Most trips to Tibet spend a significant amount of time in Lhasa. This is necessary for acclimatisation reasons–the city is at 3600 metres, and much of the rest of the country is even higher. If you simply arrived in Lhasa and immediately took off into the mountains, you’d likely suffer from some bad altitude-related problems. I found Lhasa to be a curious place. But with four nights there during my ten-day trip to Tibet, I got to see and experience several of its highlights.
I recently posted about these on Inside Himalayas: 7 Amazing Things to See and Do in Lhasa. An extract is reproduced below.
“1. Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is a symbol of Lhasa, and the whole of Tibet. It was originally built in the 7th century, and then developed in the 17th century into the grand, sprawling palace complex that it is now. It was home to the Dalai Lamas, the kings of Tibet and heads of Tibetan Buddhism, between the 17th and mid-20th century. Although the view of the outside is iconic, the smaller chapels, meditation rooms and living quarters inside are just as beautiful and interesting, and require quite a lot of time to see. As well as visiting in the daytime, take a walk after dark to appreciate how the palace is lit up at night.
2. Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet, and is situated at the foot of a hill on the edge of Lhasa. It is one of the three great university monasteries of Tibet, and was once believed to be the largest monastery in the whole world. It was first established in the early fifteenth century. Now, it is a place to visit for great views over the city of Lhasa and the surrounding hills.”
Read the rest of the article here.