Favorite thing: As opposed to the wheel of life described and pictured for Gyangze, this new one painted on a wall at the Tashilhunpo monastery shows how much artistic talent is being lost under the Chinese rule of Tibet. The artists must be accredited with the government, and are said to be Chinese even sometimes. So officially, the most famous monasteries are being looked after, but in fact, it feels like their quality and prestige is slowly fading, and being replaced into a showcase for tourists.
Favorite thing: As anywhere I have been in Tibet, the monks were very nice and friendly in the Tashilhunpo monastery. We breached the language barrier by laughing together, especially when they pulled on a friend's hairy arms. Contact with foreigners is still rare, so it is always a great human experience on both sides.
Favorite thing: The Tashilhunpo monastery is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second figure of Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama. It is a top university, and has a 26 meter statue of the Maitreya Buddha. This is one of the highlights of a trip around Tibet.
There are countless mountains I've been to, but each has its own personality & uniqueness. In Tibet, there are numerous mountains & many are over 7000 meters! For those who love mountains & want to see them all, this is the place to be in.
Fondest memory: Freezing... but that's what made this place such a draw ;-)
Favorite thing: Tashilhunpo Monastery is massive and although ruined, the Panchen Lama's former palace still looks imposing. But beware the dogs wandering around the monastery and also, Shigatse has a bit of a prostitution problem.
Fondest memory: We met these ladies while visiting the monastery. They were very curious. I suppose tourism is still a novelty in this 2nd largest city of Tibet.
Favorite thing: Aside from New Zealand, this region has one of the most concentration of lakes. Beautiful, rugged & untouched by humanity. A paradise!
Fondest memory: The highest lake I've been to & 1 of 3 "Holy Lakes" in Tibet. Located in Naggarze County, the lake is at 4441 meters above sea level!
To see this in person is what makes life worth living.
Untouched by civilization, the sacred mountain & the holy lake enchanted the world & attracted visitors from across the entire planet!