Celebrating Losar in Amdo!

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Visiting a relative’s house at Losar.
I haven’t celebrated Losar in many years, and normally I just get to eat the leftover khapsey. Which I love to dip into tea and munch away! Losar is the Tibetan Lunar New Year, which happens to fall around the same time as the Chinese Lunar New Year and Korean Lunar New Year. Although sometimes Losar can fall at a different time than the other New Year’s as well.

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Tibet Trip: Hospitality

Throughout my trip one thing that stood out was the hospitality shown to me and my friend. Hospitality is one of those things that makes or breaks a person’s impression of a country or its people. Luckily, for me most of my Tibetan friends’ families back home have always been extremely warm, inviting, and more than happy to have you sit down for a cup of cha.

Stove heated with yak dung.

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Tibet Trip: Monasteries

You can find aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon culture throughout the Tibetan plateau. I figured that there would be many places that had stupas, prayer wheels, and prayer flags. I just never realized how much it would appear while we were driving through the windy roads. I’m sure that you are not supposed to take pictures of many things, although I asked every time if it was okay to take a picture, if it wasn’t I didn’t. I’m sure during that process I took a picture of something I shouldn’t have, and that will be a learning curve for future trips.

On the side of the road.

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A Trip to Remember

Indeed it was a trip to remember. I should have titled it something more catchy as to where I went, but most people won’t have a clue or will be like isn’t that China? I’d like not to give power to a place that deserves rightful mention by the people the land actually belongs to. I went on a trip overland through the Tibetan province of Amdo and a little bit of its neighbor, Kham.  It’s been my dream to travel to Tibet firsthand, especially Lhasa. But the price tag of Lhasa makes that a trip for another time. So I decided instead to visit Amdo and Kham as in some parts it still retains a distinctive Tibetan feel. Read More

Tibet Trip: Housing

Small town in Amdo we stopped in to join our tour guide’s friend’s family reunion party.

Before I went on my trip I knew that there was a difference between the types of houses that nomads lived in and the types of houses everyone else lived in. During the past couple decades the Chinese government has made it a mission to slowly move nomads out of their traditional homes and into Chinese style apartment buildings, which the nomads are not used to and it erodes their way of life. So one thing when I was traveling was trying to notice the difference between the buildings and what might be Chinese built and what might be a Tibetan built home. Read More

Tibet Trip : Scenery

My trip through Amdo and parts of Kham was absolutely breathtaking. From the first day we left Chengdu to head up into the Tibetan Plateau my breath was taken away. I haven’t seen blue skies like that in a very long time and it was so refreshing and relaxing to just see that piercing blue across the sky. The landscape varied a lot in some areas there were mountains and in others there were valleys and grasslands. Just looking out the window everyday was enjoyable watching the scenery pass by as we drove to our next destination.

Yaks wading through water.

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