:: Tibetian Odyssey, take 2 ::
A 2nd visit to Tibet in October 2009 - I needed to complete the 1st visit what I started in December 2005... This time, I travelled by road from Yunnan staying in Dali, Lijiang and Zongdian and then flying into Lhasa.
is the last border town in Nepal before crossing into Tibet, about 1300m - a very important trading town for both sides.
02Kodari - 1st border control
is the formal border link between Nepal and Tibet (China). This image was taken from Nepal side facing Tibet - once in the China side (after the red-line), photography is not permitted.
is seperated by the river - Tibet is on the left. The Nepal town of Kodari is the last border passport control before crossing the Friendship Bridge. You'll note the container trucks on the right sight - that's because there's a huge volume of border trade between China and Nepal that passes thru this nexus. If you pass thru this area late morning, you'll encounter a long queue of trucks waiting to unload their goods.
is the first town that most border transients will stay overnight in Tibet, located 8kms uphill from Kodari (the last Nepal border town) before crossing the Friendship Bridge, 2200m. Very much a commercial town, but one also has to go through another passport control here.
after leaving Zhangmu.... when the first signs of Tibetian landscape and frigidity takes shape before you. We hit 2800m within an hour of leaving Zhangmu.
07long and winding roads....
Yes, this is part of the Frienship Highway - outstanding and breathtaking scenic views abound throughout the road journey. The road passes by several vertical cliff edges and at some points there is barely enough space to clear 2 passing cars. The road is often closed because of landslides or heavy snow fall/ice build up, so you're playing against odds doing this journey.
To all of you - this is one of those journeys you must do in your lifetime.
is the first thing that hits you on the road - the Tibetian plateau is characterised by this vast expanse of barren landscape at 3000m to 4000m above sea level. Temperatures in the shade can drop to about freezing, but in the sun exposed areas, it could be upto 20C. The skies are crystal clear.
11Lalung La Pass
This is at about 5000m asl - we stopped for a 'scenery' break, off the Friendship Highway (between Lhasa and Kathmandu). Looking at this landscape, you perhaps have a good idea why they call Tibet the Tibetian Plateau or the "Roof of the World" ... at this altitude you can already feel the thinness of air..... What appears to be waste remains are actually buddhist prayer flags which are tied around those rocks or 'chortens' - this is a common sight in Tibet.