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Snow Mountain

based on material from China Tourism Magazine Bimonthly by National Tourism Administration of China

Potala Palace
Potala Palace

With a unique natural environment and a long history, Tibet boasts a magnificent highland scenery and rich ethnic folklore.

Once in Lhasa, first come into view will be the imposing and magnificent Potala Palace located on the Red Hill. In downtown, pilgrims and tourists are seen flocking to the famous Jakhang Monastery every day. In the Tibetan-style Norbu Lingka Garden you can visit the numerous palaces located among trees and flower, Highlights also include the Ramoche Temple, the Sera Monastery, the Drepung Monastery, the Dragon Pond, and the Mount Chakpuri, which contribute to making Lhasa a holy city.

Tibet offers six major tourist routes centering around Lhasa :

The favourable route links Lhasa with Xigaze, Lhastse, and Zhangmu. On this route, You can visit the splendid Tashilhunpo Monastery with a gold-plated roof, and the new Panchan palace, all located in Xigaze, Tibet's second largest city. You can see a beautiful river valley at where the Yarlung Zangbo River and the Nyangchu River meet and the rolling snow-covered Mount Qumolangma and the Shisha Pangma Peak. You can also appreciate the exquisite murals and the honeycomb-like book-storing cabinets in the solemn-looking Sakya Monastery.

wood carving
wood carving

The Lhasa-Xigaze-Lhastse-Tsochen-Gertse-Gakyi-Shiquanhe route is long but full of the charm of the Mother Nature. Along the route which passes through the Ngari Plateau, known as the "roof of the world", you can be fascinated by the circular-cone-shaped gold-colored peaks of the Mount Sangula, the vast green Zharinamco Lake, and the Dawa Lake surrounded by lush pastures, the snow-capped Mount Baling Kangri, the mysterious Guge Kingdom Ruins and the fantastic Clay Forest, as well as the Holly Mount Kang Kingpoche.

Lhasa-Gyangtse-Xigaze-Lhasa is a ring route. On this route, travelers can traverse the Chushui Bridge on the Yarlung Zangbo River, climb up the Kangbala Pass, and pass by the green Yamdrok Yumtso Lake. Once in the ancient city of Gyangtse, you can visit the Fort of Gyangtse Shalga, the site of a battle against British aggressors in 19th century, and the unique Palcho Pagoda (ten-thousand Buddha pagoda) of the Palchoi Monastery. From Gyangtse to the north, you can visit the century-old Shalu Monastery in Xigaze, then return to Lhasa by way of Rinpung and Nyem counties.

Lhasa-Shannan route. Known as the "cradle of the Tibetans", Shannan boasts the ancient civilization of the Yarlung River Valley. A national scenic area has been built in Shannan. Along this route, you can also visit the Samye Monastery, which is the first monastery built in Tibet, the Traduk MOnastery, which is Tibet's firSt Buddha-worshipping hall, the Yumbu Lakang, which is the region's first palace, as well as Tibet's first piece of farm land, and the Tombs of Tibetan Kings, the Holy Lhamo Nhatso Lake, and Drekhu Grassland.

religious dance
religious dance

Lhasa-Nakchu-Golmud route along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway features landscape of the grassland and snowcovered mountains. To the northwest of Lhasa, you first arrive at the Mtshur-Phu Dgon Monastery hidden in mountains. Further northwestwards, there lies the renowned Yangpachen "underground heat" area. Once in this area, you can see, from a far distance, wisps of vapor rise continously from the horizon. Northeastwards from Yangpachen, you will be always accompanied by the rolling snowovered mountains and endless grasslands on your way. If you want to see the Namso Lake, the largest in Tibet, you have to first get to Damshung and then turn in the north direction to pass through a grassland and the Mount Nyainchen Tanglha. Nakchu is a strategic town in northern Tibet famous for Nakchu Horse Racing held every August.

The sixth route covers Lhasa, Nyingtri, Shannan and Lhasa. In Nyingtri, which is famous for its green landscape comparable to that in the southern banks of the Yangtze River, you can visit the Metok National Natural Reserve, the Dragsum Lake Folklore Holiday Resort, and the Namgyar Barwa Grand Canyon of the Yarlung Zangbo River, which is the largest canyons of the world.

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