the 1950 annexation Tibet is a part of China. The borders
of the country known as Tibet have been changing frequently
throughout history. The lands inhabited by the ethnic Tibetans
are shown on the map above. It covers a total area of nearly
2.5 million sq km (which
is the size of Western Europe, or 5x the size of France)
truly independent state of Tibet, which existed between
and 1950 had
more or less identical with the current Tibet
Autonomous Region (TAR) of the Peoples
Republic of China. The area of TAR is approximately half
of the historical/ethnic Tibet
1.2m sq km).
Tibet was divided into 3 major regions:
Amdo in the North
- Kham in the East
- Ü-Tsang in the centre and the West
map above shows dates whe the various parts of Tibet were
incorporated into Chinese provinces. The Tibet Autonomous
Region was created in 1965.
Lhasa is the capital and has around 200,000 inhabitants.
borers the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and
Today about 2.5m Tibetans live in TAR and about 2.9m in
Tibet is the highest plateau on earth ("Roof of the World")
with the average altitude of 4,875m
asl (16,000 ft). It is surrounded
by three massive mountain chains:
the Himalaya on
the south, the Karakorum Range on the west, and the
highest peak is, naturally, Mount Everest.
of the biggest rivers in Asia have their sources in Tibet.
The Brahmaputra (known
in Tibet as the Yarlung Zangbo) is the mightiest river in
Tibet. We'll be crossing it by ferry
at the end of the trek. The crossing takes two hours!