Why Travel to Tibet

Speaking of Tibet, almost everyone seems to be fascinated, but why do we travel to Tibet? Why do so many people want to go to Tibet, and some of them want to go there again? For political and ethnic reasons as well as the plateau, many people are in awe of Tibet. Even so, Tibet is still the place where most people want to go. What makes Tibet so attractive to these people? Is it the meaning of travel? The meaning of travel is not to escape, not to encounter, not to relax, not to show off, but to cleanse the body and soul, to give yourself a new vision, or even a way of life, to add more possibilities to life. But I think it’s more than that, because the scenery in Tibet is really beautiful for photographers. For people who love to push the envelope and challenge themselves, it’s fun to keep refreshing the highest altitude they’ve ever been to. For those who have a lot of other thoughts, go and see the simple and unsophisticated Tibetan people may be a spiritual sublimation. For those who believe in Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet is the Holy Land. 

Charming Natural Wonders

With an average altitude of more than 4,000 meters, Tibet is the closest place to heaven, forming many natural wonders. You won’t miss the towering snow-capped mountains, such as the world’s highest peak- Mount Everest, the world religious center- Mount Kailash, and Mount Namcha Barwa with a history of over 700 million years. In addition, the sacred lakes are also the major scenic spots in Tibet, including Yamdrok Lake, Namtso Lake, Lake Manasarova, etc., all of which show translucent and sapphire sky, and own their unique beauty. In addition, you can explore wild grasslands, deep valleys, verdant forests, magnificent glaciers, rare animals and other different landscapes. Of course, blue sky and white cloud are never absent.

Mountains in Tibet

Tibet plateau is a land of mountains. There are four world class mountain ranges locates in or through Tibet – Himalaya, Gangdis, Kunlun Mountains and Karakoram, which has created 79 dominating peaks in Tibet all of which are higher than 6,000 meters. Stretching across the southern part of Shigatse, the Himalayas are the world’s youngest and highest mountain range, with an average altitude of more than 6,000 meters. There are 5 peaks over 8,000 meters in Shigatse, namely Mount Everest, Lhotse peak(8,516 meters), Makalu peak(8,463 meters), Qowowuyag peak(8,201 meters) and Shisha Pangma peak(8,012 meters). Here below are 3 famous mountains in Tibet. 

Mount Everest

Among the mountains in the Tibet, Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, and the most famous and most popular mountain in the world. Mount Everest/Qomolangma is the main peak of the Himalayas, and is the highest mountain peak in the world, on the boundary of China and Nepal. The northern part of Mount Everest is in the territory of Tingri County, Tibet (the west slope is at the Tashi Dzom Township of Tingri County, the east slope is at the Qutang Township of Tingri County and Everest Base Camp is on the east slope), and the southern part of it is in Nepal. It is the highest peak of the world, with an altitude of 8844.43 meters according to the measurement of China’s state bureau of surveying and mapping

Mount Kailash

Mount Kailash in Ngari is regarded as the holy mountain, is one of the four major sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism. The top of the mountain is 6656 meters above sea level. It is the second peak of the Gangdise Mountains. As one of the famous mountains in China, it is located in the northern part of Burang County, southwest of Tibet Autonomous region. It means “holy mountain” in Tibetan. At the altitude of more than 6000 meters above sea level, there are 28 modern glaciers, mainly corrie glaciers and hanging glaciers. There are more glaciers on the south slope than on the north slope.

Namcha Barwa

Mount Namjagbarwa in Nyingchi is believed to be the most beautiful snow mountain in China. Namcha Barwa, lies on the junction of the Himalayas, Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains and the Hengduan Mountains, is the highest mountain in Nyingchi, Tibet autonomous region of China, with an altitude of 7,782 meters. It belongs to the Himalayas and is located at the eastern end of the Himalayas.

Lakes in Tibet

Tibet has the largest number of lakes in China, with a total area of about 23,800 square kilometers, accounting for more than 30% of the total lake area in China. 1500 lakes in different sizes and different views scatter  between mountains and wilderness. The most famous lakes in Tibet are Namtso LakeYamdrok LakeManasarovar LakePangong LakeBasum Lake, Sengli Tso Lake, Ranwu Lake and so on. In Tibet, many lakes are given religious significance. Namtso Lake, Manasarovar Lake, Yamdrok Lake are known as three “holy lakes” in Tibet. In addition, including Lhamo Latso Lake, which has a special status in the reincarnation system of living Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism, Tangra Yumco Lake, a famous god lake of Bon Religion located in northern Tibet, and Cona Lake, which is a living Buddha’s “soul lake” in Amdo County. Here below are 3 major holy lakes in Tibet. 

Namtso Lake

Namtso Lake, located in located between Damxung County of Lhasa and Bango County of Nagqu, is the largest lake in Tibet, the second largest salt water lake in China, and the world’s highest lake. The altitude of Namtso Lake is 4718 meters above sea level, and the shape is similar to rectangle. With the stunning scenery of Namtso Lake, tourists can not only enjoy the attractive view of lake with turquoise water, but also experience the beauty and mystery of surrounding hills. For travelers, Namtso is the ideal place for photography, while for Tibetans, it is a scared and magical lake for pilgrimage. Every year, a large number of pilgrims make a Kora around Namtso Lake. What’s more, Namtso lake is frozen in winter and not available to visit until May every year, because the road is closed by snow. 

Yamdrok Lake

Yamdrok, meaning “Green Jade Lake”, “Swan Lake” in Tibetan, is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, located in the southern bank of the Brahmaputra RiverNgarzhag County of Shannan City. Usually, when travelling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp via Shigatse, you will pass through Yamdrok Lake and stay there for a while. 

Lake Manasarova

Manasarovar Lake is 35 kilometers east of Burang CountyNgari, Tibet, south of Mount Kailash. The natural scenery around the lake is very beautiful. Since ancient times, Buddhist believers have regarded it as the “world center” of the holy land, it is the second largest natural freshwater lake in China, the most transparent freshwater lake in China, and one of the three “holy lakes” in Tibet. It is also the birthplace of the four major rivers in Asia.

Mysterious Religions

The beautiful natural landscape gives Tibet an attractive appearance, and Buddhism endows Tibet a powerful spiritual force. Traveling to Tibet, you can immerse yourself in the strong fragrance of Buddhism. As a deep-rooted belief, Tibetan Buddhism permeates all tibetans and becomes an important part of their daily life and spiritual life. Every day, countless pilgrims come to Tibet, including some buddhists from afar. They can prostrate themselves at Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Lhasa, to pray. They can also practice meditation near monasteries, sacred mountains and holy lakes. The most famous pilgrimage routes include Barkhor Street Kora in Lhasa and Mount Kailash Kora in Ngari.

Pilgrimage Tours in Tibet

Magnificent Palaces and Monasteries

When talking about the excellent architecture in Tibet, you will immediately think of the Potala Palace.The Potala Palace, located highly above the Lhasa City, takes full advantage of the hilly terrain to create a solemn and harmonious integrity. In addition to palaces, Tibet has more than 1,000 Tibetan buddhist monasteries. The golden roof of Jokhang Temple, thangka exhibition of Drepung Monastery, scripture debating of Sera Monastery, and the four palaces of Tashilhunpo Monastery attract a crowd of tourists every year. 

Palaces in Tibet

The most famous palace in Tibet is definitely the Potala Palace, which is located in Lhasa. Another well-known palace in Tibet is Yumbulagang Palace, which is the first palace in Tibet. Besides, Norbulingka Palace, with a short distance to the southwest of Potala Palace, is also worth a visit.

Monasteries and Temples in Tibet

Monasteries and temples are the main manifestation of Tibetan Buddhist culture, there are a lot of monasteries in Tibet. Buddhism is the essence of Tibet culture, and monasteries are the best place to experience Tibetan Buddhism culture. 

Main Monasteries and Temples in Tibet

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Recommended Tours

Mecca for Mountaineers and Trekkers

Mount Everest Mountaineering

As the pilgrimage site for mountaineering enthusiasts from all around the world, many professional or non-professional mountaineers succeeded in climbing to the top of Mount Everest up to now. Although climbing such a high peak will face many difficulties and challenges, even so, thousands of climbers go to Mount Everest every year to conquer the world’s highest peak.

Tibet Hiking Tours

Tibet is a dream land for hikkers. Compared with other means of transportation, the joys of sightseeing the nature wonders can be enhanced better and more directly by traveling on foot. Tibet has several popular hiking routes with beautiful scenery. If you want a real adventure, in addition to sightseeing on foot, Everest base camp or Mount Kailash trekking can fulfill your ambitions. 

Featured Festivals and Activities

The special Tibetan culture has successfully bred featured festivals and activities. Tibetans like to get together for picnics, games, parties or worshipping. It is said that people in Tibet celebrate festivals almost every month, among which the most popular festivals are Saga Dawa Festival, Tibet New Year, Shoton Festival, Nagqu Horse Racing Festival, Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival, Butter Lantern Festival, Bathing Festival and so on. On some important days, there will be traditional Tibetan opera, thangka exhibition, equestrian competition, chanting ceremony and so on. Traveling to Tibet during these big festivals, you can also experience Tibetan folk culture and art. In Lhasa, you can take part in some interesting activities, such as cooking, thangka painting, kora and so on.

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Ancient Culture

For many travelers, Tibet is the holiest place they can find in the whole world in their lives. For thousands of years, this mysterious Buddhist kingdom was enclosed in the Himalayas, forming a unique society with its own culture and religion.

  • Tibet is so vast(equivalent to 2.5 France). When you go deep into Tibet, you will see people in different parts of Tibet. Their lives are different, but they share a deep faith in Buddhism.
  • Lhasa is the best place to start your culture tour of Tibet. When many people first saw the Potala Palace towering into the sky, they called it the city of miracles. Local Tibetans, pilgrims and tourists from all around the world gather here, making it the most prosperous place in Tibet.
  • Jokhang Temple, located in the center of the city, is the true spiritual heart of Lhasa. Jokhang temple is the holiest temple in Tibet, with an otherworldly mix of butter lamps, wafting incense and prostrating pilgrims. It is here and the encircling Barkhor Street that most tourists first fall in love with Tibet.
  • The Yarlung Zangbo river lies in the center of Tibet and is the soul of Tibet. The Tibetans trace the origin of their nation to this region. Today, you can still visit Tibet’s first monastery (Samye Monastery) and its first palace(Yumbulagang Palace).
  • Drive north from Lhasa and you’ll meet another group of Tibetan, the nomads. They live in their brown or black yak hair tents. The nomads in Tibet are probably the most hospitable people you will ever meet in the world. Here you will have the opportunity to visit their tents and taste tsampa, yak butter and dried yak cheese and other local specialties. 

The Train to Tibet

While flying is usually the most popular way to travel to a place, but taking the train to Tibet is equally popular for many people. Opened in 2006, the 1,956 kilometers railway across the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Qinghai-Tibet Railway will bring you a journey of 22 hours to 3 days. The railway, an extension of China’s rail network, has replaced the old Qinghai-Tibet Highway as the main route into Tibet. Taking the train to Lhasa is a unique experience and sleeper carriages on the train make the long journey more comfortable. The journey will pass through beautiful valleys, vast grasslands, and mountains more than 5,000 meters above sea level. There are also Sichuan-Tibet Railway(part of it under construction) and Xinjiang-Tibet Railway. 

Trains to Lhasa

Daily or weekly trains run from the 7 gateway cities to Lhasa, including BeijingShanghaiChengdu, Guangzhou, ChongqingLanzhou and Xining. Tourists can also take a train at the stations on the the midway, such as Nanjing, Xian, Taiyuan, etc.