Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tibet - Xining to Repkong

My trip to the Tibetan plateau this summer is an experience that I will never forget. The landscape is so incredibly beautiful, yet harsh and challenging; the people have the warmest, most open hearts, despite the history they’ve endured; I feel like I came home with a changed perspective on what was important and developed a renewed optimism about…everything.

Tibet is a place that I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time. I wanted to experience being at the roof of the world, amongst the world’s tallest mountains, and immerse myself in the deeply spiritual culture. Over 16 days I was able to accomplish those things, but also learned a lot about the history, and the enduring political struggle. I am not Tibetan, but I felt the painful void that all Tibetans feel, though probably at only a fraction of the intensity.

The photos above are from the early part of Day 2, on the road from the city of Xining to the small town of Repkong. We had stopped on the side of the road, to stretch our legs and were visited by a flock of sheep, a single goat, and a lone cow. Overlooking the Huang He (Yellow River), the views were beautiful, even on this cloudy day. The water was calm, perfectly reflecting the mountains in the distance. I remember telling our guide, Kalsang, how exciting it was to see these animals so close, and how beautiful the landscape was. He assured me that this was just the very beginning of the trip and that there were many more incredible sights to come. I didn’t quite believe him, but he was definitely right. 

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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