It might be one of the most overused cliches in the travel universe but the idea of a kingdom deep in the Himalaya’s inspired by James Hilton’s classic Lost Horizon has thousands of backpackers and jet setters alike grabbing their warm coats and hiking boots in search of this mystical kingdom.
There are many flights to Delhi from the rest of India and while we near the end of our North India loop we have begun to get excited about spending Christmas on the beach. However, we still had one last stop in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya. Rishikesh. Getting there proved rather uncomfortable for us as we could not find any private buses from Chandigarh to Rishikesh or nearby Haridwar and were forced to pile onto a government bus bursting with passengers for the next 7 hours.
We boarded our second 24 hour train ride, this time to Lhasa! Our journey to the Himalayas had begun.
The train from Xining to Lhasa leaves in the evening so that the boring scenery passes by while you’re asleep, and when we woke up we were on the Tibetan plateau. The set-up was a cubby with 3 beds on each side. [Read more...]
After physically ripping Lianna from her warm bed yesterday morning and grabbing a quick breakfast in the Everest cafe of French Toast we ran into Ben, our travel companion on the bus from Xining to Xiahe. Ben’s plans were similar to ours for the first half of the day, so at 9:30am the three of us headed off for a tour of Lobrang Monastery lead by an English speaking monk.
With laws prohibiting smoking, billboards, plastic bags, traffic lights, the support of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product, Bhutan is unlike any other nation. It’s uniqueness coupled with superb Himalayan trekking, authentic Buddhist culture, and astonishing bio-diversity, it is surprising that Bhutan sees less than 20,000 tourists a year. This is because like all other aspects of the nation, Bhutan has a different way of doing things.