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life's adventures This is the story of my wanderings through Asia


CHINA | Monday, 6 August 2012 | Views [904]

On and off..stop and start.. the rain and thunder, clouds and chilliness come and go, in and out.. its quite nice though, makes appreciating the moments of blazing sun even better! This old town is a typical cobbled maze, where no travel office has a map, and there’s so much to see around you, slipping and tripping is common on the uneven ground.

I arrived after an 8 hour painful bus ride yesterday..one side of me is bruised from the massive guy slumping into me the whole way, we were packed in pretty tight and the road is anything but smooth sailing. On arrival, two Barcelonians and myself couldn’t find our hostel, and when we finally did, our bookings were void due to lack of power for the last two days. Nightmare! So dragging my bag down the uneven lanes following a friendly English guys direction, I grabbed a room at a quirky little place, with stairs that are like horizontal ladders and an old dirty bathroom down corridors only 30cms wide and up and down more ladder-like stairs.

Everything here is wooden, beautifully carved and ornate style, massive structured buildings jumbled together to make an old Chinese/Tibetan influenced town. I will explore more, write more, show more when pictures are uploaded. Until then, I deem this place worth your time but also put the money in and fly…the bus is a terrible way to start off your stay!

As I think this may be the closest I will get to Tibet for a while, I am drinking in the beauty and loving my time here. Although the power cuts if the rain is heavy, so that is maybe once a day. The mornings are almost clear with deep blue skies and fluffy white clouds, not too long and the black thunderclouds roll on across the heavens. I have spent half my time writing my assignment, and the other, better, half loving every moment of food and bargaining for wares. The Tibetan culture is uber friendly and smiley, and colourful and creative. Everything here is Yak this and Yak that: horn combs, bowls and bells, meatmeatmeat and hair and wool products galore. The intricate embroidery is my favourite, I frequently fall in love with the water-like silk scarves unil I am told they are hundreds of dollars. 

This evenings dinner was so high up on the scale of deliciousness, I just have to write about it immediately. The restaurant is Arro Khampa, Tibetan Bistro. A table of three, we asked the French host to recommend dishes, and each was just magnificent. A foil steamed yak dish, a little spicey and melt in your mouth, it was gone in moments. A western style salad with excellent dressing and yak cheese, which is quite like parmesan, perfection. The tibetan viggie balls, a little curry-ish flavor, very typical indo-chinese, I stuffed my face full. And the main dish (wish I got a photo) the impressive copper Tibetan hot-pot. Packed full of meat and veg, boiling water stewing the raw food until a soupey flavor permeates.

Minutes after leaving I put in my ten cents at tripadvisor.com giving this place 100% and guaranteeing I will come back perhaps tomorrow night! Not only that but I am spoiled for Yunnan coffee here, and breakfast options are many in the touristy laneways full of bars cafes and shops. Lunch is always a satisfying street bbq, where I grab skewers of meat and veg and a woman fans away at the coals and brushes oil and sprinkles of seasoning and spices until the ultimate result is rapidly disappearing through my gob. All I can eat for maybe 4nzd. Bliss!



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