Ü (དབུས་) is Tibet’s heartland and contains almost all the landscapes you’ll find across the plateau, from sand dunes and meandering rivers to soaring peaks and juniper forests. Due to its proximity to Lhasa, Ü is the first taste of rural Tibet that most visitors experience, and you can get off the beaten track surprisingly easily here. Fine walking opportunities abound, from day hikes and monastery koras (pilgrim circuits) to overnight treks.
Ü is the traditional power centre of Tibet, and home to its oldest buildings and most historic monasteries. The big sights, such as Samye, are unmissable, but consider also heading to lesser-visited places such as the Drigung and Yarlung Valleys, or to smaller monasteries like Dratang and Gongkar Chöde. Make it to these hidden gems and you’ll feel as though you have Tibet all to yourself.