United Kingdom, China · 15 Days · 54 Moments · June 2017

Connie's journi to Tibet via Chengdu

30 June 2017

Last night in Lhasa - such a beautiful place to visit! Next stop New Zealand with Evie and a new journi too 😁
Sunrise over Namsto + rock drop #3

29 June 2017

Beautiful Namsto! A sacred lake in Tibet and the second largest after Yamdrok. Did a kora around the west hill which is home to Tashi Kor Monastery
Our glamorous accommodation...! A little disappointing but the Monastery and lake make up for it!
Glimpse of Namsto/Heavenly Lake at the Lagemga Pass at 5190m
Off to Namsto!

28 June 2017

Managed to get the front seat for our drive back to Lhasa along the Yarlong Valley - here are just a few of the amazing views!
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery for the Yellow Sect and home to 500 monks! Built by the 1st Dalai Lama and is now the Panchen Lama's winter palace (like the Potala Palace for the Dalai Lama). Also holds the tomb stupas for the 4th, the 5-9th (both silver+bronze) and the 10th (solid gold built in 1993) Panchen Lamas. There is a disputed history about the 11th Panchen Lama with the Chinese saying there is one whereas the Tibetans believe there are 2 with the 'true' one being kept by the Chinese under house arrest at a secret location and the other being appointed/approved by the Chinese...

27 June 2017

Views from the mega zig zag road and back over the Kyawula Pass at 5180m
The peak came out just as we got back to camp...
One of the first to make it to Tibetan EBC but shame Everest was too lazy to get up for sunrise too!! πŸŒ„ 5200m (Rock Drop 2 made at overnight camp)

26 June 2017

EVEREST!!!!!!!!! So worth the wait in the cold!
Rongpu Monastery at 5050m - Red Sect of the Tibetan Buddhism where monks and nuns live and meditate together. It's one of the highest monasteries in the world with a meditation cave complete with very happy cat for Ciara!
Our humble abode for tonight 😱 yes all 12 are in 1 tent.... 5000m accommodation!
Kyawula Pass at 5180m - Everest hiding in the clouds!
Made the turning up the Everest rather than the Nepal border! 4300m
Gyatso La Pass - higher than EBC at 5248m
Gyatso La Pass - higher than EBC at 5248m
Tsola Pass - 4600m
Officially 5000km from Shanghai! At 4200m and driving along the China-Nepal Friendship Highway en route to EBC!

25 June 2017

Gyangze heritage town to get alien permits for EBC (although I already have one from going to Samye!) and then onto Palcho Monastery that is special due to its wall paintings and that it is for 3 sects of Tibetan Buddhism (Yellow/White/Gandem) and the 600 year old KumBum Stupa with 68 chapels over 5 levels (4000m)
Manak Dam Lake - 4350m
Korola Glacier - cheeky 5000m!! So beautiful!
Beautiful Yamdrok Lake at 4400m - also known as the turquoise lake and is 90km long
Gambala Pass looking down on Yamdrok Lake! High point of today of 4800m - 1200m above Lhasa! We finished the assent in complete fog but thankfully we got a beautiful view of one of the 3 sacred lakes in Tibet 😁
Slowly climbing - 4125m
The long drive has begun! 360km to Shigatse via Yamdrok Lake and Gyangze

24 June 2017

Potala Palace! White for compassion and the political area of the palace, red for religion and power for the religious area and the Yellow is for wealth...
Ramoche Temple - the sister Temple to Johkang Temple
Jokhang Temple (Temple of the Buddha) in the rain! Built in the middle of the 7th century as a dowry for the Nepalese wife of the king and was expanded in the 15th century

23 June 2017

Dinner + Tibetan Cultural Show
Sera Monastery - second largest Monastery in Tibet for the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism
Drepung Monastery - largest Monastery for the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the largest learning centre for the Yellow Sect religion and 500 monks now reside here

22 June 2017

Samye! Such a beautiful place - called the first monastery in Tibet and built in the 8th Century. Built for the Red Sect of Tibetan Buddhism (also Yellow Flower and White sects) and split into 3 levels: ground level is in Tibetan style, the second is in the Chinese style to honour the mother of King Trisong Detsen and the top level, closest to heaven, is in the Indian/Nepalese style to give highest honour to the origin country of Tibetan Buddhism. After exploring this incredible place we did a 'kora' around the sacred hill next to Samye which is where it is said ghosts of things believed in before this monastery were laid to rest. (Rock drop - a bit of de la rocque is now living on the Indian level, hopefully somewhere it won't get swept up!!) Ps mum if you zoom in close to the edge of the puddle there are some sparrows - one posing too! 😘
Pass at 3800m (altitude of Lhasa is 3600m) en route to Samye Monastery
😱 What a view!! Absolutely stunning views on the road to Samye via a town to pick up a permit!

21 June 2017

Yup definitely in Tibet ❀️
Safely landed in Tibet!
Tibet time! 😍 Time to use the funky Aliens Permit!

20 June 2017

Wenshu Monastery - one of the national key monasteries in Chinese Buddhism and first built in 605-617 BC (Sui dynasty) but was destroyed in the wars finishing the Ming Dynasty. It was rebuilt in 1697 and has survived with over 200 statutes intact which is rare considering the number of wars in this area.
Pretty People's Park
Chengdu Museum and it's amazing Puppet Exhibition
BEST DAY EVER!!!! This is my new favourite - Yǎ Xīng a nearly 2yo boy who loves bamboo shoots! 🐼🐼🐼 VERY HAPPY CONNIE!!!

19 June 2017

Just made a traditional 'sachet' at the hostel - it dates back to 2000 when a famous poet committed suicide after his vision of China wasn't recognised. The villagers fished his body out the river and covered it in Chinese medicine herbs to prevent being swarmed by mosquitos. Now these are made around the dragon boat festival containing these herbs to remember this story. Very fiddly and yes it took me about an hour and yes I know it's pink and girly!
Qingcheng Mountain - Sacred mountain for Taoism as it is the place where the religion was 'founded' 1800 years ago. Only (!) 1400 steps up/down in total and very glad we took the cable car up half of the way! Did a loop of the mountain (see map in last picture) and it was exceptionally peaceful with few people around too 😊 Ps the smiley happy people are for wealth 😁
Dujiangyan Irrigation System - built 2300 years ago and split into three sections (last 3 pictures) allowing 60% of the water to flow to the Yahtzee and 40% to flow to Chengdu. The bridge is known as the husband and wife bridge as a couple insisted that the government build it to prevent the many shipwrecks that happened as people tried to cross to reach the Taoist temples.

18 June 2017

Whizzing from Emei to Chengdu at 194km/hr on the high speed train
Mt Emei and the Golden Summit - incredible views after what felt like a never ending staircase!! Oh and Mt Emei monkeys too 😁 Edit: Apple health app informs me we climbed up 151 flights of stairs (over 2,400 steps) 😩😴

17 June 2017

Sichuan Opera in Emei featuring face changers, puppet calligraphy, shaolin kungfu and tea masters and their tea pots with 1m long spouts!
Lehshan Buddha (Leh = happy, Shan = mountain) - tallest in the world at 71m after the one in Afghanistan (over 100m!) was destroyed
Chengdu Panda Research Centre! Lots of cute pandas (including a tiny 2m one!) = happy Connie!
Arrived safe and sound in Chengdu!

15 June 2017

Travel time!!! 😬✈️🌏