Tibet Major tourism cities & towns
Tibet Autonomous Region 

Tibet Autonomous Region has formed four tourism regions: Lhasa, western Tibet, southwestern Tibet and southern Tibet. With Lhasa as the center, Shigatse and Lhoka (Shannan) as the assistant regions, Tibet has developed a tourism layout radiating Nagchu, Ngari, Nyingtri and Chamdo. Among the four regions, Lhasa features tourist spots like Lhasa City, Yangbachen, Damshung, Gyangtse, Tsetang, Shigatse, Yamdrok Yumtso, and other places of rich cultural and natural scenery. The western Tibet region mainly refers to Ngari, where the tour of the Sacred mountain and Lake is very attractive. In southwestern Tibet, mountain climbing is the chief attraction. The region of south Tibet focuses on Nyingtri where ecological tours with beautiful landscape are worthwhile

Travel guide regions

ལྷ་ས།Lhasa- Most concentrated tourism spots


Lhasa is situated on the northern bank of the Lhasa Kyichu River, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo, in the mid-south of Tibet autonomous Region. To the east and southeast of Lhasa are the regions of Nyingtri and Shannan (Lhoka in Tibetan language); Nagchu neighbors Lhasa on the north and west Shigatse city lies on its southwest. The administrative sphere of the city covers 277 kilometers from east to west and 202 kilometres from north to south. Among its total area of 29518 square kilometers, the urban area of Lhasa is just 50 square kilometers. Seven counties- Chengguan Qu (municipality), Damshung, Lhundrup, Tolung Dechen, Nyemo, Chushul, Taktse and Meldro Gungkar are under the administration of Lhasa. Among its total population of 400,000, 140,000 are living in the urban area. Apart from the Tibetan people who take up 87 per cent of the population, Han, Hui and some 30 nationalities also live here. Lhasa tilts from north to south, with the middle and southern parts taken up by the valley of the Lhasa river. With an annual average temperature of 7.5°C, its average temperature in January is 2.3°C, and 15. 4°C for July. The climate here is of the temperate plateau monsoon type

Lhasa is one of Tibet’s most important agricultural zones. The main grain crops include highland barley, wheat, corn, broad bean and pea. The main cash crops are potato, turnip, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, eggplant, etc. The fruit trees are apple, peach, pear, walnut. There is poplar, willow, birch, fir and other trees. The animal husbandry is centered on yak, Dzo (offspring of a bull and a female yak), cow, sheep, goat, etc. The typical medical materials are: Tibetan cater-pillar fungus, the bulb of fritillary, Rhodiola sachalinensis, snow lotus, Solamwn Muicatnm, musk, pilose antler, etc. The wildlife here includes wild yak, Kiang (wild ass), Mongolian gazelle, Tibetan antelope, river deer, red deer, black-necked crane, swan, Tibetan snow pheasant, etc. The traditional arts and crafts here include the wool carpet to sit on, carpet, waists sword, Bangdian (colourful apron worn by Tibetan women),wooden bowl,gold and silver jewelry. The waist sword at Lhasa is the most famous.

There are some 200 scenic spots in and around Lhasa. Among them, the important sites include the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Ramoche Temple, Norbulingka summer palace, Tibet -Tang Dynasty treaty stele, Drepung Monastery Zong Gyap Lukang (commonly known as the chapel of DragonKing) and Tibet Autonomous Region Museum. These sites are all located in Lhasa. Then there are the Ganden Monastery and, Drak Yerba hermitage in the Taktse County; the Tsurphu Monastery in Tolung Dechen; the Reting Monastery in Lhundrup County; the Drigung Monastery in Meldro Gungkar County; the Droma Lhakang and Shugsep nunnery in Chushul County, etc. For natural scenic spots, visitors shouldn’t miss the Namtso lake, the Yangbachen geothermal grounds and the Nyenchen Thanglha Mountains of Damshung County. The Terdrom hot spring and its nunnery in Meldro Gungkar county, the nature reserves at Lhundrup and Meldro Gungkar are also worthy of visiting.

གཞི་ཀ་རྩེ། Shigatse region -Most comprehensive natural landscapes


Shigatse is located in the mid-south of Tibet. To its east is Lhasa, Ngari at its west, Nagchu on its north, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal lie to its south. Besides the city of Shigatse, the region also includes 17 counties: Nyalam, Dinggye, Kyirong, Sakya, Yadong(Dromo), Gyangtse, She Tongmon, Lhatse, Ngamring,Tingri, Gamba, Kangmar, Drongpa, Saga, Rinpuk, Pel Nag and Namling. Covering a total area of 180.000 square kilometres, the region has a population of 425,000. Apart from the majority of Tibetan people, there are also Han, Hui, Mongolian, Naxi ethnic minorities and the Sharpa people. The administration office of the region is located at the city of Shigatse. The region centering on the city of Shigatse is traditionally known as” Tsang.

Shigatse Region is the most complete showcase of natural landscapes from vast plateau pasture and beautiful cultivated fields to subtropical forests and bellowing snow-capped mountains. The Mount Everest (Chomo Langma State Nature Reserve is the world’s highest and most intact ecological system vertically distributed. The areas major historical sites include the monasteries of Tashilhunpo, Shalhu, Nartang, Sakya, Rongpuk monasteries, Jonang and Pelkhor. There are also the Phala manor and the battle ruins against British forces at the Dzong Moun-tain of Gyangze, Shigatse is recognized internationally as the most suitable place for mountain climbing. Tibet has also developed area for mountain-climbers. The highest mountains along the Himalayas all gather here. Five Tibetan peaks higher than 8.000 meters all stand here: Mount Everest Qomolangma (8, 848m), Lhotse (8, 516 m), Makalu(8,463 m), Chowo Wuyag (8, 201m)and Shishabangma (8,012 m)。 Since 1980, the Chinese Government has opened the climbing routes of 44 mountains in Tibet. In recent years, over 20 overseas mountain-climbing teams reach Mount Everest (Chomolangma)every year.

Some of the main local special products of Shigatse are silver-covered wooden bowl, tea tray and tea cup holder, Tibetan carpet and gold-rimmed cap of Shigatse; butter lantern, silver bowl and Tibetan knife of Sakya County; wool carpets for sitting or hanging and woman’s gold-rimmed cap of Gyangtse County; waist sword and boot of Lhatse County, silver bowl, silver waist band button and pottery jar of Ting County; the Tse ji back sack of Kangma County; the wooden bowl and bamboo ware of Kyirong County; the Dromo fish, wool and highland barley wine of Dromo (Yadong ) County; the KagaTibetan knife of Shetongmon County; the Sangsang butter of Ngamring County, the Tibetan paper and Gamba sheep cream of Gamba County; the jade ware and carpet of Rinphuk County; the Dongga Tibetan boot, Wangten carpet, PelgangTibetan incense and Pelnag tsamba (Barley flour) of the Pelnak County.

ལྷོ་ཁ།Lhoka(Shannan) Region -Combination of natural and cultural scenery


Lhoka Region is located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Tsanpo River, between Lhasa to the north, Nyingtrit to the east, Shigatse to the west and bordering Bhutan and India on the south along the Himalayas. On this region of 80,000 square kilometres live 290,000 peopleTibetan people take up 98 per cent of the population. Therest 2 per cent is formed with Han, Hui, Monba, Lhoba and other nationalities. The region includes 12 counties: Nedong, Chosum, Chonggye, Sangri, Tsome, Dranang, Gyatsa, Tsona, Gonggar, Lhuntsi, Lhodrak and Nagartse. The regional ad-ministration office is located at the town of Tsetang.

While the northern counties of this region distribute along the valleys of the Yarlung Zangbo and its tributaries, the four southern counties are located in the Himalayas. With the Gang Tise and himalayas standing in the north and south, the warm and humid air from the Indian Ocean brings ample precipitation and temperate climate. At the middle of the Lhoka Region lies the valley of Yarlung Tsangpo. Many tributaries join in the broad river from Chushul to Gyatsa. The ample water in turn brings fertile earth. Beautiful pasture and dense forest distribute along the mountains on both sides of the river. The mountains, lakes, valleys, hot springs, karst caves and other colorful landscapes are natural gifts for tourists

Lhoka was one of the cradles of the Tibetan ancient culture and takes up an outstanding position in the long scroll of Tibetan history. One of the most famous legends of Tibet says that humans were the offspring of a sacred monkey and a woman the site of the legend is in Lhoka. It was also in Lhoka that the first cultivated lands, measured fields. water irrigation, storing the forage grass, molding metal, firing pottery and many other techniques first appeared in Tibet. The long history has left the area with a rich cultural heritage the special geological conditions bestowed the region with unique scenery; while the profound religious atmosphere has glorified the mountains, rivers and historic sites with a holy aura. There are many historic sites in Lhoka: The Tombs of Tibetan Kings, Samye Monastery, Traduk Temple, Yumbu Lakhar, Mindroling Monastery, Dorje-drak Monastery, Samding Monastery, etc. Among them, the tombs of Tibetan Kings and the Samye Monastery are on national level protection list. There are the sacred mountains like the Chasam Chuwori of Gonggar County, the sacred Abort Mountain of Samye and the Gangpo Ri hill of Tsetang. The region also has sacred lakes likeYamdrok Yutso in Nagartse County and the Lhamo Latso of Gyatsa county (currently not allowed to visit the site by foreign tourist by 2019)

The Lhoka Region has one scenic region and three tourism sites which have many historic spots Yarlung River Scenic Region: It contains snow mountains, glacier, pasture, river valley, alpine vegetation, historic sites and simple folk customs. Lying at the southern part of the Lhoka Region, it is the origin of the Tibetan people. The region has a multitude of plant and animal resources that are distributed vertically along the valleys and mountains. In places of interest, there are the Yumbulakhar, the earliest palace in Tibetan Yarlung dynasty; the Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, the Traduk Temple which is on State level protection and the Tombs of the Tibetan Kings. The region maintains the folk custom, architecture and religious activities of centuries ago with distinctive local flavor. In 1988. the region Joined the second group of State level scenic areas Yamdrok Yutso Tourism Site: The Yamdrok Yutso site gathers lake, snow mountains, glacier, islands, pasture, hot spring, wildlife, monastery and other spots into one SamyeTourism Site: The area includes many historical and cultural sites in the Dranang County, such as the Samye monastery, Hepori Mountain and the Drak Yangzong Karst cave,  Sacred Lake Tourism Site: In the counties of Sangri Chosum and Gyatsa, there are mountains, valleys, cuckoo flowers, sacred rivers, hot springs, sacred religious sites andancient architectures. The natural scenery is formed with Lhamo Latso, Chiga Hot Spring and others. There are also historic sites like monasteries and the Lagyable palace

The local special products include: the pulu blanket and

Mindroling brand Tibetan incense of Dranang; pulu blanket and Bangten apron of Gonggar; the bracelet, necklace, butter lamp and incense burner of Chongye; the carpet and glazed butter bottle of Chosum; the utensils made of stone or aga poplar branches of Sangri; the Legbu wooden bowl of Tsona; the lagong butter,  butter tea cup and silver gilded Tibetan knife of Lhuntse; and the Yamdrok dried meat, Yamdrok Tibetan quilt and silver tea cup of Nagartse

ཉིང་ཁྲི། Nyingchi Region-Fertile lands of Tibet


Lying in the southeastern part of Tibet, Nyingchi sits at the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo Shouldering Qamdo on the east, Nyingchi has Nagchu as the north-ern neighbor, with Lhasa and Lhoka on the west and southwest India and Myanmar lie on the southern border.

The region includes seven counties: Nyingchi, Metok, Menling, Kongpo Gyamda, Zayul, Pomi and Nang. On the region of 99, 700 square kilometres live 137, 500 people. Besides the Tibetan people, there are also the Han, Monba, Lhoba ethnic minorities and the Deng people. The local administrator’s office Is located at the town of Bayi. The local geological structure framed the gorgeous landscape, unique climate and flourishing vegetation. The clouds in the blue sky, snowy peaks covered in glacier, rushing rivers and big waterfalls, firs that are over 1, 000 years old, ancient monasteries, sacred mountains and lakes, etc., all these beam with a mysterious and attractive ray of light. Under the influence of the monsoon from the Indian Ocean, the area has neither scorching summer nor freezing winter. With ample rainfall, the air is quite humid. The sunshine is long and the frost is short, the lowest places are just around 1,000 meters above sea level. Some regions can even breed rice, peanut, apple, orange, banana, lemon and other. The region is thus compared with the fertile lands on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River

Pomi, Zayul and Lhoyul are rich in plant resources in the sea of forest, there are many giant dragon spruces over 200years old. Some are taller than 80 meters, with a diameter of 2.5 meters. One such giant ant tree can turn out about 60 cubic meters of wood. The giant dragon spruce forest is seen as “living fossils, “among scientists. The oldest trees are over 2, 500years old. The region is a real treasure house of plants with some 2.000 species of higher plants, including 100 species of xylophyta and 165 species of medical herbs and fungus. Among the rare animals, there are the Bengal tiger, leopard, bear, black snub-nosed monkey, antelope, lesser panda, etc

There are eight scenic regions with 40 scenic spots in Nyingtri. Some of the most attractive sites include: the Yarlung Tsangbo Grand Canyon, the world’s biggest canyon several State-level nature reserves hosting rare and endangered species; the Namchakbarwa tourism region; the Draksum Tso lake, Nangpo Gully, Gyashing Gully, Bonri sacred mountain with its frescoes and sculptures in the Gongpo’gyamda County; the giant cypress forest, “Mulberry King, Bayi Town scenic area, Buchu Lamaling scenic area and Serkyem La Mountain of Nyingchi County; the Zarisarba Mountain and Lhe Hill’s ancient tombs of Nang County; the Yarlung Tsangbo scenic area, Naying Lhoba people’s new villages and the Naying Gully scenic area of Menling County; the Yiong Lake and Yiong tea plantations of Pomi; the waterfall, ivy bridge, and one-rope bridge of Metok; the sub-tropical scenery of Zayul. All these scenic spots can offer unforgettable experiences

The local special products in Nyingtri include various medicine materials, edible fungus, orange, tangerine, sugarcane, honey peach, apple, pear, grape, walnut and other fruits. There are also the Tibetan hat and wooden bowl made inNang County, the “Sacred Tea of Mount Chomolangma “and Tibetan knife made in Yi’ong, the bamboo ware and Tibetan wooden bowl of Zayul

ཆབ་མདོ།Chamdo Region-Land of treasures in eastern Tibet


Lying in eastern Tibet, Chamdo Region neighbors

Yunnan and Sichuan provinces on the east, Qing hai Province on the north, Nyingtri area on the south, and Nagchu onwest. The region includes 11 counties: Chamdo Mangkang, Zogang, Konjo, Penbar, Pelsho, Lhorong, Jonda, Riwoche, Tengchen and Drayab Covering 130,000 square kilometres, the region is home to 460, 000 people. Apart from the majority of Tibetans, there are also the Han Mongolian, Naxi, Hui and other nationalities In the Tibetan language“ Chamdo” means“ Mouth of two rivers.” The regional administration office is located at the Chamdo Town Located in the eastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and northern part of the Heng duan Mountains, Chamdo region tilts southward, with an average elevation of 3, 700 merest three rivers Jinsha, Lancang and Nujiang form the natural wonder of running side by side in this area. Cutting across the gorgeous mountains, the greatest drop from the mountain top to the valley bottom can reach 2, 700 meters. Over 80 mountains that are taller than 5,000 meters gather in this region. Many of the mountains are renowned sacred ones. Some mountains are already open for mountain climbers. At the foot of the mountains. the valleys are covered with 2. 173million hectares of forests. 46.700 hectares of fertile fields and 6.667 million hectares of natural pasture. Blue lakes and hot springs scatter on this region, which is home to over 600species of wild animals like the snow leopard, lesser panda,black snub-nosed monkey, Thorold’s deer, musk deer,marten, otter and lynx. There are also over 1, 200 species of medical herbs like the Chinese caterpillar fungus, musk, pilose antler, rhizoma anemarrhenae, the bulb of fritillary, bear gal and dangshen ( Codonopsis pilosula In the traditional concept of the Tibetan people, Chamdo belongs to the Khams region. The people of this region are called “Khams-pa ” The folk culture of Chamdo is quite different from that of many other places in Tibet There are many famous travel spots in Chamdo. At Chamdo County, there are the Chambaling Temple(Chamdo Temple), the Karub Neolithic Age Cultural Ruins, Karma Temple, Gupu Karst Cave, Wonmaika and Zogyika hot springs. In the Markam County, there are the Chuzeka Hot Spring and Momtso Lake. The Pelsho County has the breath-takingly beautiful Rawog Lake, Rintso Lake, Rawok and Ali hot springs, Tongka Temple, and Garshog frescoes Across the Zogang County and the Yunnan Province lie the Kawakarpo Snow Mountains Scenic Region together with the Meyu Hot Spring. At the Pelbar County, there are the Pelbar Monastery, Dedeng Monastery, Dainda Mountain God Temple, and the three lakes of Poy, The Rewoche County is gifted with the Yiri Hot Spring, the Macha La Karst Cave, the Red Deer Farm at Changmoling, and the Rewoge Temple in the Drayab County, there are the Rindagdamma Buddhist sculptures, Lunglung Stone carving group, Xangkang Hall Sagarricho and Jukai Monastery. The Tengchen County hasthe Zedrup Monastery, Burtuoka Lake and Totsun Hot Spring Lhorong County has a group of small lakes which the local people compare to 21 fairies. The Jonda County has the Chunyido Hot Spring. Although many scenic sites are now open to tourists, the limits of transportation still keep tourists from reaching them easily. These tourism resources hold great potential for Chamdo. They will quickly become economic advantage once developed appropriately

ནག་ཆུ།Nagchu Region-The place closest to the Heaven


The name”Nagchu” comes from the river Nagchu which is the upper reaches of the Salween River (Gyelmo Ngulchu). In the past, the river was also called the “Black River. In the Qing Dynasty1644-1911), the Manchurian rulers called the river Halawasu”or“ Kalawusu:” Today,” Nagchu refers to the region, county, town, district and river.

Lying in the northern part of Tibet, the region has 10 counties: Nagqu, Lhari, Shentsa, Nyerong, Nyima, Driru, Sog, Baingoin and Amdo. There is also the Tso Nyi (Shuanghu)Special District. To the west of Nagchu is the Ngari Region, Chamdo lies to its east, Lhasa is its southern neighbor, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Provincelie to its north. To its southwest is the Shigatse Region, Nyingtri lies to its southeast. With a total area of 286, 500 square kilometers, the region is home to 319. 000 people, 98 per cent of whom are Tibetans. The regional administration office is located at the town of Nagchu. The region is famous for the cashmere of sheep, goat and yak, Tibetan caterpillar fungus, snow lotus, the fragrant wolf fur car pet, the bulb of fritillary and musk.

The local Tibetan people often refer to the plateau of northern Tibet as Changtang, which is mostly located in Nagchu. The vast Changtang grassland commands unique geological features and changing natural landscape. The great force of Nature has shaped the gorgeous mountains and rivers of this region. Namtso, Seling tso, Dangra Yumtso and over 1,000 lakes are like jadeite scattered on the grassland or Gobi desert. There are numerous hot springs and geothermal spots. The region also has rich resources of wildlife and alpine vegetation. There are over 20 animal species under level one or level two national protection.  The natural wonders and the special folk customs have formed distinctive tourism treasures. The local people have created colorful religious legends for the mountains, lakes and rivers of Changtang, which have retained their natural appearance, at the town of Nagqu sits the famous Shoten Monastery, a branch monastery of Sera Monastery, the largest in the region. Every year, the town will host the Changtang Chaching Horse Race that is Sure to draw crowds of local people. In the eastern part of Nagchu, there are still more places worthy of visiting: the Arza Lake and Dru Township of Lhari County; the scenery along the Salween River, the primitive forest of Painpen, the Paingar-Yangxoi scenic area, Dodoga Skull Wall and the Meimo Karst Cave of Pulung in Biru County. The TsangdainMonastery at Sog County has a long history. The ancient Bachen County used to be the centre of 39 Hor Tribes in the in 1368-1911。 The ruins of the Hor King’s palace, the Batsang, Lungka and Lupu monasteries of the Bon religion, etc., are all worthy of visiting

མངའ་རིས། Ngari Region- Ridge of the Worlds ridges

In the tourism region, there are the ruins of the Guge Kingdom and the ancient Toding Temple in the Tsada County and the Purang County, the sacred Gang Rinpoche Peak (Kailash) and the Mapam Yumco (Manasarovar) Lake are revered in Hinduism, Jainism, Bon Religion, Tibetan Buddhism and many other religions. Tsanda clay Forest is a special topography formed through long-term soil erosion. Lying in the western part of Tibet, Ngari neighbors Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the north, the Nagchu Region on the east, the Shigatse Region on the south east, Kashmir, India and Nepal on the west and south, along the 116-kilometre border line, there are over 60 mountain passes leading outside. Among the seven counties under Ngari, Gertse, Tsochen and Gegye are pure pasture lands while Gar, Purang, Tsanda and Rutok also have agricultural lands. Covering 303,000 square kilometres, Ngari hosts over 60,000 people, or less than 0.2 person per square kilometre.

The regional administration office is located in the Gar (Shiquanhe town) Ngari used to play an important function in the economic and cultural communications between the East and the West. It was here that the mysterious Shangshung Kingdom and the Bon religion were born in the 618-1279,the region was called “Yangtong”(also transated as””Zhangzhung?” ). The region’s name changed to” Nalisu?”in the Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368) and then”Elisi in the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644). In the Tibetan language Ngari is calle “Mngav-Ris.” with an average sea elevation of above 4,500 metres, Ngari has gained the title: ” Ridge of the World’s ridges Snowy mountains, glaciers, alpine meadow, gobi deserts, rivers and lakes, pasture fields, clay forests and the roaming herds of wild life have formed gorgeous natural scenery. The famous rivers Senggye Tsangpo, Macha, Langchen and Tachok rivers respectively the origins of the Indus, Ganges, Sutlej and Yarlung Tsangpo rivers. The ruins of the ancient Guge Kingdom, the Thoding Temple and Dungkar Frescoes of Tsada. as well as the frescoes of Rutok bear the deep mark of the ancient cultures on this plateau. The sacred lake Manasarovar and the holy Kailash Peak- main peak of the Gangdise Mountains-take up prominent positions in the history of Asian religions. The folk singing accompanied bypluck-stringed instruments at Tsada, the story-telling  folk art at Rutok, and the singing of the great epic “King Gesar in Gegye are all very interesting. Tourism is developing at a fast speed in Ngari.

For those who dearly want to fully understand the ancient history and culture of Tibet, as well as experience the spirit of the origin of all mountains and rivers, Ngari is a must-visit. Some people have even stated that without visiting Ngari, one would have missed the core of Tibet