Location: Situated in the southwest of China.
Area: 122,00 sq km
Climate: Tibetan winters, as might be supposed, are fiercely cold. But for half the year, strong sunlight warms the thin air, making most days in Lhasa comfortably mild and, owing to protective mountains, relatively windless. Summer temperatures hover above 30ºC (high-80s F) and only to drop to a searing -23ºC (-10'F) in midwinter. The best time to visit is from late spring to early fall.
Provincial Capital: Lhasa
Map of Tibet
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Population: 2.62 millions (March 2001)
Ethnic Groups: Tibetan, Han
Agriculture: The development of agriculture and animal husbandry has been given top priority in the Tibetan economy. Tibet's production levels of agriculture and animal husbandry rose greatly. Since 1980, the government has imposed no levies on farmers and herdsmen, with both agricultural and livestock taxes exempted. Introduction of modern tools for production and the application of science and technology have boosted overall production.
Industry: Modern industry started after the democratic reform. In 1965, 80 industrial enterprises were established in Tibet. Employing some 10,000 people, they covered the building, power, motor vehicle repair, lumber, tanning, borax and coal industries. The total industrial output value reached 28.83 million yuan that year. The government has paid close attention to the development of local handicrafts.
Tibet has continually developed and exploited its unique tourism resources, both human and natural. Lhasa itself is not only Tibet's political, economic, cultural and transportation center, but also the center of Tibetan Buddhism. Major tourist sites include the Jokhang Temple, Ramoche Temple, Potala Palace, Barkhor Bazaar, Norbulingka Palace and three great monasteries of Ganden, Drepung and Sera. The Jokhang Temple, the Potala and Norbulingka palaces and Ganden, Drepung and Sera monasteries are key cultural relics under state-level protection.
Western Tibet is Ngari Prefecture, the so-called "rooftop atop the world's rooftop". The area draws visitors because of its great religious significance. Many tourists and pilgrims from Nepal and India come into Tibet through the Burang port of entry to visit the area's sacred mountains and lakes.
The southwest Tibet tourist district is a place for mountaineers, many of whom are Nepalese who come to Tibet through the Zhamu entry/exit port to enjoy the mountain scenery or do some climbing.
In southern Tibet, centered around Nyingchi, one can pass through the four seasons of the year in a single day. There are snow-capped mountains, dense primeval forests, surging rivers and azalea-covered mountainsides. This beautiful scenery is easy to enjoy given the pleasantly humid and mild climate.