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Travel Guide 2   >   China   >   Towns and Cities   >   Lhasa

   
 

Lhasa


Located at the foot of Mount Gephel, at an elevation of 11,975 (3,650 meters), Lhasa (sometimes spelled "Llasa") is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China. The city has a population of approximately 255,000 people.

Translated literally "Lhasa" means "place of the gods", and the city is the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama, as well as being regarded in Tibetan Buddhism as the holiest site within Tibet.

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Books about Lhasa


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My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City

By Alexandra David-Neel

David-Neel, Alexandra/ Dalai Lama XIV (FRW)/ Rowan, Diana N. (INT)
Released: 2005-08-23
Paperback (376 pages)

My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City
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  • Harper Perennial
Product Description:

An exemplary travelogue of danger and achievement by the Frenchwoman Madame Alexandra David–Neel of her 1923 expedition to Tibet, the fifth in her series of Asian travels, and her personal recounting of her journey to Lhasa, Tibet's forbidden city.

In order to penetrate Tibet and reach Lhasa, she used her fluency of Tibetan dialects and culture, disguised herself as a beggar with yak hair extensions and inked skin and tackled some of the roughest terrain and climate in the World. With the help of her young companion, Yongden, she willingly suffered the primitive travel conditions, frequent outbreaks of disease, the ever–present danger of border control and the military to reach her goal.

The determination and sheer physical fortitude it took for this woman, delicately reared in Paris and Brussels, is inspiration for men and women alike.

David–Neel is famous for being the first Western woman to have been received by any Dalai Lama and as a passionate scholar and explorer of Asia, hers is one of the most remarkable of all travellersߴales.

To Lhasa in Disguise (Adventure Travel Classics)

By William McGovern

The Long Riders' Guild Press
Paperback (484 pages)

To Lhasa in Disguise (Adventure Travel Classics)
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There were two Asian lands forbidden to Westerners in the early twentieth century. The region of the sacred Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina was well known for being off-limits. The second was Tibet, located high up on the roof of the world. This windswept, snow-covered Himalayan kingdom was the home of the Dalai Lama, the living reincarnation of the Buddha. Hidden behind stony mountains and a phalanx of xenophobic warrior monks, the high Lama resided in his isolated realm, serenely cut off from the outside world. Yet erect an obstacle and human beings will endeavor to get around it. Secretive Tibet was no different. A number of foreigners tried to get to Lhasa, the off-limits capital of the kingdom. They were all eventually discovered and turned back. Then in 1912 an unlikely candidate for geographic romance appeared. His name was William McGovern. He was an Oxford trained scholar, and more surprisingly, an American, for no one from that faraway country had ever attempted to beard the Tibetan lion in his den. McGovern was no ordinary Yankee traveler though. An excellent student of Tibetan culture, art, and language, he also brought a hitherto undisclosed talent in the search for Lhasa's secrets. McGovern was a scholar of Buddhist thought and prayer. It was because of this religious sympathy that Tibetan authorities grudgingly allowed the American, and his tiny caravan, to enter their country. He was ordered to go to the first border town, and stop. However as "To Lhasa in Disguise" explains, McGovern had no intention of stopping before he reached the forbidden city. What follows is one of the most intriguing tales of travel ever penned. McGovern made his way over dangerous mountain passes, avoided prowling Tibetan patrols, and finally reached his goal, only to be recognized and arrested. Still a vivid tale after all these years, if it is adventure and hair-raising travel you are seeking, then go no further. "To Lhasa in Disguise" delivers all that and more.

My Journey to Lhasa: The Personal Story of the Only White Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City

By Alexandra David-Neel

Important Books
Paperback (292 pages)

My Journey to Lhasa: The Personal Story of the Only White Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City
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1927. Madame David-Neel's travels in remote parts of Asia, including her fifth expedition, a journey to Tibet, of which she gives a short account in the present book, were undertaken as the result of certain peculiar circumstances. The idea of visiting Lhasa became implanted in her mind. Before the frontier post to which she had been escorted, she took an oath that in spite of all obstacles, she would reach Lhasa and show what the will of a woman could achieve.

Victoria with Kids, Eat Play Shop: an essential guide for cool parents and their children

By Lhasa Hetherington

Lhasa Hetherington
Paperback (102 pages)

Victoria with Kids, Eat Play Shop: an essential guide for cool parents and their children
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Victoria with Kids is a delightful guide book that gets you away from the tourist traps and shows you a wonderfully charming Victoria British Columbia that both you and your children will enjoy. Eat your way through Victoria’s vibrant and kid friendly food scene, shop at unique toy stores and children’s boutiques, and spend time exploring our many fun playgrounds, beaches, and outdoor spaces. Victoria with Kids is an amazing resource full of good local fun including many many links. Like to eat? Learn where to find, among other things, the best thin crust wood oven pizza, cheap and delicious BBQ, fresh fish tacos served out of an up-cycled cargo container, and the worlds best chocolate chip cookies. Take your kids to one of Victoria’s many farmers markets to gather fresh ingredients for dinner, or simply get a baguette and some cheese from one of our charcuterie’s and go enjoy a picnic at a great beach. All sorts of information is stuffed into this engaging book. You will learn where to find medical clinics, what touristy things are worth doing, where to find great beaches, playgrounds, small child friendly hikes, and where you can take the kids to blow of some steam downtown. This book includes a comprehensive list of playgroups, rec-centers, one day classes, movie theaters, and yes, dates night ideas (if you can get away from the kids). Check out http://victoriawithkids.com for updated information as well as our blog where you can see some more fun family outings around Victoria.

Tibet 1:1,500,000 & Lhasa-Valley 1:50,000 Travel Map, waterproof, GPS-compatible, REISE

By Reise KnowHow

Reise KnowHow
Map (2 pages)

Tibet 1:1,500,000 & Lhasa-Valley 1:50,000 Travel Map, waterproof, GPS-compatible, REISE
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Product Description:
Tibet 1:1,500,000 & Lhasa-Valley 1:50,000 Travel Map, waterproof, GPS-compatible, REISE

This map is waterproof and tear-resistant, at convenient sheet size (size 100 x 70 cm / 39.5 x 27.5 in) with topographic and tourist information. The map is double-sided with a good overlap between the two sides.

Topography is indicated by altitude colouring with numerous spot heights and names of mountain ranges and passes. Salt lakes, swamps, seasonal rivers and glacier are also shown. Detailed presentation of the road network includes minor roads and tracks. Railway connection to Lhasa is also shown. Internal administrative units are shown with their boundaries and names. National parks and other protected areas are highlighted. A wide range of symbols mark various places of interest including sacred places, palaces, dzongs, archaeological sites, temples, museums, etc. Latitude and longitude lines are drawn at 1º intervals.

Place names of larger towns are shown transliterated and with the alternative Tibetan version, plus in the Chinese and Tibetan scripts. All other names are in Roman alphabet only. An extensive index of place names is included.

An inset at 1:50,000 shows Lhasa and the surrounding valley, indicating numerous places of interest. Within the city various tourist facilities are also marked: hotels, banks, bus stations, etc.

Multilingual map legend includes English, high quality German cartography.

Lost Lhasa: Heinrich Harrer's Tibet

By Heinrich Harrer

Brand: Harry N Abrams
Paperback (200 pages)

Lost Lhasa: Heinrich Harrer s Tibet
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Offers a record of life in Lhasa before Communism, detailing the author's experiences and encounters

Lhasa: Streets with Memories (Asia Perspectives: History, Society, and Culture)

By Robert Barnett Ph.D.

Columbia University Press
Paperback (244 pages)

Lhasa: Streets with Memories (Asia Perspectives: History, Society, and Culture)
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There are many Lhasas. One is a grid of uniform boulevards lined with plush hotels, all-night bars, and blue-glass-fronted offices. Another is a warren of alleyways that surround a seventh-century temple built to pin down a supine demoness. A web of Stalinist, rectangular blocks houses the new nomenklatura. Crumbling mansions, once home to noble ministers, famous lovers, nationalist spies, and covert revolutionaries, now serve as shopping malls and faux-antique hotels. Each embodiment of the city partakes of the others' memories, whispered across time and along the city streets.

In this imaginative new work, Robert Barnett offers a powerful and lyrical exploration of a city long idealized, disregarded, or misunderstood by outsiders. Looking to its streets and stone, Robert Barnett presents a searching and unforgettable portrait of Lhasa, its history, and its illegibility. His book not only offers itself as a manual for thinking about contemporary Tibet but also questions our ways of thinking about foreign places.

Barnett juxtaposes contemporary accounts of Tibet, architectural observations, and descriptions by foreign observers to describe Lhasa and its current status as both an ancient city and a modern Chinese provincial capital. His narrative reveals how historical layering, popular memory, symbolism, and mythology constitute the story of a city. Besides the ancient Buddhist temples and former picnic gardens of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa describes the urban sprawl, the harsh rectangular structures, and the geometric blue-glass tower blocks that speak of the anxieties of successive regimes intent upon improving on the past. In Barnett's excavation of the city's past, the buildings and the city streets, interwoven with his own recollections of unrest and resistance, recount the story of Tibet's complex transition from tradition to modernity and its painful history of foreign encounters and political experiment.

The Lhasa Trilogy

By Gary D Conrad

Rainbow Books, Inc.
Paperback (319 pages)

The Lhasa Trilogy
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Product Description:
Character-driven, New Age/Visionary Historical Fiction set in depression-era rural Oklahoma, WWII Iwo Jima, post-WWII Japan, as well as Tibet, India and modern-day Oklahoma.

On a frigid night at Tibet's Drepung Monastery, Lama Tenzin Tashi is awakened by a fervent knocking on his door. Quickly he realizes these raps are a dreaded harbinger, one which will launch him on a quest to satisfy a vow, a blasphemous promise he wishes he had never made.

But at this point, the lama has no other choice. The journey must be undertaken, no matter the cost.

Thus begins an odyssey that spans not only his life, but also the life of a man born near the small town of Davidson, Oklahoma. Who could comprehend how inexplicably intertwined their pathways would become as they pushed aside the veil that concealed the hidden secrets of death?

Far Beyond the Garden Gate: Alexandra David-Neel's Journey to Lhasa

By Don Brown

Brand: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: 2002-09-30
Hardcover (32 pages)

Far Beyond the Garden Gate: Alexandra David-Neel s Journey to Lhasa
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In her time, Alexandra David-Neel was the most famous woman in France. She had traveled extensively in China and Tibet and, in 1924, was the first Western woman ever to enter Tibet’s forbidden capital, Lhasa. Alexandra was a self-taught Buddhist scholar and spoke Tibetan flawlessly. And she did it all as a mature woman—she was in her mid-fifties when she arrived in Lhasa.
Not only is Alexandra David-Neel’s story one of high adventure, of trekking through snow-choked mountain passes and wild encounters on the Tibetan tablelands, but it is also about a prolific writer and passionate advocate of Tibetan culture. Far Beyond the Garden Gate reveals an unforgettable life’s journey with vibrant, graceful prose and stunning illustrations.


 
 
 

 
 
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