Tibet has beguiled travellers for centuries. High in the Himalayas and home to mountaintop monasteries draped in fluttering prayer flags, Tibet’s landscape is almost too awe-inspiring for words. The capital, Lhasa (translation: ‘Place of the Gods’), is the spiritual epicentre of Tibetan Buddhism and the sense of religious devotion there is all-pervasive. The city’s charming whitewashed old quarter is a pocket of traditional Tibet, home to a sensory smorgasbord of flickering butter lamps, wafting incense and prostrating pilgrims. Delve a little deeper into regions like Amdo, part of what was once Greater Tibet,
and you’ll find rolling grasslands inhabited by yak-herding nomads, maroon-robed monks meditating in astonishing monasteries like Lanzhou and air so pure (and shockingly blue) your lungs will think they’ve gone to a spa. Yet beyond its beguiling Buddhahood and the mystical mountain ranges that gave Tibet its moniker the ‘Roof of the World’ lies a tragic history of invasion and occupation that has left the fate of Tibetan culture and traditions in the balance. Now technically part of China, Tibet’s annexation hasn’t dissuaded the current (and exiled) Dalai Lama from supporting – and urging – travel to the area. After all, as the Tibetan saying goes: ‘the more you travel, the more you see and hear’. And trust us, this is a place you need to see and hear.

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Original Travel organised our trip to China, from Beijing to Shanghai via Sichuan and Yunnan. It was an exceptional experience in a fascinating country. The quality of the advice, personalisation and experiences were second to none. The organisation, punctuality and friendliness of all our guides in China were excellent. Seamless professionalism. I 100% recommend Original Travel for anyone's trip to China.

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