The Grasslands

Relaxing on the Grasslands

Tagong is surrounded by the most phenomenal grasslands – it feels like we are in the middle of a green dune sea. The Tibetans above invited us to sit with them and drink yak milk diluted with hot water. The diluted milk was Continue…

Running Out of Air

Medication for treating and preventing altitude sickness

Now that we are in higher altitudes, we are definitely aware of the lack of oxygen and are confronted with it on a daily basis. On our first night in Tagong, we were approached by an Australian woman who was frantically searching the Internet for information on altitude sickness. Apparently, her husband had Continue…

Tagong

Unreal Views of Tagong

This little town is stunning!

I am completely blown away at how quickly we have entered the Tibetan world. Nomads on horseback, women with huge pieces of amber and silver woven into their hair, yaks everywhere – unreal.

We are staying in a Tibetan family’s house and our window overlooks a huge Tibetan temple. This morning we awoke to the sound of throaty Tibetan chanting and crazy horn blowing.

But there is a downside Continue…

Driving to Tagong

The transition from the Chinese to the Tibetan world was swift. The dividing line was the several-kilometer-long Erlang Shan tunnel between Emei Shan and Kangding. On the Emei side, we were surrounded by lush greenery, fog and rain – on the Kangding side it was dry and the vegetation was much more sparse. More exciting than the change in landscape was the change in people once we got to Kangding. Here we saw the first “real” Tibetans among the Chinese!

Road between Kanding and Tagong

Next day, we rented a car and driver who took us on Continue…

Spanking the Monkey – Literally!

I blew up again – and I am proud of it!!!

After our spectacular hike down the back side of Emei Shan away from the crowds, we re-entered the areas accessible by bus. There, hiding among the crowds of Chinese tourists, was Emei Shan’s dark secret – the “Ecological Monkey Zone,” the most unbelievably stupid, ignorant testament to human idiocy that I have ever experienced.

Monkey on Emei Shan

Let me back up – Emei Shan’s slopes are covered with wild monkeys, many of which live natural lives. On the upper slopes, we spent quite a bit of time watching the monkeys’ natural behaviors – a real joy.

But as you descend the mountain, especially near temples, the monkeys start to get more Continue…

Emei Shan – Golden Summit

Golden Summit - Jinding

Having followed the Canadian girl’s advice to take the bus up Emei Shan, we got to the near-top and went straight for the cable car. The 3-minute ride to the Golden Summit temple complex saved us two hours of walking. Once we stepped off the cable car along with fifty Chinese tourists, it was a mere 15-minute walk uphill to the summit at an altitude of 3077 m (10150 feet). I was in awe Continue…