Tibet offers fabulous monasteries, breathtaking high-altitude treks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likeable peoples you will ever meet.
The Roof of the World
For travellers nonplussed by Tibet’s religious significance, the big draw is likely to be the elemental beauty of the highest plateau on earth. Geography here is on a humbling scale and every view is lit with spectacular mountain light. Your trip will take you past glittering turquoise lakes, across huge plains dotted with yaks and nomad’s tents and over high passes draped with colourful prayer flags. Hike past the ruins of remote hermitages, stare up open-mouthed at the north face of Everest or make an epic overland trip along some of the world’s wildest roads. The scope for adventure is limited only by your ability to get permits.
A Higher Plain
For many people, the highlights of Tibet will be of a spiritual nature – magnificent monasteries, prayer halls of chanting monks and remote cliffside retreats. Tibet’s pilgrims are an essential part of this appeal, from the local grannies mumbling mantras in temples heavy with the aroma of juniper incense and yak butter, to the hard-core walking or prostrating themselves around Mt Kailash. Tibet has a level of devotion and faith that seems to belong to an earlier age.
The Tibetan People
Whatever your interests, your lasting memories of Tibet are likely to be of the bottle of Lhasa Beer you shared in a Lhasa teahouse, the yak-butter tea offered by a monk in a remote monastery or the picnic shared with a herders’ family on the shores of a remote lake. Always ready with a smile and with a great tolerance and openness of heart despite decades of political turmoil and hardship, it is the Tibetan people that truly make travelling in Tibet such a profound joy.
Politics & PermitsNew airports, boutique hotels and paved roads offer a level of travel comfort unheard of just a few years ago. If the rigours of high-altitude Tibet travel have deterred you in the past, now might just be the time to take the plunge.
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