On The Road To Everest........

Trip Start Jun 13, 2010
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Flag of China  , Tibet,
Sunday, June 27, 2010

We set off for Everest a few days later than planned, none of us were feeling that well so we decided to spend a little extra time acclimating before making the ascent to Everest!

From Lhasa we took the road toward Tingri, the gateway to Everest Basecamp, overnighting in Shigatse on the way.  During the journey, we stopped at a few Monasteries, which the children LOVED (not!), before arriving in Fleabag Motel, Shigatse. 

As the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse is most known as being the seat of the Panchen Lama.  Shigatse is at an elevation of 12,800ft above sea level and borders Nepal, Bhutan and India. 

Shigatse was once the political, religious and cultural center of 'Rear Tibet'. As time went on, the town lagged far behind Lhasa in terms of economy and population. 98% of the population in Shigatse is Tibetan, compared to 30% in Lhasa. Due to its relative inaccessibility,  the traditional way of life of the local people has survived.  It is expected that the Quinghai-Tibet Railway will be extended to Shigatse by 2010 making it much more accessible to travellers and pilgrims alike. One would assume that with the increase in tourist traffic to the region, the traditional way of life, will soon become just a memory!

During our brief time in Shigatse, we visited the famed Tashilumpo Monastery which was founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama. Another of the more well known sites we visited, was Yamdrok Lake which one of four holy lakes in Tibet.  Like mountains, lakes are considered sacred by Tibetan people.  Tibetans believe that lakes are the dwelling places of protective deities and therefore blessed with spiritual powers. Yamdrok Lake is venerated as a talisman and is said to be part of the life-spirit of Tibetan. The largest lake in Southern Tibet, it is said that if the waters 0f Yamdrok Lake dry-up, Tibet will no longer be habitable.

Stay tuned as we meander our way through this mysterious land!

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