What I learned in Tibet

This has also become a regular feature on my blog. Here are my observations from Tibet.

1. There is a police station/desk every corner. So carrying your passport and visa is a mandatory.

2. Sweet tea with yak milk is heavenly. Just don’t look too closely on what it’s served in.

3. People in Lhasa wear more face masks than in Beijing (said Sylvia and I now have to agree).

4. I should have bought a yak shawl while in Kathmandu. Never mind, too late now.

5. The Tibetans eat solely with a spoon.

6. The smell of the butter in the temples is almost intoxicating.

7. Also the butter is spilled everywhere in the temples, so get used to sticky feet.

8. There are only so many monasteries you can watch.

9. If you are wondering what kind of philosophical questions a monk might have for you, the monk we saw wanted to know if I color my hair.

10. The Chinese in Tibet were the unfriendliest of all of China. Maybe because they know they don’t belong there?


Exploring the Yalong valley

The next morning we left already at 7:30, we had a long drive ahead to the Yalong valley. There we wanted to see the Samye Monastery. This was the first time we left the city and noticed that there were police controls every 45 minutes or so. We often had to show our passports, plus in the city of Tsedang on the way to the monastery our guide had to get another permit for us to visit said monastery.

The drive to it was very scenic and we made a longer stop at a river where you could see the monastery from across but due to a missing bridge we had another 2 hours drive ahead. As you can see the highlight of this stop was a dog with blue eyes. Sylvia was clearly in love.IMG_1706 IMG_1708 IMG_1713 IMG_1714 IMG_1715 IMG_1717 IMG_1719 IMG_1724 IMG_1728IMG_1739IMG_1742IMG_1745IMG_1811
Finally we arrived at the Samye monastery and while it was impressive with three different levels (lower: Tibetan, second: Chinese, third: Indian style), it was basically more of the same (including disgusting toilets, the word washroom is definitely wrong here since there was never any water to wash the hands).IMG_1753 IMG_1755 IMG_1756 IMG_1759IMG_1761IMG_1765IMG_1767IMG_1768
Then it was time for lunch which we had at the monastery’s restaurant. After that we drove back to Tsedang and already did the program for the next day. First was a stop at the Yambulakang Palace, the most important palace in the country since here the ‘first five’ happened.
First palace, first monastery, first city, first king, first written word (at least I think these were the first five).

Here in this little village I also saw the worst toilet imaginable, I will spare you the details though. What was even more offensive was that they wanted money for it which I flat out refused. So the guide paid them and when I had calmed down sufficiently I paid him back. But it still irks me!!

As usual there was a walk up to be done and this one looked very steep. Sylvia was glad that she brought her trekking sticks with her and looked only a little bit worse for the wear upon her arrival on top.IMG_1781 IMG_1783 IMG_1812 IMG_1788 IMG_1789 IMG_1791 IMG_1813 IMG_1794
The view was amazing from the top, we could see the whole valley and understood why the first palace was built here. IMG_1787 IMG_1795 IMG_1797

On the way down we saw some horses that looked interesting because of their forelock! These here are for Cat!IMG_1799 IMG_1800 IMG_1801 IMG_1804 IMG_1805
And since we were already doing so well we also went to the second program point for the next day, the Tradruk Temple. No pictures from here because really more of the same although it was our last one for this trip.

A short while later we checked into our hotel for the night in Tsedang and were pleasantly surprised by the heater in the bathroom. Also the room was a bit warmer than the one in Lhasa and this although here we were told that the heating was not working. It was still warmer though.

Dinner was a tasty affair in a small Tibetan restaurant with more yak meat for me and vegetables for Sylvia. After the meal we went back to the hotel and rested our weary bones. Yours, Pollybert