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 China: Tibet Travel Guide

Potala Palace, Tibet
Potala Palace, Tibet – Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Introducing Tibet

Tibet, now known as the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), is located on the vast, dry Tibetan plateau at an average elevation of 4700m and ringed by vast mountain ranges, including the Kunlun range to the north, the Himalayas to the south and the Karakoram to the west – perfect for climbing adventures. Lhasa is Tibet's traditional capital and the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.

What to do and see in Tibet

Experience an unforgettable adventure on the ‘roof of the world’. Explore engrossing monasteries, meet engaging people, watch chanting monks spin prayer wheels and hike stunning high-altitude mountains.

Watch chanting monks spin prayer wheels inside the Jokhang, Tibet’s most revered religious structure, explore the vast treasure-filled 13-storey Potala Palace in Lhasa and discover significant religious caves in the lush Chimpu Valley. Hike to sacred Mount Kailash and discover the world’s highest monastery in the Rongbuk Valley.

Cultural highlights in Tibet include:

The Jokhang

Explore the most revered religious structure in Tibet, founded in the 7th century. Inside, follow awed pilgrims on a clockwise circuit past more than 200 statues illuminated in the light of a thousand butter candles.

Listen to the murmur of mantras and explore some of the prayer chapels, especially the chapel of Jowo Sakyamuni. Draped in brocade and jewels, this 1.5m-high sculpture is the most deeply venerated statue in Tibet.

Potala Palace

Explore this vast but empty 13-storey fortress, perched 300m above the Lhasa Valley. Step into the former quarters of the present Dalai Lama and explore some of the 100 rooms open to the public, containing more than 10,000 shrines and around 20,000 statues.

Ask a monk to guide you around the tomb of the 13th Dalai Lama, a giant 14m-high stupa containing priceless jewels and one tonne of solid gold.

Samye Monastery

Visit Tibet's first monastery, built in the late 8th century amid stunning mountain scenery on the banks of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River), 39km west of Tsetang. The monastery is famous for its mandala design and is best seen from nearby Hepo Ri (mountain).

Rongbuk Monastery

Visit the world’s highest monastery, perched at 4980m on the side of Rongbuk Valley facing the stunning north face of Everest.

Chimpu Caves

Head to the lush Chimpu Valley to explore the cave where Guru Rinpoche first instructed his Tibetan disciples, then discover other sacred caves that were used by monks to keep Buddhist traditions alive during periods of persecution.

Mount Kailash

Take a three-day hike to the 6714m-high Gang Rinpoche (as it’s known to the Tibetans), considered a sacred mountain by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains.

Best buys in Tibet

Unique items such as Tibetan rugs, prayer flags, Buddha figures, conch-shell trumpets, rosaries, amulets, fur hats, horse bells, bridles, copper teapots, wooden bowls, inlaid knives and jewellery inlaid with turquoise and other gems.


Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these hotels in Lhasa at TripAdvisor.

Best time to visit Tibet

Best visited between June and September with an average of 16˚C but with a daytime high of 23˚C. Winter temperatures can drop to minus 10˚C.

Explore more places in China

 Li River
 Yangtze River
 Silk Road
Latest update on this honeymoon destination: 17 February, 2017
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