Glimpses of Tibetan life

Inside a Tibetan house

The two small boys stood watching me solemnly, standing against the wall with their mother a brief distance away. We had stopped in their village to take photos of the yak dung covered walls, drying in the sun so that later they could be used as fuel for the fire.

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Yak dung covered walls

I walked up to the boys smiling but their solemn expression didn’t change, they were wary of me, one of four strange looking foreigners who had alighted from a van. I had two bright juicy oranges that I wanted to share with the boys. After a nod of consent from their mother I gave each of the boys an orange. Their faces broke into smiles and they clutched their gifts tightly. We stood there smiling at each other for a while then I wandered back to the van assuming that we were about to depart, however our guide, who knew of my  desire to see inside a Tibetan house, spoke with the boys’ mother and she invited us in.P1100757 (2)

From outside the house appeared of good quality and quite a substantial size, two storey and rectangular, typical of the houses in the area.

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We were led past the Continue reading

From the dizzy heights of Tibet

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A view from the top of the world

They say that if you are in Tibet, you’re sitting on top of the world. After spending 8 days here, I understand why. Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres above sea level. In comparison, Brisbane, Australia, where we live, sits at 28.4m above sea level.

Tibet has the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, which peaks at 8,848m, the world’s highest Palace complex (the Potala Palace), the highest railway and railway station, the Qinghai -Tibet Railway and Tanggula Station (5,068m), and many of the world’s highest lakes.

All this elevation brings Continue reading

Of Monks and Monasteries

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A spectacular view

There are hundreds of Buddhist Monasteries in Tibet and they are an integral part of life here. We visited the Pabonka Monastery, situated at the base of the mountains which surround Lhasa, and offers panoramic views of the area and the Potala Palace. The Monastery was built in the 7th century and is one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in Lhasa.

A Pilgrim - if she can do it so can I!
A Pilgrim – if she can do it so can I!

We joined the pilgrims in their kora, the circumambulation of a sacred site which is both a type of pilgrimage and meditative practice. Smiles, stares, giggles and frequent hello’s greeted us as we joined the Tibetans of all ages, dressed predominantly in traditional clothing, carrying Continue reading

A bit of Tibet’s history – The Potala Palace and The Jokhang Temple

When I first thought about travelling to Tibet, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It just sounded like an exciting, scenic, religious, and mystical country to visit, and that was before I began to do my research. Now that we are here, literally sitting on top of the world, I can say that I have not been disappointed.

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The “Travel China Guide” tells us that Tibet’s history “began about 4,000 years ago, when living was simpler. Lhasa is Tibet’s political, economic, cultural and religious centre with abundant cultural relics, including Continue reading

Tibet – A Breathtaking Rail Journey

We chose to travel on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway as we made our way to Tibet. This special railway extends 1,956 km’s across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and connects, Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. What an experience this 21 hour train journey provided us!

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The railway itself is an engineering marvel. For starters, the line holds the title of the world’s highest railway, peaking at 5,072m above sea level as it Continue reading