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Lhasa is a city of roughly 255,000 people and is at an altitude of approximately 3,650 metres (11,975 feet). Lhasa has a been an important religious center for Tibetans for over a thousand years. The city was not made into the political center of Tibet until the fifth Dalai Lama conquered Tibet in the 17th century. From that point on Lhasa became the political and spiritual center of the world for Tibetans. Today, Lhasa is the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, as well as its largest city.
Tibetan New Year (Losar) is celebrated every year sometime between late January and late February. Losar can be very colorful in Lhasa as many nomads take a pilgrimage to the city during losar.
Lhasa has four distinct seasons. In the winter it is cold with the occasional heavy snowstorms. From December to February the average daytime temperatures are between 7 and 9 °C while nights average around -10 °C. During the spring it can be quite cold and wet with nights still around zero and days of 12 to 15 °C. The summer is the monsoon season and has frequent thunderstorms. Temperatures from June to September are mostly between 20 and 25 °C while nights are mostly around 9 °C. The fall can be nice but winter always comes early and nights in October are already just around zero. Average annual precipitation is just around 400mm of which over 50% falls during July (the wettest month at 122mm) and August.
|Avg Max||6.9 °C||9 °C||12.1 °C||15.6 °C||19.3 °C||22.7 °C||22.1 °C||21.1 °C||19.7 °C||16.3 °C||11.2 °C||7.7 °C|
|Avg Min||-10.1 °C||-6.8 °C||-3 °C||0.9 °C||5 °C||9.3 °C||10.1 °C||9.4 °C||7.5 °C||1.3 °C||-4.9 °C||-9 °C|
|Rainfall||0.5 mm||0.7 mm||2 mm||5.2 mm||26.6 mm||72.3 mm||119.4 mm||122.6 mm||58.3 mm||10.2 mm||1.7 mm||1 mm|
Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA) is located about 90 minutes west of town and served by regular buses that leave just in front of the CAAC office, where you can purchase air tickets, just east and north of the Potala Palace just off of Beijing Lu. The Lhasa airport has regular flights to Beijing, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Chengdu, Xi'an, Qamdo, and Chongqing. There are also international flights to Nepal.
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The Lhasa train station is just outside of town but you can buy tickets from offices in the city. Buying tickets in the high season can be very difficult. There are trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi'an, Xining, Lanzhou and Golmud (Qinghai).
The long distance bus station is located in the southwest section of the city at the intersection of Jinzhu Xilu and Minzu Lu. There are many daily buses to Golmud (Qinghai), 24 to 30 hours.
Taxies charge a flat rate of RMB10 anywhere in Lhasa.
Pedi Cabs are completely negotiable although be nice, these guys are driving bikes at high altitude.
Walking Beijing Lu is the main east west street in the city and easy to walk on.
There are several Chinese and western restaurant located around Beijing lu and the Jokhang. Every night at the intersection of Mentsikhang lu and Beijing lu BBQ vendors set up shop selling tasty meats and veggies.
Walking west east on Beijing Lu there are several western style bars and cafes. Ask hotel and guest house owners about local Tibetan discos which can be fun.
|Lhasa DongCuo International Youth Hostel||No.10 East Beijing Road the opposite of Tow district Government||Hostel||71|
|Lhasa International Youth Hostel||No.48 North Duosenge Road||Hostel||68|
|Lhasa Mu Ye Lu She Inn||No 18 sela road||Hostel||-|
|Lhasa Rainbow Inn||Duo Di Lu Lang Sai Garden||Hostel||-|
|Lhasa Sonam Youth Hostel||11 South De Ji Road||Hostel||94|
|The New Dragon Gate Hostel||No.26 Ramoche Road, Lhasa,PRC||Hostel||-|
|Dalan Hostel||No. 172, Middle Beijing Road the opposite of the north gate of Lhasa Hotel||HOSTEL||-|
See also: International Telephone Calls
China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.
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