Nyalam - Shigatse - Gyantse
We chose drive in and fly out. So we are heading for the Nepal and China border. As Tibet is no country off its own since end 50’s we have to get through several steps at the Chinese border. These are the toughest border controls we have ever had in our lives.
6 officers you have to pass to make it and the check your luggage and take what they do not like. We made it within 2 hours, 50m!
It is crazy, you do not get a stamp into your passport, your printed Visa gets a stamp only. They will take this Visa paper when you leave again so you do not have any prove you have been into Tibet.
On the way to Lhasa we passed Nyalam (3700m) and Shigatse (3900m). We had to go through several passport checkpoints and made it over two passes, (Lalungla Pass 5150m and Gyanchuia Pass 5248m). We also spotted Mt. Everest 8848m, Mt. Xisapangma 8212m and Mt. Cho-Oyu 8201m. In Shigatse we went to Ta Shi Lhun Po monastery which has the largest indoor Maitreya Buddha statue (future Buddha) worldwide.
We could watch the Tibet off the monks. They discuss about philosophy and live itself. Very funny to watch! Usually you watch the locals but here they watch you. They just stop next to you watch with fascination into your face.
In Giantse we visited the FORT and a monastery where three different schools of Buddhism are living. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures anywhere so far. The Chinese government is restricting this as well as who is becoming the next Panchin Lama and the numbers off monks in Tibet.
For dinner we went into „Happy Renunion Tibetan Restaurant“. Tey lead us into the kitchen as they did not speak a word English. They pointed onto some food and we only nodded. We got a separate room and had visitors every 5 minutes. Locals just came in one by one to watch us for some minutes. How funny that was!