Lhasa Travel Guide
Location: Lhasa is at the central south of the Tibet and on the northern bank o the Lhasa River.
Area: 30,000 square kilometers
Nationalities: Tibet, Han, Hui
History: has a history of over 13 centuries. With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, Lhasa is famed as " the City of Sunshine". Before the mid-seventh century when Lhasa, later a central town of Tibetan region, was yet to come into being, the area called Wotang was a marshy land of wildness, frequented by antelopes. On one bright summer day, Songtsan Gampo, leader of the Tubo tribe that had risen to power in the Yarlung River Valley, was struck by the perilous position of an area flanked by two steep mountains, while bathing in the Lhasa River, and decided that this was to be the home of his kingdom. This ambitious Tibetan king moved the center of his rule to Wotang and ordered the construction of his residence on the hilltop of Potala. In 641 A.D., Songtsan Gampo who by this time had conquered the whole Tibetan region wedded Princess Wencheng of the Imperial Tang Court. When the princess arrived, she became convinced that Lake Wotang was a devil's heart to be overpowered by the construction of a grand temple after filling up the lake with earth. The princess further suggested that the earth be carried by white goats. This imposing grand temple became a symbol of the kingdom. The temple, later known as Jokhang, was initially named Lhasa, "the Sacred Land" in Tibetan. Over the centuries, Lhasa became a political and religious center of Tibet.
Climate: Lhasa enjoys the reputation of “sunshine city” because the annual sunshine time reaches 3,000 hours, 1,800 hours more than that of Chengdu City, and 1,100 hours more than that of Shanghai City. The annual rainfall is 500 mms and the rainy months are July, August and September. Summer and autumn are the most comfortable time in Lhasa. “Night rain” is a unique phenomenon in Lhasa because rain usually falls at night. In the day, it is often sunny and bright. But when night falls, rain also falls, washing away the heat and dust of the day, and cleaning the streets.
Transportation: Airline- Lhasa Gongga Airport is situated in Gongga county, about 90kms south of Lhasa City. Now there are flights to other cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xian, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, from Tibet and international flights such as to Nepal, Katmandu. There are buses between airport and CAAC Booking Office about one hour and a half.
Railway- Lhasa railway station is about 20kms to Potala Palace with a altitude of over 3600 meters high. Presently trains to Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, and Xinin are available. In the city center, you could take Bus No.9 to the railway station.
Highway- Lhasa has two coach stations: Bei Jiao and Dong Jiao. Bei Jiao Station is on No.11 Zhaji Road mainly for the long distance. The coaches to Naqu, Rikaze, Shannan, Ali, Shangri-la, etc are available.
Dong Jiao Station is no No.3 East Jiangsu Road basically for short distance such as to Yangbajing, Ganden Temple, Dangxiong, Songba village, Qushui and so on.
Local Specialties: Tang-ga, Tibetan Ornaments, Tibetan Wooden Bowl, Tibetan Mask, Tibetan Knife, Tibetan Aweto
Local Food: Wind-dried Beef and Mutton, Butter Tea, Tsampa, Chang
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