Published: 11/04/2013 - Updated: 02/25/2016
Today the search for new destinations is becoming more and more adventurous and the criteria is not always due to a simple need for adventure. Extended work schedules, long hours at the computer or driving a car in congested cities where there is often contaminated air, not to mention the noise of many people in small spaces, have raised the need to escape from stress and get closer to cultures that handle a very different philosophy to time, family and health.
One of those destinations is China and the far East: particularly Tibet. Although this country does not belong to China, there is a great Chinese influence here. Traveling to China is an opportunity to discover wonderful landscapes, numerous temples that invite reflection and admiration for a culture that has a huge influence in modern-day Tibet.
When setting out on this adventure, it is very important that you plan the trip from your home country with a serious travel agency, and you cannot go by yourself. You need a visa to enter China and Tibet. In Tibet there are many places with passport controls and you must present a valid passport. Agencies offer you some tours with the ability to modify them according to your interests. In Tibet, you'll always be accompanied by an English speaking guide.
The magic of Lhasa and its temples
The Tibetan people speak their own language, so know that if you only speak English, you will not get very far. Both in China and Tibet it is always better to record addresses in Chinese with a native speaker, because the accents are very difficult to pronounce and differentiate, and most times the people will not understand you. In this case it is best to communicate with signs, indicating where to go or what you want. For example, you can buy a phone card pointing your mobile phone: This way you can communicate with your country very cheaply, as Internet sites like Facebook and Twitter are blocked.
Tibetans are friendly and very religious people, with the majority of the population observing the Buddhist faith. Temples and monasteries are some of the most popular sites to visit, and their rites and customs can transport you to another time in a mystical, almost magical and deep relaxation. In this way you can flee the stress of your day-to-day life whilst enjoying a new and very diverse culture.
The roads are inaccessible and can wind on for hours and hours, due to the fact that the infrastructure does not yet offer all "Western" amenities for visitors. If you were amazed in China with exotic dishes, which often you will not want to know what the ingredients are, cuisine in Tibet does not offer much variety. Typical foods include barley flour tortillas and a very strong tea which they drink with yak butter. Occasionally yak meat is consumed, but there are also some restaurants on the tourist trail that offer other food. It is always important to drink plenty of water because the weather is very dry here. The capital Lhasa is 3650 meters high and other places are even higher. Here is the Palace of the Dalai Lhama and Johkang Monastery, which is definitely worth a visit. The Sera Monastery which has a very curious garden where the monks gather can be observed by tourists. Along the way there are many more temples and sites of interest, especially if you love soaking up the culture and architecture, there are several options for you to visit.
You can reach the Everest base camp and take a beautiful picture when it is not cloudy. Generally in most parts of China and Tibet is not forbidden to take pictures, but if you are attempting to photograph the locals, it is certainly better to ask their permission first. To climb this mountain you must declare this before when booking at the travel agency. You also need to be in good physical condition, be used to or prepared for the high altitudes, as well as having your own appropriate equipment and special permission.
If your desire is to discover the charm of an ancient culture and find rest and peace in your heart by discovering old temples, breathing the pure mountain air and enjoying every magical landscape worthy of a photo, Tibet is the perfect place for this adventure that begins today.