The region attracts all kinds of tourists because of its varied culture and never fading beauty. The weather is never the same in Tibet, and the different seasons bring out the various faces of this enigma. This makes Tibet an ideal spot for a vacation regardless of whether you adore mild tempurature and endless snowy and frozen isolated surroundings. The stunning alpine scenery of Tibet captivates everyone’s imagination. Floras and faunas find homes in their realm of happiness, where Mother Nature rewrites her definition of beauty with eternal peace and mountainous glory. However, living in the harsh weather conditions in Tibet should not be taken lightly. Some seasons are best for travel, usually in between April and October, while others, during winter especially, tourists can experience the most intense Buddhist atmosphere. Since winter is the off-season for our Tibet Tours, not only can you enjoy cheaper hotels and attraction ticket fares but also visit various religious and cultural festivals and many other touristic promotional events with the rightflight or train tickets
The culture of Tibet is distinctive with its high mountains and thousend of sacred lakes, and has the uniqueness in both, geographic and climatic conditions have helped shaping the culture of the Tibetan plateau, with noinfluences from neighboring India, Nepal and China. The remoteness of the Plateau, sitting high on top of the other side of the Himalayas, is also a reason for the individual culture of the region, preserving the distinct local cultures of the ancient Tibetan people and stimulating the development of a culture that can survive in one of the harshest environment in the world.
Tibetan Buddhism has an significant influence on local Tibetans.
Tibetan Buddhism is also a major part of the Tibetan culture, inextricably linked in such a way that peoples lives are hugely influenced by their devout beliefs. Since its introduction in the 7th century, Buddhism has had the most profound influence on the Tibetan culture. And even Buddhism has been adapted to better suit the Tibetan people and their way of life which is still influenced by local animistic beliefs and the ancient Bon religion of the plateau that lived way before them.
Tibet is a land of high mountains and huge lakes, which mostly have religious or holy significance in Tibetan religion and culture. The most sacred are the Great Three Holy Lakes of Tibet: Lake Manasarovar, Lake Yamdrok, and Lake Namtso. These three lakes are part of the mainstays of Tibetan Buddhist devotion and are an intense pilgrimage location on the plateau. Lake Namtso, in northern Lhasa, is known as the “Heavenly Lake” in Tibet, and has links to the guru Padmasambhava, who stayed at the meditation caves nearby.
Yamdrok Lake, one of the Great Three Holy Lakes of Tibet.
Lake Yamdrok, shaped like a fan or a Chinese character, is known as the heart of Tibet and the lifeblood of the plateau, believed to be one of the holiest lakes in the world. Revered in both Hinduism and Buddhism, it is believed to have been the place where Maya Devi conceived Siddhartha Gautama, who went on to become the Sakyamuni Buddha.
Mountains are also a huge part of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is believed that gods reside at the top of these massive peaks. On the border with Nepal lies Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain and the most significant peak for the Sherpa people of the Himalayas. To the north, in Ngari Prefecture, sits one pyramid-shaped mountain of black rock known as the most sacred mountain on earth. Believed to be the earthly representation of Mount Meru, the legendary mountain at the center of the universe, Mount Kailash has never been climbed due to its revered status in four separate religions.
Festivals in Tibet are not just a colorful celebration for their people; they are also an important religious ceremony that has reference and meaning in Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetans love festivals, and whenever there is one, they will travel for many miles to attend and pray and have fun.
Locals are celebrating Saga Dawa Festival at Mt.Kailash
Some of the most stunning festivals happen in Tibet. For example the famous Saga Dawa Festival, which is held annually to celebrate the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha. The secular Shoton Festival believed to have started hundreds of years ago in honor to the monks who spent 100 days in meditation and fasting to avoid killing even the smallest creature. As a gesture of gratitude for their sacrifice, the local people would bring milk curds and all kind of offerings to the monks to help them regain their strength.
Probably the most popular and biggest festival in Tibet is the Tibetan New Year, locally known as Losar. While the date of Losar changes every year, it is similar to the Chinese New Year, and is always held on the first day of the New Year in the Tibetan lunisolar calendar. Losar is a celebration of the end of one year and the beginning of another, of new beginnings and fresh starts, of praying for a bountiful and prosperous year, and of being with family at the most important days of the year.
Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, is known as the “City of Sunlight” because of its massive number of sunny days throughout the year. The city lies on the banks of the Lhasa River, also known as the Kyi Chu, a tributary of the vast Yarlung Tsangpo River, which later becomes the Brahmaputra.
Lhasa has a wealth of sights and attractions, which includes the famous Jokhang Temple, the most sacred temple in Tibetan Buddhism and the home of the spectacular Jowo Sakyamuni, the golden statue of Buddha that was brought to Tibet in the 7th century.
Potala Palace, one of the landmarks of Tibet.
However, while the Jokhang is famous, the most iconic landmark in Tibet, outside Mount Everest, is the beautiful Potala Palace. Sitting on top of the Red Hill, the Moburi, this amazing red and white palace was built in the 16th century to be the center of the monastic governance of Tibet, and is an amazing testament to Tibetan building and architecture.
All of this and more can be seen on almost any tour that includes a two-day stop in Lhasa for acclimatization, which is almost every tour to Tibet. Lhasa is the heart of religion and culture in Tibet, and is one of the most spectacular cities in the world, not to mention that it is the world’s highest capital city.
Known also as Linzhi, Nyingchi is the easternmost prefecture of Tibet, as well as the lowest in terms of altitude. This makes the climate milder and more pleasant. It is the ideal place to start a tour of Tibet for those that have never been to the plateau lands before. An outstandingly beautiful region of the Tibetan plateau, Nyingchi is renowned for its lush green valleys, burbling streams and rivers, high snow-clad mountains, and the amazing Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, the largest canyon in the world.
Lunang Forest, a fariy land in Nyingchi, Tibet.
Once, a long time ago, all Tibetans were nomads, wandering the plains and prairies of the plateau with their herds of yaks and sheeps, looking for the best pasture lands. The nomads lived a unique existence, spending their entire lives on the plateau’s grasslands, sleeping in yak-hair tents and following a traditional and ancient form of animal husbandry that treated the land like a close friend.
Nomads would move from land to land following a distinct pattern that would respect and help recover the places they lived on and used before returning to them in a distant future. It was this special kind of symbiosis with the land that allowed them to survive in one of the world’s most hostile environments.
Nowadays, there are fewer nomads in Tibet, but those that remain still follow the same way of life of their ancestors, and keep on holding the pattern of the land for grazing and recovery. Nomads can still be seen in Tibet on many of the plains and prairies, notably the Changtang Grasslands in Nagqu Prefecture, and in the south in Shannan Prefecture, the Lhoka. Generous and hospitable people, these herders have an ever-optimistic outlook on life and prosper in this most inhospitable of landscapes.
Nagqu Horse Racing Festival
Tibet is undoubtedly the most unique and spectacular land on the planet. Set high above the rest of the world, on an isolated plateau that sits at an altitude where most people would never survive. This unique land, with its equally unique people, culture and religion is the trip of a lifetime for anyone with an interest in what it is like to truly live. While the land may be inhospitable, the Tibetan people have survived and thrived in this desolate region and have been preserving a culture for a long time and the people are known for their great hospitality and kindness. If you have any doubts about how special Tibet is, then come and see for yourself. We are certain that you will be amazed.
Best time to travel Tibet
Holy Mt. Kailash