U SHOULD GO TO UWorld travellers who have already visited Å in Norway and Y in France, two places with the world's shortest names, should explore the historic province of U in Tibet to complete the trifecta.
They must take care not to offend the locals. Tibet Travel Tours says: "Tibetan people stretch out their tongue to say hello to you. Also it is a courtesy to put their hands palm in front of breast. If you are asked to sit down, please cross your legs - do not stretch your legs forward and face your sole to others."
Other tips from the TTT website include:
"Since more and more tourists are going to Tibet," says the Tours website, "more and more Tibetan people get used of seeing the 'Big Noses' (western people) with jeans, sun glasses and some of them with shorts (it is prohibited to wear shorts among the Tibetans), the above rules are not obeyed so strictly as before. But we still suggest you take the above advices and travel to behave well."
U has a long history. Its capital, Lhasa, was founded in 633 A.D. under the leadership of King Songtsan Gampo. The Friends of Tibet website says: "The influence of the Sakya priest-rulers gradually declined after the death of Kublai Khan in 1295. In 1358 the province of U (Central Tibet) fell into the hands of the Governor of Nedong, Changchub Gyaltsen, a monk of the Phamo Drugpa branch of Kagyud school, and for the next 86 years, eleven Lamas of the Phamo Drugpa lineage ruled Tibet."
Brant Arthur of Boston, Massachusetts, visited U Province last September and later posted this interesting report on his website:
We just got back from our 6 day trip through the northern part of U Province in Tibet. This is the same province that Lhasa is found in and consequently does not require a permit to visit, unlike the rest of Tibet.China Travel Service says "Lhasa is famous for being one of the highest cities in the world, a towering 3,760 meters above the banks of the Lhasa River. What really knocks you out here is the full scale impact on your senses of the breathtaking beauty, unique landscape and the holy atmosphere of this religious center. In Tibetan, Lhasa means "The land of the Gods", or "Holy Place."
POSTSCRIPT. By an amazing coincidence, Brant Arthur, whose description of U is quoted with his kind permission, plans to visit Å, in Norway's Lofoten Islands, in August.