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___ Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region)

Yarlung Tsangpo river (Brahmaputra), Tibet
Yarlung Tsangpo river, also known as Brahmaputra, one of the major rivers of Asia has its source on the Tibetan Plateau.
Image: Luca Galuzzi

Tibet Flag
Flag of Tibet
before 1950

Location of Tibet in its former extension until 1949. Tibet - Xizang - China
Location of Tibet in its former extension until 1949.

Destination Tibet, a virtual guide to the "Land of Snows", also known as “the Roof the World”. Tibet is located on the northern side of the Himalayas, north of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar (Burma) on the barren tableland of the Tibetan Plateau, the world's highest region with an average altitude of more than 4,000 m above sea level.

Since China's "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" in 1949-50, the region is de facto an administrative division of the People's Republic of China, known as the Xizang Autonomous Region.

The Autonomous Region covers an area of 1,228,400 km², this is larger than twice the size of France, or four times the size of Arizona.

The least densely populated division of the PRC has a population of estimated 3.2 million people, taken into account that China's National Strategic Project to Develop the West, introduced during the 1980s, encourages the migration of Han Chinese people from other regions of China into Tibet.

Tibet | Xizang | བོད | 西藏

Country Profile

Tibet is comprised of the three provinces of Amdo (now split by China into the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu & Sichuan), Kham (largely incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai), and U-Tsang (which, together with western Kham, is today referred to by China as the Tibet Autonomous Region).

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) comprises less than half of historic Tibet and was created by China in 1965 for administrative reasons. It is important to note that when Chinese officials and publications use the term "Tibet" they mean only the TAR.
Tibetans use the term Tibet to mean the three provinces described above, i.e., the area traditionally known as Tibet before the 1949-50 invasion.
(Source: The Office of Tibet)


Official Name:
Xizang Zizhiqu
short form: Xizang
int'l long form: Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)
int'l short form: Tibet
etymological : the name Tibet is derived from the Sanskrit word Trivistapa which means "heaven." Tibetans called their homeland Bod.

Suggested ISO Country Code: ti

Capital City: Lhasa
(3 650 m above sea level)

Other Cities:
Shigatse, Gyangtse, Qamdo, Jyekundo, Dartsedo, Golmud, Lhatse, Maqin, Pelbar, Sakya, Tingri.

Type: Communist party-led state (People's Republic of China)
The Tibet Autonomous Region was founded on 9 September 1965.

Location: Asia, north of India, located on the Tibetan Plateau, the world's highest region.
Area--TAR: 1.2m sq km (471 700 sq miles), Bod: 2.5 million sq. km, approximately the size of Western Europe.
Terrain: 70% Grassland; from high plateau to tropical forest

Climate: Average temperture 28 degrees Celsius (Summer) -15 degrees Celsius (in Winter), extremely dry except during rainy season (July-August)

Population: 3.2 million
Ethnic Groups: primarily ethnic Tibetans; Menba, Lhoba, Mongols, Hui and a growing number of Han Chinese.
Religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Animism
Languages: Tibetan, Chinese
Literacy: NA

Natural resources: Forests, wildlife, mineral resources, uranium (world's largest uranium reserve), hydro-, geothermal energy.

Agriculture products: Livestock and livestock products.

Industries: Mining, wool spinning, carpets, forestry, food processing, printing, building materials and machinery, tourism.

Currency: Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)

(Source: China's Tibet Fact and Figures and others)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Tibet

Chinese Government Online
Official electronic communication platform of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

Tibet -- Its Ownership And Human Rights Situation
The People's Republic of China White Papers express China's position or better possession of Tibet.

Diplomatic Missions
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
There you can find a list of Diplomatic Missions of China abroad.

Tibetan Government in Exile
Tibetan Government
The Tibetan Government in Exile's Official Web Site by The Office of Tibet, the official agency of H.H. the Dalai Lama.

Maps of Tibet

Administrative Map of China
Political Map of China's Administrative Divisions.

General map of Tibet
Shows borders of Historical Tibet, Tibet between 1914-1950, since 1950 and after 1965.
Historical Map of Tibet (1897)
Relief map of Tibet
The Tibet Map Institute
Presents a unique map series of Tibet.

Google Earth Google Earth Tibet
Searchable map and satellite view of Xizang (Tibet).
Google Earth Google Earth Lhasa
Searchable map and satellite view of Tibet's capital.
Google Earth Google Earth Mount Kailash
Searchable map and satellite view of Mount Kailash region.
Google Earth Google Earth Mount Everest
Satellite view of Mount Everest region.
Google Earth Google Earth Potala Palace
Annotated satellite view of the former residence of the Dalai Lama.

Map of Southeast Asia
Map of the Southeast Asia region.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.



Tibet Times
A Tibetan language newspaper, published every ten days from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India, the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama.
China's Tibet news online.

International News Sources
BBC News Country Profile: Tibet
With links to Tibet related news and background information.
The Guardian: Tibet
Tibet related news articles.

Human Rights
Amnesty International: China
Amnesty International Reports.
Human Rights Watch: China and Tibet
Background Briefings.

Press freedom
Reporters sans frontières - China
Great Firewall report, about Press freedom in the country.

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Arts & Culture

great site  The Tibetan and Himalayan Library (THL)
Himalayan arts and culture resources.

Gateway to Himalayan Art
Sacred himalayan art pieces and ritual objects at Rubin Museum of Art.


Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
Tenzin Gyatso, Tibet's 14th Dalai Lama.

Business & Economy

The economy of Tibet is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, livestock raising is the primary occupation mainly on the Tibetan Plateau.
In recent years the economy has begun evolving into a multiple structure with agriculture and tertiary industry developing side by side. (Source: Wikipedia)

Tibet: Market Profile
Information about Tibet's major economic indicators.
Tibet Economy: Beijing Subsidies Have Created Unhealthy Dependency
Bloomberg article about Tibet's economy with Beijing subsidies.
Old Gyantse and the Gyantse Dzong, Tibet, China
Old Gyantse town and the Gyantse Dzong, the fortress is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet.
Image: Steve Hicks

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Destination Tibet - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover the "Land of Snows":

China in Brief
Chinese site on population and ethnic groups.
China's Tibet
Tibet information by China Internet Information Center.
China's Tibet
Tibet magazine - Tibet from the Chinese point of view.
Tibet at a glance
Brief description of Tibet.
Tibet Online
USA based site provides information on the plight of Tibet.

Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet's guide to Tibet.

Lhasa Information on Lhasa, Tibet's capital by chinats.

Images of Greater Tibet
Pictures of Greater Tibet from Professor Sung.

Tibet Travel
Tibet travel and tourism site by a travel agency.


A thangka painting showing Avalokitesvar, the patron deity of Tibet, known as the bodhisattva of compassion. He is surrounded by other deities.
Image: Wellcome Library


Tibet University
Site of the Tibet University, founded in 1985 (in Chinese.)

Environment & Nature

Hope for Tibet's Environment
Dalai Lama's speech at the Endangered Tibet Conference in Sydney 1996.
State of Tibet's environment
Information on Tibets Grassland, cropland and Chinese agricultural policies.

Tibet Environmental Watch (TEW)
Site with the focus on Tibetan environment and the relationship of Tibetan nomads and farmers with the environment.
Tibet Heritage Fund
A non-profit organization with international members and supporters, is committed to the preservation and advancement of Tibetan Cultural Heritage.


History of Tibet
Wikipedia article about Tibet's history, part of a series on the History of Tibet.

Independence: The right of the Tibetan people
History of Tibetan-Chinese relations.

Chinese Dynasties
Timeline of Chinese Imperial and Modern Dynasties.

International Tibet Organizations

Free Tibet Campaign
Based in London, stands for the Tibetans' right to decide their own future.
International Campaign for Tibet
ICT works to promote human rights and self-determination for Tibetans and to protect their culture and environment
Students for a Free Tibet
Formed in 1994 under the guidance of the U.S. Tibet Committee and the International Campaign for Tibet
Tibet Fund
The umbrella organization for making donations to Tibetans, New York.

Additional Information on Tibet

BBC News Country Profile: Tibet

Human Rights Watch: China and Tibet

Open Directory Project: Tibet

Tibet Watch

Wikipedia: Tibet

WWW VL Tibetan Studies
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Other Countries of Southern Asia:
Bangladesh | Bhutan | China | India | Mongolia | Nepal | Pakistan | Sri Lanka

Other Countries in Southeast Asia:
Brunei | Cambodia | East Timor | Indonesia | Laos | Malaysia | Myanmar | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | Vietnam