Video: Tibetan Dance

Entering Tibet is like entering a whole different world. The unusual sounds of the language, the rich colors and the people seem from a whole other time.

Even the altitude makes you catch your breath. Tibet is the highest region on earth, and has an average elevation of 16,000 feet. The capital city of Lhasa sits at 12,000 feet. Altitude sickness is a common reality for visitors, who are advised to take it easy and adjust before going higher.

Though part of China since a military conflict in 1951, the Tibetan culture is strong. The Tibetan language is unique, related to Burmese, and encompasses many dialects. Tibetan music, which is often religious, reflects the cultural heritage of the trans-Himalayan region and influence of Tibetan Buddhism.

In this short segment from his documentary “From Venice to Beijing on a Vespa,” Carlo Alberto Cavallo offers us a fascinating glimpse of Tibet, with her smiling faces, warm colors and awe-inspiring landscape.

If You Go

Travel to Tibet is strictly controlled by the Chinese government, and all foreign travelers must obtain a permit (or two). The Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) permit can be issued to you by Chinese travel agencies that handle trips to Tibet. There are a few areas of Tibet that also require an Aliens’ Travel Permit (ATP). This is issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) in large cities in Tibet, such as Lhasa, Xigatse and Ali.

Check out more travel articles on Tibet:

Temples and Traditions: Seven Days in Tibet
Lhasa may be a modern city, but her people hold fast to their ancient Tibetan heritage.

Janna Graber
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