We were five women in a group and our travel started in Khatmandu/Nepal in july 2007. Mr. Naba from Himalayan Glacier agency (www.himalayanglacier.com
) organised for us three weeks tour in Tibet.From Hotel Encounter (nice hotel very near Thamel) the agency arranged for us drive to the border place Kodari, then with a help of Nepali guide we crossed the border and soon we met our Tibetan guide Mr. Chiwang and two jeep drivers.
In Zanghmu, the first town in Tibet, we changed some money and late in the night came to Nyalam (3700 m), where we slept in a very clean and nice rooms.
Our next stop was Tingri and on the way to there we crossed the pass Torong La (5200 m). The landscape was inspite of bad weather magic. In Tingri we learned that the road to the Everest Base Camp is very bad because of raining, so we changed the plan and continued our travel to Lhatse and Sakya. We stopped in Sakya for a visit an old monastery and then we drove further to Shigatse. We stayed over night in the Tibetan Farmers Hotel. Shigatse is a nice town with impressive Tashilumpo Monastery, interesting Summer Palace and peaceful park with old chortens.
In Gyantse was our next stop. First we visited the old castle, from where is nice view to the old and new part of town. The old town spreads till very high stupa (32,4 m) with 108 cells countaining venerable mural paintings. After quite long drive we reached Lhasa, the capital town of Tibet. Here we stayed five nights in the Hotel Pata on Barkhor Square. In the surroundings of the hotel is Jokhang, the most sacred temple in Tibet and Potala Temple, the most impressive building in Lhasa. We visited also Norbulinka – The Dalailamas Summer Palace, the Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and one day we spent in Ganden Monastery, located about 45 km east of Lhasa.
But our main wish was circling around Kailash and before that visiting the highest monastery in the world – Rongbuk and Everest Base Camp. When we returned to Tingri, the weather was again very bad, the road wet and muddy, but anyway we drove to EBC and also saw the top of the Mount Everest in the moment when clouds ran away. This was something special. I got a feeling that the top of the mountain is touching the sky.
On the way back to Tingri, we had some car damages, but this was nothing serious. After lunch in Tingri we drove in the direction to Saga. On the way we had heavy raining and after crossing Qomolangma Natural Protection Area, we sticked on a bank of the river. The water was too high for crossing. It was already late in the afternoon, so the only possibility was to spent night in the jeeps.
Next morning the river was only narrow stream, so we could continued drive to Saga and the same day we reached Zongba. We slept there in a quite bad hotel (Yak Hotel), but it was the best in the village.
The weather became better and the landscape more and more beautiful. We drove toward Darchen, the village from where we started our three days walk around Kailash. First we reached Lake Manasarovar. It was turquoise and sparkled in the sunset From there we saw Mount Kailash, the centre of the universe for Hindus, Budhist and Jains. The view was magnificant.
We overnight in Darchen, our guide arranged the porters for our luggage and next morning we started our pilgrimage. First day we walked only three hours till Drira Phuk Monastery. The place is located in a nice valley precisely opposite Mount Kailash.
The weather was clear these day, so the view was remarkable. We slept in a dormitory near the monastery.
Next day we were walking cross the Drolma La (5636 m) to the Zutrul Phuk. These was long walking day ( 8 hours ), but very nice. Zutrul Phuk is a place with small monastery and also with small dormitory. We spent night there and next morning we had only two and half hours back to Darchen. The circle was completed. I was happy and sad in the same time. Happy because I fulfilled my long wish and sad because I knew that I should soon say goodby to this beautil country.
Anyway we spent another two days near Manasarovar lake and this was fantastic again. The lake and the surrounding is beautiful. West of Manasarovar is Lake Raksas. Between two lakes is a channel known as Ganga Chu. We slept in the Guest house very near the lake and only a half kilometer from village Chiu with monastery and nice chortens on the hill. If I will have chance to come in Tibet again, I would like to trek around the lake.
After two wonderful days near Manasarovar Lake, we started drive back toward to Paryang, Saga, Zangmu and the fouth day we came back to Khatmandu.
I can say, that we spent really nice weeks in Tibet. I realised, that travelling in Tibet can enrich ones personality, but one must be prepare on this country physicaly and even more psychicly.
I am thankful to Mr. Chiwang, our guide, and our jeep drivers for their help and patience. And of course to Mr. Naba from Himalayan Glacier Agency for arranging us this travel.