Tibet is, without doubt, one of the most incredible places to visit in Asia. It offers fabulous heritage and monastery sights, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains, breathtaking high altitude lakes, and one of the most likable people you will ever meet.
Tibet is one of the five autonomous regions of China. Officially it is called Tibet Autonomous Region-TAR. The Chinese name of Tibet is Xizang Zizhiqu (Short form Xizang).
The name Tibet is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Trivistapa’ which denotes ‘heaven’. So, local people call this land as the home of God.
Quick Facts of Tibet
Location: Asia, north of Nepal and India, on the Tibetan Plateau, the world’s highest region. Its bordering Chinese provinces are Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan. Its other bordering nations are Bhutan, Burma, and East Turkestan.
Area: 1,228,400 km² (471,700 sq miles), approximately the size of Western Europe. Tibet is the second largest region of China after Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Geography & Average Altitude: Bounded by the Himalayan Mountains to the south, the region sits on a high plateau at 4,000-5,000 meters (13,000-16,400 feet), resulting in its nickname “the roof of the world.”
The capital of Tibet: Lhasa.
Administrative Regions of Tibet and their city: 1) Lhasa- Lhasa City; 2) Shigatse (Xigaze)- Shigatse City; 3) Shannan (Lhoka)- Tsedang; 4) Nyingchi- Bayi Town; 5) Chamdo (Qamdo)- Chamdo; 6) Nagqu (Nakchu)- Nagqu; 7) Ngari (Ali)- Gar (Shiquanhe).
Climate: Average temperature 28 degrees Celsius (Summer), 15 degrees Celsius (in Winter), extremely dry except during rainy season (July-August).
Main Rivers: Brahmaputra River, Nujiang River, Jinshajiang River, and Lancang River
Industries: Mining, wool spinning, carpets, forestry, food processing, building materials and machinery, tourism.
Currency: Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY/ RMB).
Time Zone: Local Time = GMT +8 hr.
Natural Resources: The diversity of geographic features makes Tibet not only a natural park rich with various kinds of fauna and flora but blessed by vast mineral, hydro, solar and geothermal resources.
Population: 3,002,166 (2010 estimate)
Languages: Tibetan language and Chinese.
Ethnic Groups: Primarily ethnic Tibetans (Menba, Lhoba, Mongols, Hui) and Han Chinese.
Main Festivals: Tibetan New Year, Saga Dawa Festival, Shoton Festival, Bathing Festival, Horse Race festival.
Culture & Religion: – Religion and spirituality are extremely important to the Tibetans and has influence over all aspects of their lives. Bon is the ancient traditional religion of Tibet, but following the introduction of Tantric Buddhism into Tibet by Padmasambhava, this became eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism.
Economy: – The Tibetan economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, the primary occupation of the Tibetan Plateau is raising livestock, such as sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, dzo, and horses. The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables.
Airport: Lhasa’s Gongkar Airport is located 95 kilometers southwest of the city.
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