TIBET - ROOF OF THE WORLD
Tibet lies at the centre of Asia, with an area of 2.5 million square kilometers. The earth's highest mountains, a vast arid plateau and great river valleys make up the physical homeland of 6 million Tibetans. It has an average altitude of 13,000 feet above sea level.
'Shangri La', 'the Rooftop of the World' - locked away in its Himalayan fortress, Tibet has long exercised a siren's hold on the imagination of the West. Tibetans are used to hardship, and despite the disastrous Chinese occupation, they have managed to keep their culture and humor alive. The roof of the world is an unforgettable land of curious nomads, mysterious gompas and vast breath-taking panoramas. In Lhasa, long the Forbidden City, experience the timeless and most holy Jokhang temple and see the legendary eighth-wonder Potala Palace. Depong, Sera and many more....
Tibet is comprised of the three provinces of Amdo (now split by China into the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu & Sichuan), Kham (largely incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai), and U-Tsang (which, together with western Kham, is today referred to by China as the Tibet Autonomous Region).
The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) comprises less than half of historic Tibet and was created by China in 1965 for administrative reasons. It is important to note that when Chinese officials and publications use the term "Tibet" they mean only the TAR.Tibetans use the term Tibet to mean the three provinces described above, i.e., the area traditionally known as Tibet before the 1949-50 invasion.
Visitors on vacation to ethnic Tibet can discover Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites, as well as trekking routes through some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world. In addition there is Mt.Kailash the most sacred place in Asia.
Despite over 40 years of Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Tibetan people refuse to be conquered and subjugated by China. The present Chinese policy, a combination of demographic and economic manipulation, and discrimination, aims to suppress the Tibetan issue by changing the very character and the identity of Tibet and its people.
Today Tibetans are outnumbered by Han Chinese population in their own homeland.
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