies in the central plateau, but the country is dominated by the sky-reaching peaks of the Himalaya, notably Everest. Lhasa is a major city yet still with a strong feeling of remoteness. Filled with incredible Buddhist monasteries and temples such as the striking Potala Palace (former home of the Dalai Lama), and the golden pinnacles of Jokhang, probably the holiest of all the temples. Barkhor Square, however, is the place to be on New Year’s Eve, as Tibetans celebrate with a vigour that outdoes the Scots. Fly into Lhasa, travel on the world’s highest railway from Qinghai, China, or take the long hard road from Nepal via the colourful frontier town of Nyalam where the Pelgye monastery is well worth a visit. Tibet’s second city is Shigatse, with its ancient castle and the huge monastery of Tashilhumpo, seat of the Panchen Lama. Shigatse is a good start point for Everest – though the informed traveller spends a night at the Rongbuk monastery to wake with the peak in sight.

Tibet Facts

National Flag: Tibetan Flag
Language(s): Tibetan
Currency: Chinese yuan
Capital city: Lhasa
Dialling Code: +86
Time Zone: GMT

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