According to the Henley & Partners, a residence and citizenship planning firm, the most useful passport in 2016 is German passport which people can travel in 177 countries without visa restriction. China only ranked 87th among 104 countries which get involved in the research.

Though Chinese passport seems quite useless, the privilege of being a Chinese is the freedom to travel to Tibet. No visa, no passport and no document check, just buy the ticket then set off.

fried-chicken-chain-in-the-city-centre-of-lhasa

Before the first time I went to Tibet back to 2012, I have a lot of imaginations about this mysterious land. While during the half a month I spent in Tibet, I found Tibet, at least Lhasa and Xigaze these relatively big cities in Tibet are much more modern than I thought.

shopping-mall-in-lhasa-city-centre
Shopping mall in Lhasa city centre

Though there are no skyscrapers, modern resident buildings, shopping mall, fast food chain and entertainment hall can be found in the relatively big cities in Tibet. Moreover, while I was driving to the border to Nepal via the highway G318, it is not difficult to find the logos of China Mobile everywhere, even the rural valley only has a few houses. Obviously, compared to the cities located on the eastern coast of China, these seem nothing. Still, when the whole world focuses on the modernization in China, the faraway Tibet has always been forgotten.

construction-site-back-to-year-of-2012
Construction site back to the year of 2012

You might be surprised just I did, as the report by Xinhua early this January, in the past year of 2016, Tibet ranked the 1st in mobile payments in China which are the 5th time Tibet won the title.

According to Alibaba’s annual report, 90% of online payments made in Tibet were done by mobile devices which are higher than any developed cities located eastern of China. Meantime, instead of Lhasa, Xigaze becomes the city which completed the most online shopping deals. Moreover, more restaurants and shops in Tibet adapt the QR codes payment methods as well.

qingdao-road-in-xigaze
Qingdao Road in Xigaze

For Tibetan, I believe this is a good thing, as people who lives far away from the city able to do shopping and pay the bills online. They do not need to worry about travelling and weather condition.

However, I still love the lifestyle in Tibet, no matter where you are from, you have to slow down in this place. Honestly, the walking pace in Tibet will drive Londoners to crazy 🙂

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