Trying to save money

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of China  ,
Thursday, October 20, 2005

After a pretty good sleep all the symptoms from yesterday were gone so I was happy. Seeing as no one was feeling bad we decided to be more active and visit the Potala Palace.

Walking passed the Potala there were hundreds of pilgrims all prostrating themselves on the ground in prayer. The devotion these people show to their religion is quite incredible.

When we finally found the entrance we paid the rather high price of 100 yuan. They obviously know everyone is going to visit so they can charge whatever price they feel like. The inside of the palace was quite incredible. Hundreds of rooms all full with sculptures and tombs. The whole palace is also really brightly coloured which is not something I was expecting. Everyone was offering money to the Gods so I joined in and gave a few jiou. Hopefully it'll bring me good luck!

After an hour we came out the other side of the building somewhat confused as we hadn't been able to go up on the roof. On finding out that the roof was closed for renovation we were seriously pissed off. Having paid so much money to visit you would think they would have the common decency to warn you beforehand?

Another English couple were also suitably miffed and we stood around for about 10 minutes before wondering what to do next. Back at the entrance Jesper was steaming! He went straight to the woman who served us and demanded half his money back, arguing with her about not telling us the roof was closed. We spotted a tourist complaints number so he decided to ring it. Guess what? The same woman went inside and picked the phone up! Great complaints line.

Still in a mood we went for a walk around the market. It turned out to be hilarious as we went from stall to stall bargaining over the price of a few pence and saying student discount to all of them! Managed to buy a coat and gloves for about 5 quid so it worked out in the end.

We went to pay the remaining 3000 yuan for the Jeep tour before heading out to dinner. We ended up eating Yak burgers, which were delicious, before heading to the hotel bar for drinks and to teach Jesper how to play darts.

At midnight the bar closed so we went outside in search of somewhere else. Once on the street it was obvious that Lhasa isn't a late night drinking town as all the shops had their shutters down. Managed to locate a tiny local bar down the street and it was hilarious!

Jesper ended up dancing away and some gay Chinese guy started dancing really close to him, much to his discomfort. Dave and I were pissing ourselves and joked about it all night. Back at the hotel we still couldn't stop laughing. We must have laughed non-stop for 30 minutes and it was painful in the end. I doubt the others in the dorm were too happy though as it was gone 2am!
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