Day 7: River Brahmaputra & Mountain Namcha Barwa
On the way to River Brahmaputra, I overlooked the whole town, and really like here, especially this long, endless road. I’m always thinking, where is it at the end of that road.
A photo about the scenery on the road to River Brahmaputra.
This is an ancient tree over thousands years in Brahmaputra.
In the ancient Tibetan, it is called Bouzambe, which means the water from the highest peak down to the foot of mountain. It shows two colors every year, green and yellow. It is rainy in August and September in Nyingchi. And the river is not very clean with a lot of sands, so it looks like a yellow belt. But after the rainy season, it becomes green as you see in TV and other brochures.
It is common that you visit a city by boat in coastal city, have you ever think about visiting Tibet by boat? You must say no, but here you could try. You could rent a boat and enjoy the scenery.
The boat I took:
The NamchaBarwa is 7782 meters high and ranks 31st in the highest peaks in the world. It is covered by snow all the year and surrounded by clouds. It’s not easy to see the peak.
Although it is not as high as Everest, no one ever claimed up to the top due to snow slide. The most impressive scenery of NamchaBarwa is sunshine over the peak. It is rainy during June and September, so it is not easy for tourist to see.
Flowers under the foot of mountain
Our agenda was cancelled because one of friends was sent to hospital due to altitude sickness. So we can’t leave here and decided to taste local food. I recommend the Tibetan pork and tricholoma matsutake.
Day 8: Xiuba Castle
Xiu-Ba Castle with more than 1600 years of history, is the oldest and most densely castle group in Tibet with the most complete structure. Xiu Ba Castle group originally has 7 Castles, is said to be built in accordance with Triones. Two of them ware collapsed due to long-term erosion by wind and rain. Only one of the three now existing castles are allowed to enter, as another two are in danger.
On the road from Castle back to Lhasa, we saw River Niyang and Brahmaputra River mix together, so you can see a river with two colors.
Marnyi Stone. In Tibet, stones are seen as holy and intelligent. So you may see there are many stones on the road. When you encounter them, you could walk clockwise around them and pray.
Day 9: Lake Namtso
It is a wonderful day. I started journey early in the morning, and the weather is cloudy as usual. But when we continued driving, I found it was snowing. It’s my first time to see snow in August, so excited.
Below is a photo of Mountain Niangen Tangla (5190 meters). When I took this photo, it’s raining here, but we could see from the photo that it is sunny far away. Namtso lake is in another direction.
When we arrived at Namtso lake, it’s sunny.
Namtso is Tibetan, as it’s also called Sky Lake in Mongolian. The lake lies at an elevation of 4,718 m (15,479 ft), and has a surface area of 1,920 km². it is one of the three holy lake in Tibet, and third largest salty lake in China.
Enjoy the pictures.
Day 10: the trip to Everest is cancelled, and I decided to go back.
I hesitated for long time and finally decided not to go to the Everest Base Camp. The challenge for me is not the super poor condition, nor the altitude. Which makes me hesitate is that I have to stay there for at least 10 hours with 5 degree and in such a high-altitude place.
My driver suggested me not to go there due to my poor health. If I go there, I may get sick. So it is not just a challenge, it is choice between living or death for me.
And a friend who was sent to hospital also has an impact on me. I hope she is ok. This gave me much pressure, anxiety and I felt frightened and also sleepless. So I decided to cancel the trip to EBC. And I know my journey in Tibet comes to an end.
I advise all friends who want to travel in Tibet to think twice before making a decision, and you must cherish your life when you feel you can’t go further.
My trip in Tibet comes to an end. I spent 9 days here just me alone. I made many friends here, a couple aged about 60 from Switzerland, three Italian girls who spent 20 days in Northwestern China, and also many bikers and hikers, and Buddhists from other Tibetan areas. I’m really proud of them.
You will find a special power in your body when travelling around Tibet. This kind of power lighten up the road when you feel confused, and pull you ahead when you feel upset and down, makes you stronger in future.
Now the travelogue also comes to an end. I would like to end it by my favorite night view at Potala Palace.
Potala palace night view
Potala palace night view
Below are some suggestions after my personal experience in Tibet, hope it will be useful for anyone who're going to visit Tibet. Please do not copy it without my permission.
Tips for buying tickets:
August and September is hot travel season, so it’s really not easy to buy tickets. You have to book it one month in advance.
If you are not able to buy tickets from where you departure, you could buy tickets from fore-ahead station. For example, it’s really difficult for me to buy train ticket from Xi’an to Lhasa, at the end, I got ticket from Guangzhou to Lhasa, it passed Xi’an. And I just need to board on the train from Xi’an station. Don’t worry about the seat, it will keep even nobody occupies. Although you spend maybe 200RMB more, you get tickets!
You could also transfer trains. Take my trip as an example, if I can’t buy ticket from Xi’an to Lhasa. I can buy tickets for 2 sections, first from Xi’an to Xining, then from Xining to Lhasa.
If you cannot buy the train ticket after tried all ways, you could also choose plane. I know somebody will worry about the altitude sickness, but it’s no need. This is the only way you can come to Tibet, why don’t take it?
Tips for Lhasa:
Transportation: it’s convenient in city Lhasa, and it costs about 10 yuan to go to scenery spots by taxi. There are also buses (1 yuan) and Rickshaw (about 10 yuan). Taxi is the best choice. For those with much energy, you could choose bike. But you are suggested not to do much exercise in Tibet when you just arrived.
And GPS is a helpful when you are wandering around the city. Download a map on your phone is necessary.
There are many restaurants in city, and I also recommended some in my logue. Don’t worry about the food, I think you could adapt to it.
Hotels in Lhasa are not bad, there are many Inns and hotels. It costs about RMB 1600 per night for 5-star hotel. You could sleep in a good hotel if you don’t care about the money. But it’s better book the room in advance.
It costs about RMB 500 per night in an ordinary hotel
And another choice is stay in local guesthouse, very cheap.
But no matter whatever you choose, book in advance in hot travel season.
Potala Palace (RMB200, it’s hard to buy ticket in high season by yourself)
Jokhang Temple (RMB 85, open to public after 12:00)
Sera Temple (RMB 50, debate begins from 3:00PM)
Show of Princess Wencheng (RMB280-580)
Barkhor Street (free)
What can you do for the altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness is the biggest pressure for those who want to travel in Tibet. There are many ways to relieve. Here are some tips from my experience for reference:
Typical symptom: vomit, headache, chest congestion, muscle weakness, sleepless.
What can we do?
First, you could eat medicine of Rhodiolarosea 10 days in advance, and I think it is necessary. At least it could provide a kind of spirit support if you have had some. Actually many people has altitude sickness because they feel afraid and worried.
Second, don’t take medicines when you feel headache or sleepless. Please try to adjust yourself to the environment gradually. If you feel worse, please have some oxygen or go to hospital.
Third, leave without hesitation if you still cannot adapt to altitude environment. Please do everything within our capacity. Cherish life is the only thing you must remember.
Last but not least, please don’t be so crazy if you are not uncomfortable. Everything is possible here in Tibet.