When visiting Tibet, the first thing you will most certainly notice is the diversity spread throughout the autonomous region. Landscapes vary from place to place, native people hail from local clans that are a far cry from one another and each town is uniquely different from the next. On our list of the Top 10 Towns in Tibet, don’t expect to find the typical tourist sites. These hidden gems are so much more than that. Sweeping from one end of the country to the other, the towns are located in the extremes of isolated, high valleys of the Himalayas to the low tropical areas fed by warmed glacier water and everywhere in between. The Tibetan Plateau will allow you to explore some of the most beautiful and remote places in the entire world.
Why not start your journey into Tibet by literally starting it at the beginning of one of the life sources for millions of people? Maduo, which translates to “the source of the Yellow River”, is widely regarded as the cradle of Chinese culture.
Tsedang holds the esteemed title of the ‘Birthplace of the Tibetans’.Tsedang is currently one the largest town in Tibet, and was also quite the sight to see back in the day.
Unlike other trips around the world, Tibet comes with a multitude of extremes. While the country is tourist friendly, keep in mind the tips below to maintain good health and spirits while traveling.
One of the most dangerous things a visitor can encounter while in Tibet is Altitude Sickness. This is the term given to the series of symptoms a person might feel if they climb too high in altitude without getting acclimated to the thinning air. Make sure you are physically fit before beginning any upward journey and take it slow when climbing. Drink plenty of water when changing altitudes, and don’t push your self to the limit on the first few days. If possible avoid alcohol and refrain from smoking. If you follow these simple rules you can save a world of trouble and avoid Altitude Sickness.
Just because Tibet’s altitude can feature freezing temperatures doesn’t mean that you need to forgo sunscreen and sunglasses. Thinner air results in less protection from the sun’s harmful rays. While bright and sunny days are always welcomed on vacations, don’t forget to lather on a layer of protection so you aren’t nursing a sunburn the entire trip.
Make sure to have cash (Tibet uses the Chinese Yuan, RMB) on hand. Credit cards might be accepted in some places in Lhasa, but are not widely taken in most rural regions.
Like anywhere else in the world, Tibetans follow a unique set of etiquette rules. Here are just a few to keep in mind when traveling. Don't enter a monastery without permission, they are not playgrounds, and be sure to remove any headwear when entering holy grounds. Eagles are considered sacred birds, so please be respectful of their space. Avoid touching a Tibetan on their head and be thoughtful of sensitive issues such as politics or religion. When all else fails, just be respectful and kind. Doing so should be enough to ensure for a pleasant stay in the region. And most of all, remember to be open minded when approaching any kind of new experience. Tolerance and acceptance ensure that the possibilities for a fantastic trip in Tibet are endless.
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