Travel Highlights - Tibetan Plateau

Those sin-cleaning capabilities are just a sample of the magic of western Tibet. It’s a place of endless vistas, forgotten cities and people whose beliefs seem to merge with the landscape. The final magic comes when my travels end and I turn east for the drive to Lhasa. How many places in the world can you end up a solid week’s drive from the nearest airport? The Tibetan Plateau is such a destination. If you have a Tibet tour, you will find it is a holy and splendid place.

The Tibetan Plateau is surrounded by massive mountain ranges. The plateau is bordered to the south by the Himalayan range, to the north by the Kunlun Range which separates it from the Tarim Basin, and to the northeast by the Qilian Range which separates the plateau from the Hexi Corridor and Gobi Desert. To the east and southeast the plateau gives way to the forested gorge and ridge geography of the mountainous headwaters of the Salween, Mekong, and Yangtze rivers in western Sichuan (the Hengduan Mountains) and southwest Qinghai. In the west the curve of the rugged Karakoram range of northern Kashmir embraces it.

The Tibetan Plateau is bounded on the north by a broad escarpment where the altitude drops from around 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) to 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) in less than 150 kilometres (93 mi). Along the escarpment is a range of mountains. In the west the Kunlun Mountains separate the plateau from the Tarim Basin. About half way across the Tarim the bounding range becomes the Altyn-Tagh and the Kunluns, by convention, continue somewhat to the south. In the 'V' formed by this split is the western part of the Qaidam Basin. The Altyn-Tagh ends near the Dangjin pass on the Dunhuang-Golmud road. To the west are short ranges called the Danghe, Yema, Shule and Tulai Nanshans. The eastenmost range is the Qilian Mountains. The line of mountains continues east of the plateau as the Qin Mountains which separate the Ordos Region from Sichuan. North of the mountains runs the Gansu or Hexi Corridor which was the main silk-road route from China proper to the west.

Still want to experience the miracle of God, the scenes along the Yangtze River may be another this destination if you have a Yangtze River tour.

  1. 2012/11/06(火) 17:43:57|
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