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Thread: Tibet Trips

  1. #21
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    OMG! which lake is this? i was in lhasa last june, but too rush to tour the sacred mountains and lakes

  2. #22
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    Fantastic picture, frankliu! More!

  3. #23

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    just came back from a 1-month tibet backpacking tour 3 days ago.

    for 11 days, it would only be enough for u to visit lhasa & a few surrounding areas, or travel along 1 of the entry highways should u want to skip lhasa. it's prudent to allow 2-3 days for acclimatisation if u fly in, that's a gain of >3,000m in about 2 hours if flying from chengdu. Most people don’t get much problem if travel overland.

    feb-mar might be too cold, apr-early nov is the better season, but jul-aug can be rainy. i would say oct is good, the sky is clearer & the leaves start to turn yellow at end of sep.

    i travelled overland from chengdu to lhasa, and from lhasa-golmud-xining-chengdu on the returning route. either by public bus, hired 4wd or train, avoiding the plane as i was on a shoestring budget, & get to admire the scenery this way.

    While in chengdu, u can stay at sim’s cozy guesthouse ( www.gogosc.com ), it’s run by a singaporean & japanese couple, sim & maki. Very nice place, with friendly & helpful staff, cozy & comfortable, like a home away from home.

    I did not get any permit for tibet, at sim’s, I arranged with some fellow travellers from china to travel together on northern sichuan-tibet highway to cut transport cost, & also to help me register for room along the way ( when a foreigner without permit registers for a room, the hotel staff will inform the police, & he will be arrested, fined & turned back ). If u speak mandarin, u can pretend to be a chinese national, china is big, not easy for people to tell from your accent. The advice I got from fellow travellers was to tell the police I’m from shenzhen / guangdong / fujian, & just had my ic stolen.

    The best scenery I got for the trip was along the sichuan-tibet highway, especially the small towns & villages. It is advisable to hire a 4wd for this route, so that u can stop for photo-taking anywhere u like. I took the public bus from town to town, so lots of opportunities were lost. The whole journey will take 10-15 days.
    A 4wd from chengdu-lhasa costs rmb10,000 - rmb12,000, seat 4-5 persons ( excluding driver’s food & accom ).

    If u only have time to fly in, I guess your itinerary will cover potala, jokhang, drepung, sera monasteries, not to miss namtso lake & samye monastery.
    Hire a 4wd for namtso, but a cheaper option is the tour van, the one I took cost rmb1,500 for 2d1n, 9 persons sharing. It’s cold but the scenery is great. Buy more pencils / stationery / chocolate for the kids, once your vehicle stops at the ticket office, about 10 of them will run to u to ask for some goodies.
    The ferry ride to samye monastery is enjoyable, slow & steady boat, scenic view along the way.

    Like therat, I was a little disappointed too when I reached lhasa, the countryside is so much fascinating.
    If u can squeeze in some time, try to visit the countryside / villages, they are beautiful & very tibetan.

    I do not know whether what I post is of help, it seems like I’m just typing out some of my experiences.

    Anyway, i’m sure u’ll enjoy your tibet trip very much like I did.

  4. #24

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    Great info KC, Maxwellian, boochap! Thanks for sharing!
    I was contemplating an overland Yunnan-Tibet trip but due to various reasons, will probably be postponing it. I believe after Markham or something, the route would be the same as the Sichuan-Tibet route. In any case, for those planning to go next Apr, keep me in the loop yah? I also don't mind an overland Friendship highway trip with detour to EBC.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by K C
    Like therat, I was a little disappointed too when I reached lhasa, the countryside is so much fascinating.
    If u can squeeze in some time, try to visit the countryside / villages, they are beautiful & very tibetan.

    I do not know whether what I post is of help, it seems like Iím just typing out some of my experiences.

    Anyway, iím sure uíll enjoy your tibet trip very much like I did.
    Yes you are right, Lhasa is too commericalize now. It is totally different from it used to be (maybe this is the price for capitalism & modernization). With the influx of Han chinese migrating to Tibet - Lhasa, the whole siuation has changed. You will undestand what I mean if you been there.

    If you guys are more interested on the traditional Tibetan culture, do travel out of Lhasa, especially to the countryside. The people there are wonderful. nice people with a big heart.

    Anyway, I'm planning for the 2nd round back to Tibet. A nice place to visit especially with its interesting culture.

  6. #26
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    Yeah. heard alot about Lhasa. In fact, i think it's getting more and more polluted because of the cars.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwellian
    With due respect, not everyone look or dress like a Chinese, even though you are a Chinese. A soon as you open your mouth, people will know.. And if you want to take the risk of being turn back, by all means.
    am sorry if i have sound rude..my apologies.



    but seriously, that's what i did last month for almost 4weeks going from chengdu to lhasa to shannan... almost like what KC has written...but was travelling alone throughout the trip. however, travelling without a permit with a group of fellow singaporean in this way maybe a bit tough, because as we open our mouth to speak to each other, we switch to singlish very naturally.

    i.e. either u travel alone and make up some story when u register for rooms or join the friendly chinese backpackers...many of them are also travelling along the same route.

    quite a few buses/shared 4wd or mini van along this route, esp outside rainy or winter seasons, transport not a problem...only concern is the timing or schedule which is very very irregular....gotta be prepared to stay overnight in any town because of delays...

    as for modernisation...well, if we singaporean enjoys handphone, computer, hi-fi, highway, cars and trains and condo and etcetcetcetc..how could we deprive the tibetan or the others of having to enjoy such things...just to satisfy our vacation needs once or twice a yr?

    as for the culture and heritage...many yr ago, the chinese men keep many wives, wear cheongsam, woman bond foot, and etcetc...where is it now? u may say these are lousy culture, but in those days, everybody think those are great thing to do....

    anyway..most of these shots were taken in sichuan part of the chengdu-lhasa route, TAR part is still in progress...
    www.starhub.net.sg/~boochap/preview.html
    Last edited by boochap; 15th October 2004 at 08:56 PM.

  8. #28

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    Thanks everyone for contribute info ...
    I will try to spend more days Keep alive & pumping for
    more data ......



  9. #29
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    Default You guys shall know what it is, it's in Tibet, but far from Lasa.


  10. #30

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    Hi guys
    If you are keen to see some of my Tibet photos from last year, go to the link below. Please note that this link will ceased to direct you to the site from 22 Oct when I close the albums to public. Actually as mentioned before, the mountains in Tibet are great but not awe-inspiring as some other places in China, Nepal, India and Pakistan. Furthermore one may actually see more wholesome and sarguably more exotic Tibetan culture in other parts of China such as the Khambo or Amdo regions in north Yunnan, north east and north of Sichuan. Have fun viewing.
    http://community.webshots.com/user/lesporty-date

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by boochap
    as for modernisation...well, if we singaporean enjoys handphone, computer, hi-fi, highway, cars and trains and condo and etcetcetcetc..how could we deprive the tibetan or the others of having to enjoy such things...just to satisfy our vacation needs once or twice a yr?
    Yeah.. under communist rule, you tell me. You better do your resarch well. How many Tibtean actually benefits from this? How many Tibetan are forced to beg because they lost their land due to the "reforms"? How many Tibetan were killed throughout their rule? How many of those who can afford are really Tibetan and not Han chinese? Get it right! I've done my workhome. I think, you better go and read some books on such stuff before you start commenting around. One of such good book is "The Dragon in the Land of snows by Tsering Shakya.


    Quote Originally Posted by boochap
    as for the culture and heritage...many yr ago, the chinese men keep many wives, wear cheongsam, woman bond foot, and etcetc...where is it now? u may say these are lousy culture, but in those days, everybody think those are great thing to do....

    anyway..most of these shots were taken in sichuan part of the chengdu-lhasa route, TAR part is still in progress...
    www.starhub.net.sg/~boochap/preview.html
    Yeah.. but who is changing the culture there. It not the Tibetan themselves thats choose so, its their current "ruler". They are doing it because of political reasons. understand?

    F.Y.I. I'm not a anti-"communist" guy!

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by scanner
    Yeah.. under communist rule, you tell me. You better do your resarch well. How many Tibtean actually benefits from this? How many Tibetan are forced to beg because they lost their land due to the "reforms"? How many Tibetan were killed throughout their rule? How many of those who can afford are really Tibetan and not Han chinese? Get it right! I've done my workhome. I think, you better go and read some books on such stuff before you start commenting around. One of such good book is "The Dragon in the Land of snows by Tsering Shakya.


    Yeah.. but who is changing the culture there. It not the Tibetan themselves thats choose so, its their current "ruler". They are doing it because of political reasons. understand?

    F.Y.I. I'm not a anti-"communist" guy!

    if u have more time to spare, may be u wanna to the country and ask around....ask the tibetan, are they having a better life than before, and if they wan to have the dear dalia back to the country as their slavemaster. before i mean those days when Dalai and Tsering Shakya's forefathers rule the place as the biggest slavemaster, as late as till the post ww2 period. if communist china have not done a good job in those days...to be in total control, the world would have flooded with billions of hungry chinese and tibetan slaves looking for food and freedom all over the world.

    u talk about beggers...number of begger per capita in India alone is overwheming more than anyone could find in TAR...who is democratic?

    if tibet is totally open today to foreigner, no permit needed...what happen? rock and roll and bikini by the sacred lake or river side, streets full of souvenirs and banana pancake and beers....which is exactly what happen to pattaya, luang prabang, vienvieng, lijiang, dali, yangshou, siem reap, bali...i hope TAR could be forever close to foreigner.

    no point arguing anymore about this here...u could happy read more books or more reasearch written in any western language about tibet and then communism, 99.999% all point against the present govt..which is all different from the form of govt they have in the west.

  13. #33
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    here is yet another research paper about tibet, but probably from a more neutral standpoint -
    http://www.swans.com/library/art9/mparen01.html



    "...The Dalai Lama's Tibet, they believe, was a spiritually oriented kingdom, free from the egotistical lifestyles, empty materialism, pointless pursuits, and corrupting vices that beset modern industrialized society. Western news media, and a slew of travel books, novels, and Hollywood films have portrayed the Tibetan theocracy as a veritable Shangri-La and the Dalai Lama as a wise saint, "the greatest living human," as actor Richard Gere gushed."

    "...The charges made by the Dalai Lama himself about Chinese mass sterilization and forced deportation of Tibetans have remained unsupported by any evidence. Both the Dalai Lama and his advisor and youngest brother, Tendzin Choegyal, claimed that "more than 1.2 million Tibetans are dead as a result of the Chinese occupation." (38) No matter how often stated, that figure is puzzling. The official 1953 census -- six years before the Chinese crackdown -- recorded the entire population of Tibet at 1,274,000. Other estimates varied from one to three million. (39) Later census counts put the ethnic Tibetan population within the country at about two million. If the Chinese killed 1.2 million in the early 1960s then whole cities and huge portions of the countryside, indeed almost all of Tibet, would have been depopulated, transformed into a killing field dotted with death camps and mass graves..."

  14. #34

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    Yeah, as if I did not stay there long enough there to understand what is happening around.

    Get it right! Did I say anyone is a wise saint? I'm more concern about the Tibetan people rather than a leader. "A Corrupted Democratic country is still better than a Corrupted Communist country". At least you can vote them out of power.

    BTW, the link you showed, where did the author gets the figures from, any referencing? At least those books I've read shows so reliable sources
    1. Public Record Office (London),
    2. Foreign Relations of United States; 1949, etc....

    If you have been there, you will know, it is the hard facts, why there are so many Han chinese there (Lhasa)? Like Xinjiang? Politically, there must be a motives.

    Beside, you have said, tourists are not allowed at certain areas and you are the one posing as the chinese national travelling to these places and why this is so? If they are so well liked by the locals, why do they need to have such measures to restrict foreigners from entering these regions? Are there afraid of letting others see what we are not suppose to see? And I've been to such regions, what I notice is, there are so many uniform/civilian dressed police patroling these places... they do this for fun? Or they are really afraid of something? Terrorists?

    Do you know how many monasteries were destroyed and how many were killed during the Cultural Revolution? Do you know that there were riots during the 80s, what are their cause? how many people were put down. Doesn't that mean anything?

    Looks like someone here is a pro-china guy. Well F.Y.I, I'm netural, I do always base on real facts to comment.

    I think no points arguing here, we are here to discuss photography rather than politics. Those who have been there knows part of the answer.
    Last edited by scanner; 17th October 2004 at 05:35 PM.

  15. #35
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    Boochap & Scanner:
    Guys, cool it. We know both of you have been to Tibet and seen and read certain things and interpret them in your own perspectives. I have been there as well as other parts of the formerly Greater Tibet which are now parts of Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai. I have my own set of opinions of what went on there, is still going on, had been reported and propagated by both the West and China. However I really doubt this is the forum to discuss these issues.
    Tibet is a place that arouse a lot of emotions, just as Xinjiang in another part of China. Be it what it may, let's focus on photography and maybe, providing relevant info to Tomshen to assist him to enjoy his stay in Tibet.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by scanner
    ....BTW, the link you showed, where did the author gets the figures from, any referencing? At least those books I've read shows so reliable sources
    1. Public Record Office (London),
    2. Foreign Relations of United States; 1949, etc....

    Looks like someone here is a pro-china guy. Well F.Y.I, I'm netural, I do always base on real facts to comment.

    yeah...i am pro china, pro Asia, and pro-Dr. M.

    for years, asia countries have always been under the mercy, discrimination, condamnation and distortion of the western media and their govt...from china myanmar korea malaysia iraq and iran, to my very own singapore and the chewing gum...u could jolly welll join them, united states, london or paris...

    u talking about reliable source...remember how reliable is the info of weapon of mass distruction of iraq...this info come from where...what a laugh. haha


    anyway, picture time for the rest...

    A Road journey to Lhasa...continue -
    http://www.starhub.net.sg/~boochap/Tibet-2.html

    Last edited by boochap; 17th October 2004 at 11:58 PM.

  17. #37

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    This thread is still alive ... Hope to see more discussion on photog ...

    I visited Tibet in 1998 thru chengdu and Mt. Emei ... since then never step into China again ... busy with works

    No pictures to show you guys yet coz all taken in films and also dun know where the negatives residing in my house. Got to find it back and digitalised the images ..
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  18. #38
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    even I went to tibet last yr but nothing to show.
    1st, I broke my lens during the trip
    2nd, my lens itself is not every sharp (vivitar 19-35mm)

    come back develop the film... so disappointed on the firm...

    However, after this trip, I make a decision.
    Decide to pester my spouse to buy a canon lens... hehee...

    This yrs, went to xinjiang + alittle bit of silkroad, bring along my new canon lens..

    I love canon lens...

  19. #39
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    > ask the tibetan, are they having a better life than before, and if they wan to have the dear dalia back to the country as their slavemaster.

    life has improved after 54 years of losing their country. that doesn't mean that life would have been worse if they did not lose their country and 54 years passed by. our lives have improved after 54 years and we did not lose our country. would our lives be better if Dr M & Co helped improve our lives for 54 years and tell us how to run the place?

    after asking the tibetans, i conclude that they "wan to have the dear dalia back to the country as their slavemaster". who did you ask?

    > before i mean those days when Dalai and Tsering Shakya's forefathers rule the place as the biggest slavemaster, as late as till the post ww2 period.

    slavery was part of their tradition. might not have been a very wise tradition to keep. the last 3 dalAI lamas were more enlightened and did good during their time. in this enlightened age leaving tibetans to their own devices, it is quite plausible that they would have gotten rid of slavery on their own accord, because the current dalai lama had such ideas way back then (according to himself).

    being a tibetan slave was also not the same as being some black slave in america. we just use the same english word for convenience. slaves in tibet generally used to have decent lives compared to elsewhere in the world, partly because of the heavy buddhist influence. being born a slave was due to karma. a more accurate word might be "servant", except it is hereditary.

    > if communist china have not done a good job in those days...to be in total control, the world would have flooded with billions of hungry chinese and tibetan slaves looking for food and freedom all over the world.

    tibetans were not hungry and looking for food back then. it was china that brought hunger and misery when they interfered with how the tibetans grew food and managed their lives during that part of history called Maoism that they try so hard to erase or forget. they brought hunger to their own people but they also exported their hunger to a country that wasn't hungry to begin with.

    the tibetan slaves were not looking for freedom - insofar as it was no reported that tibetan slaves actually wanted to rebel. they accepted their place (as servants) in society and were treated well enough to not want to rebel. that is not to say that this slavery/servant system is right in this enlightened age. they might have gotten rid of the system on their own accord, and quite possibly bloodlessly, under the guidance of the current dalai lama.

    now they don't call themselves slaves. they have only simply lost their country and now live with the full rights and benefits accorded to a Second Class Citizen just like any second class citizen anywhere in this world. and again if you talk to them instead of talking to fellow chinamen backpackers, you might just find out that they do want that lost freedom back. they're just afraid if the chinamen backpackers hear that, they'd lose the 2nd class citizenship and become a First Class Citizen of Drapchi Prison.

    > u talk about beggers...number of begger per capita in India alone is overwheming more than anyone could find in TAR...who is democratic?

    begging was, and is, another way of life for them. it is good karma to give and many people give. and hence being a beggar is quite "profitable" and you can also live quite decently. i don't remember exactly, since i was not born back then, but there weren't a huge lot of beggars in tibet in the past. they had enough to feed their servants quite well and weather troubles such as famine. that does not mean having beggars in a country is acceptable (see above paragraph re: slavery). but the relative lack of beggars in visible sight might be due to the highly efficient machinery of the Public Security Bureau. this i dare not commit as fact.

    > if tibet is totally open today to foreigner, no permit needed...what happen? rock and roll and bikini by the sacred lake or river side, streets full of souvenirs and banana pancake and beers....which is exactly what happen to pattaya, luang prabang, vienvieng, lijiang, dali, yangshou, siem reap, bali...

    i think that was the least of their worries when the Almighty Chinese set up the permit system. the only one rocking and rolling the sacred lakes seem to be the people living down in the plains of China who had this idea to unplug one of the holiest lakes, Yamdrok-tso, drain out all the water, and use it to supply electricity for their industrialisation; on a less environmentally earth-shaking note, the only bikini guys seem to be, again, these brothers of the lowlands fishing in these holy lakes - something no tibetan in their right frame of karmic mind would contemplate. may i suggest implementing permits for chinamen as well as foreigners?

    scars left by 54 years of foreign invasion are still visible in areas foreigners are allowed to visit. how many scars remain in areas that have not been whitewashed? i'm glad we have the Public Security Bureau ensuring security in tibet. their impressive efficiency was palpable in the number of troopers they deployed to oversee what would be deemed an illegal gathering in singapore - a religious dance (called Cham dance) performed to celebrate the new year. i wonder if they were more worried about the effects of the six of us tramping around in a restricted area in our bikinis, or what would happen if you have a large group of like-minded tibetans gathering to celebrate in a manner that is uniquely tibetan.

    i suspect that these restricted areas not only hold visible scars, but also hold a higher concentration of tibetans that do not tow the line as well as those that have been "converted" and now live in the big cities. and having these uniformed as well as plainclothes troopers around would help them "convert" with greater ease.

    > no point arguing anymore about this here...u could happy read more books or more reasearch written in any western language about tibet and then communism, 99.999% all point against the present govt..which is all different from the form of govt they have in the west.

    it is truly unfortunate that we only read the propaganda that is daringly published without fear in the free world, many by tibetans themselves. it is also unfortunate that we do not understand tibetan writing such that they had to translate this information into a western language such as english for people like us who have a different form of govt to read. i urge you to help fund and encourage tibetans still living in a lost land to publish their thoughts together with pretty blue-sky pictures so that we know how much they're enjoying life in the Tibetan AUTONOMOUS Region. i also suggest you budget part of your expenses in case your tibetan friend wishes to hitch a ride with you to Nepal after his book gets published.

    > figure is puzzling. The official 1953 census -- six years before the Chinese crackdown -- recorded the entire population of Tibet at 1,274,000.......

    the region that they did their counting, if i am not too far wrong, was not the former tibet, but the little circle they drew on their new map that they called the TAR, which is about 33% the original land area of tibet. others who had the opportunity to do some counting number tibetans including those running around (also known as nomads) at about 6 million.

    > huge portions of the countryside, indeed almost all of Tibet, would have been depopulated, transformed into a killing field dotted with death camps and mass graves..."

    i believe the dead would undergo death rites. and i'm sure you know, in tibet, they do not bury the dead so much. is this quotation meant to mislead?

    the chinese didn't bother to waste so many bullets anyway. the starvation introduced took care of most of the deaths.

  20. #40

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    Apology to travelplanet, sorry for your thread to become too OT.
    Anyway, I've re-read through the threads, mybe my wordings were too harsh.
    Hope no one is physically hurt because of that.

    Anyway, here is my contribution.

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