A long weekend in Tibet

Sunset on Potala Palace in Tibet

Tibet is a beautiful country that has a had an unfortunate past.  I’m not going to going into details since I’m not an expert on the topic but I would encourage you to learn more about the plite of Tibetan people at http://www.tibet.org/ They are some of the nicest, hardest working people we’ve met in our travels.  The world should know their story.

We only had 4 days in Tibet so we had to restrict our travels to around Lhasa.  The first stop was to the Jokang Temple.  There were thousands of pilgrims from all over Tibet praying, walking around the temple, and standing in line for hours to get inside.

Pano in square in front of Jokang Temple

From the top of the temple you can get a very good view of the market with Potala Palace in the background.

Lhasa Market in front of Potala Palace

We spent a lot of time wandering around the market.  The sights, smells, and colors were all overwhelming.  Miki also enjoyed filling her backpack with various souverniers.

Lhasa Market

Selling spices in Lhasa Market

The faces of the Tibetian people were captivating.  I took hundreds of portraits and could have stayed there for days taking hundreds more.  I’ll do a separate post later just show the Faces of Tibet.

Faces of Tibet

After visiting Jokang Temple we went on to visit the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama.  The Jokang Temple and market were much more interesting but it was a nice afternoon stroll.

Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama

The next day we got up early to go to the main site in Lhasa.  The Potala Palace (also pictured at the top of the post).  It’s a little bit of a hike to get to the top and the altitude makes it even harder but the views from the top are worth it.  You can easily see all of Lhasa.  In the far distance is the least popular monument in Tibet… the monument to commemorate the “Peaceful Liberation of Tibet”.  It’s constantly guarded by Chinese Military to make sure the Tibetans don’t destroy it.

Panoramic view from the top of Potala Palace

We went to the Sera Monastery (the second largest monastery) in the afternoon.  Not a very photogenic place and cameras weren’t allowed in the areas that were.  The next day I came down with food poisoning so I spent most of the time laying in the car while Miki enjoyed the sites of Tibet.

Pano of Gan Dhan Monastery

We went to the Gan Dhan Monastery in the morning.  The monastery is over 4,000 meters above sea level.  (That is higher than the top of Mount Fuji).  The high altitude in combination with my food poisoning wasn’t a pleasant experience.  We didn’t stay there long…

We attempted to go to the Dark Yerpa Meditation Caves but had to turn back after I spent some time curled over a rock getting rid of the last remaining bits of Yak Curry.  (Picture courtesy of my caring wife ;)

Yak Curry + High Altitude + Winding Road= bent over rock next to cow shit

After I was done with that we visited a Tibetian family were Miki was served some home made beer.

Visit to home of Tibet Family. Served home made beer.

The day was topped of by Miki throwing prayer flags into the air at a top of the pass on the way back to Lhasa.

Throwing prayer flags in Tibet

The next day we boarded a plane back to Hong Kong with a short stopover in Chengdu to visit the Panda Base.

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One Response to “A long weekend in Tibet”

  1. mia takagi says:

    Nathan. what an AWESOME Pics. & i know the Tibet Story & always wanted to travel there one day.
    NO WONDER you were M.I.A from Tokyo.. Must been very Enlighting experience !! Keep sending more pics. & stories.

    I DON’T know if you remember one of the Model we used to shott at NP. Jonathan Legg.. he’s set out to travel around the world… Just Came back from middle -East. Sent Video of his trips & it was AWESOME…..
    He was in Tokyo for couple of yrs. & had apt. in China . cuz he had a lot of Modeling & Cf Jobs there as well but now Based in L.A.

    Ayway, I’m very happy you **GUYS** are traveling & sending all the great places in photos & videos w/ History
    background. I Love History* my f- subject.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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