Shingatse - Tibet

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April 20th 2006
Published: April 27th 2006
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Tashilhunpo KoraTashilhunpo KoraTashilhunpo Kora

Resting on top of the hill. Notice yak horn offerings
I took a 4 hour trip to Shingatse, the second largest city in Tibet, on a public bus. Angie, a great gal from Canada, was my travel buddy.

What a journey! The passengers were dirty, spitted all the time, Chinese men smoked like crazy. It was not pleasant, particullarly since I wasn't feeling well.

The bus stopped a couple of times and most people got out of the bus to urinate, "al fresco", right there by the bus. Peeing everywhere is a very normal act around Tibet, with no shame at all.

I finnally admitted to be suffering from High Altitute sickness. The headache, nausea, heart pounding and shortness of breath made it hard, but I was not willing to let it spoil my precisous and limited time in Tibet. Thus, headed up the hill following pilgrims for the kora around the Tashilhunpo Monastery. There was a great view from the top of the hill and interesting sights along the way.
As I puffed my way up, feeling the effects of the 3900 meter elevation, I thought: " How could I not do it when old pilgrims can? Their endurance is amazing: they climb hills, do prostrations, always
Angie and I under prayer flagsAngie and I under prayer flagsAngie and I under prayer flags

The begining of a friendship
with rosary and/or prayer well on hand."

Shingatse wasn't impressive: Dirty, windy, people not as friendly, and it is quickly turning into a modern Chinese town. Constructions are everywhere and the tiny old Tibetan town is dissapearing. Maybe you will have better luck if you get there, but hurry, as I predict that after the infamous railroad is open, there won't be much of Tibetan culture left around here.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


On the kora pathOn the kora path
On the kora path

Rock carvings and a small stupa with great smell of burning juniper
Rubbing on holly stoneRubbing on holly stone
Rubbing on holly stone

Tibetans believe that rubbing their backs or foreheads on this rock will cure pain on these areas. Well.. my headache was bad so I gave it a try!
Prayer Wheel in actionPrayer Wheel in action
Prayer Wheel in action

Turning prayer wheels clockwise is like praying. There are Buddhist scriptures inside the wheels.
Peeing passengersPeeing passengers
Peeing passengers

Right by the bus, they naturally went...

27th April 2006

Drink lots of water, did your headache go away??? Just curious. Mind over matter. Sleep and drink water. Sorry, thats all I can offer, if they had more fruit that would help as well. Love ya, Joy

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