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Terrain, Population and Prefectures of Tibet

If you plan to travel to Tibet, the popular tourist destination in Asia, it will be helpful for you to have a general idea about its geography ahead of departure, which will be helpful to make a great Tibet tour plan.

Tibet Autonomous Region takes the proportion of 12.5% of Chinese territory with area of over 1.2 million square kilometers in the southwest frontier of China, which is only second to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of west China.

Tibet is known as the “roof of the world” or the third pole of the earth” because of its average elevation of over 4,000 meters. Tibet is surrounded by the Kunlun and the Tanggula Mountains of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous Region and Qinghai Province on the north, Sichuan Province across the Jinsha River on the east, Yunnan Province on the southeast and also contiguous to Burmese, India, Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal and Kashmir on the southwest. Tibet is also China's southwest barrier with nearly 4000 kilometers land boundary line.

As the last pure land on earth, Tibet attracts tourists from all over the world by its unique geological features, magnificent natural scenery, splendid ethnic culture and characteristic local customs and practices. Not only is it a tourist destination, but also a hot destination for mountain explorers and scientific surveyors.

Tibet can be administratively divided into one municipality and six prefectures, Lhasa Municipality, Shigatse Prefecture, Ngari Prefecture, Shannan Prefecture, Chamdo Prefecture, Nagchu Prefecture and Nyingchi Prefecture. It also can be geographically divided into three major parts, the east, north and south.

The eastern part is forest region, which occupies approximately one-fourth of the land with virgin forests running through the whole region of this part.

The northern part is open grassland with nomads and yak and sheep living on, which occupies approximately half of Tibet.

The southern and central part is agricultural region, which occupies about one-fourth of Tibet's land area. It is also noted as the cultural center of Tibet with the inclusion of all major Tibetan cities and towns such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsetang.

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