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Lhasa Travel Guide - Luxury Travel in Lhasa
Lhasa is the traditional spiritual and political center of the Tibetan world. As one of top cultural and historical cities in China, Lhasa is considered as a beacon of rich cultural heritage in this magnificent land. Lhasa means ‘Sacred Land’ in Tibet language. Despite the rampant modernization, Tibet’s premodern and sacred heritage survives in the form of the grand Potala Palace, the old Jokhang Monastery, the great monastic centers of Sera, Drepung, Ganden and other smaller temples .
Lhasa was named “Re Sa” in ancient Tibet. In Tibetan language, goat is “Re” and earth “Sa”. In the seventh century, Songtsen Gampo moved capital to Lhasa and the powerful Tubo kingdom was established after unifying the whole of Tibet. And then Tibetans set about building Great Brightness Temple and Little Brightness Temple. After completion of these two temples, monks and pilgrims gradually came to Lhasa. By the 640’s, 18 hospices had been put up near Great Brightness Temple for pilgrim from afar and the houses of many local residents had risen nearby, forming the beginning of the old quarter of the Lhasa centering around what is now know as the Octogon Street. Meanwhile Songtsen Gampo built an extension onto his palace, i.e. Potala Palace. World-famous plateau city began to come into being and “Re Sa” gradually became “the Sacred Land” in people’s hearts.
Nestling in a beautiful valley along the Kyichu River and surrounded by southern slope of Himalaya Mountains, Lhasa attracts numerous visitors at home and abroad with its unique landscape and peace loving people. So dozens of good budget and midrange hotels and inexpensive restaurants were built and open to tourists. Lhasa is the only place in Tibet you can have certain freedom to explore without the company of tour guide. By the way, it is cheaper in Lhasa than the rest of Tibet because you don’t need to hire a transport.