"Lhasa, the pilgrim capital of Tibet" Top 5 Page for this destination Lhasa by grets
Lhasa Travel Guide: 512 reviews and 1,369 photos
Lhasa is situated at an altitude of 3,595 metres on the north bank of the Kyi-chu River. The name Lhasa is thought to come from the Tibetan words Lha (sacred) and Sa (earth). In Chinese the town is known as Lasa Shiqu. Lhasa has always been a sacred city to Tibetans, ever since it rose to importance in the 7th century, although some of the mystery of yesteryears has disappeared over the last few years, to reveal a dull Chinese city, full of high-rise Chinese buildings and faceless apartment blocks.
Population = 200,000
The approach to Lhasa from Gonggar airport takes you through what at first appears as an ugly, modern sprawling Chinese City. You pass the huge monstrosity of a golden yak sculpture, and then, suddenly, you are in Potala Square. Like magic, like something out of a film. It seemed so unreal to finally be here in person, but I didn’t feel the depth of emotion as I expected when seeing the Potala Palace for the first time.
The old city is lovely, with traditional architecture and locals milling around going on with their everyday business. There are many Chinese tourists, but hardly any other Westerners. On the one afternoon we had free to wander about the city, we saw three other Westerners, and one of those was from our party! Immerse yourself in the atmosphere and soak up the character of this wonderful Tibetan city before it becomes too Chinese!
- Pros:Hardly any Western tourists
- Cons:Lots of Chinese tourists
- In a nutshell:The home of Potala Palace and a fantastic place to visit
On the main roads leading south west out of Lhasa, you can find this 11th century carved Buddha. This is considered a... more travel advice
There are plenty of internet cafes in Lhasa, and we were told about this one literally just around the corner from our... more travel advice
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