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7 Days in Tibet: Day 5

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

. Drive to Rongpu Monastery .

As instructed by our driver, we awake around seven in the morning for the trip to Mt. Everest and are scolded for being a little bit late again by a blaring horn that wakes everybody in the overpriced hostel.  The group’s tolerance for this driver’s attitude and lack of any guidance from the “guide” (from now on referred to as the overpaid translator who doesn’t know the name to the towns or natural wonders that we passed.) begins to fade as we gain altitude, approaching the tallest Mountain in the world.   [read on]

7 Days in Tibet: Day 4

Friday, November 9th, 2007

. Gyantse and Shigatse .

Wake up at nine in the morning.  The “guide” and driver say that as soon as they procure the permits required for the next leg of our trip, they’ll meet us by the town’s monastery by noon.  We take a casual stroll past the hill top fort and through the old town.  Along the way we are invited into a Tibetan lady’s home.  We go onto her rooftop for a thrilling view of the surroundings.  After staying for a while, we are forced to move onwards if we want to keep on schedule to make it to our next stop by this afternoon.  Alas, we get sidetracked again, playing with the snotty nosed kids roaming the streets.    [read on]

7 Days in Tibet: Day 3

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

. Samye Monastery .

Wake at seven thirty in the morning to see the Samye monastery at dawn and witness the morning prayers.  Our “guide” and driver insist on leaving at eight before the monastery opens.  We politely tell them we didn’t drive a day out of our way to stop here and sleep in a non-heated room only to skip the site when we woke.  It is freezing cold, but the unique experience is all worth it.     [read on]

7 Days in Tibet: Day 2

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

. The Road Trip Begins .

It is almost noon, and we still haven’t heard from the travel agent.  The six others and I (four Americans, a Polish couple and an Aussie) sit waiting for the land cruiser to show up and spirit us off on the road trip.  It takes a walk over to the agent’s office, and an interruption of her sales pitch to a new client to get everything started.  Unfortunately, there is no land-cruiser and we are shifted into a more spacious, but less off-road friendly van.  It is one day later than anticipated, but everybody is excited.  To further the hype, we even found a stock of PBR for the journey!

The van turns out to be slow on bumpy dirt roads, and we get to our destination after closing hours.  It’s a cold night, but a few beers and group camaraderie warm up the evening on a positive close.

The van turns out to be slow on bumpy dirt roads, and we get to our destination after closing hours.  It’s a cold night, but a few beers and group camaraderie warm up the evening on a positive close.


7 Days in Tibet: Day 1

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

. Delayed in Lhasa .

We are already one day late.  The permits took longer to acquire than the travel agent estimated.  This puts me one day behind schedule for leaving the country before my visa expires, and another in the group is now going to be a day late for his flight back to Shanghai. The extra day cost me another hundred dollars for a seven-day visa extension.  It is a little frustrating, but I’m off for a six day epic across Tibet, stopping at monasteries, old towns and culminating with the tallest peak in the world: Mt. Everest!  On top of building anticipation, the extra day in Lhasa was kissed by a light snowfall that glazed the surrounding mountains and provided a perfect backdrop for a day of relaxing before the journey.



Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak, TIBET!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007


Yak-Steaks, Yak-Burger, Yak-Butter, Yak-Butchers literally on the sidewalks of Lhasa!  These large furry beasts are EVERYWHERE!  At first, the smell stuck me as being a bit unusual, but every day I linger I grow sicker of the overwhelming odor of raw yak meat…. although it does taste excellent after being cooked.  There are many more unique attributes of Tibet, but it’s hard to ignore the over-abundance and reliance on this cow like creature.   [read on]

Lhasa, Tibet!

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Lhasa, the capitol city of Tibet; former home to the exiled Dalai Lama and now conquest acquisition of the Chinese Government.   Ive only been in town for a week, but in this short time it is still possible to glimpse the deep cultural history of the Tibetan people and witness the affects of the domineering Chinese assimilation.  While it may not be possible to fully understand the cultural and political situation, the Lhasa prefecture offers a variety of interesting adventure and other diversions for a visitor.    [read on]