Tibet - Roof of the World
Tibet is a most unusual and beautiful place. The majority of it's land rests above 4000 meters (13,000 feet) and is surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides. The awe-inspiring Himalayas are the highest in the world, as is the never ending Tibetan plateau. It is a place for the rugged adventurer as well as the spiritual wanderer.
Tibet is a land held back in time, housing many secrets. Nomads remain much the same as they did one hundred years ago. Roaming the plateau from winter and summer camps the nomads still mainly subsist from their yak herds. Then, there are the monasteries which are striving to find a place in a country that's suddenly facing the 21st century.
The Tibetan people and their religion have been inseparable. Even in their earliest myths one finds references to Tibetan religious beliefs. Originally, the Bon religion dominated Tibet. After the introduction of Buddhist statues and later, sanskrit documents from India, Buddhism crept increasingly into Tibetan culture. Tibetan Buddhism is the culmination of some early Bon beliefs, Indian buddhist texts and several great lamas. Buddhism and politics had been interwoven since King Songsten Gampo married a Chinese and a Nepali princess, who were both intergral in the emergence of Buddhism. It was the Fifth Dalai Lama who actually built the Potala Palace as the government seat and religious center. A theocracy had prevailed until 1951.
After centuries of virtual isolation Tibet is cautiously opening up to the western world. Officially, China has only opened the doors for travelers these past few years. A visit to Tibet is an incredible experience, although it is not for the faint-hearted. The traveling is difficult and unpredictable. The infrastructure is poor to non-existent, therefore turning a regular tour into a complete adventure. Traveling in Tibet is not your average trip but an experience of a lifetime, which we invite you to take with us.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, in the southwest of China, has long enjoyed reputation of being "the Roof of the World", where Tibet Autonomous Region with an average altitude of over 4,000 meters and an area of 1.2 million square kilometers occupies a major portion. The majestic Tibetan highland stands on of the world and its unique cultural tradition has an international fame. This is a land of vast contrast with snow-capped mountains offering beauty unsurpassed and deep tropical rainforests in another, and with open pastureland against imposing mountains and cornier forests. The great Himalayas lies in its south with the towering Mt. Qomolangma standing above all world's peaks.
In addition to these spectacular offerings of nature, the time-worn Tibetan cultural tradition is most enchanting. A glorious tradition mingled with wisdom of the Han and other ethnic peoples is represented by such achievements as the ancient Shengshong Culture ruins, Yumbu Lhakang Palace, the ruins of ancient Guge Kingdom, the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. The population of the region consists mostly of the Tibetans, Monbans and Lhobans, all industrious and honest people full of wisdom and valor. Over the centuries, they have cultivated very unique ethnic traditions, folklores and ways of life, contributing to the Chinese civilization and human progress. This is a land of enduring enchantment and tantalizing mystery.
Tibet enjoys such unparalleled travel resources as Mt. Qomolangma, the highest peak in the world on Sino-Nepalese border, the winding Yarlung Tsangbo River, ancient ruins, palaces and monasteries, folkloric activities and religious ceremonies. Tourism resources in the region have been continuously developed. Lhasa is now the tourist center with routes extending to Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi, Ngari and Nakchu, covering a total of over 60 scenic spots and places of interest.