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My Dream Vacation: Tibet (The roof of the World)

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Penny Sun

on 19 March 2013

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Transcript of My Dream Vacation: Tibet (The roof of the World)

Roof of the World TIBET Introduction How to get there? As a child, I was entranced by a book called 'Around the Mountains' by Share Wanglin. The context was in Chinese, and it was about a young man's trip in Tibet. This book has inspired so many people that it was filmed into a movie. A third option is traveling by vehicles. For the adventurous, driving a 4 wheel-drive to Tibet provides an incredible experience. It is a difficult route, not for the faint of heart! Here is a route map of Tibet: Plan Details Route: Lhasa ----> West borders After thorough research of tourist destinations, I want to avoid the common tourist places. Instead, I am planning to drive from Lhasa all the way to the west borders. This chosen route is less developed, but it has the most eye grabbing details! The earth's highest peak, Mount Everest, the world's center - Gangren Boqi Peak, the Holy Lake and Ghost Lake, mysteriously disappeared Guge Kingdom... these are the most stunning views with unique, mythical legends; these are the essence of Tibet! Time of Travel: The first three weeks in June, 2013 Who: A group of five friends - two girls and three guys What to pack: Different types of clothing Casual attire style and layered clothing should be packed. In day time only a T-shirt or at most a jacket is necessary, but at night I might need a coat. Down coat is necessary when we go beyond Lhasa and Shigatse to remote areas, the Everest Camp and Mt.Kailash. Also, I will bring with me sun glasses, sun cream, and moisture creams. First Destination - Lhasa Budget: $2,500 CAD/person Accommodations: Local hotels During my stay in Lhasa, I plan to finally try the famous Tibetan dishes Butter Tea Yogurt Cake Pan Fried Yak Roast Lamb Yamdrok Lake Zongshan Castle - Gyantse Mount Everest Kuala Ditch Sometimes Kuala Ditch is known as the Paradise of Himalayas The Manasarovar Lake Lake Rakshastal - the Ghost Lake Mount Kailash Mount Kailash lies near the two lakes we have just passed. Here is a satellite photo of the two lakes and Mt. Kailash Zhada - the Clay Forest Guge Kingdom Shiquanhe Back to Lhasa
Through my presentation, I will first introduce my plans of the trip. Including my method of transportation as I enter Tibet, which attractions I will be seeing, and what kind of culture to expect.
Enjoy! People in Tibet are very sincere and faithful to their religion. And people here are known for their smiles. Although there are, of course, exceptions and of course people who have little to laugh about, the vast majority of people you will see here - whether beggars or children, lamas or shopkeepers - were almost always on the verge of a smile, if not a grin. Laughter seems to come easily to these people and the influence such a "small" thing can have on your day and your experience is absolutely enormous. There are many ways to travel to Tibet, depending on how quickly you want to get there and how adventurous you choose to be. Usually it is best you take a flight to Lhasa, and take a train out of Lhasa after your Tibet trip. Although most tourists choose to travel by plane, It is now possible to go to Tibet by train via the Qinghai-Tibet railway: the world's highest altitude railway. By considering my options, I've decided that after I arrive to Xining by plane, my friends and I will rent two vehicles and drive to Lhasa from Qinghai. Since the Qinghai and Kathmandu ("friendship highway") routes are the most accessible. We will rent the Jeep Wranglers, as these are made for the off-roads. Pheww! That was a good exercise for our necks! Lhasa is rightly one of the most featured and dreamt-about cities in the world. This is not only because of its high altitude at 3650m which means remoteness and limited accessibility, but also because of its thousand years of cultural and spiritual history which leaves an impressive heritage that has helped to create the romantic and mysterious Tibetan religion.

There is no doubt that this wonderful city in the sky is the soul of the whole of Tibet. In the Tibetan language, Lhasa means the Holy Land or the Buddha Land. It is the center of Tibet's politics, economy and culture. Its most representative symbol is the Potala Palace. The Jokhang Temple, is becoming Lhasa's most sacred temples.
I plan to stay for three days in Lhasa. Besides settling in and visiting Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple in the first two days, I plan to spend a full day in Drepung Monastery. It is known to be the largest of the monasteries in Tibet.    One of the three holy lakes that we will be passing westward from Lhasa is the Yamdrok Lake, it is also known as one of the most beautiful lake in the World. The beautiful lake is known for its gem blue color. The lake has a drainage area of 1600 square kilometers, with an average altitude of 4400m, and nearly a thousand kilometers shoreline. I will be capturing lots of pictures here and enjoy the views of mother nature. This is the part of Tibet that commemorates thousands of Tibetan soldiers killed in the British incursion in 1904. There was also a movie filmed about the invasion and it is called the Red River Valley. My plan is to watch the movie at night while being in Gyantse. We will be passing the remains of the castle after we leave the Holy Lake. Here, we will be accommodated in local hotels and restaurants. Mount Everest is a dream of every climber. It is 8844.43m tall, and it is the highest standing ground on earth. I dreamed of climbing her numerous times. To me, she is not mountain but a temple. I plan to spend three good days in the village to get good photographs of the mountain of my dreams. Because of such high altitude, I plan to wear my heaviest attires. Tibet in its recent years went through great developments. Many areas are accessible by newly built highways that people say Tibet isn't mysterious anymore. However, within the Himalayas region that borders Tibet and Nepal, where little is known - is called 'Tibet last uncharted', the Kuala Ditch.
The road is still under construction to Kuala Ditch, so we will be expecting a lot of off-road driving (that is when a jeep comes in handy!). I will be so excited to see the great mystery. How can you not be excited when you are driving from an altitude of more than 5000 to only 2000 at once?! We will certainly be expecting a great visual experience! As we enter the Ngari region of Tibet, our first goal is to see one of the other holy lakes - Lake Manasarovar. According to the Hindu religion, the lake was first created in the mind of the Lord Brahma after which it manifested on Earth. Buddhists also associate the lake to where Queen Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha. Rakshastal Lake appears to be very dark blue and has very high salt content. There are no plants, no cattle or sheep around the lake. Everything seems lifeless. That's why the lake is called the "Ghost Lake". The Ghost Lake is actually very close to the Holy Lake. They both share the foot of one mountain, and had co-existed over thousands of years. This will be a great spot for picture taking, and we are expecting to spend another two days at this amazing landscape. A great mass of black rock soaring to over 22,000 feet, Mt. Kailash has the unique distinction of being the world's most venerated holy place at the same time that it is the least visited. It is the least visited because of its remote location. In ancient texts, it is referred to as the center of the world. It is said that only people whom are very sincere can see the mountain. Also, since we will only be able to see it at a distance from the village below. It is only if we are lucky and sincere enough, might we catch it on a clear sky. The clay forest was formed by the influence of Mountain Creating Movement. At the foot of the high and flat fridge of mountains, the clay forest stands, some of which resemble the castles. Under the reflection of the sunglow and sunset, the clay forest is yellow with brightness. The "trees" stands in thousands of postures. We are planning to lodge one night here, and the so-called hotels are clay houses built by Tibetans. Next, we will visit Tibet's forbidden kingdom that is located in one of the most inaccessible places on earth, Guge was once the home of one of Asia's most vibrant civilizations. It was here where the Golden Age of Tibetan Buddhism began more than a thousand years ago. Finally, as we leave the Guge Kingdom, we reach the capital city of Ngari - Shiquanhe. It is a good place to rest, cleanup and have a good meal after the long journey from Lhasa. Our team will stay an overnight in Shiquanhe before we depart back to Lhasa. While being in Shiquanhe, we will visit its lake - Bangong Lake. The most peculiar things about this lake is that its difference in salt content from east to west. Photo Time! As a Buddhist myself, I planned to save the final trip for a temple treat. My visit back to Lhasa will take me to the famous Sera Monastary. Here I will have my fortunes read and pray for the health of my friends and family. The End! I hope you've enjoyed this presentation and I hope this presentation has inspired you too, to one day visit or return to Tibet. Thanks for viewing! Special Thanks to: Xiaodong Li, who provided me with many of his traveling photos to Tibet.
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