Lhasa, the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, has a history of more than 1300 years. It is the political, economic, cultural and transport center of the region. The ancient city of Lhasa features blue skies, crystal clear river water, refreshing air and a beautiful environment. It is one of the least polluted and maybe the most beautiful and unique cities in China.
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Lhasa covers an area of close to 30,000 square kilometers. It has a downtown of 544 square kilometers and a population of 400,000—140,000 of which live in the downtown area. Lhasa is home to the Tibetan, Han, and Hui peoples as well as many other ethnic groups, but the Tibetan ethnic group makes up 87 percent of the total population.
Located at the bottom of a small basin surrounded by mountains, Lhasa has an elevation of 3650 meters and sits at the center of the Tibet Plateau. Blessed with flat land and mild weather, Lhasa is free of frigid winters and unbearably hot summers, having an annual average daily temperature of 8 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit). It enjoys 3,000 hours of sunlight annually, much more than all other cities in this regard, giving the city the title of "Sunlit City."
Lhasa enjoys an annual precipitation of 500 milimeters. It rains mainly in July, August and September. The rainy seasons in the summer and fall are the best seasons of the year, when it rains mostly at night, staying sunny in the daytime.
The Tibet Autonomous Regional government and the Lhasan government have been planting trees in Lhasa for decades. Several 100-hectare forests or tree belts have been built in the Nyemo mountain gully and Painbo river valley, as well as along the Lhasa river banks. Monitoring results show that the Lhasa area and the Lhasa River are basically free from pollution.
Lhasa has beautiful landscapes. The Lhasa River, known as "Merry Blue Waves," runs through the snow-covered peaks and gullies of the Nyainqentanglha Mountains, extending 315 kilometers. The river empties into the Yarlung Zangbo River at Quxu, forming a scenic wonder of blue and whitewater waves. Inside the city, the marvel of the Potala Palace charms visitors. The city is a delightful combination of traditional and modern, where prayer wheels can be found side-by-side computers. (Photo source: baidu.com)