Blogs from Shigatse, Tibet, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse April 19th 2015

Another cloudless blue sky & a little walmer than yesterday. Just need it to hold out for a few more days. I thought I was all templed out but today we visited the famous Tashilhunpo Buddhist Monastery in Shigatse & l was really impressed. Founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama the monastery expanded & by the time of the fifth Dalai the abbot of Tashilhunpo became known as the Panchen Lama (literally the ‘Great Scholar’). Since then the monastery became the principal site of the Panchen sect. During the Cultural Revolution much of the Tashilhunpo and the nearby fort were destroyed, but have since been rebuilt. Inside 3 of the many temples & stupas were amazing. The Maitreya (future) Temple is a recent addition & holds a enormous 30 mtr gold-gilded bronze statue of ... read more
Debating Courtyard in front of temple
The animal commitment analogy

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse April 18th 2015

Woke to another clear blue sky day but a chilly7c. Gyantse is a remarkable place in that it has escaped much of the Chinese influence evident in other major Tibetan towns. High on a hill the town is dominated by the recently rebuilt replica of an ancient fort (Shigatse Dzong). The fort was besieged by British forces in 1904 during the famous Younghusband Expedition which was essentially an invasion. We also visited the octagonal shaped Kumbum Stupa built in 1444 inside the Gyantse Monastery & founded by the 1st Punchen Lama. The Monastery was vast but has been significantly destroyed. It is now only sparsely occupied & somewhat rundown but it original grandure is evident with the extent of the frescos on all the walls. Shigatse is only 95 km from Gyantse but still a 2.5 ... read more
Kumbum Stupa Gyantse

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse April 9th 2012

We left Lhasa at 0730 hours to begin our three day drive to the Nepal border. Joining us are two travelers from Hong Kong, who I had been in contact with before this trip and we had all planned to travel together to defray some of the vehicle cost. Our new guide, who I’ll call Damian, is young, intelligent and full of energy. For the tourist season he is a travel guide, during the winter months he returns home in the country where he helps his family herd yaks. He comes from a nomadic background, living in tents and following the areas that have grass to feed the yaks. The yak is the lifeblood of the Tibetan nomad, and they treat them almost as their family pets, giving each their own name. They adorn them with ... read more

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse October 15th 2011

Hier die Fotos die ich während der Kora gemacht habe. Kora wird die Umrundung des Berges zu Fuss genannt. (Durch die besondere Form und Lage, die den Kailash als Berg Meru identifizieren, zählt er im Tibetischen Buddhismus, Hinduismus, Jainismus und Bön – somit für eine große Anzahl von Menschen – zu den bedeutendsten spirituellen Orten und gilt als heiligster Berg. Eine Umrundung des Berges (tibetisch Kora oder Sanskrit: Parikrama) auf einem ca. 53 km langen Weg, der bis in eine Höhe von ca. 5700 Meter über den Drölma La (tib. „Pass der (Göttin) Tara“) führt, ist die wichtigste Pilgerreise für Anhänger dieser Religionen. ) Zu meinem Vorteil wurde mir das Ausmass der Anstrengung für den physischen Körper, eine Pilgerwanderung auf einer Höhe von über 5000 Metern zu machen, erst im Nachhinein bewusst. Steffi, mit der ich ... read more
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Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse September 6th 2010

9/6/2010 Monday - Today we left Lhasa and started our journey towards Mt. Everest base camp. The first part of the drive was through some villages in a valley and then we really started to get into some mountains on the Kambala pass. The scenery was majestic and at the top which was 15,728 ft. above sea level was a view of the Yamzhog Yumco River. The English translation is “Jasper Lake”. It is a turquoise color that rivals the water in the Caribbean. This is one of the Three Great Holy Lakes in Tibet. When we started driving on the Kambala pass, we had to pick up a voucher with the time on it. We had to take at least 2 ½ hours to the next check point or the driver would get a ticket. ... read more
A Little Detour
Sharing the Road
Snow Caps

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse July 6th 2010

I came downstairs at 8:15 for my 8:30 meeting with Pussang, only to find he and Kate were already there and the driver was waiting! I was starting to realize that Pussang is often early. So we started off on what I thought was a five hour trip to Shigatse with a stop at the Yamdrok Tso Lake on the way. Turns out, we didn't arrive until after 3:00 in Shigatse. The drive displayed some of the most beautiful scenery and stark landscapes I have ever seen. We stopped for a few photo opps along the way, and the lake was an amazing shade of blue on one end and green on the other. I had high hopes for Shigatse after seeing this. We stopped at a village that pretty much existed to feed tour groups, ... read more
Majestic Mountains of Tibet
Sheep in the road
Yamdrok Tso Lake

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse June 21st 2010

Weird dreams again last night, the altitude playing tricks on me again and on Boris and Russ as well. We had free breakfast today at the hotel as they did not clean our toilet last 3 days and Russ was upset. We got picked up at 8am Sofie our guide and the driver Tenzig, we dropped by the China Bank ATM to get some money. The drive out of Lhasa was quick huge highways they have here , the scenery is dramatic, clear blue skies, brown arid looking hills, green valleys. We stopped at Yamdrok lake a gorgeous green lake, we took some fotos and we way above 4,000 meters, the winding roads to get here is well paved, I call it an engineering marvel, how they built the road in this terrain is incredible. Lots ... read more
Palkor Chode Monastery, Gyantse
gorgeous dam/lake(forgot the name)
Shigatse

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse May 18th 2010

What a day! Early morning wake up and checkout, and on the road at 8am from Lhasa to Shigatse. It was around a 7 hour trip, and an amazing one at that. I wanted to sleep at some times, but I was so afraid I would miss something if I did! Between the villages, streams, farmers working their fields, and the yak and sheep dotted hills and mountains, it was quite the scenic ride :) I felt a bit screwed over by my hostel/travel agency though, as they took all my cash the night before (knowing it was all my cash) and didn't tell me you had to pay for driving the pass that goes by Yamdrok Lake. All this stuff was supposed to be included in the 3,200 I gave them, so now I'm really ... read more
sheep @ Yamdrok Lake
stone piles @ Yamdrok
Yamdrok Lake (4)

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse March 7th 2010

Visiting Tibet when I did, had a chance to see things rarely seen by travelers. No handlers...no fixers for me. Can't say how I got through with a video camera...just suffice that I did. It was before the Olympics came to China...well enough before that the paranoia was just background level. Found myself in Xigatse when the Thangka ceremony was held. Just one day, four hours. Nine story thangka goes up and then down. Remarkable to be with the pilgrims who came to pray. Got a couple of unique photos from the video. I'll put them here. Takeaway is that this is a unique society... In fact, the Han try so hard to show that they are Tibetan that it is all about Shakespear's line: "Methinks thou doest protest too much". ... read more
Jowo Sakyamuni
Monk At Butterlamp Couldron

Asia » China » Tibet » Shigatse December 31st 2009

The Tale of the Smiley Skull In the forlorn town high of Shigatse, folded between the Tibetan highlands, local merchants have their devious ways to empty the pockets of trustworthy travelers. As being a worn and dusty traveler myself, this is my proud tale of the Smiley Skull mask and how it was obtained by us. On a dusty afternoon, strolling through the streets of Shigatse, where we'd arrived only a few hours before, my trustworthy travel companion Rossz Mokusom was disturbed by the shiny gloss of a skull: the Smiley Skull. Being afraid that this precious piece of local handicraft might go unnoticed and unappreciated by me, she rushed to notify me. I took then the daunting task of purchasing this precious item, but first: a thorough examination was needed. We went to the stall ... read more




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