tv Asia Insight PBS January 13, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm PST
plateau. at the center is lattah. its name is tibetan for sacred place. rapid development has brought dramatic changes to the city over the past ten years. development has also radically changed the local environment and the way residents live and work. many people have moved here from outside the region to take advantage of new opportunities. in this episode, we'll offer a
rare inside glimpse of this ancient tibetan capital. more than 3500 meters above level in the heart of the tibetan autonomous region. it plays a central role in tibetan buddhism and watts once the capital of tibet. the breath taking palace is a world heritage site. the palace has an area of 13,000 square meters and some say it has 2,000 rooms. it used to be the moment home of the dalai lama, the country's spiritual and former political leader.
nearly 13 million tourists visited the region in 2014. 90 percent of them were from other parts of china. foreign nationals need special permission to enter the tibet autonomous region. such permission is not easily guaranteed. the influx of chinese tourists has led to the construction of five star hotels which would once have been unimaginable. the population has increased by more than 100,000 in the past decade to over 500,000, a majority of the residents are from other provinces.
people are flying flat on the ground. it's an act of worship. the temple was built in the middle of the seventh century. pilgrims come from far away. these days, visitors must undergo a thorough check off their body and belongings before entering. officials say this is to screen out people who might engage in disruptive behavior.
vendors and shops offering antiques and symbols of tibetal symbolization as well as daily necessities. it was lined with traditional tibetan buildings. while some of the faithful lie on the ground, others walk around carrying religious objects. they move in a clockwise direction. when large scale renovations were completed, the street vendors were not included in the plan. the walls were decorated with china's national flag roontly, it's become a fad for tourists
to have their picture taken dressed in traditional tibetan attire. one store has been operated by tibetans for 30 years. this family-run enterprise sells jewelry and religious items decorated with coral. most of the customers are chinese people visiting lhasa for work or pleasure. business has been very good. thee years ago, the shop began selling out of some items during tourist season. in the end, this shopper
there is more space in front of the shops now, but business isn't as good. the street vendors were moved to a location 15 minutes away. they're now in an l-shaped building on a newly renovated street. the building has three floors, vendors sell souvenirs, clothing, accessories and food. from above, it looks a bit like the old days.
consider tibetan culture traditions cool and fashionable. he hopes they will come to appreciate the beliefs and values that underlie tibetan buddhism. one man found discuss after moving to lhasa 20 years ago. now operating 12 companies, they include businesses engaged in construction materials, real estate, trading and restaurants.
tibetans once ate vegetables that could be grown at high altitudes such as white radish and chinese cabbage. now they can get all kinds of produce. one tibetan man is trying to get more people to try a traditional tibetan staple called naked barley. tibetan farmers modified regular barley so it could be grown at altitudes up to 4,500 meters. people here take pride in this agriculture accomplishment.
>> he dreams of one day selling this bread in other parts of china. in 2006, a railway line connected lhasa to shanghai province in western china, bringing even more development to tibet. in august 2014, another line opened. it stretches west from lhasa. it connects lhasa to shigase. the fair from lhasa to is between $6.50 and $28 u.s.
i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. investors here are worried. let's get straight to ai ushida. >> the nikkei is down 600 points right now. getting closer to dipping below 17,000. oil prices are down. wall street is down and shanghai yesterday closed below 3,000 for the first time since last august. let's take a look at current levels, the benchmark nikkei average erased all the gains