What not to Miss on a Tour or Vacation in Tibet

By: Stuart Cheese

In my capacity as the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours Limited, I am often asked about the destinations I have been to and the best places to visit, so with this in mind I will endeavour to give a good opinion on those. Here then, are my top suggestions for sites to visit during your holiday in Tibet.

It is hard to believe that this beautiful country known as the roof of the world, remained unknown to the rest of that world until the beginning of the 20th century. Once discovered though it has attracted people from near and far ever since. Adventurers have been enchanted by the magical scenery, snow covered mountains and especially the county's alluring religion. Tibetan Buddhism is the most important thing in most Tibetans lives and to exhibit this there are a great many spectacular monasteries which display elaborate murals and are home to many inspiring sculptures. The Tibetan people are very warm and welcoming and it is possible to visit with their families to get a true feel of their way of life. Holidays and festivals are the most important days in Tibet. Or if it the adrenalin rush that you are seeking then you may wish to join the thousands of mountaineers/adventurers that flock to these mountains five of which exceed altitudes of 8,000 meters.
Tibet is also home to several great rivers which include the Yangtze, Yellow river, the Nu River, the Mekong, the Indus, and the Ganges.
Zhangmu, located at an altitude of 2300 m above sea level is most famous for being near to Mt.

Everest, which of course enables the city to become a prime gathering place for adventurers and visitors alike. The mountain may be the main attraction but the monasteries here are not to be out shone the most important of them being the Palkhor Monastery, the Tashilhunpo Monastery, and the Rongbuk Monastery.
As mentioned above the Tibetans love to celebrate and a festival that is close to their heart, Saka dawa Festival, is celebrated in Palkhor Monastery. The reason that this festival is important to those that celebrate it is because it is considered to be Sakyamunis' birthday.
The city of Xigatse is a 600 year old ancient city which is home to even more important monasteries like Sakya Monastery and Tashilhunpo Monastery. This city is the second largest in Tibet and boasts many rivers including the holy Brahmaputra and Nyangchu rivers, lakes, streams, you will even see some glaciers here.
If you are looking for an unusual gift for someone back home or just a wonderful souvenier of this welcoming country then you will find markets in the area that are full to overflowing with unique and vibrant keepsakes.

Tashilhunpo Monastery is located in Shigatse, 250 km away from the capital of Tibet Lhasa. The stunning monastery was 1st Dalai Lama in the year 1447 and as you enter it you will observe a wall that was built on his command a few years later.
From the 14th to the 16th of May (3 days) according to the Tibetan calendar, the wall displays images of Lord Buddha anually.
On entering the Tashilhunpo Monastery you are met with a majestic building with a shining golden roof, set off so beautifully with its white walls. Even more astounding is the sitting Buddha which measures in at almost 86 foot. It was made purely by hand using the skills of 900 men over a period of 9 years.
The monastery also gives up another of its secrets in the form of the Stupa tomb final resting place of the tenth Panchen Lama. Covered with an astonishing 614 kg of gold and innumerable number of jewels and precious stones the Stupa tomb is a must when visiting Tibet.

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