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Sun City in Early Summer

The warmer half of the year, from May to October, is the best time to visit Tibet, with June as an optimum window. During this month, the region’s climate is pleasant, and the landscapes are blanketed by seas of eye-catching flowers. Also, since June is not the official peak month, prices will be lower. First-time Tibet visitors are advised not to rush around to too many destinations too quickly to avoid altitude sickness. In fact, Lhasa, nicknamed Sun City, and its surrounding areas are worth a whole week of exploration.

The Sagya Dawa Festival falls on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar, bringing the year’s grandest Tibetan Buddhist celebration. The day commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and nirvana of Sakyamuni. A number of places and organizations host religious activities and celebrations during this time in accordance with tradition. This year’s festival falls on June 15, providing more motivation to visit then.

Around Lhasa’s major circumambulation roads, visitors can always witness throngs of religious believers. With prayer beads or prayer wheels in their left hands, worshippers hold sacks of tsampa, a roasted barley flour, in their right hands. While reciting mantra, they rotate prayer wheels and count beads. According to Tibetan Buddhist scripture, each good deed or mantra chanting performed during Sagya Dawa is equivalent to 300 million deeds or chants during other times.

Festival or not, Lhasa is always a charming tourist-friendly city. Jokhang Monastery and Potala Palace are only a couple of Sun City’s world-renowned tourist attractions.  "Red Tourism" Photo Contest

A “Red Tourism” themed photo contest, organized by China Cultural Heritage Foundation and sponsored by the China National Tourism Administration, is now accepting submissions. “Red tourism” invites visitors to historical places, sites and monuments relevant to China’s revolution.

The submission deadline is August 30. Winning submissions will be collected in a “red tourism” photo album and exhibited nationwide.

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