青藏之路 August in Tibet: Part II

第二篇

Figure 1: View of Kambala Snow Mountain. 2016

This post highlights certain places we traveled with the tour group, with very minimal self-explorations done on our own accord. It's a pity that we couldn't go as per our will, so I could only go to the extend in sharing a glimpse of Tibet captured here. 

I will not go into details the time spent in Xining as it was a necessary stopover for one to rest before going onboard the Qinghai Tibet Railway. 

 1   Day 1
新加坡 - 州(停昆明)- 西宁 
Singapore - Lanzhou (Via Kunming) - Xining

 2   Day 2
西宁-塔 
Xining - Ta'er Monastery

 3  Day 3
西宁 -青藏 
Xining  Qinghai Tibet Railway


As the officers check pretty strictly, I will advise you not to bring along any form of air spray such as hair spray regardless of the volume contained. They confiscate these air spray right away. If you are sensitive to smell especially during the durational train ride, I would suggest you to bring a small bottle of air freshener, it made my life easier when it comes to public toilet in the train, probably you'll need it in the cabin too. 

There will be short stopovers at some stations for not more than 15 mins. Probably you would want to just stretch your legs and muscles along the train corridor instead of going outside.

Routes:
【西宁】-【格木】-【沱沱河】-【安多】-【那曲】-【当雄】-【拉
 Xining - Ge’ermu - Tuotuo River - Anduo - Naqu - Dangxiong - Lhasa

Figure 2: Checkpoints at Xining Railway Station, 2016


Figure 3: Photo taken at the restaurant onboard, 2016


As far as I have noticed that the restaurant is always fully packed. If you would like to grab a seat there be sure to do so once you board the train or earlier during meal time. Otherwise, fret not, there will be officers frequently pushing food carts along the corridor selling rice sets, snacks, and so on. Each cabin is provided with a kettle, your best meal could just be the instant noodle you bring along with you. 


Figure 4: Photo taken along the train ride when the sun sets, 2016
 4   Day 4
青藏 -拉 
Qinghai Tibet Railway - Lhasa

宿:拉神湖大酒店
Accommodation: Lhasa Manasarovar Hotel


Figure 5: Photo taken along the corridor of Manasarovar Hotel

Figure 6: Photo taken along at the staircase down to the lobby of Manasarovar Hotel, 2016

 5  Day 5
布达拉/大昭寺/八角街 
Lhasa Potala Palace - Jokhang Temple - Barkhor Street

Be sure to remove any flammable gas/liquid from your bags, especially lighters before you enter into these places. 

Figure 7: Photo taken in the compound area of Potala Palace




Figure 8: Panoramic view of the city from within the compound area of Potala Palace, 2016


Figure 9: Panoramic view of a section of Barkhor Street, 2016



Figure 10: Photo taken within the premises of Jokhang Temple where photography is allowed


Figure 11: Photo taken outside of Jokhang Temple where many pilgrims gather



Figure 12 and 13: Photo taken in Gedun Choephel Art Gallery, a glimpse of the artists' work space, and below is the photo of the artist himself.





One pleasant encounter I had while walking around Barkhor Street was when I stumbled upon a small wooden plate, with the name "Gedun Choephel Art Gallery (根敦群佩当代艺术画廊)" carved on it. As according to the artist I met, this space is run by an artist collective including himself. Upon entering the space, you'll need to walk up a staircase with a variety of paintings and sketching displayed on the wall. During my visit, one of the artist was there painting with a magnifying glass attached to the side of the wood panel. I recalled how he held his brush firmly, patiently completing this painting with tremendous, intricate details after spending nearly 2 years since he started off this piece of work. It fascinated me even more as I drew closer and nearer to all of his paintings shown in the gallery and studio space carefully just to observe the narratives from his Thangka pieces. Each scenes, and each figure as tiny as a bug, yet recognisable from the way he has painted them so delicately. 




    

                                                                                        
Figure 14: Street view of Barkhor Street, 2016

Figure 15 and 16: Photo taken during our dinner, savouring what they called the Specialty Highland Mushroom Steamboat. The photo below shows the signboard of the restaurant, note that it is the one on top with the silver reflective surface. 


For the mushroom lovers, this meal is by far the best and most appetising steamboat I've had in Tibet, and not forgetting to order fresh beef slices for this hot pot feast. You may want to place a reservation before heading there.






 6  Day 6
-羊卓雍湖-日喀 
Lhasa - Yamdroktso Lake - Palkor Monastery - Shigatse 

宿:日喀藏隆大酒店
Shigatse Zang Long Hotel


Figure 17: Street View in Tibet

Figure 18: View of Yamdroktso Lake, 2016







Figure 19: View of Nojin Kangtsang Glacier, 2016
 7  Day 7
日喀 -扎什布寺-藏獒基地 -拉
Shigatse - Tashilunpo Monastery - Tibetan Mastiff Park - Lhasa 


Figure 20: Photo taken along the alley in Tashilunpo Monastery, 2016

Figure 21: Photo taken in Tibetan Mastiff Park, 2016

Though the Tibetan Mastiffs are taken well care of from the owner in charge, I personally do not think visiting the park is a great idea. Whenever one pays a visit, you are funding a support for this act of chaining and locking these mastiffs in this park just for tourism. Of course one would need a safe parameters to watch them closely, but you do not necessary need to visit the park as you could often spot them elsewhere and pay to take photographs in touristy spots if you wish.


8  Day 8
圣湖-拉 
Lhasa - Namtso Lake - Lhasa


 9  
王山 - 扎基寺 - 西藏博物 - 布达拉夜景 - 大型藏式原生歌舞《幸福在路上》
Mt. Chokpori - Zaki Temple - Tibetan Museum - Happiness On The Road Tibetan Performance

Figure 22: Photo of a scene from Happiness On The Road, 2016

 10  
 - 昆明 - 新加坡 
Lhasa - Kunming - Singapore



Watch a snippet of my travel here below:




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