Lhasa is the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, west
of the mainland. It is known to be one of the highest cities in the world, with the altitude measuring up to 3,490 metres. Lhasa is also known as the ‘Place of the Gods’ this is because it is known as the centre of the Buddhist beliefs and spirituality. Located within the Himalaya Mountains, Lhasa is made up of seven counties. There are many sights and temples to see in Lhasa and there are great package deals going through China Tours.

 

For a foreigner whom is not a Chinese national will have to gain a special permit from the Chinese government in order to visit Tibet and they are strictly advised to have a tour guide with them at all times. Tibet Tours provides tour guides for people who want to visit Lhasa and will easily be able to advise on setting up a permit. They offer a religious and spiritual tour or a hiking and trekking tour, with the glorious scenery you cannot go wrong with either tour. Apart from the exquisite view this area has to offer there are three locations which is a must when visiting Lhasa. They are the Potola Palace, Norbulingka and Jokhang Temple. All these places are very accessible; you can either take a shuttle or go for a brief walk. The Potola Palace which is the most famous was of course the chief residence of the Dalai Lama before he fled to India in the 1950’s. It was first constructed in 1645 but since the 14th Dalai Lama was exiled the government have done reconstructions in 1989 through to 1994. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Tibet as it is so enriched with history, religion and culture that it should definitely not be ignored from your list of sites. Also to keep in mind photography within the Temple is forbidden, so just restrain yourself until you get outside.

 

Norbulingka is considered to be one of the biggest man made
gardens in China, taking up an area of 36 hectares. This garden is approximately 1 kilometre south-west of the Potala Palace and was known as the summer residence for the Dalai Lama. It is recommended to go in the July/August period when the Sho Dun Festival or ‘the yogurt festival’ in on. It is a great festival to experience, there is a lot of music, dancing and food. You will be able to experience the Tibetan culture first hand.

 

 

Jokhang Temple is a must; it is seen to be one of the most sacred temples in Tibet. The architecture of this temple is amazing, with beautiful gilded bronze tiles on the roof tops. The temple was constructed in the 7th century AD as a house of statues for the Buddha. Along with the Patola Palace, this temple is very popular among tourists. In the year 2000 the Jokhang Temple was added to the World Heritage List, Norbulingka was added in 2001 and the Potola Palace has been on the list since 1994.

 

If you love history, Lhasa is the place to go for your tour of China. It is so enriched with the Buddhist beliefs and culture that it would be an experience of a life time to see it all first hand. Lhasa is very accessible from the larger cities in China, it can be accessed either by a
train if you want to have the scenic route or you can choose to fly. It is advised to check out both options and see what else you can put into your itinerary. However Tibet flights are always the best way to go if Lhasa is the only destination you have in mind.

Jack Li
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