Directly north of Lhasa is Phenpo, an incredible valley system nearly as large as the Lhasa Valley but far less developed, and similar to what the Lhasa Valley would have been like outside of the city when Heinrich Harrer arrived in 1946. Small picturesque villages, vast fields of barley and yellow-blooming mustard, and nearly 50 monasteries, temples and retreats dot the valley floors and mountain sides. Despite its proximity to Lhasa, few tourists venture into Phenpo, and the facilities such as hotels and restaurants are still quite limited, but if you like to get off the beaten track, its only a couple hour drive from Lhasa to step back into time in Phenpo.

This place was recommended by: Gary McCue