Lhasa sits at 3900m above sea level (or thereabouts) and I arrived in Lhasa on a train. A train that in its 24hr journey from Xining to Lhasa had peaked at an altitude of 5100m. I thought I was prepared, as I had suffered no ill effects from that vast altitude.
How wrong I was - as soon as I stepped onto the platform I realised that Oxygen was in short supply, and that made walking down the platform rather difficult. Luckily I had three days in Lhasa to acclimatise before heading to some even higher parts of Tibet.
Pretty much anywhere you go in Lhasa you can see the Potala Palace, and it's a pretty impressive sight. A beautiful building set on a hill. For some unknown reason I decided to climb up to visit the palace the day after I arrived in Lhasa - by the time I'd reached the top I was breathless, mainly due to the lack of oxygen but also the view from the palace and it's rooms.
One of the amazing sights (mainly because I wasn't prepared for it) was a low squat building infront of the Jokhang Monastery in Barkhor Square. My guide slid open a blackened window, and as I peered in I was hit by a wave of hot air. It was like looking into an oven, and the source of this heat? Hundreds, if not thousands of yak butter candles.