Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Oct 31, 2010


May 31 Continued

About 2-1/2 hours later, our Air China flight landed at Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, also known as “the Roof of the World.”

One can also get to Lhasa from Chongqing by the world’s highest train. Much of its 2300-mile track sits on permafrost, and six hundred miles of it is above 13,000 feet. The highest station of Tangula Pass is at 17,000 ft. To ease the discomfort of high altitude travel, free oxygen supply is located beneath each seat. The ticket cost is only $83 for a soft seat, and $145 for a soft sleeper, and cheaper for hard seats and hard sleepers. But it takes 45+ hours to get there!

Situated at 12,000 ft, “The God’s City,” Lhasa, has intense sunshine, and is surrounded by barren mountains.

Our local Tibetan guide, Pemba greeted us at the airport with the traditional Good Day greeting, “Tashi Deley.” As we crossed the Brhamaputra and Lhas rivers, on our way to the city, 32 miles from the airport, Pemba advised us to not talk about politics, or photograph military personnel during our stay in Tibet.

As we arrived in Lhasa, we went straight to Tibet Steak House, for an early dinner. Kundan and I enjoyed an Indian vegetarian meal of nan (oven-cooked flat bread), rice, tarka dal (butter-fried lentils), sabzi (vegetable curry) and papar (thin, crunchy, spicy wafers). We finished the meal off with strawberry ice-cream.

Our next stop was our hotel. It appeared that the 4-star Lhasa Tibet Hotel was built in 3 different sections, each at a different time. The main section had a nice mural.

At the hotel, Pemba advised us to rest for the remainder of the day to acclimatize ourselves for the high altitude. We were advised not even to shower or bathe that night.



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