Several years ago, while traveling in China, I had the opportunity to visit Tibet for a few days. It was not a long enough trip, and I keep hoping I’ll get back, but that hasn’t happened yet. However, I think Tibet is a destination worth sharing, as it is so remarkable. Of course, tourism has increased since I visited, with the Chinese government now encouraging visitors. But the beauty and cultural heritage of Tibet are still worth exploring.
The landscape of Tibet, while harsh, is tremendously beautiful. Mountains are the most obvious feature, forming the backdrop for everything. The primary color of the region is tan-to-gold, from the arid mountains to the sand that runs up walls, fills gaps, forms dunes at the mountains’ bases to the golden grasses and scrub that spread away from the precipitous walls. The off-white houses are sand-blasted to a tan that melts into the background. But there are other colors. The lakes reflect the vividly blue sky, and greenery and even flowers cluster around their shores. And Tibetans have introduced color wherever possible, from brightly painted roadside Buddhas to cascades of prayer flags, which one begins to see well before reaching Lhasa. Continue reading