Published: December 17th 2009December 17th 2009
On the train from Chengdu to Xining we met a group of Chinese tourists, they were colleagues and were travelling for a weekend in Xining. The boys played cards and drinking games with them all night... GAMBEJ!
From Chengdu we travelled further to north, currently we are in Xining. Here the weather is really wintery now, freezing nights, mountains, we can really feel the proximity of the Himalayas. Our mission in Xining was to acclimatise to higher altitude (currently at 2200 m) and to arrange our travel permits and tour to Tibet. They say the closer you arrange the trip to Tibet the cheaper the price gets. Yes, this is true. Yesterday we applied for all the papers, and tomorrow we are to be on the train to Lhasa, which is Tibet's capital. We will take the famous trans-Himalayan railway, which goes at an average altitude of 4000 meters with the peak of 5000 meters at a pass (don't remember the name, but will give you precise details in our Tibet blog entry).
Xining is a regular chinese city, nothing special, but a good hub for buying outdoor stuff and dried fruits and nuts, so we did our shopping. You can also see here a lots of Tibetan people in their traditional costumes and the Tibetan market is definitely worth a visit. Besides shopping and paperwork we did not do much here, but OK, we need some
3-level bunk beds on the train, on top Chris, middle Winnie and on the bottom bed a Chinese lady plus her baby.
rest before our tough 10 days trip in Tibet. As it seems this trip will be very similar to the one to North Korea as we need to have a guide and driver all the time and cannot walk around freely without them. Let's see. We will try to send some postcards from there, hopefully we will have a higher success record than from N-Korea. By the way, has anyone received a NK postcard from us in Luxembourg? We got some confirmations from Holland and Hungary, but not from Lux.... So guys, let us know!
Our Tibet itinerary is pretty standard, we start in Lhasa and finish up at the Nepal border. The funny thing is it seems that we will spend Christmas eve and the Mount Everest Base Camp! This sounds really cool, I hope it really will be a nice memory...
There are more photos below