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SFM #23: China. Tibet by Road & Railway

By Robert Wu

For his family and friends
……………………………………………………………………………….
Sally and I built up enough courage to tackle the challenging trip to Tibet the hard way. We took a 14 day trip to go up Tibet by bus via the Qinghai-Tibet Highway and down via the new railroad. We didn’t realize it, but we took on a challenge almost too arduous to bear for our age.

Robert posing with a beautiful white yak.

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We were well protected from the merciless sun at Qinghai Lake. In the distance is an old torpedo testing facility.

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The highway and railroad traverse each other for most of the way.

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We passed 10 army convoys with 30 trucks each. They supply PLA depots in Tibet.

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We caught a mirage in a desert.

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An outhouse in the middle of nowhere in a desert.

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An intrepid bicyclist pedals up the Tibetan plateau.

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Tibetan pilgrims walk and prostrate all the way to Lhasa. A friend would pull a cart to supply their needs for months on the road.

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Camels were kept in a desert range.

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We caught a glimpse of the endangered Tibetan antelope.

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A panorama of snow-capped mountain range.

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We had to put up with the basic facilities of a roadside inn.

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At the highest point of the highway 3 miles above sea level.

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Robert caught the altitude sickness and looked like a sick cat. He felt weak and got out of breath after any slight activity, and just wanted to lie down and sleep. It took 4 days for him to acclimate.

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The Potala Palace. We were too weak and had to give up climbing the endless stairs to see the richly decorated palace.

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The Tibetan faithfuls prostrated before the Potala Palace.
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The before and after views of a temple undergoing restoration.

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By contrast, the ride on the railroad was smooth and uneventful. It
took us one day by railroad to cover 5 days of travel by highway.

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Spectacular view from the train.

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