Tibet, also known as Xizang, is called the “Roof of the
land is breathtakingly beautiful, a perfect blend of green
grasslands and snow-capped mountains.
People that visit Tibet are overwhelmed with its
regal atmosphere and majestic scenery.
That coupled with the mysterious and even exotic
culture, makes this an excellent travel destination.
Tibet is often referred to as “Tibet Autonomous Region”
or TAR for short. However,
keep in mind that TAR is not Tibet.
The Chinese government divided the historical Tibet
into a number of regions and prefectures.
Therefore, TAR only involves the central region and a
portion of the eastern region.
With this division, approximately 60% of the original
territory of Tibet has now been absorbed into China.
The historical Tibet sits on the border of Sikkim, Bhutan,
India, Burma, and Nepal.
Spread out more than 470,000 square miles, the
plateau is beautifully surrounded by the Himalaya to the
south, Kunlun to the north and Karakoram to the west, which
makes up the highest mountain ranges in the world. However, you will also find many other smaller mountain
ranges to the east. While
the four main mountain ranges average 26,240 feet above sea
level, keep in mind that there are still 38 other mountains
that exceed altitudes of 22,960 feet.
Tibet is known around the world for having Mt. Everest
towering over the entire region.
As you can see, Tibet has earned the name “Roof of
the World” for very good reason.
Throughout the region, you will also find many great
rivers, such as the famous Yangtze River, along with the Nu
River, Yellow River, Yarlong Tsangpo River, Indus River,
Ganges River, and Lancang River.
In addition to the magnificent rivers, the land is
also dotted with many green valleys and crystal blue lakes,
to include the wonderful Yamdrok Yumtso Lake.
While some of the areas within Tibet are so rugged that they
are very difficult to access, you can enjoy trips to Lhasa
and Shigatse, where you can visit religious monuments and
other tourist attractions, all easily reached.
One of the most popular monuments is Potala.
However, you will also find the Tashilunpo Monastery,
Kumbum, and the Jokhang Temple here, all worth your time and
effort to see.
Off to the west, there is a barren plateau called Ngari.
This vast area has the nickname of “Roof of
you want to experience some of Tibet’s sacred spots, you
can visit Lake Manasarova, which joins Mt. Kailash.
Ngari is where many Hindus and Tibetans go to pay
holy pilgrimage. Additionally,
for individuals that love to hike, this is the ideal
Two other places to visit while there include the Guge
Kingdom and the Shang Shung Kingdom, both ancient sites that
should not be missed. If
you travel to the southwestern portion of Tibet, you will
fall in love with the mountains, making this an outdoors
person’s haven. In
all, more than 40 snow-covered peaks are available for
hikers to enjoy. In
addition to the mountains for climbing, you can also enjoy
running waters, primeval forests, and a comfortable climate.
In fact, here you will see Yarlong Tsangpo Canyon,
the largest canyon in the entire world.
Art in Tibet is very popular and influenced strongly by
such form is called Thanka, which is highly developed and
Buddhism, this is the lifeblood of the Tibetan people,
although it does vary some from the way in which other
countries practice this religious belief.
For this reason, in Tibet, it is known as Tibetan
to China invading this country, the Dalai Lama served as the
theological leader and head of state in a theocracy.
To continue the teaching for adults and help establish the
children, four Tibetan Buddhism schools were created. These schools consist of Kagyu, Sakya, Geluk, and Nyingma
with this last one being the oldest, having emerged between
the 8th and 9th Centuries.
However, before the Tibetans began practicing
Buddhism, they practiced another form of religion known as
Shamanism, which was actually called Bon.
This influence can still be seen in some of Tibet’s
In addition to the beauty of Tibet and the wonderful places
to visit, unfortunately, there are still areas of unrest.
Within Tibet today, the people are under strict
guidelines when it comes to the freedom of religion, press,
and speech. In
fact, it is estimated that there remains about 1,200
political prisoners still held in Tibet, which includes some
very interesting people.
For example, a Fulbright scholar by the name of
Ngawang Choephel is one such prisoner along with Panchen
Lama, who is a nine-year-old religious figure that
disappeared in 1995 by Chinese authorities. Additionally, there are many nuns, monks, and even civilians
still suffering greatly.
Sadly, the Chinese government set up laws that forced
families to have abortions and undergo sterilization, along
with the transfer of thousands of Chinese citizens coming
into Tibet, which placed a direct threat on the country’s
fact, the number of Chinese settlers compared with the
Tibetans is vast. Because
of these changes, many Tibetans still flee the occupied part
of Tibet, which requires them to travel over treacherous
If you plan to take a trip to Tibet, you will discover the
people to be very inviting and warm.
The monuments, monasteries, temples, and other
attractions are something you simply should not overlook.
However, because there are some problem areas within
this country, you should consider organizing your trip
through a reputable travel agent.
By knowing where to go and what to see, you will have
an amazing experience that will not be forgotten.