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Autonomous Region of China
Rarely does an area combine the artistry
of nature and man in such close harmony. We view towering
white mountains, vast sand beaches and dunes, ancient stone towns, monasteries and ruins
blending into a brilliant kaleidoscope of water, sand, rock and snow.That is TIBET.
Locked away in its Himalayan fortress, Tibet has long exercised a unique hold on the imagination of the
West: 'Shangri-La', 'the Land of Snows', 'the Rooftop of the World', Tibet is mysterious in a way that few other places are.
Tibet's strategic importance, straddling the Himalaya between China and the Indian subcontinent, made it irresistible to China who invaded in 1950. But Tibetans have never had it easy. Theirs is a harsh environment and human habitation has always been a precarious proposition. Even so, the deliberate cultural strangling inflicted by the Chinese occupiers since 1950 rates as the worst misfortune the inhabitants of the 'Land of Snows' have been forced to endure.
Following virtual closure after the Chinese annexation of the Buddhist kingdom, Tibet was opened to foreign tourism in 1984. Closed to all but tour groups in 1987 after an uprising by Tibetans in Lhasa, and reopened in 1992, travel in Tibet comes with some ludicrous permit requirements. The present Chinese policy on individual tourism in Tibet basically seems to be one of extorting as much cash as possible from foreigners, but not so much as to scare them off completely.
Map & Attractions
Travel in Tibet - New Restrictions, March 1999
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