Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tibet | Lhasa

We took the ferry from Dorje Drak back across the Tsangpo and then drove upstream to the main bridge, crossed over again to the north side and took the main road to Lhasa. Stopped on the way to make a side trip to the Shugtseb Nunnery at Lhokar.

Residences at the Shugtseb Nunnery

Looking down the Kyichu Valley from Shugtseb Nunnery

On the way into Lhasa we passed by Atisha’s Tara Temple.

The Potala, former home of the Dalai Lama, in downtown Lhasa

After checking in at the Kyichu I headed straight for the Jokhang, the main temple in Lhasa and ground zero of the Tibetan Buddhist world. As usual thousands of people were circumambulating the temple and hundreds more were doing prostrations in front.

Front of Jokhang Temple

More worshippers in front of the Jokhang

Later I made a quick trip to Ramoche Temple, built in the seventh century to house the statue of Buddha brought to Tibet by the Chinese wife of Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. The statue itself was later moved to the Jokhang where it can still be seen today. The back wall of Ramoche is covered with hundreds of images of White Tara.

One of the White Taras at Ramoche

New idol going up in the streets of Lhasa

Mongolia | Ulaan Baatar

Well, we have finally reached it; that magical moment when the Fahrenheit and Celcius temperature scales are exactly the same. In short, it's cold!