Tag Archives: Tibet

Tibet-QingHai Railway

A train you don’t take to get from A to B…there are a lot faster ways to get out of Lhasa. The term “scenic train” probably fits it best. And contrary to my believe it is also quite full on the way back from Lhasa. But certainly full of tourists. And so it happened that our compartment of 4 soft sleepers was shared by an Austrian lady, a Malaysian couple, and me, which made communication in English perfect. All Malaysians I ever met have perfect, nearly native English knowledge. If of Chinese origin, like this couple, then also native Chinese knowledge, which certainly comes in handy when trying to understand train announcements or talking to the train officials. Continue reading Tibet-QingHai Railway

Lhasa (V) Potala Palace’s Back

Liberation Park

As I always like parks I went for the only one I had not yet seen: A park at the back of the Potala Palace by the euphemistic name of “Liberation Park”. As I had written earlier: The Chinese government had moved people from the palace’s front to the back to make room for the Tian’AnMen-like square which now is there, a large tiled empty space. But they also formed a nice Chinese park around a lake, which was left from the actual palace’s construction with the earth used as building material. While China is not loved here they definitely know how to build parks. And it seems the locals have accepted the park. I saw Tibetians sitting in a Chinese-style pavillion within Liberation Park, still turning their prayer wheels, and having a rest inbetween their pilgrimage. Continue reading Lhasa (V) Potala Palace’s Back

Lhasa (IV) Yandrok Lake / Future Plans

Yandrok Lake

…supposingly a nice sight with varying shades of green and blue if the sun happens to treat you well. Weather was fantastic. And with the first point of view being on no less than 4.700m altitude, i.e. another 1.200m higher than Lhasa, it was refreshingly cool despite the bright sun shine. But there were few opportunities enjoying the outside coolness: In the end it all was a 2,5 hours drive from Lhasa out to that lake, getting off twice for 10 minutes each, and drive 2,5 hours back to Lhasa. You can’t avoid but question yourself, if it really makes sense to have a guide, a driver, and a car going all this way for just one single passenger. Continue reading Lhasa (IV) Yandrok Lake / Future Plans

Lhasa (III) Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace

Today a small revolution: My guide came without car and just walked me the 5 minutes to the first temple. But later they could not resist driving me to the Potala Palace, although even that would have been just a 20 minute walk that I have done earlier and afterwards again. Potala Palace…that’s the impressive World Cultural Heritage everybody pictures first when hearing “Lhasa” or “Tibet”. Access to the Potala Palace is nowadyas highly organized with a limit of 800 visitors per day. My guide called me yesterday evening only to tell me the time of our visit as that was not confirmed earlier: 13:00, fairly inconvenient with regards to lunch. Continue reading Lhasa (III) Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace

Lhasa (II) Crash Course Buddhism

One guide just for me, and I had to listen most of the day. And she, native Tibetian, juggled with all the Buddha, Lama, and Bodhisattva names and was really hoping after seen one of them twice I would recognize him the third time by name…oh, I was glad already if I could make out the 3 Buddhas of the past, the present, and the future, and that only because they reminded by of Charles Dicken’s famous “A Christmas Carol”, but dared not mentioning this far-fetched comparison… In addition, in Buddhism live is reborn in reincarnations. So it might happen that you come across the same ‘spirit’ in different forms. The Dalai Lamas, for example, are continuous reincarnations. Continue reading Lhasa (II) Crash Course Buddhism

Lhasa (I) Arriving

Lhasa – Arrival by plane

Actually…it wasn’t so bad a deed to arrive by plane. The scenery was mostly covered under clouds, but those few holes left open provided a magnificient mountain area so completely different from the other places I have been so far. When the plane turned in to land it followed a river bed to get down between the mountains. That’s also the reason why the airport is so far outside Lhasa (1 hour drive): You’ll need to find a long straight stretch of land where you can build a 2~3km runway and still have some space for an ordinary passenger plane to get down between the mountains. Continue reading Lhasa (I) Arriving

Preparations coming to a close…trying Tibet

My last days in Shanghai are slowly passing by. The last Chinese lession is done by running over my travel plans and teaching me place names and other useful vocabulary for on-the-road-use. I will miss the lessons… I ordered my flight ticket to QingDao (Sunday noon with China Eastern), which appeared to be an e-ticket, though I wanted to have a paper ticket. Well, is said to work great, so I don’t worry. I also have a reservation for a Youth Hostel in QingDao. Continue reading Preparations coming to a close…trying Tibet