Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tibet - Wutun Monastery, Repkong

Repkong is a small town in the Amdo region of Tibet, known as the cradle of Tibetan arts. Above are photos from our visit to Wutun monastery, and the studio of the head lama who is also a master thangka painter. It’s difficult to see the details of the paintings in progress, but they are truly amazing in person. His tools consist of an array of brushes from thick to thin, and his paint is natural pigment made from crushed minerals. In his studio are numerous finished pieces that hang from the walls and lie scattered on a long rectangular table. Each one is unique and range from large pieces of deities and wheels of life, to smaller mandalas. 

I didn’t take very many food photos on this trip, but the one above is of the traditional noodle dish thenthuk. The soup is thick and spicy and helps to keep nomads warm in the harsh winters. Normally it is served with yak or mutton meat but as a vegetarian they gave me some tasty black fungus instead :). 

We planned our trip with Snowlion Tours, a Tibetan-owned company based in Xining. Wangden, the owner, is a great guy and  I would highly recommend them :) 

More photos from my trip on flickr

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