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Lhasa old town welcomes tourists after renovation

26-06-2013 | From: China Tibet Online

With a totally new appearance, the renovated Lhasa old town will welcome tourists at home and abroad in late June, and people will appreciate the charm of Tibetan-style buildings at that time, according to Tibet Daily.

The Lhasa municipal government launched the old city protection project with an investment of 1.5 billion yuan in December 2012.

It is said that the whole project, in the closeout phase, has finished the protection and renovation of 15 old courtyards, as well as the old dwellings with strong Tibetan flavor.

The project is expected to be completed by 30 June, 2014, when tourists at home and abroad can view a well-organized old town with combination between tradition and modern style.

The ritual walking path located on the Barkhor Street and around the Jokhang Temple is a must see for tourists travelling in Tibet.

Radiated from the Barkhor Street, the Lhasa old city covers an area of 1.3 square kilometers, with a population of 80,000. Possessing strong ethnic and religious features, the old city keeps a large amount of precious cultural relics and preserves various historic buildings and tourists attractions, among which the Jokhang Temple, the Ramoche Temple, the Pangdatsang Yard and the Samdrup Phodrang Yard are all included in the list of Key Cultural Heritage Units under State Protection.

"The renovation of 15 courtyards has been finished at the moment. Mostly constructed with stones and woods, the courtyards faced many problems, such as cracks in the wall, deformation of the door plank and discoloration of the mural," said Li Liangqi, deputy director of the Lhasa Bureau of Cultural Heritage.

Completed by 15 June, the renovation project covers the installation of unified windows and doors, as well as Tibetan-style decorations to the surrounding dwellings; meanwhile, Tibetan-style red doors have been designed for some local residents basing on their suggestions and wills, according to the construction headquarter of the Lhasa old city protection project.

As various pipelines and old electric wires are well rechanneled under the ground, the old city, more clean and tidy, becomes a safer place to preserve those cultural relics by eliminating a number of security risks, said Li Liangqi. "Roaming in the alleys there, tourists can well appreciate the charm of Lhasa, an integration of history and modernity."

It is said that the Lhasa Tourism Administration will install 87 pieces of tourism guide maps, covering information in many aspects, such as food, accommodation, transportation, travel tips, hotel service and stores; at the same time, they will add the background instructions made by Mani stones to 77 historic buildings.

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