Lhasa © Dennis Jarvis
Lhasa is a holiday destination set in a marshy valley dominated by surrounding mountain peaks. It is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region and one of the highest cities in the world at an elevation of 12,000ft (3,658m). Lhasa has long been the religious, cultural and political centre of Tibet, sheltered from the harsh winds of the Tibetan plateau in a spot that has been inhabited for at least 1,500 years.
Being the religious centre for Lamaist Buddhists since ancient times, flocks of pilgrims have made their way to Lhasa over the centuries to worship at the feet of the Dalai Lama. Now tourists on holiday are following in their wake to explore the surrounding mountains and investigate Tibet's unique culture and long history. While the city is currently enjoying a period of rapid modernisation, it retains its importance and aura as a holy city.