Tibet is a fabled land, for centuries a forbidden place for outsiders to visit. Those who did to go had to go in disguise, risking imprisonment if caught and a polite but firm escort to its frontiers. It was a land of religion, with prayer wheels, prayer flags, temples, monasteries and shrines dominating the landscape and prayers and festivals dominating life.
Tibet is now part of China and with the influx of settlers its culture has changed much over the last 30 years. The Potala Palace is no longer the seat of power but a tourist attraction and museum. The old town around the sacred Jokung Temple has been redeveloped into more modern housing.
A visit to Tibet is still one of the most rewarding trips a traveller can make. Its spectacular landscapes, rich culture and friendly people still exist and make the effort of getting there well worth it. More outlying towns such as Gyantse still have beautiful old towns and monasteries to visit that seem unchanged for centuries.
There is trekking to be done, most notably to the North Base Camp of Mt. Everest, the base for many Everest Expeditions in the 1920's and situated near the famous Rombuk Monastery. For those with more time a trip and trek to Mt. Kailash, the centre of the Buddhist World.
When to Go
The best time to visit is from May to October when the skies are at their clearest and the temperatures at their warmest. You must remember however that the whole country lies on a high plateau so the air temperature remains cool throughout the year.
Because of this, and the prevailing weather, the winters are very cold, travel disruption is not unknown and sightseeing options are more limited.
Similarly the peak trekking season in Tibet is between the months of April and November.
Tibet is a unique trekking destination offering dramatic and spectacular landscapes on a scale it is hard to comprehend. There are holy mountains, sacred lakes and monasteries to visit, the whole landscape seemingly a canvas for the Buddhist faith.Continue Reading...
Situated on a high plateau and known as "the roof of the World" Tibet is a harsh and stark terrain for mammals to survive in. You would think life wouldn't exist but it is home to over 12,000 species of plant, 210 mammals and over 500 species of bird. In total 22% of the plateau is now protected within either National or Regional reserves.Continue Reading...