Tibet is an autonomous region which is situated on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in the southwest region of China. It is bordered to the north by Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Qinghai Province, to the east by Sichuan Province, to the southeast by Yunnan Province, and to the west and south by Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, India, and Burma. In total, the area covers approximately 1.2 million square kilometers or 12.8% of the overall land mass of China.
Averaging over 4000 meters (13000 feet) above sea level, Tibet is made up of a rich and varied topography that can be split into three distinct geographic sections: the west, the south, and the east. The western section, also referred to as the North Tibet Plateau, lies between a line joining Kunlun Mountain and Kangdese Mountain, and one joining Tonglha Mountain and Nyainqentanglha Mountain and constitutes two-thirds of the total area of Tibet. The southern section of Tibet is made up mainly of valleys and is situated between the Kangdese Mountains and the Himalayas. The eastern section is comprised largely of canyons and is marked by a gentle drop in altitude interspersed with small mountain ranges known as the Henduan.
Official Name: Xizang Zizhiqu
Short form: Xizang
Int’l long form: Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)
Int’l short form: Tibet
Etymology: The name Tibet is derived from the Sanskrit word Trivistapa which means ‘heaven’. Tibetans call their homeland ‘Bod’.
Population: 6 million
Languages: Tibetan, Chinese.
National flag: 2 red and blue stripes with two snow lions in the lower center
Ethnic Groups: primarily ethnic Tibetans; Menba, Lhoba, Mongols, Hui and a growing number of Han Chinese.
Religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Animism.
Currency: Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)