The Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) is one of the more mysterious, spiritual areas of the world. It’s also a region of superlatives: the tallest mountains, largest plateaus, and highest-altitude cities. With all this in mind, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices when it comes to visiting.
That’s where WildChina comes in. We’ve field tested all our experiences in Tibet to ensure our clients have life-changing experiences that are tailored made to suit their travel-style. Let’s take a look at some of the many options.
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Where You Should Go in Tibet -Yamdrok Tso Lake
Welcome to one of the largest sacred lakes in Tibet. Why is it on this list? Because the locals consider it one of the most beautiful places in all of Tibet! Not only is it significant for its beauty, but it is considered a holy location by Tibetan Buddhists. Surrounding the lake are four temples, each with its own significance. To understand why it is considered holy, you only have to stand on its banks and witness the deep blue water, encircled by snow-capped, cloud-crowned mountains. Bring your camera, and if you’d like, we can arrange a private picnic on the lake’s shores.
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Where You Should Go in Tibet – Jokhang Temple
When approaching Jokhang, you’ll first be struck by the combination of Tang Dynasty architectural design and the distinct Indian vihara and Nepalese elements that make the temple a comprehensive piece of art. This is the highest temple in the world for Tibetan Buddhism and it’s also the spiritual center. Jokhang Temple is considered to be the most important temple by Tibetans and should be on the ‘must-visit’ list of anyone who is interested in world religions, history, or art. Jokhang Temple is located in Barkhor Square in the center of Lhasa, not far from the river. This is a great place to do the “kora” – which is a short pilgrimage around the grounds along with locals. The local people will put tiny rocks on top of each other by the side of the road to keep track of how many times they’ve been around the temple.
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Where You Should Go in Tibet – The Potala Palace
Not far from Lhasa city, the Potala Palace is a massive building complex that used to be home to the mighty Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo. In the 1600’s, it was reconstructed to be suitable for the Fifth Dalai Lama and if Jokhang is the spiritual center of the TAR, the Potala Palace is the political center. It is on UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage Sites and houses countless works of art and archaeological treasures. A treasure trove for any history buff! In the back of the palace, you can find what used to be the lively lodgings of the Lamas.
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Where You Should Go in Tibet – Mt. Everest Base Camp
You’ve heard about Mount Everest plenty of times, and maybe you weren’t even entirely sure where it was. It’s one of those legendary locations that seems so far off and impossible to reach, but here’s your chance. You can stay at a base camp at the foot of the world’s tallest mountain. While the foot of the mountain is still quite high – several miles above the surrounding landscape – you’ll be treated to an amazing scene.
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Where You Should Go in Tibet – Tibetan Medical Expert
You may be familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Tibet has its own ancient medicine as well. In Lhasa, we’ll arrange a consultation between you and a Tibetan medical expert who can diagnose your ailments using traditional methods and prescribe special remedies just for you.
On the wall, you can find traditional thangka paintings that show the whole medical system used by Tibetans. The expert will explain to you how it all works using the thangka painting as a visual aide.
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Where You Should Go in Tibet – Hiking
If you want to go off the beaten path in Tibet, there are a number of monasteries that are away from the capital of Lhasa in more remote areas. On a WildChina journey, you can converse with monks through your local Tibetan guide and at the Pabongka Monastery, you can take a leisurely hike of less than three hours from the monastery to a nunnery. The view will be spectacularly Tibetan: filled with prayer flags, rivers, yaks, and Tibetan dogs.
If you’re seeking a different way of living, spiritual insight, or simply to experience living history, then Tibet is not to be missed.
Feature Image Photo Credit: dotstone on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND