Tibet Autonomous Region, also known as the “Roof of the World” is located in China’s southwestern border southwest of Qinghai-Tibet plateau. It is the highest region on earth with an average elevation of more than 4,000 meters. It has an area of over 1.22 million kilometers squared and takes up one-eighth of the total area of China, next only to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Tibet is often a mystery for millions of people because of its holiness. Countless people from within China and abroad have dreamt of visiting Tibet. Tibet has long been well-known for its unique geological features, splendid natural scenery, magnificent ethnic culture and unique local customs. This is why it became the “Holy Land” for many tourists, mountain explorers, and scientific researchers worldwide.
Tibet has the highest mountains, most river sources, gorgeous prairie and canyons.
Mount Qomolangma (or Mount Everest) stands at the Tibet and Nepal border at a height of 8,844 meters. It is the highest mountain on Earth. Several major rivers in China and other neighboring countries have derive from the Tibetan Plateau, including the Yangtze and Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, and the Yarlung Zangbo River, and so on. Also, there are intensive rivers and lakes in Tibet. Some famous rivers include the Jinsha, Nujiang, and Lancang rivers. The Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon is regarded as the deepest and largest canyon in the world.
Two sayings can be used to describe the characteristics of the weather of Tibet. One is “The weather varies every 5 kilometers,” while the other is “There are 4 seasons in a day” in Tibet. This is due to its high altitude and diverse topography. There are a wide range of regional climates and tangible vertical climate belt, the main features of which are thin and dry air with scant oxygen, strong sunlight, and low temperature with little annual difference but huge daily difference.
This kind of weather may not be perfect for human beings. However, Tibet has varied types of lands including farm land, forest land, and pastoral land, all of which are close to water resources in Tibet. Tibet also maintains a virgin forest with a total area of more than 126,000 kilometers squared.
The Tibetans are mostly engage in farming and livestock husbandry. Due to limited land, the main occupation of the Tibetans is to raise livestock, like sheep, cattle, goats, camels, and horses, and so on. The primary crops they grow are barley, wheat, potatoes, and various kinds of fruits and vegetables.
In recent years, tourism has become an important sector of the Tibetan industry. Tibet tourist resources are unique and unmatched. Among the famous historic buildings and cultural attractions, the Potala palace in Lhasa (capital of Tibet), has a history of more than 1,300 years and is the most famous building and historical site. There are also many significant temples and monasteries. The tourist areas, with gentle breeze, warm sunlight, blue sky, white clouds, green grasslands, snowy mountain tops, and so on, have attracted thousands of tourists in China and abroad. The sale of handcraft items, such as Tibetan hats, jewelry, clothed, quilts, rugs, and carpets are important in the Tibet’s tourist industry.
With a population of 2.8 million, Tibet embraces people from various ethnic groups. Tibetans take up 96.5% of the total population. Besides the Tibetans, there are Hui, Menba, Luoba, Nu, Naxi, Deng, Xiaerba ethnic groups and Han people. Lhasa is the capital city and Tibet’s political, economic and cultural center.
With majestic mountains, gorgeous rivers, abundant resources, and unique historic sites, rich ethnic customs, along with others, Tibet is the dazzling pearl of southwest China.