Back From The Brink Of Everest.
Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
403Trip End Dec 31, 2018
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Where I stayed
Yake Hotel Lhasa
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
The women of Tibet work extremely hard. It is not uncommon to see the wife using the hand plough, with a baby strapped to her back, whilst the husband follows behind, scattering the seed. We see women hauling blocks of stone, strapped to their back on a frame, for road works
We visited another Monastery between Lhasa and Everest in the town of Gyantse. It seems to have several names, Perkhor Chode Monastery, Palcho Monastery and Baiju Temple. It was founded in 1418 (such amazingly old history in Tibet!) and its claim to fame is a huge pagoda that stands nine stories high, with 108 doors and 77 small individual chapels. This pagoda is called the "100,000 image Pagoda" as it has at least that many Buddha images either painted on or in clay on the walls. We arrived to the Monastery part of the complex as the monks were together, in the main assembly hall, finishing their meal in complete silence. While they eat they have in front of them old heavy parchment books of translations of Buddha's teachings but there is no sound, other than the (very) loud slurping of their soup.
Once inside any monastery in Tibet, there is a distinct and pungent smell that assails the senses
Rising above the town of Gyantse is an amazing set of crumbling fortress walls. We ask our guide what they are all about. “To keep the English out” he replies. In Tibet? Yes! Back when The English were in India and spreading their territory further, a fortress wall was built to halt their progress. Besides the English bring rabbits and we all know from the Telstra advert that the walls in China were built to keep the rabbits out.
Travelling on through the countryside and back to the capital, Lhasa we muse at how, wherever you are in Tibet the army is always in evidence. Roadblocks, and checks happen regularly and there are groups of soldiers stationed in little glass boxes everywhere. Despite all this, our precious Tibet Permit, which we were told to guard with our life and never let it out of our hands, was never asked for!
Back in Lhasa we had a day to ourselves and managed to get some chores done
Time now to leave Tibet and go back to China proper (Tibet is a special administration area of China). A flight with China Air was to take us from Lhasa to Beijing but we were to find out that it was actually via Chengdu and we had to get off the plane for 30 minutes, then re-board back to our same seats. It was very inconvenient but apparently the way it is done in China.