Introduction


Tibet was opened for tourists only in 1985. Before this, it avoided influence from the western world and developed its unique culture & religion independently. To see a place like Tibet now, before many modern changes take place, is certainly a unique experience.

Its name, the “Roof of the World” is no idle statement. The valley bottoms of Tibet are higher than the highest mountains elsewhere. Its snow covered plateau are the highest in the world. Apart from the Everest, which Tibetans see from the other side, many mountain ranges are over 4,500m. Tourists can fly right into Lhasa from Kathmandu, taking one of the world’s most dramatic flights across the Himalayan range. Lhasa (3,650m) Tibet’s capital city lies in the highest plateau of the world amid arid wilderness.

Traveling to Tibet is an incredible journey in which one can see the world's highest mountains, travel on the world's highest plains, meet nomadic herdsmen and pilgrims and walk amidst the burning butter lamps & chanting monks of Tibet's ancient and legendary Buddhist monasteries. This is a wonderful and amazing trip. However, if participants are not up for a bit of adventure or for accommodations & amenities that may be far from perfect, then perhaps this trip is not for them or their trip should be limited only within Lhasa city. "Cold & dusty" is the comment of many people who have visited Tibet. While the trip to Tibet is not easy, it is well worth the effort. Even the most jaded traveler may feel like a neophyte tourist.

Many of the conditions described here are still controlled by the Chinese government. The trip is considered "Luxurious" by Chinese standards, a definition with which it is very hard to agree. Travelers have sometimes been disappointed with accommodations, guide services and meals; Even writing about the lack of hot & cold running water or flush toilets seems rather trite, when the conditions tourists experience are far superior to local standards and hence, luxurious indeed in comparison. However, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Most folks have better experiences, when they know what to expect.