A memorable evening in Lhasa

Some pictures from a great evening in Lhasa.

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And finally, this is the place, the four of us sat down and had a really frank and open conversation about some of our good and bad points encountered during this trip.

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The rules of engagement were, with the person making the point the other two had to agree with him. At times some comments were personal, but everyone took it in the spirit of openness. Four guys, all with strong personalities spending almost 7 week together, you are bound to encounter personality clashes, these occurred more in the early stages of our trip, but there has been a distinct mellowing to the present. In a way everyone had made their own personal adjustments to accommodate the environment we face ourselves in i.e.  daily travelling couped up in a car for eight to nine hours a day, accommodation and food issues, at times cultural issues and other small matters, have a cumulative effect. The comments were not just about the trip, they were also about how we could improve our lives when we get back to the comforts of our own homes.


Some overall comments:

Not a good listener.

Makes the assumption without hearing the full story.

Abrupt and can cut someone off.

Does not stick with the point in question, but tends to deviate to what he really wants to talk about.

Have to find more time for yourself.

Should try to work more smarter.


Some good points mentioned:


Very loyal.

Hard worker.

Great person and deserves better.

Would trust him implicitly.


The good thing about the conversation, we all took the comments on board and will try to make improvements, where necessary during the remainder of the trip and beyond, when we reach home.


It was a mature conversation, no sabre rattling or otherwise and we all came away as if we all have gained something from this open conversation.

A day in Lhasa: 26th May

Spent a relaxing day in Lhasa, Tibet walking around town.

Lots of photos here.


Briefly about Lhasa:

Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, sits at an altitude of 3,490 metres. It is one of the highest cities in the world. The city contains many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the Potala Palace, which we saw from the outside today and will be seeing from the inside in a couple of days – have to manage about 300 steps to get to the top, I’m sure it’s going to be a struggle at this altitude.

Click Here to Watch Potala Palace Video


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Click Here to Watch Chairman Mao Video – Smiling and Sad


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By the way all of us slept well yesterday evening, a great relief to all of us.


Smiles all around after a good night sleep!!

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Lhasa is nicknamed the ‘City of Sunlight’ because of its frequent sunset against a dark blue sky.

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Photo shoot of a photo shoot.

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And look what we found…………. he was happy for us to take pictures with him…….

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Here is our ride on the streets….. we both tried it for ourselves…….

Click Here to Watch Our Ride in Lhasa

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Click Here to Watch the Market in Lhasa

Click Here to Watch Video of a man praying


Streets and people of Lhasa.

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Captured the first street dance in the city………..

Click Here to Watch Street Dancing Video


We just can’t resist visiting a local pharmacy in Lhasa. Great staff – all smiling and all waiting for us to take lots of photos.

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The first selfy in a pharmacy in Lhasa.

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Purchased some great quality saffron – hoping I don’t get asked how much it cost.

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Click Here to Watch Accurate Weighing of Saffron

And finally paying for it…..



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Towns Along the Road to Lhasa

On route we passed a couple of towns, these were country towns, somehow supporting their own economies and looked pretty run down.

Click Here to Watch Video of Towns We Passed

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The facial features of Tibetan men resembled that of American Indians and again whatever interaction we had with them, it was always light hearted and friendly. We seemed to have lost the riot gear, normally quite visible in hotels and petrol stations in the earlier.

Filling petrol in Tibet is now a real process too, with us having to show all our car reg documents and have it registered every time.

44th day Sun 25th May From Amdo to Hot springs(Yangbajing) on way to Lhasa: Hopefully to reach Lhasa by the end of the day

Today we were making the journey from Amdo to Lhasa.

However our experience of the night before:

The hotel had nebulisers for hire, Kirit and I had, had enough oxygen deprivation for one night so decided this evening we were going to minimise the risk by hiring one and get our oxygen supply. At 15,000 feet we were feeling it. What a sight, we looked more like intensive care patients. It was another long night but because of the help of the nebuliser, not as uncomfortable as the previous night – we still only managed to get a few hours sleep. Hotel not the best, slept in my sleeping bag again. We are all feeling a bit rough, and our concern was lack of concentration when driving. Decided each will only do a max of 50 miles and next person takes over.

Not eating much these days, even breakfast for the last 5 days is no more, there is only so much Chinese food you can eat in a day –  spicy food normally served at breakfast too, but in the last two accommodation no breakfast. Straight in the car and drive.
It’s been a long while since we have had a decent lunch break, the days when we use to stop over and make ourselves a quick sandwich have long gone, not sure but I think I am starting to loose weight – don’t think the photos bear this out!
Most of the recent photos are scenic and not of historic buildings etc because this part of the journey was always about the mountains and vast open space.

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The hired Nebuliser.


The blue pillow looking bag above, also contained Oxygen, we were really trying to cover all angles.



Intensive Care Patients…..

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Our Hotel…..

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Loading our ride up – it was a really effort.

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In the journey we made today, we covered nearly 450 kms.


A Map is attached below.

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Again during today’s journey we had to endure nearly 11 security stops including speed stops – i.e. where you have to reach the next destination, no earlier than the time allocated to us and which normally meant us driving at an average speed of about 30 mph – any faster and by reaching earlier you would be fined, on a number of occasions we just stopped and waited in the vehicle if we anticipated we were going to arrive early -  I suppose more time for us to enjoy the scenery, which again for the most part was quite awesome.

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Our first real stop for today, was to be the natural hot springs at Yangbajing.

The Hot springs at Yangbajing, are the highest-altitude hot springs in the world, (nearly 15,000 feet above sea level)  and is 87 Kilometres north of Lhasa in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. The hot springs have been harnessed to produce, much of the electricity for the capital of Tibet, Lhasa. Its the first geothermal power in the whole of China. The minerals contained in the springs can help heal many diseases – Manvir and myself gave it a go, we were totally revitalised even though we only dipped our legs into the hot spring waters! Magic waters I say!

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Our magic moment

Our magic moment – Today was the highest altitude we were going to reach in our trip – even higher then Everest Base Camp ( we will be visiting next week).

From London to over 17,000 feet above sea level in the Land Cruiser.

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The Town of Amdo

Checked into our hotel in Amdo – or at least tried to! Unfortunately on this occasion, we were told if we wanted to stay we had to go to the local police station, register ourselves and get permission to be able to stay at the hotel.
This was the only decent hotel in town, a refusal would have meant we were stuffed for the evening. Fortunately enough, all worked out well, despite the formalities.

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After checking in, we decided on our usual walkabout and met some interesting people……….


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Visiting a local pharmacy to buy some Diamox – no success, however we were going to be sold a ginseng product. Well, it will do for now.
After this experience, we made no attempt on this occasion to purchase the pharmacy.

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On Route from Tanggulashang to Amdo

While driving from Tanggulashang  to Amdo, we have reached the highest peak today……

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Again this is a post with lots of images. It was a very beautiful drive.

Click Here To Watch Me Driving Today

The road ahead………….


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Railway line – tracks and trains. These are operational at the highest point in the world.

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Truck accident on route.

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Further Army presence along the road.

Click Here to Watch Army Video


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Behold some magic moments we were lucky enough to experience today. Fantastic scene along the road.

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43rd day Sat 24th May: From Tanggulashanxiang (China ) – to Amdo (Tibet)

Had an extremely rough night on 23rd at the hotel, did not get much sleep. Reason was quite apparent, I had not acclimatized to the altitude we were at (15,000 feet). Even walking 15 yards was a strain, but did not anticipate sleeping would be an issue.
I’m not a bad sleeper but the high altitude was playing games not only with my mind but importantly also with my breathing, even if I tried to breath normally, I would be out of breath within 30 seconds. Because I do snore at times, I was frightened if I did snore tonight, I would be doubly deprived of oxygen! All sorts of rubbish comes to your mind when you are oxygen deprived. The room too was not particularly warm, I was sleeping in my sleeping bag. I was thinking of the bathroom to contend with the following morning – this was going to be a long night.

I was restless throughout the night and didn’t sleep at all – Sharing a room with Kirit, and he too seemed to be fidgeting around, switching on the lights etc.
We both suffered with the same breathing issues – driving tomorrow was going to be tough.
Although Manvir and Peter had gone to sleep earlier that evening we found out in the morning that neither of them had got any rest either and had same problems.
In the 5 weeks to date, none of us have been so sleep deprived.

The interesting dilemma we have is that we will be spending nights in similar altitudes on and off for the next week or so.

We all got ready in a calm, not in a rushed way. No one had any energy and lack of sleep, puts people on edge.
However, in anticipation of encountering similar oxygen deprivation we were informed by the hotel we could actually carry oxygen in an inflated pillow like unit – we purchased three, without any hesitation!

Finally on our way, it was agreed by all, that the max each will drive will be for an hour and a half – mainly for safety with the tricky roads and our possible lack of concentration.

We were leaving China today and will be entering Tibet. Almost feel we would have liked to have spent a bit more time in Eastern part of China – I will definitely be coming back to China, don’t want to miss out, there is just so much more to see. Our short experience of China has been very good, although without our guide, visiting and appreciating China would be very difficult.


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Our Stay in Tanggulashang

Our hotel accommodation for today – and yes it brings back bad memories of similar facilities we had in Volgograd. Even worse this time as the four of us have to take turns in going for a shower. Electrics on the water tank work in this room only!

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Evening meal at a very local restaurant . Tanggulashang is only a stopover town – very small population and very underdeveloped, but we did get excellent service and food.

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