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About Lhasa

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Lhasa Brief Introduction


Lhasa Brief IntroductionLhasa (or the "ground of the Gods") has been the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region since the 7th Century when Songsten Gampo built his palace where the Potala now stands and attempted to unify the various clans fighting in the area. 

This is the first stop for most visitors to Tibet and, although the journey here is not as exciting as it once was, a trip here is still an essential part of any visit to Tibet.  Although Lhasa is famous for being one of the highest cities in the world, a towering 3,600 meters above the banks of the Lhasa River, what really knocks you out here is the full scale impact on your senses of the breathtaking beauty, unique landscape and the holy atmosphere of this religious center.

Most of the historical sights here date back to the 1600s when the magnificent Potala Palace was built. The Potala dominates the skyline but Jokhang is considered to be the spiritual center of the city and there are numerous other small active temples dotted about. Pilgrims still flock to Lhasa to see and experience the remaining enclaves of tradition that remain. 

Despite the important religious and historical legacy of the city, Lhasa has changed more in the past 40 years than ever before. Although pilgrims still visit here, they are now joined and compete for space with western tourists and numerous Chinese.

The enroaching "renovating" and "modernizing" Chinese influence is fast changing the unique flavor that makes Tibet and Lhasa so special. Before the Chinese moved in to the city, in 1951, only about 20,000 people inhabited this small area. Today, there are some 160,00 inhabitants here, including many Chinese businessmen, here to utilize the modernization and development of Lhasa. 

In many respects this is changing the face of Lhasa for the worse. For the adventurous traveler however, this remains a city of intrigue and there is more than enough to hold you here for a few days. Modernization too, means that facilities are better in the capital city than they are elsewhere in the province. Bear in mind however, that this place is becoming more similar to  other Chinese cities and is not truly representative of the "real" Tibet. 

Although this is a good place to get your bearings and start exploring, 80% of the population of Tibet live in the countryside. Outside Lhasa is where the more authentic and traditional aspects of the region can be enjoyed and experienced.

 

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China Hotels Bookings, Tourism, Travels and Destination Guide -- Online Discount Hotel Reservation In China