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General Information

Location: Tibet Autonomous Region lies in the southwest of China. It is bordered to the southeast by Yunnan Province, to the south and west by these countries: Burma, India, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal. The geography of Tibet consists of high mountains, lakes and rivers lying between central, east and south Asia. Tibet is often called “the roof of the world” with its tablelands averaging over 4000 meters above sea level.

Climate: In deciding when to travel to Tibet, one should look at both temperatures and rainfall. The most pleasant temperatures occur between May and October. After October, temperatures become too cold for pleasant travel. Rainfall, on the other hand, occurs mostly between the months of June and September, with July and August having the most rain.

Population: The population of Tibet is somewhere around 2.5 million people, the size of a medium city.

Money: Tibet uses the Chinese Yuan(CNY), and obtaining money through ATMs in Lhasa is now possible. There are ATMs in the central Bank of China branch and in a bank not far from the tourist centre in the Tibetan quarters. US dollars is the better foreign currency to exchange outside of banks (when travelling outside Lhasa) it is advisable to have small denominations (twenties or lower) to change in local hotels . The current rate of the Chinese Yuan is about 6,12 to the US dollar (september 2013), however, the rate changes often so please check the rate here

Religion: Tibetans follow their own form of Bhuddism, which is a blend of Indian religion, with an existing native religion. The present Dalai Lama, the 14th, has been in exile in India since 1959 and to this day continues to be a spokesman for Tibet.

Language: Tibet’s main language is Tibetan, an Indo-Aryan language derived from Sanskrit. It’s generally acknowledged that the present language (and the script) was developed sometime during the Tsanpo Period (between 127 BC and 847 AD), when the Buddhist scholar Sambhota was sent to India to study Sanskrit. On his return to Tibet, Sambhota, under the aegis of the ruler, Songtsan Gampo, developed the script for Tibetan. Today, besides the standard Tibetan used in Lhasa and its surrounding areas, there are other dialects too, spoken in different parts of the region. Officially, Tibet being a part of China, Chinese too is used, but it’s limited to official circles. With the increasing influx of foreign tourists, English (and a few other Western languages) are now used as well.

Area:
 12,000,000 square meters

Time: Although Tibet has several different time zones, the Chinese government has decided that China, with Tibet as autonomous area,only has one time zone –  GMT/UTC + 08:00 hour