The Rough Journey to Tibet

Daniel is back again. Well, been neglecting too much until I thought what the heck, let’s get on with the Tibet updates. After like nearly a month’s absence from work, lotsa things to do which I find that I can’t really modify and look through my photos. Yup, some of the photos which are in my friend’s laptop is already with me. So then let’s proceed with my classifying journey to the Land of Tibet.

My first knowledge of Tibet came all the way back to when I was still in college. How did I know about that place. All because of one storybook.

Tintin in Tibet Cover

Who would have thought the places that Tintin mentioned would now be the place that I would be traveling. Though that was years ago, and now I must say Tibet nowadays is too commercialized.

Finally now though, I can call it Daniel in Tibet.

Daniel in Tibet Tintin Parody

My journey as most know started on 29th August 2009 and it was on the plane to GuangZhao. Yes AirAsia doesn’t have a direct flight to Lhasa, Tibet or for my case, the flight to Chengdu from Kuala Lumpur wasn’t available at that time. (I was like, why why did AirAsia announced the new flight to Chengdu but only starting in October 2009)

Instead of writing places to visit here and there, here will be a rough explanation of my Journey to the West.

After arriving in GuangZhao, it was a few days for us to see how it’s like here. How careful and clean their park is.

Bored GuongZhao Park

Well, not as interesting since it’s so plain, but then the sky in GuangZhao is not even nice. Not blue, so that’s the best I can do. I find that cities usually have very dull gray color skies. Though some of you who had a glimpse of my previous post of GuangZhao at night will know that the best time to take photos in GuangZhao would be at night.

Night View at Guong Zhao

See See.. totally different view. Well, anyway. There aren’t much to see and by the time we know it, we’re already on our way to the train in Guang Zhao towards Lhasa, Tibet. Of course, before we embark on this super long 3 day journey in the train, stomach have to be filled. What a thing to eat at the train station other than 真功夫 (Zhen Kung Fu). For a cost of about 30 yuan, I’ve got this one big set of meal just for lunch.

Zhen Kung Fu Lunch

To think that for someone like me eating this much. It’s now time to board the train, and with a big backpack and a camera bag going through the crowds, we finally reached to the railway checkpoint.

DanielCtw Waiting For Train

The time was 12:08pm. Roughly another 50 minutes to go. Just look at the bags the other passengers were carrying. Time estimated about 10 minutes to walk towards the train from this waiting point. Fast forward, we’re finally in the train.

Finally DanielCtw in the train

I must say, it’s one of the best train I ever used to travel. Anyway here are some facts about this train journey I am on.

The 4980 km journey takes over 2 days (57 hours), and any non-Chinese must have a special Tibet visa (available from China Travel Service). There is only one train in service, so it runs every other day from both Guangzhou and Lhasa.

The bunker we slept was perfectly not so comfortable but being robust as we are, we just need some time to get used to it.

Train Bunker Guang Zhao to Lhasa

Yup, that was how we slept the first night. Exactly 3 of us are on this backpacking trip. (Noticed though that Kenny has already started lying on the bed) There are the top, middle and lower bunk.

The first day, since we took the train from Guang Zhao, there were no nice sceneries to be taken on the outside of the train. Forgotten to mentioned though, there is a power outlet on the train for you to charge your batteries or your laptop. Anyway first night wasn’t all that well. On the 2nd day on the train, it’s finally time for some scenery shots.

Scenery Outside The Train

These were taken behind the windows of the train. Hills are starting to be noticeable. Yes, from somewhere 100m above sea level, we’re now about 1000m above sea level. Destination Lhasa is about 3800m above sea level. The journey is indeed long. Thus trigger happy the 3 of us were. There are other shots, but none worthy to be posted up here. So one might see them on my facebook photo profiles.

Well, to be honest, these aren’t the best of shots of scenery viewed on the train. The hills are repetitive and thus we finally got bored and decided to just sit and do nothing and wait till the next train stop for some breath of fresh air. What better time than to finally stop at 格尔木 (Ge Ermu) station and do some stretching and pose at the middle of the night around 5:26am. NUTS eh?

Stopping at Geermu for Photo

Yes, it’s now about 2829m above sea level. That’s how high we were. Since this is a pit stop, I also need my daily pit stop. There will be more pictures in upcoming posts. Looking back at the photos now bring back my memories of my backpacking trip to Lhasa. Till next time.

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