Tibet’s history has been a heady mixture of invasion and intrigue, of soaring religious debate and of reincarnation, miracles and murders, all taking place under the backdrop of one of the world’s most extreme environments. If one event has defined Tibet, it has been the nation’s remarkable transformation from warring expansionist empire to non-violent Buddhist nation. Running alongside Tibet’s history has been its knotty, intertwined relationship with its giant neighbor China.
Lhasa prefecture-level city covers an area of close to 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi). It has a central area of 544 km2 and a total population of 500,000; 250,000 of its people live in the urban area. Lhasa is home to the Tibetan, Han, and Hui peoples, as well as several other ethnic groups, but overall the Tibetan ethnic group makes up a majority of the total population.
Located at the bottom of a small basin surrounded by the Himalaya Mountains, Lhasa has an elevation of about 3,600 m and lies in the centre of the Tibetan Plateau with the surrounding mountains rising to 5,500 m (18,000 ft). The air only contains 68% of the oxygen compared to sea level. The Kyi River (or Kyi Chu), a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo River), runs through the city. This river, known to local Tibetans as the “merry blue waves,”, flows through the snow-covered peaks and gullies of the Nyainqêntanglha mountains, extending 315 km (196 mi), and emptying into the Yarlung Zangbo River at Qüxü, forms an area of great scenic beauty.
Tibet– Country Quick-facts
The origins of the Tibetan people are not clearly known. Today Chinese historians claim the Tibetan people originally migrated from the present-day areas of the Qinghai–Gansu plains and were descended from people known as Qiang. Although there is evidence of westward migration, it is not possible to trace a single origin of the Tibetan people.
Area: Lhasa has an area of 30,000 sq km. Its downtown area covers 544 sq km.
Capital: Lhasa or Chengguan
Population: 0.4 million
Population Density: 6.7 people per square mile
Country Phone Code: (+86) 0891
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Drives on: Right
Location: Tibet is located to the south-west of China, also bordering India, Nepal, Burma and Bhutan
Ocfficial Language: Tibetan
Getting a Visa for Tibet (Lhasa)
Traveling Tibet via Kathmandu or overland via Zhangmu or Simikot or any Nepal’s side border you need to arrive in Kathmandu at least 3 to 6 days before to apply get the visa with normal charge for entry into Tibet. Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu visa are issued only on Monday to Friday from 09:30 AM to 12:00 PM. In order to get the Tibet group visa, you have to consult with Himalayan Mentor before you confirm the travel date.
Tibet Visa Fee
Normal (5 days)
Urgent (same day)
US Passport Holder
Canada Passport Holder
Lhasa features a cold steppe climate. Due to its very high altitude, Lhasa has a cool, dry climate with frosty winters. It enjoys nearly 3,000 hours of sunlight annually and is thus sometimes called the “sunlit city” by Tibetans. Lhasa has an annual precipitation of 426 millimeters (16.8 in) with rain falling mainly in July, August and September. The rainy season is widely regarded the “best” of the year as rains come mostly at night and Lhasa is sunny during the daytime.
Temperature: Daily average (January) −0.9 °C (30.4 °F); (June and July) 16.5 °C (61.7 °F)
Precipitation: Monthly average (January) 0.8 mm (0.03 in); (August) 120.6 millimeters (4.75 in), daily rate 6.0 millimeters (0.24 in)
Best Time to Visit Tibet
The best time of the year for overland tours in Tibet is from April to November and for treks and Mt. Kailash tour from April to the beginning of October. From April to November the average temperature ranges form 15-25 degree Celsius and the skies are generally clear and blue. From July to August though there can be an odd shower during the day however, the night can be very cold and temperature can be dropped below 0 degrees Celsius.