News

A fire that raged for nearly 10 hours today razed an ancient Tibetan town in southwest China that's popular with tourists, burning down hundreds of buildings as fire engines were unable to get onto the narrow streets, state media and witnesses said.

For all the tea in China: Discover a wild and charming rural idyll on a 1,000-year-old trade route

Row after row of neat bushes lined undulating hills. It could have been Tuscany, except for the hats. The conical straw headgear of the workers was a constant reminder that this was Asia. More specifically, we were in Xishuangbanna district, Yunnan province, at the start of a 1,000-year-old trade route that once linked southern China to Tibet, and beyond.

The Dalai Lama: A very earthly representative

For 60 years, the Dalai Lama has been a spiritual leader and an emblem of dispossession. He's also appeared in adverts, charmed celebrities and gained a million followers on Twitter. John Walsh charts the virtues and vices of a thoroughly modern monk

China unleashes tourism in latest invasion of Tibet

Wealthy tourists will soon be able to gaze out at the Roof of the World as a smartly dressed waiter expertly pours a glass of imported wine in the intimate setting of the Decanter bar of Tibet's first luxury hotel.

Pupils lead Tibet protests

Thousands of Tibetan schoolchildren have taken to the streets in western China to protest against being forced to take lessons in Mandarin Chinese, a move they say is an attempt to stifle their way of life.

Explorers in India find something almost unheard of: a new language

Researchers who had used bamboo rafts to ford surging rivers and climbed steep mountains in the remote north-east of India were rewarded for their toil with the discovery of a rich new language spoken by fewer than 1,000 people.

Pet of the Week: The Tibetan terrier

Who could this possibly be? The Tibetan terrier, a wise and friendly companion dog. For centuries he has been bred in the Himalayas as a general all-round utility hound for herdsmen and monks alike. Don't be fooled by the name – he is not a terrier at all. Rather, think of him as more of an Old English Sheepdog in stature.

The Dalai Lama at 75: the story so far, in pictures

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, originally named Tenzin Gyatso, turned 75 today. To celebrate, The Independent Online has rummaged through the archives to provide you with a glimpse of the story so far of the life of the 14th Dalai Lama.

Supporters cheer Dalai Lama on 75th birthday

The Dalai Lama celebrated his 75th birthday today with hundreds of cheering followers in Dharmsala, northern India, which has been his home since he fled Tibet after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

China takes softly-softly approach in effort to boost Tibet's economy

Hao Peng cuts an avuncular figure and is unusually frank for a party official in Tibet, where people rioted against Beijing rule two years ago. He is the new, approachable face that China wants to front its multibillion-yuan efforts to boost the isolated mountain enclave's economy and win the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people.

Court jails Tibetan environmentalist

A leading Tibetan environmentalist and collector of antiquities has been jailed for 15 years for robbing graves.

Nine Lives, By William Dalrymple

Setting out his ambition for this, his compendium of spirituality in the subcontinent, William Dalrymple says he hopes to avoid the clichés of "Mystic India" that blight so much Western writing on Indian religions.

China arrests Tibetan writer critical of quake relief effort

A Tibetan writer who signed an open letter critical of the Chinese government's earthquake relief efforts in western Qinghai province has been detained by police, according to a family friend.

Two found alive after Chinese earthquake

A four-year-old girl and a Tibetan woman have been pulled alive from the rubble of an earthquake in western China more than five days after they were trapped.

China mourns as death toll tops 1,100

Tibetan monks prayed yesterday over hundreds of bodies at a makeshift mortuary next to their monastery after powerful earthquakes destroyed the remote mountain town of Jiegu in western China and left at least 1,144 people dead.

Google test offers peek at China net filters

Type "Falun Gong" in Chinese into Google's search engine from Beijing, and the Web browser suddenly becomes unresponsive for about a minute. Make the same search from Hong Kong, and you'll get plenty of links to the spiritual movement banned by the Chinese government.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own