5 Things to Keep In Mind When Traveling To Tibet

One of the most unknown regions of the world is Tibet. It is located inside China, a giant country with millions of people and that keeps certain secrecy to the rest of the world. To get to Tibet you will have to manage it from China or traveling to Kathmandu   to enter this region by land. There, you will find a humble history where breathtaking landscapes blend with a rich culture and a recent history of social movements. And is that your trip to Tibet will have nothing to do with previous ones.

1. Cultural Revolution

From 1966 to 1976 an aggressive policy by the Communist Party and its then leader Mao Zedong took place in all of China. Political, cultural and civilian leaders were violently repressed accused of embracing capitalism. 

It reached all areas of China and Tibet was not left out. The great lamas had to flee to neighboring countries such as India y Nepal. Thousands of monasteries were destroyed and many people were imprisoned for years. Now Tibet is a region with Chinese flags everywhere and military controls on every step. 

However, when you travel there you will have the feeling of being in a country completely different from China, although at formal levels it is part of the Asian giant. You need to know that to visit Tibet you will need both a Chinese visa and an entry permit to travel Tibet and you will not be able to roam freely.

2. People

Tibet is a very poor region if we compare it with Western standards of comfort. The economy is mainly based on subsistence agriculture and cattle raising. That is why Tibet fulfills that mantra in which those who have less are the ones who give the most. 

It is true that it will be very difficult to communicate with the vast majority of Tibetans who speak your language or Chinese. However, you can explore communication in other ways, because many times a simple smile will be enough to open doors. 

Do not be surprised if people look at you and remira, this is because there are not many travelers arriving in this region. Although it is true that Tibet is increasingly opening up to tourism.

 3. Burials

Perhaps one of the moments in which the cultural differences of each place is clear, is in everything that is related to death, in some villages it is a festive ceremony and in others a moment of intimacy and mourning. The case of Tibet is very curious, in a place where wood and soil are hard most of the year, the bodies are chopped, mixed with food and given to the eagles to eat it. This is a tradition that took place near, for example, the monastery of Sera and attracted travelers who saw this harsh reality.

However, over the years cremation has been gaining ground and the ritual of the eagles it is increasingly scarce. 

In case you would like to see it, it will be complicated, but if you get it, be aware that it can be very unpleasant, but you also have to know that it is necessary to have absolute respect for the people who work in it and the deceased.

4. Height

Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average altitude of 4900 meters above sea level. Tibet can be a journey of those that are remembered for a lifetime, and those that are only once. 

That's why adaptation is very important and it depends on the way you're going to get there. Of course if you travel by plane you may have more chances of suffering headaches due to lack of oxygen. 

However if you do it by land (train or road), the headache in case of suffering you will feel it on the way and, in this way, if you know the 5 aspects to take into account with altitude sickness during your trip.

You can anticipate everything to enjoy 100% of Tibet. From that moment, go to know the monasteries, walk the impressive mountains, soak up the culture ... it will be much simpler.

5. Buddhism

Perhaps one of the great differences that make it known that Tibet has a history of region independent of China is religion. The vast majority of the Tibetan population is Buddhist although China is referred to as a non-denominational country. 

In fact, the religious and spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, has been in exile since the Cultural Revolution. 

Anyway you can visit a place as important as the Potala Palace, the residence of more than 1000 roomsof the Dalai Lama in Lhasa. In addition, in the temple of Jokhang you will see one of the perhaps most impressive traditions of the Buddhist culture, and that is that you will see pilgrims who throw themselves to the ground and get up, so uninterrupted until they reach this religious center of pilgrimage. 

This can be a great opportunity to know a religion that is far away and complicated to understand, keep your eyes wide open to decipher Buddhism.

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