Pictures of Palcho (Palkor) Monastery in Tibet

Palkor Monastery (sometimes referred to as Palcho, or Palchoi Monastery) was built in 1418 by the first Panchen Kezhugyi and took 10 years to complete. It is located on the outskirts of Gyantse and accommodates four different Buddhist sects: Gelug, Gagyu, Sagya and Nyingma, which is rare in Tibet. Each sect has its own praying hall, while the main hall houses the bronze statue of Sakyamuni, which is about eight meters high and weighs about 14,000 kilograms. On the flanks of the main hall are Arhat Halls that house some 100 finely crafted arhat statues with different facial expressions.

The monastery is best known for it’s enormous pagoda, better known as “Bodhi Stupa”, or “Kumbum” in Tibetan. The 9 story pagoda is 42,4 meters high, has 76 halls with 108 doors and hosts about 3,000 statues and some 100,000 images of Buddha. This is why the pagoda is often called “One Hundred-Thousand-Buddha Tower”. These images include Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Vajras, Dharma Kings, Arhats, great adepts of different orders in Tibetan Buddhist history, and outstanding figures in Tibetan history such as Songtsen Gampo and Trisong Detsen.

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In drum spre Hong Kong

Ce sa fac? Fac bine!

Sunt in aeroportul din Chongqing, mai am o jumate de ora pina la zborul urmator in Shenzhen si m-am oprit la o cafenea sa beau o bericica. Cam dulcica e berea aici in Chongqing, se numeste “Chongqhing Beer”, si nu merita nici o atentie! Asta probabil ca ultimele 3 saptamani si ceva am baut doar “Lhasa Beer” – “the beer from the roof of the world”! Care dupa parerea mea este una din cele mai buni beri din lume!!! Nu ma asteptam, sa fiu sincer, ca baietii montani s fie atat de priceputi la preparearea berii. Mai mult chiar, si asta o spune eu, au si vinuri foarte buni!!! Nu stiu cum o fac, dar sunt superbi tibetanii la preparat bauturi alcoolice. Si mancare gustoasa stiu sa faca. Bravo lor!

Eu eram cat pe ce sa pierd zborul din Lhasa in dupa-ameaza zilei de azi. Asta din cauza domnisoarei de la check-in, care a decis sa inchida mai devreme. Am facut un scandal mare la aeroportul din Lhasa, o sa ma tina minte multa vreme baietii de acolo, dar pina la urma am nimerit si eu in avion. “China Southern” – cea mai proasta companie aeriana cu care am zburat pina cauma! Bine macar ca zbor acuma cu “Air China”, astia sunt cu mult mai buni!!! Despre intamplarea din aeroportul din Lhasa va povestesc alta data, ca acuma nu prea am chef.

Cam atat de la mine pentru moment. Numai bine si NOROC!!!

End of Tibetan Trip

I’m sitting in the “Music Bar” in Lhasa (the ones who’ve been here know this little cozy bar) right across Yak Hotel (the hotel I’m staying in). After our trip to EBC (Everest Base Camp) we came back to Lhasa, and now I’m the only person from our group left here. One by one they all left… it’s been 12 days now since I came from EBC. I enjoy Lhasa, I enjoy Tibet! This is one of these places you want to stay and do not want to leave, but sooner or later that must happen… and it will tomorrow.

The reason I wasn’t writing anything in my “Tibetan Travelogue” is that on the train to Lhasa my computer just crashed, I think it was altitude seekeness. Really! First my hard drive seezed to work, and that was a real trouble, but when I managed to fix I found out that many other things don’t work either along with my CDMA internet card. I was allright with the high altitude, but not my laptop! Kiwi Dave’s iPod also seezed to work after the trip on the train to Lhasa. Misterious things!

Well, anyway I decided to reinstall everything, I saved all my files on external hard drives and guess where I was installing the Windows? I am proud to announce now that my currently running Windows XP was installed on the bus during my trip through Tibet. The first part of instalation took part on Mt.Kanbala (4990m above sea level)! I wonder now how many OS’s were installed at same altitude. But the good thing is that ever since my computer is runing well. It is just me being lazy, could not find time to post some news… It is an amazing place here, you wouldn’t loose time for writing news.

On the train to Lhasa

It is 5:30 AM, I’m on the train to Lhasa somewhere near Geerdu. The train moves slowly through the vast and monotone Tibetan plateau. It is so quiet, just from time to time your eyes looking out the window can catch a spot of a distant light – the human presence. Although the temperature outside the train is -3 C, it is warm inside – we all wear t-shirts. It is a new train which has been put into operation just recently (I think it’s August or September) and this train route is a dream-project which became true. We are all exited to be on this train and the scenery we’ve seen in the moonlight (it is almost a full moon now) was amazing – magnificent mountains covered in snow moving one by one through your window. Actually Dave referred to our window as being the best LCD screen in our cabin (we also have smaller versions each on top of our beds). I hope the scenery will get even better during day, when we’ll all still sleeping probably.


Day 1 – Flight to Xining (Xiaoshan – Shanghai – Xi’an – Xining)

Early in the morning I left my apartment in Xiaoshan where I spent previous 7 months and took the bus to Shanghai from where our trip to Tibet was about to start. We had to meet at the Pudong Airport

Day 2 – Ta’Er Monastery, … Lake and the desert in snow

Day 3 – Browsing through Xining and getting to the train to Lhasa

Vacanţa 2006

Ma aflu în renumitul “Peace Hotel” din Shanghai, e dimineaţă şi mă simt foarte bine! Shanghai-ul e un oraş minunat şi e o alt fel de China, probabil e combinaţia între China pe care ne-o închipuim şi China modernă a zilelor noastre. Stau în aripa de Nord a hotelului în camera 759, e o cladire în stil gotic în stilul şcolii din Chicago. Mai mult despre hotel puteţi afla pe wikipedia (e un hotel vechi cu tradiţie cu titlul “unul din faimoasele hotele din lume”, “cel mai bun hotel în asia”, etc. Aici au stat Charlie Chaplin, Bernard Shaw, Muhammad Ali, preşedinţi ca Reagan, Carter, Clinton, Lionel Jospin, Jiang Zemin, Lordul Noel Coward a scris aici “Private Lives”). Am o vedere frumoasă a oraşului de aici înspre Nanjing Road (strada principală) şi înspre promenada de pe “The Bund” de unde se deschide o privelişte extraordinară înspre cartierul modern Pudong situat în partea opusă a râului Huangpo.

Astăzi mai stau în Shanghai şi mă întorc în XiaoShan (provincia Zhejiang, un oraş suburbie modernă a Hangzhou-lui, unde am petrecut ultimele 7 luni). Până joi îmi petrec timpul în Hangzhou şi XiaoShan, iar joi îmi încep oficial vacanţa – Călătoria în Tibet!

Joi, 2 noiembrie, plec în Shanghai de unde îmi iau zborul înspre Xining, capitala provinciei … (nu mai ştiu ce provincie – Qinghai), stau acolo 2 zile, apropo mai la nord e cel mai mare lac cu apă sărată din China. Şi de aici iau trenul înspre Lhasa, capitala Tibetană. E o rută de cale ferată nouă, ce a fost dată în exploatare acum recent (dacă nu greşesc eu în Octombrie, adică luna aceasta). Seara, pe 5 noiembrie voi fi în Lhasa. Voi sta câteva zile în Lhasa, vizitez lacul Namtso, după care îmi fac drumul înspre Everest Base Camp (EBC) – să văd şi eu vârful lumii. Pe 11 noiembrie probabil voi fi acolo şi voi sta la Mănăstirea Rongbuk care e mănăstirea situată la cea mai mare altitudine din lume. Îmi fac drumul înapoi spre Lhasa şi cel mai devreme pe 16 noiembrie sau mai târziu zbor în Hong Kong, unde planific să stau următoarele 5 luni.