Lhasa

Potala Palace, Lhasa
Lhasa, with a history of 1,300 years, is the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Located at the north of the Lhasa River, which is a branch of the zigzag Yarlung Zangbo River, Lhasa is 3,650 meters above sea level. Having 7 counties and one district under its jurisdiction, it covers a total area of over 30,000 square kilometers, with an urban area of 523 square kilometers. Lhasa has a total population of 373,000, of which 130,000 live in the city. In Lhasa there are 31 nationalities such as Tibetan, Han and Hui, with Tibetans accounting for 87% of the total population.

Lhasa means "holy land" or the "place of Buddha" in the Tibetan language, As the political, economic, cultural and religious center of Tibet for a long time. The grand Potala Palace is a symbol of the unified supreme authority on politics and religion. As early as the 7th century, after Songtsan Gambo unified Tibet, he moved the capital from Yalong to Luozi (today's Lhasa) and established the Tibetan Kingdom. After Tibet was liberated peacefully on May 23, 1951, a new epoch came for Lhasa City. In 1960, Lhasa was approved by the State Council to set up a prefecture-level city and in 1982, and it was proclaimed one of the first batch 24 historical-cultural cities by the State Council.

Jokhang Temple, Lhasa
Situated in the alluvial plain of a valley at 3,650 meters above sea level, Lhasa is one of the highest cities of the world in altitude. Its terrain slopes from east to west; the climate here is the half drought plateau area with monsoons in the Temperate Zone. It is known as the "city of sunlight", the annual sunlight time here totals over 3,000 hours. The annual rainfall is between 200mm and 500mm, and concentrated from June to September, with most cases of night rains. The temperature range is from 14℃ to 28℃, changing greatly from day to night. The air is scarce; the weather is dry in winter and spring, with heavy winds; and the annual period without frost is between 100 and 120 days.

Lhasa has beautiful scenery. The Lhasa River, known as the "merry blue waves," runs through the snow-covered peaks and gullies of the Nyainqentanglha Mountains, extending 315 km. The river empties into the Yarlung Zangbo River at Quxu, forming a scenic wonder that features blue and white water waves. Some 200 scenic spots are in and around Lahasa. The important sites in clued the Potala Palace, Jokhang Monastery, Ramoche Monastery, Norbulingka, Tang Dynasty-Tubo Alliance Tablet, Drepung Monastery, Zongjolukang and Tibet  Autonomous Region Museum. These sites are all located in Lhasa.

Being an old city on the plateau, Lhasa has impressed visitors with blue sky, clean water, fresh air and pleasant environment. Endowed by nature with pure water and air, Lhasa is the least polluted city with the best environment in China. Also, it is the first site for visitors traveling in Tibet.

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