Tibet, the mysterious and holy religion, and the piety and kindness of smiling Tibetans. Tibet is waiting there for you to explore its snowy mountains, turquoise lakes, wide open grasslands, devoted pilgrims, colorful Tibetan art, ancient architectural wonders……
However tourism to Tibet is strictly controlled by the Chinese government. As of 2009, the previous backpacker tours, which included the permit and a couple of nights stay in Lhasa is no longer an option and all travelers must stay with an organized trip the entire time they are in Tibet. That means you will not be allowed to travel on an independent basis and you will be presented Tibet from an official Han Chinese government sponsored perspective. Aside from visas for China, travelers to Tibet must also obtain permits from the Tibetan Tourism Bureau. Four days in Lhasa (the capital city of china's tibet autonomous region) will be plenty to see things slowly and adjust to the high altitude. Lhasa sits at nearly 12,000 feet or 4,000 meters.
Consider visiting following places:
- Potala Palace, the imposing citadel where, historically, the Dalai Lama sat;
- Jokhang Temple, Tibet's holiest temple which contains a jeweled image of the Buddha;
- Experience the Barkhor, an old market square where you'll see wily Chinese and ancient Tibetans bargaining for goods;
- Norbulingka Park, the former summer palace of Dalai Lama;
- come to the Drepung Monastery, once the largest Monastery housing 10,000 monks in its heyday. If time allows go to see Sera Monastery and Namtso Lake. Gyantse and Shigatse are the two most attractive tourist destinations if you go to see the Mount Everest.