Lhasa has a total population of about 521.5 thousand, including Han, Tibetan, Hui and other ethnic groups, 31 in all. Tibetans comprise over 80% of the population.
Located at the bottom of a small basin surrounded by mountains, Lhasa has an elevation of 3,650 meters and sits at 91'06E and 29'36N, the center of the Tibet Plateau.
The highest temperature is 29 Degree C (84 Degree F) while the lowest is -16.5 Degree C (2.3 Degree F). Rains fall mainly in July, August and September, and almost always during the night. It is sunny during the day almost all the year round.
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 C (43 degrees F). It enjoys 3,000 hours of sunlight annually, much more than all other cities in this regard, giving the city its title of "sunlit city."
Tibetans are versatile and approachable, and accomplished in singing, dancing, Tibetan operas and various exquisite handicrafts. Lhasa also has many unique Tibetan festivals in nearly every month, such as Tibetan New Year, Butter Lamp Festival, Shoton Festival, and Bathing Festivals. During these times they celebrate with colorful activities.
The delicious local foods include Yak Butter Tea, chang, Tsamba, beef, mutton, yogurt, sweet tea.
Barkhor Street is the oldest street in Lhasa, as well as the most representative. Drepung Monastery covers an area of 250,000 square meters (about 62 acres) at the foot of Mt. Gambo Utse, some five kilometers (about 3 miles) west of Lhasa. Jokhang Temple is indeed the spiritual center of Tibet. Ganden Monastery is 47 kilometers (29 miles) from Lhasa and is situated on Wangbur Mountain at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,467 ft). Norbulingka, meaning Jewel Park, was the Summer Palace of Dalai Lamas. Potala Palace was originally built by King. As one of the 'Three Great Monastery' of the Yellow Hat Sect, Sere Monastery is located at the foot of Tatipu Hill, some 3 kilometers (about 1.86 miles) north from Potala Palace.
The unique exquisite arts and crafts here include Tibetan carpets, Tibetan knives, costumes, jewelries, Thangkas, masks, which can all be bought as souvenirs. Besides, Tibetan medicines are also famous. Some rare medical plants here, such as Ganoderma Lucidum, snow lotus, cordyceps, antelope horns and Tibetan safflowers, can be taken back.