Silkroad D9 : Lhasa City
Lhasa Travel Blog› entry 14 of 21 › view all entries
January 3rd, 2009 – by: wsquare
The day started at 9:30am for me. The guide has decided to cramp 2 days of my itinenary in Lhasa City into one, so that i can travel out.
Hightlights of the Day
1. Local Monastery in Downtown Lhasa
I've yet to know what is the name of this local monastery as it is not common with tourists. One of the few monastries that allow people to take photos inside the temple too. It was this place which i first got acquaintance with the beggars within the temples.
It came as a surprise to me that local Tibetans here are very willing to donate to beggars.
And there are interesting people outside the temple who have stacks of 10-cent worth of dollar notes packed in piles of 10bucks. I didnt really know why such peculiar scene exist until when I made my round in the monastry. Local Tibetans were stuffing 10-cent or 1 dollar notes to statues,lamps, any locations they deemed holy..
Ah, and the same notes were also given to beggars who come begging to you, wishing you all sort of well-wishes, all for the pretext of donations.
2. Sera Monastery 色拉寺 ("Sera" means "wild rose garden" in Tibetan)
Sera Monastery sits at the foot of Hill Tatipu，north of Lhasa and is dedicated to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat Sect), which is a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. As one of the basic schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the Sera monastery is also famous for monks' debates over Buddhist philosophy.
Sera Monastery is as prestigious as the Drepung and Ganden monasteries in Lhasa.
I guess i came Lhasa at a good time. It was the 1st weekend of the New Year. Locals were making their weekend trips to local monasteries for their usual prayers. In Sera Monastery, I happen to catch up on my journey to the temple with my tour guide relatives, who happened to be there for their trip.
3. First Tibetan Lunch
I guess my guide wanted to shove me off for the day as he was suggesting to me if I wanted to spend more time in monasteries, I could spend the rest of the day in Potala which i greatly accept. I wouldnt want him to tag along with me too in a rush of time. I just enjoy the stroll & taking photographs.
So before he left me off for Potala Palace, I had a very yummilious local lunch which he brought me to. Simple dishes that awed me. Stewed Potatoes & Beef, Tomato Eggs & Crispy Potatoes ! So now i know the best potato dishes are all in Tibet. One cannot go wrong ordering anything that has potato in it in Tibet.
Also i was left abit speechless when I seen how the shoepolishers were getting by each day. They came and offered their service, which my tour guide took on. When we were done with our food, the shoe polishers approached us if we still want our leftovers. So they were delighted to continue on our leftovers. And they made the lunch for them too. A bit of sour feeling when i seen that.
And how humble they are to earn their livings. They don't beg for money and they scrimped to make a living themselves.
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January 3rd, 2009 – by: wsquare
4. Potala Palace 布达拉宫
Potala housed a school for religious training of monks and administrators; and it is one of Tibet's major pilgrimage destinations because of the tombs of past Dalai Lamas. It was built for Princess Wencheng from Tang Dynasty by the king, and it was the first palace to be built. In fact, the bestow of marriage of Princess Wencheng also shows the strong harmony between Tibet & Tang Dynasty.
Everyone who comes to Tibet will never miss Potala Palace, also an UNESCO site. I spent the remaining half the day strolling Potala Palace. As usual, military soldiers were seen at each corner of the temple watching guard.
I particular enjoyed the many cosy & warming views of crowds in families making their usual trips. It is that holy and touching. It shows me how kinship & religion devotion are strongly regarded in their culture, an element which i feel has been deterioriating in modern urbaners.