Tibet 2014 Western Tibet & Mt Kailash

OVERVIEW

September 2014, summary: 

We flew to Nepal, stayed a few days in Patan, near Kathmandu, before driving into Tibet with our Nepalese sirdar and cook. We were in Tibet for a month. A landslide had severed the Nepal road so we hired porters and trekked across the landslide, picked up new vehicles on the far side and carried on driving to the border with Tibet. We walked across the border and and joined up with a Tibetan crew - a Tibetan guide and two Tibetan drivers - and piled into two vehicles, a lorry and a landcruiser.

We drove slowly west across the Tibetan plateau, past Lake Manosarovar and Mt Kailash, almost to the Indian border and the ruins of the 10th century Buddhist Kingdom of Guge - and Tsaparang, our first desination. The landscape is magnificent. Wide empty plains with mountains to north and south, occasional villages. Nearing Guge the landscape becomes extraordinary - a labyrinth of dry eroded canyons extending north-south as far as the eye can see - and the snow capped mountains of India beyond.

Tsaparang once contained some of the finest Buddhist art in Tibet. Exploring the citadel you start to get some idea of what was once here, but not just in Tsaparang - directly opposite our rooms at the Guest House is Tholing Monastery, also dating from the 10th century. In a nearby valley there are the villages of Piyang and Dhungkar, a previous capital of Guge.

We could have happily stayed longer and explored more of the valleys. But without the exact permits you can’t go anywhere. We retraced our tracks back east to Tithapuri and then camped for 4 nights while we completed the trek around Mt Kailash, the pilgrimage destination for thousands of years for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Bonpo.


We drove further east for several days to Shegar, Sakya, Shigatse, Gyantse and Samye before a final drive to Lhasa. We flew to Kathmandu and stayed in Patan.


This page has a few of the highlight photos, the following pages go into more detail with more photos. The first page starts with the journey to Tibet but all the Kathmandu / Patan notes and photos are collected together on the last pages. For some of the highlights watch the videos below.


VIDEO SLIDE SHOWS

Watch the video Western Tibet to Tsaparang video:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqYLpOrdj6Y

Watch the Mt Kailash video:    www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnnxBSLRIsI

Watch the Samye video:   www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g-SNkUM0cY

Diary and photos, day by day:

Kathmandu to Nyalam

Nyalam to Saga

Saga to Paryang

Paryang to Chui

Chui to Tholing

Tsaparang

Tholing Monastery

Dungkhar and Piyang

Tithapuri

Tithapuri and Darchen

Kailash: Tarboche to Driraphuk

Kailash: Over the Drolma La

Kailash: Pass Camp to River Camp

Kailash: River Camp to Darchen

Lake Manosarovar, Seralung Monastery

Paryang, Drongpa, Shegar

Sakya, Shigatse

Gyantse

Yamdruk Tso to Samye

Samye

Lhasa

Lhasa Bead Market

FIRST DAY IN TIBET: KATHMANDU TO NYALAM


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