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Word/ Picture Eco

Let’s Go

High

Tibet, owning the highest salt lake of the world, the most faithful Buddhists and various fairy tales, still remains a secret to the world. Eco explores with you, to the top six remarkable southeast Tibetan views.

> Lake Yamdrok, on the way from Lhasa to Nam Lake


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See the lush green meadow lowlands with surrounding snow-capped mountains, and meet with the faithful pilgrims

With an average altitude of 3100 metres, Linzhi is the lowest area of Tibet, however, it stands out due to it being the greenest and most fertile part of Tibet. Having almost half of the land covered by forest, Linzhi is home to 80% of all Tibet’s trees. In addition to the massive forest area, Linzhi also contains a continuous plateau of some of the world’s highest mountains. The best location to enjoy these spectacular zigzags of the skyline is the Namjiagbarwa Scenic Area. The bright white snow peaks will always be visible for miles around, continuously standing on the horizon, some of them so tall they seem to pierce the sky. A stream, with its source on a couloir of Mount Namjiagbarwa, flows all the way through to the lower foothills and disappears in a wild profusion of vegetatiown. When leaving the Namjiagbarwa area don’t forget to look out for the faithful pilgrims worshipping on the roadside, as for most of the pilgrims from Szechuan

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he Linzhi Area

Niyang River, Linzhi

Province, Linzhi is the necessary entrance to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. This journey can take even a reasonably fast group of pilgrims at least five months to complete, and a solo trekker can take months more. The pilgrims, with their most sincere chanting of the lections, worship with kneels bent and forehead touching the ground when the body is stretching, and repeat this process with just a few steps in between all the way to Potala Palace in Lhasa, the place where they regarded as the most holy.

stel wn Bayi, Song Lin Ho Accommodation: To yuan yuan/ bed 70-130 Price: Hostels 20-25

g Shen Contact: Xiangzhon @ E-mail: 411697970 13659593211 1/ 20 22 -58 94 08 Phone number: qq.com home to over the Niyang River is m, is situated near n itself origitow e Th . m2 5k Bayi town, at 2900 t a small space of jus in le se villages op the pe d er, an eth 35 thous ich combining tog wh es lag vil ort from l pp era su nated from sev 0. Yet after the families before 196 loped as 30 t ve de jus y to all me du ho gra were Kong and Amoy, it ng Ho ce, vin Pro g Guangdon the area. d cultural centre for the economical an o near Bayi town, so ns in the area are als tio rac att vellers t ris tou base for most of tra Many popular close, convenient the ng and a n ya Ni tow the the s of e ke nc ma this e beautiful conflue Th . ion reg s thi n. to and tourists south of the tow is only 30km to the Yalu Tsangpo rivers


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Mount Mila, somewhere you can unwind in the clounds

Mount Mila

The origin of two famous Tibetan rivers Driving from Linzhi to Lhasa, you enter into the Gongbo’gyamda County, which stems its fame from Mount Mila. With millions of colourful prayers flags waving on the summit, Mount Mila owes its name to the Mount Immortal from the ancient Tibetan people, and is one of the places that features the most in Tibetan culture. The reputation of the mountain is not due to its eminence of 5020 metres, but the two most well-known rivers in Tibet which have their source situated upon it, the Lhasa River, the mother river of the capital city, Lhasa, and the Niyang River, one of the highest headstreams in the world. Standing between the areas of Linzhi and Milin, Mount Mila forms a natural line between the two totally different topographies and climates; the dry and cold rocky hills in the west, and the tall mountains blanketed by a rain weathered forest to the north. It would be a very unique experience for one to drive from Linzhi to Milin as you can sense the four seasons in only couple hours.

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Niyang River Source of one of the highest rivers in the world As you descend Mount Mila to Lhasa, stunning scenery will surround you of the fresh green valleys with meandering streams winding their way towards the lowlands and the lower Niyang River, one of the five sources of Yalu Tsangpo River. The fertile soils which cover the moist flood plains of this area give a perfect medium for a huge diversity of flowers and mountain plants to grow on the river banks, and where the rivers are wide and slow enough carpets of lilies and other flower which grow on the water’s surface, some of them even reaching to the middle of the channel, making it easily accessible for people to walk all the way across the river if the water is also shallow. These beautiful valleys allow the fresh green and pink colours of the fauna to extend all through the way to Lhasa, as well as at time to the seemingly brush the clouds in the sky, making any picture taken from the road a masterpiece.

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The worshiping pilgrims in Tibet

You may find it odd, as I did, not point out a specific spot or attraction to visit in this area, but the beautiful natural views in Tibet stretch all the way through the land, and all you need to do is to stop the car, take a walk, and marvel in its vistas.

Accommodation: Nanfang Hostel/318 National Road, Gongbo’gyamda, Nyingchi, Tibet, China Rigasi Hostel /318 National Road, Gongbo’gyamda, Nyingchi, Tibet, China Price: Hostels 130-180yuan/room (2 beds) Gongbo’gyamda is located in the southeast of Tibet, with the population of 26.4 thousand people. It owns the reputation of king of the wildlife, having 287 rare species of wildlife in its protected area. >

A locat is having a rest after hours of worshiping

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the Potala Palace in Lhasa >

Potala Palace, Lhasa The most precious place in Tibet Driving 158km from County Gongbo’gyamda to Lhasa, a symbolic red and white architecture on the hill tells you that you have already arrived, and that is Potala Palace. The irreplaceable role of Potala Palace in Tibetans’ mind comes from not only the fame of winter palace for historical Dalai Lamas, or it grandness, but also, the combination of various Tibetan cultures.

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The palace, with more than 1000 rooms inside, are separated into three parts and they are the Red palace in the middle for worshiping the Buddha, and two White palace at both sides. The whole complex is decorated by massive elaborate painting, including Thangka, the Tibetan traditional painting that contains precious materials including gold and pearls. Another treasures that worth focusing is the more


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The Barkhor Street

than 3000 historic Buddhist statues that with different expression in both emotions and positions, as well as the decors and cloths.

The exquisite palace cannot be built in one day, and it has been collecting the Tibetan features since the 7th century, when it was built by Songtsen Gampo, the Tibetan King then, for marrying the Wen chen Konjo, the princess of Han Dynasty. It was later refurbished during the period of the 5th Dalai Lama in 1645 and since then, the condition of the palace is well renovated. As Tibet was integrating politics with religions in old time, and the complex was regarded as the winter palace for the Tibetan leaders, the Dalai Lamas, Potala Palace is the root of Tibetan cultures.

Barkhor Street Go clock-wise!

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any Tibetan e, you will see m the Potala Palac m to night, all in fro y t da ou m g in fro e, Walk outside the palac nd ou city centre of ar ng old e lki people wa Barkhor Street, th is at th d an n, the same directio the capital city. also with d walk in the area flow of people, an eel and e wh th er w ay llo pr fo t a t no ge Why spectacle, or even g on the nt rin cie de an d an ve W ? er well-pres tyle of the locals es lif l na thouigi e or th e e cks, you can se have a taste of th olished stone blo ucts, -p od pr nd le ha sty by n d ve eta road pa lling various Tib se s ess op sh ten d isi an qu hs ex sands of boot cessories. The al clothing and ac impress, to ion il dit fa r tra ve g ne din ll inclu shops wi ms sold in these of some of the ite enir collector. uv so id av an t even you are no o Youth Hostel : Lhasa Dong Cu Accommodation / bed Price: 30-35 yuan youth hostel is g East Road, the Located in Beijin the tourist area. of t ou lace, yet al near the Potala Pa a taste of the loc al markets, have loc e th e. e lif se y n cit ca There you e Tibetan style ts and explore th food in restauran

A local with rosary 24


Nam Lake Visit the highest lake of the world Nam Lake, translated to ‘lake in the sky’ in Tibetan dialect, is the highest salt lake in Tibet. The lake sits at a height of 4718 metres, and is rarely visited by tourists or travellers and with no settlements near the water as pure as when just left the spring at its source. The mirror-like lake, having a clear reflection from the huge blue sky above, sheds hues of blues and greens as if layers paint were poured on the massive glowing canvas. For a very special visit to the one of the four Tibetan sacred lakes go at sunset, as the sun gradually hides its shining golden face behind the huge uninterrupted snowy line of mountains which surround the area. If you miss the sunset, sunrise is just as spectacular, and is another chance to see the beautiful coloured horizon. At about 6 am, as all the locals start to work, and most of the tourists are still in bed, you can climb up one of the small hills standing behind your living place, to enjoy the quiet golden moment in the peace of the morning.

Accomodation: Sheds on Zahi of the Tibet Peninsula Price: 25-45/bed

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Zahi, located in the south-east of Nam Lake, is regarded to be the best place to visit the Lake, as it is the most popular place for locals during religious events.

The Nam Lake


Let's Go High  

my course work with the award-winning tour operator, China Holiday, Uk

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