Friday, July 14, 2006

As I going through the pictures from Yunnan and Tibet, I couldn’t help to compare to last years trip to Hunan, Sichuan and Zhejiang Province. Those are some of my favorite pictures, especially helpful on a bad day. So peaceful ^_^…
Hunan – Zhangjiajie National Park

Sichuan – Jiuzhaigou National Park

Zhejiang – Wuzhen (one of the Chinese Venice Towns)
I always loved Yunnan Province, which borders Vietnam, Laos and Burma. From Zhao ShaoGuang’s paintings, to JinYong’s martial art novels, there are endless fascinations. After all, Yunnan is a region of culture diversity (with 25 different ethnic minorities), rich heritage and natural wonders. Though I did not get the chance to explore the mysterious Xishuang Bannan Rainforest, nor experience the Water Splashing Festival, I enjoyed the beautiful scenery, colorful crafts and cloth.
KunMing – Stone Forest

DaLi – Three Pagodas

LiJiang – Old Town and Naxi Group Dance

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I was listening to my favorite Sarah Brightman Album – Harem on the plane from Shangri-la to Lhasa, Tibet. Looking out the window, I felt as what was described in the song What a Wonderful World:
… I see skies of blue, clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you
… And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world
Lhasa, Tibet – Looking over the city and the magnificent Potala Palace on top of the Jokhang Temple. Believe or not, 15 minutes later, we were caught in a thunder storm while shopping on Barkhor Street. But I had ice cream afterward. Therefore, I was happy ^_*!

Lhasa, Tibet – Debating as part of traditional Buddhism study at the Sera Monastery. What the picture did not show were the tourists around the backyard observing as the debate was going on. Though I could not understand what they were debating, since it was all done in Tibetan, the young monk’s expression cracks me every time I look at it.

Yarlung Zangbo River – We had our first meal in Tibet as lunch picnic along the river bank. Despite the altitude sickness and the smell of yak and sheep dump, what my eyes saw soon took over – my mind was at peace… I finally understood. The mighty mountain stood strong; the river run so still, as if it could hear my thought; the sky is so blue and close, that I could almost touch it; the ever changing clouds, unpredictable as they were fair – I surrendered to its beauty and greatness... I still do.

Yamdruk Tso (the Turquoise Lake) - Noble and impressive, the Tibetan Mastiff is a highly intelligent, independent, strong willed and rather reserved dog. He is aloof and watchful of strangers (as show in the picture ^_^), while extremely protective of his charges and property. Generations of working as a guardian of yak, sheep and, more importantly, women and children, has produced a disposition and temperament of controlled strength, initiative, and fearlessness, tempered with patience, loyalty, and gentleness.

*The picture was taken after I fed at least 5 chicken bones to the dog and paid 5 Yuan to the dog’s owner. Still, it gave me the look: I am watching you… VERY closely. Yet, I felt caution instead of fear, respect instead of discomfort. I was happy to learn, as its proud owner told me later, like Husky (my favorite dog) – a pure Tibetan Mastiff has different eye colors. This one had one brown and one blue.