Geography of Tibet
Covering an area of over 1.2 million square kilometers, Tibet Autonomous Region is located in the southwest frontier of China. Its area makes up one-eighth of the total national area, only second to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of west China.
With the average elevation of over 4,000 meters, Tibet is known at the “roof of the world” or the third pole of the earth”. Tibet is contiguous to Xinjiang Uygur autonomous Region and Qinghai Province by the Kunlun and the Tanggula Mountains on the north, looks at Sichuan Province across the Jinsha River on the east, is connected with Yunnan Province on the southeast, borders Burmese, India, Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal and Kashmir. With nearly 4,000 kilometers land boundary line, it is China's southwest barrier.
Tibet is also renowned as the last pure land on earth and attracts numerous domestic and overseas tourists by its peculiar geological features, magnificent natural scenery, splendid ethnic culture and characteristic local customs and practices. Tibet is also a hot destination for mountain explorers and scientific surveyors.
Administratively, Tibet is divided into one municipality and six prefectures. The municipality is Lhasa, while the six prefectures are Shigatse, Ngari, Shannan, Chamdo, Nagchu and Nyingchi. Geographically, Tibet can be divided into three major parts, the east, north and south.
The eastern part is forest region, occupying approximately one-fourth of the land. Virgin forests run the entire breadth and length of this part of Tibet.
The northern part is open grassland, where nomads and yak and sheep dwell here. This part occupies approximately half of Tibet.
The southern and central part is agricultural region, occupying about one-fourth of Tibet's land area. With all major Tibetan cities and towns such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsetang located in this area, it is considered the cultural center of Tibet.