Lhasa, China Cruise Port

If heights give you a thrill, then cruising to Lhasa, China should definitely be on your bucket list. The religious capital of Tibet since the middle of the 17th century (and administrative capital of the China's Tibet Autonomous Region or TAR), Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world at an elevation of 11,450 feet. Located on the north bank of the Lhasa River near the Himalaya Mountains, there's an abundance of scenic beauty. Thanks to numerous and significant Tibetan Buddhist sites, it's easy to see why Lhasa means "place of the gods." With agriculture, service, and tourism the driving industries in the city, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the past as well as enjoying the amenities of the present. Whether you enjoy exploring temples, watching traditional dance, or breathing mountain air, here are some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Lhasa, China:
 
  • One of the city's most popular attractions is Potala Palace. Now a World Heritage Site and museum, this was once the chief residence of the Dalai Lama and contains more than 1,000 rooms. Taking a train to the palace gives you a chance to acclimate to the height more slowly; make sure you know the policy on where photos are allowed to be taken before shooting.
     
  • The striking Jokhang (also known as the Qoikang Monastery) is a Buddhist temple found in Barkhor Square. Considered Tibet's most important temple and "spiritual heart of the city," it also contains multiple artefacts including Tang and Ming Dynasty sculptures. Pilgrims in colorful and traditional dress often worship here.
     
  • One of Tibet's "Great Three" Gelug monasteries, Sera Monastery is also known as Wild Roses Monastery because of its surrounding rose bushes. While the temple is full of historical artefacts, you might also catch some action: monks in the middle of their afternoon spiritual debate.
     
  • The Norbulingka Summer Palace containing the Precious Stone Garden is the Dalai Lama's former summer residence, and is also known as the People's Park. There are several chapels to visit within the grounds – and lots of walking, so bring comfortable shoes.
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