Destination Guide – Lhasa

Lhasa is the capital of Tibet and is the second most populated city on the Tibetan Plateau. Lhasa is a mountain city, and at an altitude of 11,975 ft, it is one of the highest cities in the entire world. The city’s name, Lhasa, literally means “Land of the Gods”.The city is well known for it’s many religious and culturally significant landmarks, and many Tibetan Buddhists as well as the Dalai Lama call the region home. Some parts of the region can be remote and difficult to access, but the city holds over 1,300 years of cultural and spiritual history, making it a popular destination.

While the Tibetan influence is still strong in the area, there are still many modern ammenities for tourists, such as restaurants, good hotels, department stores, and supermarkets. The eastern end of Lhasa is more predominently influenced by Tibetan and “old world”, while the western end is more “new world” and influenced by Han Chinese culture. Many tourists are surprised how modern and busy the western end of Lhasa is.

Some of the most popular attractions in Lhasa are the beautiful Potala Palace, which is the political and spiritual hub of Tibet, as well as the home of the Dalai Lama until 1959. Many other individuals are interested in seeing the monks at the Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, or Jokhang Temple. Other popular destinations are Norbulingka Park, the Tibet Museum, and visiting the town bazaar at Barkhor Street.