The Potala Palace has been standing in the city of Lhasa for over 1300 years.
I joined a tour by www.tibet-tour.com. We started my Tibet trip from Shanghai then flew to Chengdu, Sichuan and finally arrived at Lhasa Airport in Gonggar, Tibet. (About 60km from Lhasa)
The original plan was to go from Lhasa, to Everest Basecamp and ended at Kathmandu, Nepal, then back to Shanghai. However, because of the
political instability in Nepal, we were unable to make it to Kathmandu.
We stayed in Lhasa for 2 and half days, touring Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery, and we had a lot of free time to explore Lhasa by ourselves. I walked through
a lot of local markets seeing people's daily lives. We also visited a local Tibetan family.
We started our road trip on the 3rd day with 4 Toyota Landcruisers. One thing I needed to say was that one in every 4 cars in Tibet is a Toyota Landcruiser. We
went through the town of Gyantse and saw Baiju Temple. We then moved on to the town of Shigatse (2nd largest city in Tibet). We visited Zhashenlunbu Monastery, one
of the most-destroyed monasteries during cultural revolution in the 1960s.
From Shigatse, we went to the town of Tingri before reaching Rongpuk Monastery (10km ffrom the Everest Basecamp). We rode the horses to the Everest Basecamp at the
elevation of 5300m. Ah....almost forgot to say that one of our 4 Landcruisers got an accident. It was actually scary and funny.
After reaching the Basecamp, we left back to Shigatse. We then split to 2 groups, one went directly to Lhasa, and the other went to Lake Namtso.
I felt my worst day in Gyantse, dizzy and lost my appetite. But Baiju Monastery at Gyantse was my favourite temple to visit. Shigatse, in contrast, a full-blown city,
provided me my first pub experience in Tibet.
Getting to Everest Basecamp was no doubt the highlight of this trip. With the little car accident episode, it added the extra excitement and amusement.
It was an ultimate experience for everyone to get up to Basecamp. The altitude and the harsh condition proved how tough Tibetan People are and showed us
how much they respect their land.