Lhasa

Trip Start Aug 21, 2006
1
5
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Trip End Feb 13, 2007


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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Here we are, on the roof of the world. We arrived two days ago and still trying to figure out how to breathe and hike at the same time, but we are almost there. Lhasa is an intersting mix of tibetan, chinese and western cultures (yes, western: we can find more western restaurants here than in any other city we have visited in China).
We went to see the Barkhor area (which is the old tibetan town). Strange to see the religious tibetans with the prayer wheel, reciting "Om mani padme hum" and prostrating in front of the Johkang, not caring of the hords of turists and chinese people who try to dodge them between one prostration and the other...
Yesterday we also went to visit the Sera Monastery, one of the biggest around Lhasa, still active and relatively untouched during the Cultural Revolution. We saw the monks debating, one standing and discussing passionately of sutra with one or more sitting, and clapping their hands when "making a point" (essentially every 5 seconds or so).
It all seemed evry interesting... if only we could understand some words of tibetan...
Then we walked the Kora (path around the monastery) and met a tibetan girl who eventually became our guide and showed us all the "back-of-the-scene" trails... mostly unmarked...
We also saw the famous POtala, impressive, but mostly a museum, without the pilgrim life of the Jokhang....
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