Lhasa, Tibet. Click to enter a 10 page gallery of small Tibet photos.
Tibet, the 'roof of the world', is a culturally colourful yet bleak mountain enveloped plateau the size of Europe and possibly a model for the original Shangri-la, though sadly these days Tibet is rarely associated with heaven, particularly after its occupation by Chinese armies in 1951 and their continued domination of this deeply religious country.
However, life goes on, tourists still want to visit this strange and wonderful destination and actually, thanks to Chinese engineering skills and perseverance, tourist access to Tibet has improved dramatically with the opening of the Bejing to Lhasa rail line.
The journey to Lhasa is now easier than before but don't
imagine that tourism in Tibet is going to get any more comfortable...travellers
still need to survive the excessively high altitude (4,000m+) without
hiding in a darkened room with a shrieking headache - not difficult
for fit younger people but a problem for older folk as
constant migraines and nausea may put a limit on the amount
of sightseeing possible (see Tibet health advice for survival tips).
Still, Tibet's an amazing place and will deliver memorable pictures,
but be realistic about your physical ability at this altitude.
Getting to Tibet: Alternatives to the wonderful but pricey Beijing-Lhasa train
flights from Chengdu, the cheapest and easiest flight path to Tibet though other Chinese cities do flights too.
- by road. Travellers with a lot of time or little money may prefer to drive themselves - or take buses - on one of
the stunning roads to Tibet.
This has the advantage of steady acclimatisation to the altitude.
Taking into account the difficulty of acclimatising for Tibet while in China - and the train won't help much, nor will a flight, it may be worth considering acclimatising in Nepal, then travelling to Tibet via the 736 km Friendship Highway.
time to visit: May to October, the warmest months.
Read a Telegraph newspaper story of a 4,000 mile train ride from Hong Kong to Lhasa.
Information: Tibet Travel Guide | China Map | Tibet
| Silk Road