Friday, July 8, 2011

Best Time to Visit Tibet

Tibet is a magical place, where the star-studded alpine lakes are clear and intense blue, as smooth as mirror, the lofty snow-capped peaks and year round not-melting glaciers spread all over, and the elegant hada-like white clouds always wrap the mountain waists. Here the desolate and magnificent natural landscapes, pure and fresh air, quite and vast Gobi desert, boundless prairie with flocks of cattle and sheep, luxuriant virgin forest, rich and honest simple ethnic customs, and resplendent millenary-old temple together prove to be reasons for Tibet becoming the holy land of travelers.

From each May, Tibet gets into the best traveling season, until golden autumn October. So, don’t hesitate and now head for Tibet to discover the wonderful legends.


Existing for 1,300 years, Lhasa is located at a land of 3,650 meters above sea level, serving as the world’s highest city. In Tibetan language, “Lhasa” means holy land or Buddhist land. Entering Lhasa, unfolding before you are the fluttering Fengma flags (or called prayer flags) in the wind, incense-curling up platform, pilgrims in a hurry to walk, and unceasing prayer wheel. Not matter when it is, Lhasa seems to start from chanting sutras, circling the ritual walk path, praying and blessing.

The Potala Palace is known as “Palace in Heaven”. Scaling the zigzagging granite steps in the front of hill, for those of better altitude acclimation, needs several stops on the way before reaching the Potala Palace. When taking off hats and sunglasses as well as turning off the camera, and then ascending a steep wooden ladder, your pilgrimage just begins.

The group visitors can only linger in the Potala Palace for one hour, thus they have to glance at the magnificent Buddha hall, Stupa, and imperial sleeping place. The winding corridors lighted by remote lights, drooping curtains, and taste of butter pervading every corner give you a feeling as if you fall into a old, dark and gloomy dream and are lost in the scriptures, Buddha statues, frescoes and old legends. While walking out of the palace gate and looking back, you can see the blinding palace walls tier upon tier as high as clouds. Various solemn colors like the blue of sky, gold of gilding roofs and black of Sutra Pillars are combined to produce a scared sense.

Namtso is described as a tear of lover in snowy region

In Tibetan, Namtso means “Heavenly Lake”, located in Damxung County, about 100 kilometers from downtown Lhasa. As the highest and second biggest salt water lake in China, Namtso together with Yandrok Lake and Manasarova  Lake is counted as the Three Holy Lakes in Tibet.

Departing from Lhasa and proceeding along Qinghai-Tibet Highway, you can overlook the imposing Nyainqntanglha Mountains a thousand miles away, and admire the prairie stretching to the horizon as well as herds of yaks. Occasionally several Tibetan locals kowtowing may fall into your eyes. After passing Yangbajing, uninhabited area and crossing Tanggula Mountain Pass, you get close to the Namtso bank. Although in summer, you can still feel the cool wind blow gently. When standing near the lakeside, before your eyes is just a picture, the year-round snow-covered main peak of Nyainqntanglha Mountains in southeast, the rolling plateau and hill in north, vast prairie around the lake, and huge-mirror like lake embedded in the grassland of north Tibet.

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Mount Qomolangma
Mount Qomolangma

Shigatse with not only Mount Qomolangma

If you are not a real traveler, you will regret your decision on the way from Lhasa to Shigatse since it spends too much time on road and the scenery along the way is boring. However, when getting to Gyantse and beholding at a distance the Tsong Burg standing on the mountain, you will feel glad about your wise choice.

Not very high, Mount Tsong is only over 100 meters in height but rises sharply from the ground, lofty and steepy. Built against mountain, the Tsong Burg looks tier on tier and blends with the precipitous rocks. As for the Tashihunpo Monastery in urban Shigatse, it is constructed against mountain. The golden roofs of the splendid monastery complex are shining in the sun, creating a feeling of warmness.

If you come to Shigatse, one must-do thing is admiring the Mount Qomolangma., which has huge pyramid-like appearance, and towers into the sky. The snowy peaks seem the crystal ornaments of Goddess, and are flickering in the sun. If you continue to the Qomolangma base camp, you have to drive for additional 7 hours.
Tips of Traveling Tibet

    * The hard altitude reaction: One reason for it is the shortage of oxygen. If you have strong altitude reaction, you are recommended to buy one oxygen container. Generally, you may try the following ways to overcome the problems of altitude reaction: first, relaxing mentally, not eating and drinking too much and not smoking but having more vegetables and fruits; second, not to walk rapidly, run and do hard works but drink more water; third, be sure to keep warm to head off a cold, which may cause acute pulmonary edema in plateau.

    * The necessaries to prepare before entering into Tibet: warm clothing, sleeping bag, camera, sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen, passport and more.

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