Seven Years in TibetHeinrich Harrer, originally published in 1953. In 1997 it was made into a Hollywood film.
Both book and film tell how the Austrian Harrer and a companion, having been interned by the British while mountaineering in the north of India at the beginning of World War II, escape across the border into Tibet. There they become acquainted with a completely different way of life, and are introduced to the Dalai Lama, still a boy. They remain in the country until the Chinese invasion of 1950.