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Tibet Trek Beyond
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Author / Paulpics First of all, I was a photographer, sometimes a teacher. The year was 2016. I paid a painful price for failing to get back to school from Tibet for a meeting. However, it's precisely clear that free happiness makes me feel better compared with my loss, my wage and my beautiful nice white face. Now it's red, congestive as if I have been basking in the sunshine for a whole year LOL. Well, that hurts. But I like it.

Things began to change when I started the trip in this country far away from my hometown. Walking through the highly-hypoxia area, I found myself almost lose the ability to define life and death. Yet both of them are boundless. Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

I took the K1058 at Chengdu railway station with my equipment. I met a kind elderly man on the train. "You are one of those young man who simply risk your own life as a joke. Without any experience, you know nothing of Tibet." Well, he is right. The first thing I didn't realize is the bad altitude sickness. It's serious. I bought some medicines when passing Xining, the capital city of Qinghai.

When I was checking how to use these medicines, a local Chinese drove across the street. That's a team of off-road vehicles. I joined them. Yeah, why not. It was August 16th, three days after I started. My car rushed into the small rain. I was told that it's crossing the Tanggula Mountains. I was upset, falling into apprehension. Maybe I have watched too many disaster movies. It was dark outside. The altitude gradually increased. Then I fell asleep. I was too tired. When I woke up the next day, we were at the Yakou of Kunlun Mt. There is a guideboard there showing that it's 4767 meters high.

There is Chinese movie recording the history here. 'Kekexili: Mountain Patrol', tells that lots of native young men died in the battle with poachers. Many rare animals were poached by wire traps and guns. Thanks to them. Now I can see these live beautiful dots.

It's wonderful to stop just watching the train passing by. If there is no turning on the road ahead, it looks like going to flying away from the earth.

The distant clouds changes frequently, a panda, a tiger, a baby or just a mass of huge fogs.

We arrived at Yadong city in August 19th. I took one pic of these soldiers at the side of the car when passing through the frontier inspection station. But it seems my behavior is illegal. A soldier stopped me and said:"Hey, please cut the photos.“ So, I delete it under his watch. The team leader told me later after that. "You were lucky." He said that the soldiers would delete my whole storage or just take my camera card away in other conditions. The road to Yadong is very clean. I didn't found a single car passing by except ours. I bought two apples here. 16 yuan for one kilo. It's a little expensive for there are less fruits here.

I got up early next day, walking to the Tashilhunpo, a famous temple. There were a lot of unique stores along the street. For the first time, I watched how do they make Thang-ga. And for the first time, I saw Mandala. They said that it should be called Jikuo. It's a Tibetan buddhist image which was believed to be the decoding of universe. Sometimes it's in a round circle. Sometimes in a square.

Then I got a phone call. I was informed that time is up. I have to go back before August 27th to attend the meeting. Well, another truth is the latest flight back to Chengduis September 1st. As the old chinese said, take things as they come. Or in other word, embrace the chaos.

At nine in the evening, we arrived at Lhasa. The streets seem to be wider and cleaner. One of a tall boy in the team pointed to the left side and said ”The Potala!“ It looks just like a shining star. How does it feel at that moment? Bump excited, nervous, stand still watching the one from my heart. That's the first time I saw the magic, magnificent Potala Palace. Like a dream come true. There is a lake in front of the palace. And later I found there is also a lake behind it. The reflection is pretty beautiful. But it was too late. I have to delay the visiting plan. Next day, I joined the queue and took the reservation ticket to Potala. Lots of natives came to worship in the early morning. Well, they don't need a ticket. The reservation ticket is a ticket for the next day. So I went to the Jokhang Temple and Drepung Monastery. It's really a exhausting sport to roam in the world's highest plateau. A group of youths were dancing on the roof. Wow, that shocked me. Elf!

I don't remember where I took this pic. But it's truely a great job to build a giant bridge connecting the two mounts.

Someone asked that is there a truth of Tibet. Well, I'm really not good at this. Why don't you come to take a look and do it yourself? They don't like this question. I don't like it, either. That just makes me feel embarrassed. But they do really talk about lots of this kind of question with friends or families. As to me, why must it be answered if I ask for a answer? Look, I'm a visitor, a nobody. I met a young man named Doji if I was right. I stayed in his home as a friend. That's his words 'A visitor is a friend.' He was open, felt free to talk with me and showed his colors. In his words, it happened. 'But we have a future.' I told him what I learned. I even taught him how to use google search instead of baidu (Baidu is a popular mandarin search system.). What made me feel embarrassed is that some stories and facts I thought that could only be found in google just existed in baidu. OMG, he knew it! And I had been acting like a fool thinking that I would tell Doji something he didn't know. Thankgod Doji didn't mind it so much. I was confused that if he knew it so well, why the conclusion ended up with 'we have a future'. So how? I din't ask it. It's too aggressive if I did it. After passing through all of the sufferings in spirit, Doji just told me he believes in 'we have a future'. I was lost in thought.

I did't stay too long and left after dinner.

It's ok to get four reservation tickets for Potala per person. It must be the Chinese ID card. Some agents would help you get one ticket if you bought a package they offer. I don't like it. But no others choices. Or you can just take a look outside.

Treasures Hall inside. It's not allowed to take photos in some areas. This is a U-shaped lacquer box dating back to 18 century.

These are some other pics taken on my way to Tibet

And this is a special Tibet animal I found in google.

In the morning of 1st Sep, after bidding farewell to the fleet team members, I got on the shuttle bus heading to the airport. A local music was broadcast on the bus when passing the Yarlung Zangbo River. The others on the bus just followed the rhythm and started singing. That was such an amazing experience. I found a young girl a little quiet, withdrawn, just sort of different. Sobbing and singing, somehow. The End.


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