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Tibet, a rich and beautiful land, is located at the main part of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, south-West frontier of China. Tibet borders with Sichuan, Yuannan, Qinghai And Xinjiang; to the south contiguous to India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Burma, and bounded by Kashmir on the west.
When the word Tibet is mentioned something icy chils the readers' nerves. In fact it snows only once or twice in a year and owing to the perpetuity of bright sunshine, it is not at all cold during the daytime even in the coldest of the winter. Tibet is so sunny that it produces a year-round sunshine of over 3,000 hours in a year. Its old name-"land of snow" - the name by which Tibet is almost popilary known as, is always thickly covered with snow with hardly any signs Of inhabitation. In fact, it is correct only when it is referred to the world greatest ranges located in Ima, the Tisi, and like. These ranges, run by leaps and bounds across the country showing their beautiful snow covered peaks against the bluest of skies.
Geographically, Tibet can be divided into three majoy parts, the east, north and south. The eastern part is forest region, occupying approximately one-fourth of the land. Virgin forests run The entire breadth and length of this part of Tibet. The northern part is open grassland, where nomads and yak and sheep dwell here. This part occupies approximately half of Tibet. The southern and central part is agricultural region, occupying about one-fourth of Tibet's land area. with all major Tibetan cities and towns such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse ad Tsetang located in this area, it is considered the cultural center of tibet. The total area of the Tibet Autonomous Region is 1,200,000 square kilometers and its population is 1,890,000. The region is administratively divided into one municipality and six prefectures. The municipality is Lhasa, while the six prefectures are Shigatse, Ngari, Lhaoka, Chamdo, Nakchu and Nyingtri(kongpo). The People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region exercises the hightest adminis-trative authority in Tibet.
People in Tibet
The majority of tibet's population of 1,890,000 are Tibetans. Tibet is so thinly populated thaat it averages out 1.6 8 persons per square kilometers. About 90% of the people live on farming and husbandry. Farmers live in the valleys of Tsangpo River (Brahmapotra) and its major tributaries Kyichu and Nuuang-chu. this area produces barely, wheat, peas and rape-seed, the great northern grassland which occupies a good half of tibet is the home of nomads, yaks and sheep. Nomads have no fixed abodes, and keep roaming along fine pasture together with all their belongings-tents and Livestock. The remaining population, approximately 10%, live in towns earning their living mainly On business and handicraft, and many are factory workers and government officials.
Ideology of people in this land differs greatly from any other nationality both at home in china and in the world. Religion seems almost everthing. Many live for the next life, rather than for the present. They accumulate deeds of virtue and pray for the final liberation-enlightenment. Lips and hands of the elders are never at still, either busied in murmuring of the sixsyllable mantric prayer OM Ma Ni Pad Me Hum (Hail the Jewel in the Lotus) or in rotation of hand prayer wheels, or counting of the prayer beads. Pious pilgrims from every corner of Tibet day to day gather at jokhang Temple and bharkor Street offering donations and praying heart and soul for their own Selves, for their friends, and for their friends' friends.
Frequent visitors to Tibet can make out folks from different regions judging by costumes and dalects. Floks from agricultural regions drss in woolen home-woven gowns, and those from the grassland clad in sheepskin. men folk from chamdo wear huge tassels of black or red silk which were used in old days for protection in fight, while the Lhasa residents are more stylish and modrn. Dialects in tibetan are in variety, but mainly can be categorized into four :lhasa., Tsang (Shigatse and Gyantse), Chamdo and Amdo.
Basically, the Tibetan climate is not as harsh as many people imagine it to be. The best time of year to be in Tibet is from April to the beginning of November, after which temperatures start to plummet. The central Tibet, including Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Tsedang, generally has very mild weather from April to November, though July and August can be rainy - these two months usually see around half of Tibet's annual rainfall. October and November often bring some dazzling clear weather and daytime temperatures can be quite comfortable at Tibet's lower altitude.
The coldest months are from December to February. It is not impossible to visit Tibet in winter. The low altitude valleys of Tibet (around Lhasa, Shigatse and Tsedang) see very little snow. Spring does not really get under way until April, though March can have warm sunny days and is not necessarily a bad month to be in Tibet. More specific information in different areas :
Lhasa - the border of Nepal/China: The Friendship highway is basically in good conditions year around. But from December to February, the thawed road could make some trouble Besides, try to avoid August - landslide could happen in the rainy season.
Mt. Everest Region: Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt. Everest. Due to the clear weather, you have great chance to see Mt. Everest's true face. From December to February, it's too cold to go to this region. But the magnetism of Mt. Everest always attracts people anytime of the year.
Ali (Mt.Kailash): Even without climate restrictions, this area is already inhospitable. Big rain and snow could make the journey worse. However, for those determined tourists, the appropriate time is May, June, July, September and October.
Eastern Tibet: Don't touch this area in July or August, the rain could ruin the road, and make terrible landslides. While in winter, the road could be frozen.
Northern Tibet: With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourists. Summer is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet
Present hada is a common practice among the Tibetan people to express their best wishes on many occasions, such as wedding ceremonies, festivals, visiting the elders and the betters, and entertaining guests. The white hada, a long narrow scarf made of silk, embodies purity and good fortune.
Proposing a Toast and Tea
Proposing a Toast and Tea When you come to a Tibetan family, the host will propose a toast, usually barley wine. You should sip three times and then drink up. To entertain guests with tea is a daily etiquette. The guest has not to drink until the host presents the tea to you.
Greetings Don't forget to add "la"after saying hello to the Tibetan people to show respect . Make Way to others. Try not to make any sounds while eating and drinking.
Sky burial is a common form in Tibet. There are many prohibitions. Strangers are not allowed to attend the ceremony. Visitors should respect this custom and keep away from such occasions.
Also known as the Lamaism, the Tibetan Buddhism was introduced to Tibet from the mainland and India in the seventh century. The Tibetan Buddhism consists of four major sects, the Ge-lug-pa(Yellow) Sect, the Nying-ma-pa(Red)Sec, the Saturday-kya-pa(Variegated) Sect, and the Ka-gyu-pa(White) Sect.
The immediate motivations of pilgrimage are many, but for the ordinary Tibetan it amounts to a means of accumulating merit or good luck. The lay practitioner might go on pilgrimage in the hope of winning a better rebirth, cure an illness, end a spate of bad luck or simply because of a vow to take a pilgrimage if a bodhisattva granted a wish. In Tibet there are countless sacred destinations, ranging from lakes and mountains to monasteries and caves that once served as meditation retreats for important yogin. Specific pilgrimages are often proscribed for specific ills; certain mountains for example expiate certain sins. A circumambulation of Mt. Kailash offers the possibility of liberation within three lifetimes, while a circuit of Lake Manasarovar can result in spontaneous Buddhahood.