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As the "Roof of the World," Tibet has long been a favored destination for tourists from around the world.
The mysterious Buddhist holy place was hidden from the outside world for thousands of years. For adventurers and traders it was a legendary land of treasure and riches.
Located in the southwest of China, Tibet Autonomous Region has changed very rapidly both in its economy and tourism development. An airport now established in Lhasa has flights that can take visitors to and from many major cities like Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai. A railway from Qinghai Province to Tibet is also open since July 2006.
Tibet is without doubt one of the most remarkable places to visit in Asia. It offers fabulous monastery sights, breathtaking high-altitude treks, stunning views of the worlds highest mountains and one of the world's most grand peoples and cultures.
Locked in by towering mountains, Tibet on the southwestern border lies in the main part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the highest in the world, at an average altitude of 4,000 meters. Set up as an autonomous region in 1965, it has an area of more than 1.2 million square kilometers
The Himalayas in the south of Tibet have an average of 6,000 meters, the highest range on the earth. Their main peak, 8,848-metre Mount Qomolangma on the Sino-Nepalese border, is the summit of the globe. In the north are the Kunlun range and its branch, the Tanggula Mountains; in the middle the Gangdise range; and in the east the Hengduan range with numerous canyons and imposing mountains. North of the Gangdise range and south of the Kunlun range is the vast Northern Tibet Plateau. The Southern Tibet Valleys between the Gangdise and the Himalayas, crossed by the Yarlungzangbo River from west to east, are the principal farming and pastoral area of Tibet.
Tibets major rivers include the Yarlungzangbo, Nujiang, Lancang and Jinsha. The Tibet Plateau, one of the regions in China with the greatest number of lakes, has numerous salt lakes, the largest being Nam Co. In all, lakes cover a total area of some 30,000 square kilometers on the plateau. Tibet ranks second in the country in hydroelectric power potentials.
Set up as an autonomous region in 1965, Tibet has a population of 1.85 million, of which 15 per cent live in the cities and 85 per cent in the rural areas and 1.65 million are Tibetans, the predominant nationality there, and the rest Huis, Moinbas, Lhobas and Hans.
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