Jun 20, 2012

The Famous Potala Palace @ Tibet

After so many depressing posts, I shall resume some of my happy writing on my travels which seem forever  unfinished. I came to know about the closure of Tibet (yet again) after chatting with my tour guide from Nepal. Yes, we still do keep in touch and he told me that Tibet is closed to tourists again this year. But from the latest news I read, it seems like Tibet has been reopened but not to Britain, Norway, Korea and Australia. I am not sure why is that arrangement but then again the Chinese authority is always doing things that beyond our understanding.

I still remember the day we left Tibet and travelling by land back to Kathmandu through Zhang Mu, we had to go through the immigration and we were travelling with these 3 other tourists from Britain. Our bags were searched while the locals were not. One of the guy travelling in that group actually had a travel guide book on Tibet and it was confiscated because there were Dalai Lama's photos in it. Just because of that! And because of that, I decided to buy a book about the current 14th Dalai Lama in Kathmandu and it's actually written by the Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama himself! I have only managed to read the first few chapters and it's already very interesting. A book where he wrote from his point of view, from he was a young kid selected to be the Dalai until his exile.

We were glad that we had a pure Tibetan as our guide even though they offered a Chinese guide for us. We keep emphasizing that we are Malaysians and not Chinese which was so funny. We had never been so patriotic until then, haha. Our guide mentioned to us that Potala Palace was the residence for the Dalai Lama in the winter while he had another home during summer, the Norbulingka.

waiting in line

On the way up to the Palace and under such thin air, it's very exhausting

This is the last place we can take photos before going in

view from the Palace
Tibetans are the friendliest people I ever met


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