Tibet Is Tops

Lhasa Travel Blog

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One of the cute young pandas hamming it up for the camera. Location Chengdu, China
I keep pinching myself; I can’t believe that I am here … in Tibet - the rooftop of the world.
Since arriving, I have taken numerous photos of just sky due to the colour. Whilst traveling around China the majority of colour that I saw in the sky was a brown polluted smoggy haze - especially in cities like Chongqing, Lijiang, Chengdu and Leshan. The colour of the sky here in Tibet is blue. It is so lovely to see the sky and big white fluffy clouds that I had almost forgotten what blue looked like!

Lijiang was one of the cities visited that prides itself on the old town. It was here where I felt like I was transported into another time, but with a definite Disneyesque feel to it.

The old town charges 80 Yuan entry for a three day ticket, but you can get around paying this by just walking through the lapse security gates, and it has numerous shops and stalls set up with traditional Yunnan cultural artifacts including musical instruments, clothing, jewellery and art.
You really could get very close! Location: Chengdu, China
There are a lot of bargains to get, but you just need to look. It was here that I purchased three beautiful carved pictures, which had local cuneiform writing engraved onto them for 120 Yuan all up ($24 NZD). The locals say that their cuneiform script is the oldest continuously used cuneiform in the world, but I just bought it because I liked the colours. One piece was red; another green and then there was the blue one. Ahhhh blue.

Chengdu was another smoggy city that I visited. I did like this place; it was easy to get around, and I got to watch the Nederland versus Japan World Cup game with the locals in a shopping mall, but the main reason for visiting was the Pandas. I was super excited about seeing them up close that I ended up taking several hundred photographs of them, but since there were a few of the young ones who were clearly posers and loved having their photo taken, I couldn’t resist.
The HUGE Buddha at Leshan. The little toe can fit one person. Location: Leshan, China

Another place to visit just outside of Chengdu (about two hours depending on traffic) was the extremely smoggy Leshan. This place is the location for the Giant Buddha made in the 618AD. The walk around the Buddha was quite spectacular but it was a big effort as it was quite warm on the morning that we did it so by the end of climbing down and up the stairs, I could almost wring out my t-shirt. You can have the option of going onto the river with a ferry or speed boat, but I passed on doing this as I’m sure the smog would have meant the view would be obscured.

So here I am in Tibet - breathing in the fresh clean mountain air. I have been surprised at a number of cultural differences between the Tibetans and the Chinese; firstly the English. The Tibetans I have spoken to have been more proficient with the English language and then there are the smiles.
From the top of the GIANT Buddha. Location: Leshan, China
Stunning. In general China was hard work to get people to smile at you, or with you but here in Tibet; no such issue. The locals greet you with a smile and a wave, and I reply with my terrible basic Tibetan. I really like it here. The mountains in the background of Lhasa, the Buddhist monks walking around the city square in their red and yellow robes, the flags flying high in the air (blue for sky, white for the clouds, red for fire, green for the water and yellow for the land), the devoted praying and prostrating themselves and the markets selling trinkets and treasures just waiting to be discovered and bought for a good price.

But the only thing that is distracting about this place is the strong military presence - the military police with big guns and riot gear stationed everywhere and snipers on the rooves with their eyes alert for dissention, watching and waiting.
One of the first photos I took in Tibet - driving from the airport with the mustard fields and the blue sky. Have you ever seen such beautiful blue before??
So like me, these men are on the rooftop of the world, except they are a little higher - they are on the roof of the rooftop and like me they are getting their dose of blue sky that they would not have got if they were stationed in China. Yes I like this place very much.

Tashi delek from Tibet!!
6troopers says:
Did you travel to Tibet with an organised group? I thought solo travel there was almost impossible due to Chinese government restricting entry. I would love to go one day!
Posted on: Mar 27, 2012
sleepingsunshine says:
WOW! Amazing! Can't wait for my turn!
Posted on: Oct 15, 2010
Saskia007 says:
Thanks for the smile and the comment. I like getting them. :) Tibet is amazing!! When are you going?
Posted on: Jun 22, 2010
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One of the cute young pandas hammi…
One of the cute young pandas hamm…
You really could get very close!  …
You really could get very close! …
The HUGE Buddha at Leshan.  The li…
The HUGE Buddha at Leshan. The l…
From the top of the GIANT Buddha. …
From the top of the GIANT Buddha.…
One of the first photos I took in …
One of the first photos I took in…
photo by: mountaingirl