Lhasa, which is the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, has a history of more than 1300 years and sits in a valley right next to the Lhasa River. It covers an area of close to 30,000 square kilometers. It has a downtown of 544 square kilometers and a population of 400,000, including 140,000 of its people living in the downtown area. Lhasa is home to the Tibetan, Han, and Hui peoples, as well as many other ethnic groups, but the Tibetan ethnic group makes up 87 percent of the total population.
The Eastern end of Lhasa is more prominently traditional Tibetan, focusing on the area around the Jokhang and the Barkhor. Traditionally dressed Tibetans engaged on a kora (a clockwise journey around the Jokhang, the major Buddhist shrine), often spinning prayer wheels are a common sight in that area. The Western end of Lhasa is more Chinese in character (i.e. Han Chinese from the east of the country). It is busy and modern, and many ways a surprise to many tourists. It is there one finds most of the infrastructure, such as banks and contact with officialdom.
The city has many Buddhist monuments and was the seat of the Dalai Lama, so that flocks of pilgrims have been making their pilgrimage to the city for centuries. More and more tourists from every corner of the world have been attracted to Tibet tours and its mysterious culture as well. Its unique scenery, long history, exotic culture, mysterious religion and spectacular monuments, make your stay a life long memory.