Lhasa, the secluded abode of the Dalai Lamas, entity of pious pilgrimage and heart and soul of Tibet, is still a metropolis of wonders, in spite of the large-scale encroachments of modern Chinese influence. It’s a sight that has harbingered the wonders of the Holy City to travelers for close to four centuries and it still heaves goose bumps. The old Tibetan district makes up a small region of Lhasa these days. The contemporary city is a Chinese boom town. For all its modernization Lhasa remains an unbelievable cultural amalgam, its streets busy with a varied blend of people. As the doorway to the ‘real’ Tibet, out in the geography, Lhasa justifies at least a week to see all the sights, soak up the backstreets and plan an adventurous trip that gestures at the city limits.