Blogs from Litang, Sichuan, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang August 3rd 2018

Hi All. Had to wait a week for the horse festival but boy was it worth it, a real Tibetan experience. The horse racing ground is about 5 kms outside of the city and easy to get to. Just follow the mass exodus. They don't seem to race the horses but gallop up and down the fields doing extravagant moves like leaning right off their horses to touch the ground or to pick up lengths of cloth which are put out onto the ground. There were quite a few accidents as the field was very wet and slippery as it had been raining for a couple of days, but, no one was injured and all the horses were fine too. It has been 10 years since the last festival because of political protests. In fact there ... read more
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Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang July 27th 2018

Hi All, The altitude makes it difficult but it is so worth it. Only planned to stay here a few days but a man informed us that next week there will be a horse racing festival so we've decided to stay on a little longer. Litang is a dusty town on the Chengdu - Lhasa highway resting at about 4000 metres, around 13,000 feet in old money, above sea level. The population is largely Tibetan but there are also quite a few Han Chinese and some Qiang Chinese. Today had a slow walk up to the monastery which overlooks the town. The monastery has been destroyed twice in recent history, once when it was bombed in 1956 by the PLA when the locals rose up against collectivization in the Great Leap Forward and it was finished ... read more
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Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang February 10th 2011

Before long we were up and over a mountain pass and rolling down into Litang which sits in a flat expansive valley with crazy Tibetan plateauness on all sides. GOSH I love alien landscapes where you can see forever. On the outskirts of Litang was a bit of whatever limited farming they could manage up there. The town itself only had one or two main streets and the buildings maxed out at around 5 stories. With a population of 50,000, Litang is a real TOWN! In China it is mostly (first-world amenities, universities, crowded, noise, pollution, white-collar jobs, migrant workers, middle and upper classes) -> (cities) and (agriculture, peasants, third-world human services, fresh air, space to run around) -> (villages). Sorry this commentary is tainted by the fact that I'm sick of my uncomfortable room and ... read more
Meat Pie
Wandering Around
Stupa

Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang October 7th 2010

This week has been a bad week, the Chinese have a national holiday now. I am wearing Iguana walking trousers with zippered pockets, Kangol black suede shoes with spattered red soil of Emei Shan and a red hoody with some non-descript stains that the Chinese laundry failed to remove, I must remember to go down there and get them to do it again. But I have a lunch appointment with Laura at midday and have to go get the tickets for this evenings’ night bus to Shangri-La. On the way down Litang main road are plenty of bums around begging incomprehensively. One even grabs my arm, a monk no less wearing red and orange robes with a peaked orange cap, unbranded of course and a pair of sneakers from Reebok. He does however have a rather ... read more
Tibetan Biker
Little Tibetans in Litang
Prayer Wheels, Tagong

Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang August 21st 2010

Litang sits at over 4000m elevation in the middle of a wide, treeless alpine valley, inhabited at this time of year by semi-nomadic Tibetan herders and their yaks, sheep, and a few cattle. Clusters of tents are everywhere, with motorcycles, which seem to have largely replaced horses for herding duty, alongside. The tents are black (made of woven yak fur), white (probably canvas), and blue (issued by the government as temporary shelters in earthquake-ravaged areas, but apparently co-opted by the herders for this purpose). The tents and animals go right up to the edge of town, and yaks freely roam the streets, along with the ubiquitous Tibetan dogs. Litang is known for its early August horse festival, which was over by the time we got there. However, we were told of some horse events happening, so ... read more
Yaks on main street
One of the temples at the Litang Chode Gompa
Jacob talking to a young monk

Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang August 18th 2010

Every day seems to bring something new, unexpected, amazing, and wonderful. Today brought these things in abundance as we travelled over the provinicial highway in a chartered van on the provincial road south to Litang. All in all we gained 2000 feet in elevation, moving from an agriculturally-oriented Tibetan region to one that typifies the wide-open spaces and nomadic herding way of life. On the way, we discovered an incredible canyon that looks like it would provide 200 km of great white water kayaking or rafting, had an encounter with Chinese police, we passed through remote villages some of which were empty because their inhabitats were apparently away tending the yak and sheep, entered the treeless nomadic herding country over two high mountain passes, and finally reached Litang at over 13,000 ft elevation where we are ... read more
Old walking bridge over the Yalong River
Kids in a small town on the way to Litiang
With our driver at the top of the pass

Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang July 16th 2010

16/7/10: Martin had organised a minivan to pick us up at 6:00 morning, we were all going to Litang, and it was a four hour drive that climbed to 4800m at its highest point. It was still raining and the speeds that the driver was driving at were concerning, after a while we realised that he was a good driver and relaxed. So all up we had seven people in the van not including the driver. As the sun started to rise and the cloud lifted we once again were blessed with amazing views. The terrain became treeless the higher we went. We went through a section that had a raging river with pine trees; it reminded me of being in America. We climbed so high, the only thing growing on the hills were bright green ... read more
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Meat Markets
Yak heart

Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang October 22nd 2009

Heute morgen hat es geschneit. Seit wenigen Tagen bin ich im Westen Sichuans, einer Region namens Kham. Kham gehörte historisch zu Tibet und ist auch heute noch Teil des selben kulturellen Raums. Hier heißt es nicht mehr Ni Hao, sondern Tashi Delek. Politisch gesehen gehört Kham innerhalb Chinas allerdings nicht zur Autonomen Region Tibet, sondern befindet sich teilweise in den Provinzen Sichuan und Yunnan. Für den Reisenden hat das den Vorteil, dass er zum Besuch dieser Gebiete keine teure Sondergenehmigung mit eingeschränkter Bewegungsfreiheit benötigt, sondern einfach in den nächsen Bus Richtung Westen steigen kann. Die bewaldeten Hügel westlich Chengdus weichen nach und nach höheren und steileren Gipfeln und die Strecke führt durch zahlreiche Schluchten. Die Straße ist mit Schlaglöchern übersät und es ist nur eine Durchschnittsgeschwindigkeit von ca. 25 km/h möglich... read more
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Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang September 4th 2009

We raised our newly purchased Tibetan Prayer Flags and declared the lands around the Sichuan-Tibetan Highway as the new province of Yakistan. The lands of a thousand Yaks. Lands of nomads, monks and strange Tibetan customs. A place that would become our most memorable journey through China. Imagine giving a 6 year old a pack of crayolas and asking him to draw and colour in rolling green hills, blue skies and white fluffy clouds. Throw in a few monasteries, rustic crumbling old homes and 100 yaks, and you have Litang. I travelled to Litang with 5 awesome fellow travellers; Hadas and Navid from Israel, Mike from LA, Maria from Spain and Shelley from Holland. We took a public bus to Xiangcheng from Shangri-La, a trip that took us through the worst roads I have ever had ... read more
Awesome scenery!
Family who invited us home
Me and (fake) Yak!

Asia » China » Sichuan » Litang July 22nd 2009

Litang 22 juli 2009. Voorlopig hebben we niet erg veel mogelijkheden om aan een blog te werken maar ik probeer een fotoverslag van de zonsverduistering door te geven. Vanaf bijna het begin heb ik ongeveer om de minuut een foto kunnen nemen, weliswaar uit de losse hand en met een eclipsbrilletje voor de lens. Van elke foto (10 x optische zoom) heb ik dan wel het centrale gedeelte uitgeknipt (2 op 3 cm) om de zon beter uit te laten komen. De eerste foto is (volgens de tijd op mijn camera) genomen om 8u24:26. De foto van de volledige zonsverduistering is van 9u06:22 en de laatste van 10u03:30. Op den duur had ik wel wat kramp in mijn armen. De lucht was het grootste deel van de tijd zonder wolken. Af en toe schoof er een ... read more
Stoompotten voor jiaozi.
Wies laat zien welke foto ze heeft gemaakt.
Jong en oud kijkt gespannen naar de zon die verdwijnt.




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