Sprawling across the Tibetan Plateau in Central Asia, Tibet is an autonomous region of China home to Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. It’s the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama and boasts stunning Himalayan lakes and soaring peaks.
Things to do
Explore the high-altitude capital, Lhasa, which is topped by Red Mountain and the Heritage-listed Potala Palace. See the living quarters of the Dalai Lama on a tour of the palace rooms and admire the sacred golden Buddha statue of the Jokhang Temple, which is considered the spiritual heart of Tibet.
Travel south to the 8th-century Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery to be established in Tibet. Built in the shape of a mandala, it features various temples that represent the continents, the sun and moon, with magnificent sunset views across the complex from nearby Häburi Mountain.
In the far west of Tibet lies the otherworldly lake of Pangong Tso, which has a vivid blue colour that contrasts with the surrounding snow-capped arid mountains. Photograph its transformation with the changing light while keeping your eyes peeled for bar-headed geese and black-necked cranes who feed in these Himalayan waters.
Don’t miss Lake Manasarovar, which has crystal-clear waters fed by glaciers from the 6,638-metre-high Mount Kailash. It’s considered a sacred place of worship for Hindus, Buddhist, Jains and pilgrims of the local Bon religion, who come to drink from its holy waters.
Lhasa Gonggar Airport is just over an hour’s drive from the city of Lhasa, while trains connect from the Tibetan capital all the way to Beijing. Jeeps are the main means of getting around Tibet.