There is something special about the name 'Lhasa', and even before you arrive at the city, expectations are high for the sacred city of the Dalai Lama. This is despite the fact that the Dalai Lama has not been present in Tibet since the 1950s. Still, there is a solemn and sacred atmosphere in Lhasa with lots of pilgrims, prayer wheels, temples, monks and not least the Potala Palace, where 14 Dalai Lamas have resided. However, at the same time you are constantly reminded of China's power around town through the presence of Chinese military/police, security checkpoints, guards on the roof tops around Barkhor Square and Chinese flags competing with Tibetan prayer flags at Lhasa's skyline. Lhasa has an old (Tibetan) town and a new very modern (Chinese) town, and there are now more Chinese inhabitants than Tibetans in the city (about 400,000 in total).