Lhasa to Kathmandu

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Yamdrok Tso - Turquoise Lake

Yamdrok Lake the largest in Southern Tibet is one of four holy lakes.  It is said that if the lake dries up then Tibet will become un-inhabitable 




As someone had gone to a lot of trouble to groom his yak and bring him all the way up here for us to sit upon and be photographed I felt I should contribute, so I paid his owner and took my photo of the beautiful blonde beast.

 So delighted was he with the hefty tip I gave him he insisted I wear his hat and climb aboard for the apparently obligatory portrait



The Road To Gyantse
Incense making operation on the Thempo River

The workforce live in tents beside the fast flowing river which turns wooden paddles to churn the red incense to a thick paste which is shaped into bricks then dried in the sun

We hung a left at the sky burial site and took a detour as the road to Gyantse was closed due to construction

I took a nap and woke up in the dessert of Che Joung La.  Our driver who sang like an angel was quietly singing along to a Bob Marley tape and I wondered if someone had slipped me magic mushrooms at lunch


transportation ancient

     and modern

 Pelkor Chode Monastery Gyantse



Ever present pilgrims spin the prayer wheels as they approach the central part of Pelcor Monastery with the assembly hall on the right and the Kumbum to the left


Kumbum  (one hundred thousand holy images) is a many storied collection of Buddhist chapels and this one is the first and one of the finest.
 Nine stories rise to 115' and contain 77 chapels. Each level creates a mandala and the whole a three dimensional mandala path to enlightenment 

Founded in 1427 the original statuary was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution but the murals faired better


Raine and I very much wanted to climb through the Kumbum to reach the Seeing Eyes of Buddha  

We were lucky (?) in that the monks were allowing this, sometimes they refuse, possibly on safety grounds

It was well worth the effort of struggling through the crowd within as the eyes are mesmerizing




Coming down we got trapped on the landing above the stair, really a glorified ladder.  No self respecting Tibetan will give an inch of ground gained so it had become completely blocked

Young children were in danger of being trampled and babies strapped to their mothers backs were screaming in terror as women on the landing above tried to pluck them out of the chaos

Eventually a couple of long legged Brits hoisted themselves over the banister creating just enough room for movement.  We seized the opportunity and joined the fray going down before the crowd coming up could stop us 


From the top of the Kumbum looking back towards the wall from which the giant appliqué festival thangka are hung and in the other direction towards Gyantse old town to the fort on the hill

2007/08 Asia Trip Itinerary | Home Page 1 of 3 | Page Down