Tibet

Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north of the Himalayas. Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft). It is sometimes referred to as the roof of the world.

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Lhasa is the main city within Lhasa Prefecture and is also the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The three major sites of Lhasa relate to the religious as well as political history of Tibet. Potala Palace, perched upon the Marpo Ri Hill 130 meters above the Lhasa valley, is the greatest monumental structure in Tibet. Home of the leaders of the Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lamas, as well as being one of the premier religious pilgrimage sites. Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Street - considered as the spiritual center of Tibet. The Barkhor is the oldest street in Lhasa as well as the traditional center of old Lhasa. It is a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble. The last location is the Norbulingka which was built as a summer palace in the woods outside of Lhasa.

Shigatse or Rikaze, Shikatse, Zhigatsey, is the second largest city in Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, with a population of 80,000, about 250 km (160 mi) southwest of Lhasa and 90 km (56 mi) northwest of Gyantse. The city is located at an altitude of 3,840 metres (12,600 ft) at the confluence of the Yarlung Zangbo (aka Brahmaputra) river and the Nyang River (Nyanchue) in west Tibet and was the ancient capital of Ü-Tsang province.

The Ranwu Lake, the largest in southeast of Tibet, is in the Village of Ranwu (also known as Ranwok) around the southwest corner of Baxoi of Chamdo prefecture, Tibet, about 90 km from the Baiba Town neighboring the Nyingchi Prefecture. Called “the Tibetan Switzerland”, the lake is a perfect blending of the Swiss Alps snow peaks and glaciers and the streams in Jiuzaigou Valley (a beautiful national park in Sichuan Province). The Ranwu Lake is especially known to all for its crystal-clear blue and tranquility.

The Ranwu Lake covers an area of 22 square kilometers with a length of 26 kilometers. It is a barrier lake due to landslide or debris flow jams river as natural damming. The narrowest point of the lake is less than 1 kilometer. With an altitude of 3,850 meters, the lake is surrounded by the Gangrigabu Snow Mountain in the southwest, the Azhagongla Glacier in the south and the Bosula Peak in the northeast, with the famous Lagu glacier extending to the lake from the north. The melted snow and ice supply the lake with sufficient water and are also the source of many rivers such as Yaluzhangbu River. The lake stretches more than 10 kilometers toward the west and shrinks into a narrow river valley.

Many of the peaks surrounding the lake are over 5, 000 meters high and thus permanently locked with glaciers. However, at the foot of the surrounding peaks, the green grassland around the lake, the sky-blue lake water and the white snow mountains constitute a very pretty watercolor. The color of the water changes with the seasons, ranging from aquamarine to turquoise. When the sun rises, the lake looks like a mirror reflecting snow-capped mountains, white clouds and the surrounding forest.

Villages on both of its shores are slightly different from the typical Tibetan houses in other places by no decorations or paintings on doors and windows. The houses are smaller and compacter to maintain warm in the severer winter. Furthermore the smaller structure allows heat to be maintained within the house more effectively. The browsing herds of cattle and sheep, the barley paddy, bean and cabbage field form an oil painting, which can be seen no elsewhere.