Tibet Travel Guide
Occupying almost a quarter of present-day China, the once-isolated and remote Tibetan Plateau increasingly assumes a vital role in our complex interdependent world. Though sparsely populated, the mighty rivers that originate here sustain the lives of billions inhabiting neighbouring South and East Asian plains; yet the glaciers of Tibet’s fragile ecosystem, which feed these rivers, are rapidly degrading through exposure to greenhouse gases produced by the very populations they mercifully sustain. The impact of Tibet’s Buddhist civilization – the product of a sophisticated literary and artistic heritage – extends far beyond this mountain fastness, nurturing the human spirit across cultural divides to inspire wisdom and compassion among Chinese Buddhists and intellectuals and throughout the world. Yet the Tibetan people struggle to assimilate the benefits of modernization and economic development, while maintaining their unique heritage and world view. This is the background to the tumultuous events of 2008 when unprecedented nationwide protests occurred, and a devastating earthquake struck the eastern fringe of the plateau. While new infrastructure ensures Tibet’s magnificence will be ever more accessible to global travel and tourism, it behoves the authorities to address these real concerns, embracing change through dialogue.