Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tibet Autonomous Region

I haven't been able to post in a while due to lack of sufficient internet. Three hours, two cafes, a donut and a coffee later Im finally getting around to uploading pictures. These are from my trip to Tibet. It was such a great experience to go there. Its a beautiful place. China has had a lot of influence there since the the 1959 "liberation" and a lot has changed. Yet western influence still does not have a big presence there, at least not in the sense of development. It is a very unique place and im glad i was able to see it before it changes even more and at a time when things are so sensitive there. Between the recent protest and olympic games there is a strong military presence in Lhasa. By strong i mean downtown there are military in full garb with guns and riot shields at ever corner. Groups of 6 or so can be seen patrolling the streets, and sometimes on the roofs of buildings. They didn't cause any problems however and were mainly there as a reminder. The people of Tibet very all very kind. They love Americans there. Strangers on the street would say hello and i had several conversations in broken english. Most sounding like, "America, good" while gesturing a thumbs up, "Bush", "Clinton". One guy said "China buhao (chinese for not good)", while gesturing a machine gun firing. Being there and talking with the people had made me wish i had come to tibet for journalistic purposes rather than tourism, there is so much that is still not understood about the situation there.

I got the opportunity to travel outside of Lhasa. We drove by SUV through the mountains to Gyantse and Shigatse. It was amazing to see the countryside and places that were hardly touched by the outside world. I would fight the temptation to sleep just to stare longer out the car window. Listening to the same repeat of tibetan music that the driver had on repeat. Swam in a freezing cold lake at 15,000 feet and climbed a small mountain (honestly more like a hill) By the end of the trip I has templed out and had seen more Buddhas than i cared to. It was still an amazing trip and I'll always remember it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be great if you posted a caption under the pictures to tell us what we are looking at. I am writing a book and learning about local customs and culture of this area would help me greatly.