Central Tibet (Lhasa and Ngari region)
About Lhasa region
Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, is located in U-Tsang. This central region of Tibet, which averages above 3600m, is home to the Potala Palace, Mt. Everest, holy lakes, medicinal hot springs, and many of the most famous monasteries in all of Tibet. Lhasa is one of the best places to get a glimpse of modern Tibetan life, while just outside the city many farmers and nomads persist in their traditional lifestyles. While most tourists visit Lhasa in the summer, the winter is an opportune time to see the colorful Tibetan capital. During the winter, pilgrims from all over Tibet flock to Lhasa to visit holy sites and enjoy the (relatively) warmer weather.
Lhasa is best for travelers interested in touring historic Tibetan sites and buildings, visiting Mt. Everest, hiking, staying with nomads for a night, enjoying comfortable facilities, gaining an understanding of modern Tibetan life, and taking a dip in hot springs.
About Ngari region
Ngari is located in the far west of Tibet. The mountainous region, which is sparsely populated by nomadic tribes, is known as the “roof of the roof of the world,” as it averages about 4500m. It is home to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova, known among Buddhists as the “Sacred Mountain and Holy Lake.” The mountain ruins of the Guge Kingdom, famous for their murals, sculptures, and stone inscriptions, are also located in Ngari. A mountain road connecting Ngari and Xinjiang makes it possible to drive from western Tibet to Kashgar.
Ngari is best for travelers interested in rugged adventure tourism, challenging trekking, seeing archaeological sites, circumambulating Mt. Kailash, observing local culture and folk customs, and visiting the most remote area of the Tibetan plateau.