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Life made easier in Lhasa’s old city

It’s been two years since Lhasa, capital city of the Tibetan autonomous region, had a major makeover in its old-city area. Since then, tourists have enjoyed the new look and upgraded facilities.

The Ritual Walking Path, located on Barkhor Street and around the Jokhang Temple, is a must-see for tourists visiting Lhasa. It lies at the heart of the old city’s 1.3 square kilometers, and is home to 80-thousand people. With its strong ethnic and religious features, the old city preserves historic buildings and maintains a large collection of cultural relics. But in December 2012, the Lhasa municipal government launched its old-city protection project, at an investment of 1.5 billion Yuan.

Now that pipelines and old electric wires have been channelled underground, the city has managed to integrate its history with modernity. What’s more, 164 guide maps have been installed in every alleyway, covering practical information, including where to go for food, where to sleep, and things to see.

Natural landscape preservation has also been part of local efforts. In the Lhalu Wetland National Nature Reserve, north of Lhasa, cycling enthusiasts gather at weekends to ride round the lake and take in the beautiful landscape, while campaigning for environmental protection.

Last weekend, the campaign brought together more than one hundred bicycle riders. Meanwhile, a photography exhibition in the city features wetland scenes photographed by riders during previous events.