Archive for the ‘Tibet Travel’ Category

Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa, Top 10 Things to Do in Lhasa

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
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 There are so many great places to see in and around Lhasa that it’s important to check out the most popular attractions for your short Lhasa Tour.

It’s always good to have some advice and recommendations from friends who have visited Lhasa.

The top 10 Lhasa attractions are listed below in order of popularity based on the visitor in latest available numbers. If you have more time after visiting these great attractions,  you still have many more things to do during your stay in Lhasa.

Top #01:  Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is located in the middle of Lhasa city. The name of the palace was taken from Mount Potala, the living place of the Goddess of Mercy. The palace was first built by King Songtsen Gampo in 637 for the purpose of greeting his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty in China.

During the reign of The Fifth Dalai Lama, Potala Palace wasthe rebuilding of Potala Palace was started in 1645. Later the Dalai Lama and his government moved into Potala Palace in 1649.Today the Potala Palace has been turned into a museum. The Potala Palace was listed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.

The palace is 400 metres wide from east to west and 350 metres from north to south. It has the sloping stone walls with average 3 meters thick, and 5 meters thick at the base. There are 13 stories in the palace buildings, which accommodate more than 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues.

Check out the link: Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

Lhasa Potala Palace

Top #02: Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple is located within the Barkhor Street in the downtown of Lhasa city. The temple was first constructed during the reign of king Songsten Gampo. It was founded to please Bhrikuti – the Nepalese princess. 

It was recorded that many Nepalese artists came to build the temple.For most Tibetans Jokhang Monastery is the most holy and important temple in Tibet.

Jokhang Temple

 

Now Jokhang Temple was under the control of the Gelug school.In 2000, Jokhang Temple was added to the list as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Potala Palace, a spiritual centre of Lhasa.

Top #3: Norbulingka
Norbulingka is a park-style park the west of Lhasa city. Its construction was started in 1755. It was used as a summer resort as well as administrative centre and religious centre for the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s till the 14th Dalai Lama’s self-exile in 1959.

Norbulingka

 

In 2001, Norbulingka is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It is a unique showcase of Tibetan palace architecture.Norbulingka park is regarded the first and best park in Tibet. Summer and autumn are at its best, becoming hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities.

Top #4: Barkhor Street 
Barkhor Street is a historical and religious street surrounding Jokhang Temple and located in the downtown area of Lhasa. Barkhor Street is the most important and popular devotional kora(circuit), actually a pilgrim circumambulation.

Barkhor Street

Everyday local Tibetans coming all part of Tibet to pray and walk around the Jokhang Temple.Most of them come from the remote villages or mountainous areas. They come here once a year.

Top #5: Sera Monastery
Sera Monastery is one of the three most important Gelukpa temple. It is located 2km north of Lhasa. The other two Gelupa temples are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery.“Sera” literally means wild rose in bloom, telling the fact that the temple was built on the hill covered with wild roses.Now there are over 3,000 monks living in Sera.

 

Sera Monastery


Sera is most well known for the lamas in the temple engaged in debating activity each afternoon starting from 3:000pm. The Sera Monastery is subject to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, established by Tsong Khapa.

Top #6: Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery is located at the foot of Mount Gephel, 5km northwest of Lhasa. It is one of the three Gelukpa temples in Lhasa with the other two being Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery. Drepung Temple is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries.

Drepung Monastery


At its peak, Drepung Temple was the largest temple in the world with over 10,000 monks. The tombs of the Dalai Lamas from second to fifth are buired in Drepung Monastery. From 1645, when the Fifth Dalai Lama founded the Potala Palace as Tibet’s political and spiritual center, the bodies of later Dalai Lamas were entombed here instead.

 

Top #7: Tibet Museum 
Tibet Museum is the provincial museum of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is located in the west of the city of Lhasa, not far from Norbulingka and Lhasa Hotel.Its construction was completed on October 5, 1999. Tibet Museum is the first modern museum in the Tibet Autonomous Region. It has a huge collection relative to the cultural history of Tibet.

Tibet Museum


With an area of more than 53,959 square meters, Tibet Museum is mainly in Tibet style such as Tibetan doors, beam-decoration, patterns and so on, aimed at creating the atmosphere of authentic Tibetan art.

Top #8: Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake is located at the sea level of over 4000 meters with a surface area of 1,920 square kilometres. 

Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa


The salt lake is the kargest lake in Tibet.Namtso Lake boasts of fice islands of different sizes. The weather at Namtso Lake is prone to abrupt sudden change. Snowstorms are very common in this region.

Top #09: Yangbajing
Yangbajing is a town about 90km north-west of Lhasa city. The town is located in a green valley just south of the Nyainqêntanglha Mountains.This area is famous for the Yangbajing hot springs, which have been used to generate much of the electricity for the city of Lhasa. There is a thermoelectric power plant on the edge of the Yangbajing hot springs area.

The thermoelectric power plant was founded in 1977. It is the first plant for development of geothermal power not only in Tibet but in the whole China.The Yangbajing hot springs field is at the sea level of 4290–4500 meters. It is the highest altitude plant of hot springs in China.  The water feels at 30 degrees, which is above the boiling point at that sea-level.

 

 Yangbajing

Yangbajing

Top #10: Ramoche Temple
Ramoche Temple is a buddhist monastery, regarded as an important temple just after Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. It is located to east of the Potala Palace and north of the Jokhang Temple.It is often called “Minor Jokhang Temple”.As the sister temple to the Jokhang Temple,  Ramoche temple was completed about the same time as Jokhang Temple.

Ramoche Temple


T
ip : Hassle-free Lhasa  Guided Tours

06611If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Lhasa guided tours:

4 Days Lhasa City Tour  Starting RMB 2500
5 Days Lhasa Namtso Lake Tour  Starting RMB 3390 p/p
6 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Tour  Starting RMB 3950 p/p
8 Days Lhasa Mt.Everest Kathmandu Tour  Starting RMB 5540 p/p
9 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Everest Namtso Group Tour  Starting RMB 6110 p/p
8 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt.Everest Tour  Starting RMB 5230 p/p

Further Readings


Any questions, just drop  a line.

Lhamo – Tibetan Art and Wisdom

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
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Lhamo, literally, “sister goddess”,  refers to Tibetan folk opera. The Tibetan Opera combines dancing, singing and chanting and songs. Its repertoire comes manly from three parts – folk dances; folk dialogues and songs; Buddhist rituals and arts.

Tibetan Lhamo has a history of over 600 years, back to in the 14th century when it was founded by Thang Tong Gyalpo,  a Lama of Kagyu sect and a bridge builder. He aspired to build bridges over the rivers in the Tibetan Plateau for the benefit of the all.

He recruited 7 beautiful girls who were good at singing and dancing and organized a troupe for the performances to raises the funds for the bridge construction. These performances resulted in the making of the original Tibetan Opera, popularly known as “Lhamo” – the 7 beautiful girls.

Tibetan Folk Opera was greatly developed in the 17th century thanks to the support by the 5th Dalai Lama. It gradually formed a primary set dominated by singing and coupled with reciting, dancing and acting, incorporated into folk singing and dancing and routine life performances. On May 20, 2006, Lhamo ( Tibetan Opera ) was listed as China’s first group of National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Plan your Lhasa tour, don’t miss the chance to watch Lhamo, the Tibetan Folk Opera!

All photos from Internet. For any question, just drop a line.

 

Drive from Mangkang to Deqin

Saturday, November 14th, 2015
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Around 6:00pm,  11 October,2015, we leave the first checkpoint in the downtown of Mangkang, or Markam (芒康),  then branch off National Highway G318 and enter National Highway G214 for the 216 km drive from Mangkang to Feilaisi, Deqin in (德钦飞来寺) on the south. The Highway G214 is 3256 km long starting from Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province to Jinghong, Yunnan Province.

Drive from Mangkang to Deqin

Drive from Mangkang (Markam) to Deqin

The previous speed limit for the drive from Batang to Mangkang has to some extent delayed our arrival at Feilaisi, Deqin. So we are going to catch up with the time within the maximum speed permitted by law. We are driving fast along the paved road on the valley flanked by the high mountains over 3000 meters altitude.

Mangkang to Feilaisi

We are driving along the paved road on the high mountains

The sun is setting, casting its dwindling glare on the snow-capped mountains on our left side ( east side ), a mixed landscape of snow-shrouded mountains, colored poplar trees, primeval Tibetan houses. We cannot resist stopping at two photogenic areas for photography.

Kangkang Deqin

The picturesque view along the National Highway G214

The National Highway G214 is one of the most beautiful highways in China. Unlike the hyped G318, G214 is quite unknown to the public though it has stunning views with its varied landscapses. G214 connects the headwaters of Yangtze River, Yellow River, Lancang River and Honghe River.

National Highway G214

The golden mountaintop

The Highway G214 cuts through the rugged terrains like Bayan Har Mountains, the Hengduan Mountains and more. It is also bestowed with the massive snow mountains like Hongla Snow Mountain, Meili Snow Mountain, Haba Snow Mountain and more.

The National Highway 214

The Beautiful View along the Highway G214

When we reach the Hongla Mountain Pass (红拉山口) at 4200 meters evelation,  it is completely dark  with ever thickening dense fog. Mr. Chen has to drive gingerly forward with almost zero visibility despite of the hardworking headlights. We haven’t had such challenging experience before driving on a rugged mountaind road shrouded in a heavy fog on a pitch-dark night.

Mr. Chen skilfully controls his Toyota Highlander SUV, nearly blindfold going over Hong La Mountain Pass and arriving at Yanjing Town (盐井) under the administration of Mangkang, Tibet , the last outpost which connects Deqin or Deqen (德钦), Yunnan on the south .

We get to Feilaisi, Deqin or Deqen (德钦飞来寺) around midnight and check in a hotel known as 德钦云之南车盟酒店(Tel: 0887 – 8566588 ) which we have booked online on route. The moment we enter the hotel, we are warmly welcomed and each of us receives a Hada ( a long piece of white silk), which embodies purity and loyalty,  a traditional practice in Tibet to show respect and hospitality.

Feilaisi ( Fyling Temple ), 10 km north of the downtown of Deqin (德钦), has developed from the small Flying Temple. Now in this area there is a growing number of hostels and guest houses. Many travelers choose to stay here in order to see Kawa Garbo Peak (卡瓦格博峰) and Meili Snow Mountain (梅里雪山).

The hotel manager, a Tibetan, named 白马”Bai Ma”, literally “White Horse”, is very kind and hospitable, going far out of his way to give us plenty of information on Kawa Garbo Peak (卡瓦格博峰) and Meili Snow Mountain (梅里雪山). “There is a viewing platform on the top of the 4th floor where you are able to have a panoramic view of Kawa Garbo Peak”, he added.

We go up to our hotel rooms on the third floor with heavy hearts because we all know tomorrow will be overcast with little possibility to see Kawa Garbo Peak, less than in golden sunrise light.

Getting our tripods ready, Mr. Chen and I still set alarm clock on iphone around 6:30 am since sunrise time for tomorrow is around 7:00am. We hope good luck will follow us tomorrow.

Any questions about the drive from Mangkang to Feilaisi (Deqin), just drop a line.

Add-on:
Lijiang Yunnan Tour
Drive from Batang to Mangkang
Drive from Litang to Batang
Drive from Deqin to Shangri-la