Namtso (c) 2017

Namtso is the second largest lake in Tibet and one of the three holy lakes in Tibetan Buddhism and the divine lake in Tibetan native religion, Bon. Namtso means the celestial lake in Tibetan, and rightfully so as it sits at the altitude of over 4700 meters or 15,500 feet. Namtso is home to many plateau animals that are regionally unique, and it also covers a huge amount of minerals, but what makes it so special is its cultural significance. Continue reading “Namtso”


The Tea Horse Road (c) 2017
Memorial statues of Chamadao tea merchants in Ya’an Sichuan

Civilizations depend on roads to connect, and a ancient road through Southwestern China, Tibet, Northeastern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bengal, and Myanmar has been fusing cultures for centuries. The Tibetan Plateau is too harsh for most vegetables to grow, and Tibetan people’s consumption of vitamin relies greatly on tea, and tea also help them to digest the heavy meat that they eat daily, so you may find in Tibet that as long as there is a table, there is a table of Tibetans drinking tea. Continue reading “The Tea Horse Road”

Jokhang (c) 2017 the Jowo Rinpoche statue in the Jokhang

The Jokhang is a a Tibetan Buddhist temple, or the Tibetan Buddhist temple, as it is considered the paramount institution in Tibetan Buddhism. Locating at the center of the city of Lhasa, it is significant not only for its religious value yet also for its peerless significance in Tibetan politics, civil life, and architectural history. The monastery is believed to be built since the seventh century under the regime of Songtsen Gampo, who is believed to had filled a lake in order to build the monastery. Continue reading “Jokhang”

Norbulingka (c) 2017

The Dalai Lama lives in the Potala during winter, and the summer palace is Norbulingka, a royal garden two kilometers west of the Potala in Lhasa. Norbulingka is a park-like complex serve as the Dalai Lama’s residence and office. Norbulingka in Tibetan mean the garden of treasures, and it is indeed a treasured garden with over one hundred plants including rare species from the northern and southern Himalayas, and over 30,000 cultural relics of ancient Tibetan history are preserved here. Continue reading “Norbulingka”

The Potala Palace

    Back in middle school, one of my teacher said that if someone sells the Potala Palace (to whom?), that person would have enough money to feed everyone in China for half a year. Some years later when I stood at the foot of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, I did not bother taking pictures, because some places are at their best in pictures and some just can’t be contained by any two-dimensional surface, one being the Potala.

The Potala was a royal palace originally built under the order of Songtsen Gampo Continue reading “The Potala Palace”

The Shahtoosh trade and the Tibetan antelope (c) 2017

Extreme environments often breed precious products, and many Tibetan-plateau-originated plants and animals turn into precious and luxury goods around the world. Before 80’s and 90’s, a type of shawl called Shahtoosh was a fashion among European and American elites, and a Shahtoosh shawl Continue reading “The Shahtoosh trade and the Tibetan antelope”