Silkroad D8: Train Express ->Lhasa Finally!
Lhasa Travel Blog› entry 13 of 21 › view all entries
January 2nd, 2009 – by: wsquare
Ok I am all eager for the next day in Lhasa city. It was a great pity that I did not look carefully of Lhasa train station as it was pitched dark when i arrived. The Dongbei lady whom I got acquainted during my Dunhuang trip, told me how modern Lhasa train station was. She made annual trips to Tibet, and I have to acknowledge how fit she was ! All attributes to her vegetarian diet, which she claims!
I finally met the tour guide waiting outside the train station with my name on the signboard. Along with him, was his boss,who chauffered us to the hotel.
I was even more alarmed to hear eversince the breakout, and the incident where some American students actually went on a mini demonstration against the govt, regulations had gone so tight with foreigners that, local hostels and FIT agencies (who fit individuals to jeep trips out of Lhasa) are closing their business during this period!
Why? Because you need to engaged a registered tour agency to provide you the planned itinenary before you can apply for a Tibet-entry permit! All the businesses which cater to tourists arriving on the spot have to close till regulations are removed.
Ok, my most immediate enquiry along my journey to the hotel was, what can I do for the subsequent days ? I do not wish to stay in Lhasa for my next 4 days in Tibet.
I had to make a difficult choice. The true fact is, i cannot join in other groups to enjoy the road trip savings. Today,I am the only tourist fetched. I cannot jump to another group registered under another tour agency, even if they were out-of-Lhasa itinenary arrangements.
I couldnt go too far either, cos the add-in trip cost was based on kilometers travelled. Disgusting because all road trips within Tibet are really far going by hundreds of Kilometres!
Eventually, i decided on the route to Gyantse, Shigatse, which fits in 2 days of itinenary nicely. But at an additional cost of 2300rmb... It's a very cheap rate considering all tickets in,with tour guide, I was told. If it was a normal travel season, the price is definitely gonna tripled at least.. Ouched, but it still hurts even for me at a discounted price.
Alright, so Tibet travel cost became skewed out of my initial budget due to the added/modified itinenary. Alas, but considering it as a trip for me to end China, I decided to go ahead. And also because of this plan, I ended up borrowing additional money from my friend to buy my return air ticket !
Alright, my head could feel the high-altitude pressure on my very first night. It was a slight dizzy. Time to get a good sleep to accustom to Tibet weather. And no bath for first day entering Tibet i was warned. So two consecutive days without a proper bath already. Guess it was alright since the weather was cold then,and I didnt perspire that much anyway in such low temperatures !
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