Short Of Breath Out West Reviews
Sep 30, 2007
Although having travelled quite extensively throughout the Asian continent over the past decade, it was never my original intention to visit, let alone settle in western China. In fact, not all that long ago, the only recognizable place on a map would have probably been Tibet. Looking slightly to the right, and noticing the province named Sichuan could have conjured up a mental image of sizzling, hot strips of beef served in some comparatively cheap, albeit ubiquitous far - off overseas takeaway restaurants, sporting nondescript pseudo - oriental business names, tenuously associated with precious gems or mythical creatures.
A professional colleague in the north-east portion of the Peoples Republic wisely informed me one morning that because of the great vastness of the motherland, foreigners needed to arrive more than once to see the assortment of landscapes & culture which constitute the superabundance of the Middle Kingdom. Nowadays, my passport contains at least half a dozen visa entry stamps. On each occasion, I consciously endeavour to steer my path via previously untraversed regions, and this situation is not likely to change when contemplating further peregrinates.
Tibet remains one of the most interesting, remote and undeveloped parts of the world. A trip to Tibet is not for the fainthearted. Travelling can be hard, adventurous and often unpredictable. Due to Tibet's high altitude, travellers with a history of heart, lung or blood problems should consult a doctor before considering a visit. Others are still likely to suffer from some form of acute mountain sickness (AMS) anyway.
Travelling overland between Kathmandu and Tibet is an incredible journey in which you can see the world's highest plateau. This is a wonderful and amazing trip. Visitors should also understand that Tibet was only opened to tourism in the mid-eighties. However, if you are not up for a bit of adventure, or for accommodation and amenities that may be far from perfect, then this escapade is most probably NOT for you.
Expatriate writer Warren Rodwell has been in China since 2002, and teaches university postgraduates in Chengdu. Many of his feature stories, reviews & photographs have been published online or in hardcopy media form. Warren also narrates documentaries & administers various websites as part of his efforts to internationally promote western China and other diverse cultures.
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