Lhasa is changing. Once the political and spiritual capital of a Buddhist kingdom, Lhasa is showing ever more signs of Chinese efforts to assimilate the country.
While there are still plenty of ethnic Tibetans to be seen going about their day-to-day lives in traditional dress, it is plain that the future lies with the Chinese supported businesses and immigrants. Modern Land Cruisers flash by as Tibetan pilgrims prostrate themselves before their holy sites. Meanwhile, many of the holy sites themselves have become profitable tourist attractions operated by the Chinese government.
Chinese soldiers (not photographed) are also seen throughout the city. In short, Lhasa has become a strange brew of modern Chinese military and business hegemony, mixed with an indigenous population that continues to cling to an era that is slipping away. It was certainly an interesting – and a troubling – place to visit.