My Adventure Trip to Mt. Kailash

My Adventure Trip to Mt. Kailash

Written by Mr. Felix Gerk October 15th, Germany Frankfurt

Mt. Kailash Kora

To be completely honest with you, I didn’t know anything about Tibet. Didn’t know what the people looked like, didn’t know what they eat, what they do – in short, I didn’t know what to expect from this tour/journey at all.

Reflecting on my experience, I reckon it was a good thing. I started out with an open mind and heart and Tibet exposed me to a constant stream of things to explore and wonder about.

Personally I cultivate the habit of travelling alone – that’s what I know and have almost always done. Naturally I was skeptical how My Adventure Trip to Mt. Kailash will play out in a form of a pre-organized group and correspond with my interests. Even more so since I didn’t have the idea and neither laid out the plan for this Tibet trip – my mother and uncle did. We joined a Chinese-american couple that proved to be the best addition to our little team that we could have wished for. After hours of laughter, learning, as well as physical challenge, we parted ways as friends. Which is not surprising since the tour offers countless talking points and plenty of time to converse with your fellow travelers and ask the friendly and forthcoming  guides ( Chodak in our case ) regarding any questions about Tibet.

Yamdrok Lake

Our little adventure group linked up in Lhasa, where we explored holy sites and enjoyed the atmosphere of Lhasa created by the friendly and curious Tibetans. I have never been waved at or photographed that much in my life before – a smile will easily find its way on your face in this bubbly anthill.

Losal took us to an authentic restaurant to, as he said, “exchange ideas and cultures”, which was the first of many interesting lessons about Tibetan habits and beliefs. What made this so special for me is, that Losal is a very open minded and well articulated person and found joy in talking openly about Tibet culture, spirituality, tradition and everything in between – no small talk.

Local Pilgrimage

We continued our well organized tour by driving 4 days to Mt. Kailash were we would give the traditional Kora around this holy site a try. The drive in a minivan was long, but the travel company is committed to even making the long hours of navigating through the Tibetan nowhere as interesting as possible. We saw monasteries, landmarks and always had time to take a picture or enjoy a hot meal and some butter tea.

The Kora itself was not too challenging for me personally, but I would recommend the hike only to physically and well adapted ( altitude ) individuals. Everyone who doesn’t feel up for it, can rent a yak or horse, which is however quite expensive.

The pilgrimage itself is rewarding as can be and one can feel the spiritual energy transcend between the mountains. Another highlight for fans of spirituality or people who want to broaden their horizon is lake manasarovar, where we were lucky enough to be invited to a Hinduism ritual – another experience that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life.

The drive back is long as well, but offers another highlight in form of a visit to Mt. Everest base camp and sleeping in a nomad tent. With a little bit of luck on your side, you’ll catch stunning views of Mt. Everest and the neighboring 8000 meters above sea level.

The tour itself is well thought through with a good mix of physical activity, “sightseeing” and getting a feel for the landscape and people of Tibet – all in all a refreshing plunge into a culture that fights for an existence. I dare you to take a dip.

Who can I recommend travelling with Tibet Universal International Tours and Travel. Everyone seeking a unique and sometimes challenging experience that takes you on an adventure you won’t easily forget, if you keep an open mind, an open heart and adapt a little bit. Losal and his guides will make sure everything runs smoothly and to your liking.

They will quite literally cross rivers and build bridges for you ( when the roads are flooded ) – and all that with a smile and Buddhist ease and peace.

You will learn, smile and come home full of positive, calm energy – seriously, I’ve drank 5 cups of tea, done my taxes and even cleaned the garage and it’s not even midday.

Embark on a trip that will last for a lifetime with Tibet Universal International Tours and Travel:

  1. Nepal to Tibet Overland Tour with Everest Base camp
  2. Nepal to Tibet Overland Tour without Everest Base Camp
  3. 18 Day Advanced Everest Base Camp Trekking Tour
  4. TOP 4 REASONS TO VISIT TIBET: THE BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION
  5. Attractions in Tibet
  6. Tibetan Culture & Customs
Tibet Winter Tour, Let’s go to Tibet during the Season of Winter!!

Tibet Winter Tour, Let’s go to Tibet during the Season of Winter!!

Tibet Winter Tour. A trip does not only mean travelling to some alluring land of one’s choice and roam around the area to enjoy the time. Yes, all of these are true while you are on a tour, but travelling has always been something more to me – it is a refreshment which helps me to breathe for the rest of the year, it has become a major part of my life, something which I cannot live without!!

Tibet winter tour

Among so many places that I have already visited, Tibet is something which attracts me like its height!! And Tibet travel guides are one of the ‘musts’ when you are planning to have a trip to the Roof of the World.  As I said that Tibetan Highlands tops my list of enjoying the vacation or some long time from the scheduled life, I have learnt what can be the best time to visit this mesmeric place – winter!! Yes, though not so popular, winter is my most favorite time to visit Tibet.

Well, I am sure that now you are curious why in the earth I am saying winter is the most enjoyable time to go to Tibet!! So, why not get your answer from this blog…

Become the Solitary Reaper

Less tourist and traffic jam

For me, solitude is kind of a bliss where I can fully enjoy and relish some time with my own self, where I can explore maybe some unknown facts about myself, and of course, the place. So, when I decided to go to the top of the world in winter, I found out that it does not attract a lot of tourists at that time; most of the areas are peaceful and you can enjoy the breezing refreshment fully. I have delved into a much more beautiful Tibet during winter because of less tourists count!! And being one of your Tibet travel guides with this blog, I can assure you that winter-Tibet will never disappoint you because hills are always more ravishing when you have less people around!!

Treat yourself with the Pleasing Weather & Enticing Views

Interact with Tibetans

There are many people who think the weather of Tibet Winter Tour will be unbearable. But truly speaking, it is not so!! Yeah, it is really unbearable at some places, but at most of the places you will be greeted with a pleasing weather of highest 9.5 degree Celsius and lowest -10 degree Celsius with the bright ray of sun which will keep on warming you during the day (December – January).

And winter-Tibet always treats with the most perfect scenic beauty of Mount Everest, of the roads, of the sky, and everything around!! Most of us go the hills to enjoy the scenic beauty and peace, no!! So why not choose winter when it can present the best of its beauty in front of you!!

It’s so Easy and also Cheaper to get the Tickets, Permits, and Accommodation during Winter

Train to Tibet

See, I have already told you that Tibet in winter does not attract a lot of tourists as it not considered as the season-time. And that’s why it becomes a lot easier to get the tickets, permits, and accommodation in Tibet during winter. And you know what, there are hotels who actually offer almost 50% discount on the bookings in winter. So, winter will suit your pocket as well, isn’t it!!

Introduce yourself with the Purity of Tibet – Culture, Festival, and Pilgrims

Experience the real Tibetan culture

Visiting Tibet in the season does not offer you much of the real Tibetan culture. But winter is always different. You will experience the New Year festival of Tibet in winter, you will come across more and more pilgrims in winter (who actually involve themselves in farming during summer!), and thus you will know the hardcore culture of Tibet – how the place actually is!!

Receive the Additional Gift of Wildlife Photography

Tibet travel permit

How!! You know it that winter is the season of migratory birds to move from one place to other in search of food and some warmth. As I said, that Tibet in winter is not that cold, you will see a lot of wild birds during winter in Tibet for the warmth they receive at that place. So, for those who love photography, just like I do, it is a grand chance for you to find some unknown birds and snap their beauty. Also, even if you are not photography-lover, who does not enjoy seeing some unknown beautiful birds!! Winter will gift you with that…

Let me know in the comments section below if this blog has become one of your Tibet travel guides; also tell me if you enjoyed Tibet during winter or not. And if you have not yet gone to Tibet in winter and want to visit, but don’t know how to prepare yourself for that, then read my blog of “Preparing Yourself for a Winter Trip to Tibet” – you will get all your answers there… Cheers!!

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Here are some other similar post your would like to read

  1. Nepal to Tibet Overland Tour without Everest Base Camp
  2. Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials བྱ་གཏོར།
  3. Tibet Travel Protocols
  4. TOP 4 REASONS TO VISIT TIBET: THE BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION
  5. Tsetang
Wonderful Memories of My Journey to Tibet

Wonderful Memories of My Journey to Tibet

Written by Mr. Jeffery Ashley July 18th, 2018, Washington DC 

OUTSTANDING Travel Company and staff! Kudos to Tibet Universal Tours and Travel for their excellent services

 

Jeffrey in front of Potala Palace

Tibet is a land of wonders due to its awe-inspiring Plateau Landscape, the ancient, beautiful, devoted Religion, the welcoming and friendly Tibetan people, the long-standing customs, and cultural traditions, among so much more. One can easily envision a trip to Tibet as a top “must-visit” place on a personal travel itinerary. I have wanted to visit Tibet for many years, and to that end, I realized and arranged my travel through Tibet Universal Tours and Travel in July 2018. A most wonderful decision and travel company which made my trip outstanding!

I have traveled the world for most of my life and have been to all 7 continents and 140 countries. I mention that to offer context and to highlight that I am an experienced world traveler. Very rarely do I meet or encounter a travel company or tour organizer with such highly professional, courteous, attentive and considerate staff like those I encountered with Tibet Universal Tours and Travel. Co-founded and headed by Mr. Losal Gyamtso and his wonderful team of outstanding professionals.

Tibet Universal Tours and Travel is among THE BEST tour companies I have ever encountered in ALL of my world travels. My local travel guide Rinchen Pelmo and my driver Sonam were wonderful and thoughtful, kind and considerate at all times, as was Mr. Losal.

They were all so helpful, so accommodating and so professional throughout my entire 10 days stay in beautiful Tibet and clearly invested in making sure my trip was flawless and wonderful! They ensured very informative tours of the sacred sites, went out of their way to make me comfortable, and were adaptable to my needs and interests and offered nothing but kindness, excellent service, and warm friendship each and every day of my trip.

I haven’t enough words to describe or articulate how great Mr. Losal, Ms. Rincehen Pelmo and Mr. Sonam were on my trip. In a word, outstanding doesn’t even describe their company with the justice it deserves. They are the consummate professionals who offer customer service and focus on the warmth and kindness of the Tibetan culture and way.

I will say that if you are planning a trip to Tibet, Tibet Universal Tours and Travel is THE Company to work with. One of the best I have ever seen anywhere in the world!

HANDS DOWN! I highly highly recommend this organization. Truly unforgettable, kindness and lovely people, wonderful company and tour organizer and just an outstanding, professional service throughout. Enjoy Tibet with them…you’ll be happy you did!

Tibet (the Roof of the World) at a Glance for Your Next Travel Destination

Tibet (the Roof of the World) at a Glance for Your Next Travel Destination

Tibet A plateau region

Tibet

Tibet a plateau region north of the Himalayas. It is an autonomous region of China. It is metaphorically described as the Roof of the World for it is the highest region on earth. The area lies at an average elevation of 4,900 meters above sea level. It has a total population of 3.18 million (census Dec 2014) and occupying an area of 1.25 million km², about the size of Western Europe. Geographically, It shares borders with India, Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Myanmar in the south and west. Within China, it abuts Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces to the north, east, and south.

Ecosystem of Tibet

The ecosystem of Tibet endowed with numerous breath-taking natural landscapes and sceneries. For example, the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, along with the Yarlung Zangbo River. It is one of the deepest and longest canyons in the world. The world’s top 10 tallest peaks are here. There are many must-sees and hugely sacred sights located in Tibet. The famous sites are the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Ganden Monastery. Climatically, it is severely dry nine months of the year, and low temperatures are prevalent. The environment is harsh with little vegetation, especially in northern areas.

History of Tibet

Since the seventh century, Tibet has the historical records. It is when a unified Tibet came into existence under the then ruler of the 33rd Tibetan King, Songtsan Gampo. The recorded history owes much to the fact that a written standard script came into existence. Which was devised by Thonmi Sambota, who is traditionally regarded as the inventor of the Tibetan script. Full of mysteries and legends, there are five major phases in Tibetan history. These are: 1) The Primitive Historic Phase; 2) The Tsenpo Phase; 3) The Decentralisation Phase, 4) The Sakya, Pagdru and Tsangpa Kingdom Phase; and 5) The Ganden Podrang Phase.

Economy of Tibet 

The economy of Tibet largely bases on the primary sector of agriculture. It much subsistence-based, with some level of extraction of raw materials. The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables. Due to limited arable land, the primary occupation is raising livestock, such as sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, and horses. The secondary or the manufacturing sector is not dominant. The service sector is becoming increasingly an important pillar of the economy. Tourism is becoming a significant source of revenue.

Religion of Tibet 

The Tibetans have developed a distinct religion (what many describes as the Science of Mind) cultures. It has strongly been influenced by the local Bon religion and Buddhism. In the hearts of the Tibetan people, respect to nature is considered to be the key or the foundation of a healthy and happy life. Moreover, taking refuge in the “Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha”, appreciation and a sense of gratitude to parents and respect for teachers, doctors and the elders.

Tradition and Cultures of Tibet 

Tibet is blessed with amazingly rich arts and crafts, architecture and music, and festival traditions. These are all reflective of a rich cultural heritage of local roots as well as influence from the trans-Himalayan region. Every Tibetan takes a strong pride in for these. In many respects, Tibet is synonymous with the image of Shangri-La and exoticism of a mystical land gifted with remarkable natural landscapes, deeply devout people, and rich culture.

 

Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials བྱ་གཏོར།

Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials བྱ་གཏོར།

Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials

Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials is a common practice when people die in most Tibetan areas. It has more than a millennium of history. Before Padamsambhava introduces the Buddhism in Tibet, the corpse of essential people was just put in tombs or buried. The reason why Tibetans later chose vulture-disposal is that a story inspired them. It was about one of Buddha’s previous life when he gave away his flesh to a hungry tiger. This story teaches people about the importance of generosity.

For Tibetans, the Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials serves both practical and spiritual functions. Some of the central values in Tibetan culture revolve around being humble, generous, and honoring of nature.

Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials allow the physical bodies of Tibetans to turn to the earth in a way that generously provides a meal for the vultures and very minimally disturbs the environment. Because of their belief in reincarnation, death is more of a transition as opposed to an ending. They believe the soul moves on from the body at the very instant of death, leaving very little room for attachment to the physical body after death.

Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials Site

In fact, for the soul of the person to have a smooth transition into their next life, the Tibetans believe there should be no trace left of the physical body after death, providing another advantage of this practice.

According to Tibetan Buddhist history says that at the beginning of the 12th century, an Indian master called Padhamba Sangye started the Shichey or the pacification school in Tibet. And his spiritual wife and student, Machik Labdron practiced and taught the teaching of “Changing corpse into food.” This practice is known as “Chod,” and its primary purpose is to cut attachment to our physical body.

This also strongly influenced Tibetan people’s mind to give away their dead body to hungry vultures. They are special people namely burial master “Tobden” in the Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials system.  “Tobden” takes the corpse to the vulture disposal ground and cut them into pieces so that the vultures can eat them conveniently.

Drigung Til monastery in Tibet is a most sacred place for Tibetan Sky-burial site.

Tibetan Sky Burial

Above summary are just a nutshell overview of the Tibetan Sky Burial or Celestial Burials and the reasons for why they do so. However, many Non-Tibetans might be extremely curious about the following associated topics.

 

1. How efficiently is the Burial Master able to cut up another person?

Though it sounds like a gruesome job, Buddhism teaches us impermanence of life and the transmigration of spirits. There is no need to preserve the body as it is now an empty vessel. Therefore, the burial master perceives that his service is purely an act of generosity and compassion for all beings. It is an essential part of virtues in Buddhism practice.

 

2. Does everyone get to see the body pieces?

There are some restrictions to see the scene, only the helpers of funeral service can see the body that is arranged by the deceased family. The local government law prohibits Tourist to go and look around the sky burial.

 

3. If Tibetans believe that no part of the body should remain. what do they do with the bones?

No trace of the physical body remains at the sky burial. The Burial Master process the bodies neatly without leaving remains. The tiny pieces of fragmented or smashed bones mixed with bones Tsampa (Roasted Barley Flour) and feast to the vultures.

 

4. Does the family or loved ones allow to watch the whole Tibetan sky burial process?

Family members and relatives will not participate and watch the funeral process at the sky burial.

 

Here go some other relevant pages on our website

  1. Getting to Tibet 
  2. Tibet travel permits 
  3. Tibet tour packages 
  4. Tibetan travel agency

 

TOP 4 REASONS TO VISIT TIBET: THE BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION

TOP 4 REASONS TO VISIT TIBET: THE BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION

Visit Tibet to discover the amazing place in the earth. Here are top 4 reasons to visit Tibet. Traveling to Tibet gives you a great opportunity to explore the plateau region north of the Himalayas. The average altitude of Tibet is over 4000 meters above sea level. It is best described as the “Roof of the World”. For centuries Tibet has been known as the last home of mystery, the hidden and sealed land. In the place, where ancient mysteries still survive that have perished in the rest of the Orient. Many people from all over the world want to visit Tibet as a trip destination for at least once in their lifetime.

Visit Tibet

After a glance at the reasons below to visit Tibet, the Awe-inspiring Plateau Landscape, the Overwhelming Devoted Religion, the Welcoming and Friendly Tibetan People, the Long-standing Customs, and Traditions. One will surely start picturing before their eyes a trip to Tibet as a must-visit place. A well-known English proverb says that “Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.”

1. Visit Tibet the Awe-inspiring Plateau Landscape

Travelling to Tibet

In many respects, Tibet is synonymous with the image of Shangri-La. And, the exoticism of a mystical land gifted with remarkable natural landscapesn and beauty. Over one-fifth of world’s top 100 independent summits is situated in Tibet. They include the Mt. Everest (alt. 8844.43m), “the world’s summit”; the Mt. Cho Oyu (alt. 8201m), the sixth highest mountain on the planet and the Mt. Shishapangma (alt. 8013m), the fourteenth highest mountain in the world. Moreover, the Mt. Kailash, one of the most sacred spots on earth, and is also a holy pilgrimage site for many religious believers in South Asia including the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon faiths.

There are numerous gorgeous and beautiful lakes in Tibet. These are Yamdrok Lake, Namtso Lake, Manasarovar Lake and Lhamo La-tso Lake. In addition, there are many other natural beauties like deep canyons, grand glaciers, bare stones, Gobi desert, lush forest, wild species, and vast prairie in Tibet. It shows a good reason to visit Tibet and experienced with a unique land and culture.

2. The Overwhelming Devoted Religion

The Overwhelming Devoted Religion

Religion is extremely important to the Tibetans and has a strong influence on every aspect of their lives. Tibetan Bon religion is the indigenous spiritual tradition of Tibet. It rooted before the arrival of Buddhism in the 7th century AD. But nowadays Tibetan Buddhism is the most widely practiced religion. It is evident when you set your eyes on many things around you. Even on the attractive key chains that you buy from the smallest street shops. There has a depiction of Buddhism in some form or another. Tibetan people take their religion, beliefs, and values very seriously.

If you visit Tibet, you can visit many ancient monasteries, temples and palaces. These are dotted around the land of Tibet. You can explore many best-loved religious sites, which would enable you to familiarize with the biographies of the renowned spiritual masters and scholars of the past. You can observe the unique landscapes and the buildings that represent Bon and Buddhist architectures.  They include such sites as the Potala Palace, which was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gambo. Jokhang and Ramoche temples, which are two of the holiest Buddhist temples in Tibet. These were built in the 7th century. The Yumbu Lhagang Palace, which was built in the second century B.C. by the first king of Tibet, ‘Nyatri Tsenpo’.  Gaden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries, which are the biggest learning centres of Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. All are attracting you to visit Tibet.

3. The Welcoming and Friendly Tibetan People

Welcoming and Friendly Tibetan People

Tibet has a rich cultural heritage as well as a deep unique societal tradition and values. Wisdom, knowledge about life, compassion, tolerance and peace of mind are some of the key values that underpin the Tibetan culture. The simplicity of life and the spirituality of minds of the people in this land are always distinct in many senses. Even a few days of stay and travel in and around Tibet will leave you with a strong impression. The simple traditional courtesies and values in the life of people. You also impressed by the ways in which one can attain some of the desirable qualities such as compassion and empathy for others.

4. The Long-standing Customs and Tradition

Tibetan Dance

As many cultures around the world, Tibet has formed its own unique customs and traditions over thousands of years. They include traditional beliefs and practices. These are much related to everyday lives (i.e. clothing, food, housing, festival, folklore, wedding, funeral, customs and social taboos). Furthermore, the special sectors such as animal husbandry, astronomy, calendric system, medicine, architecture, hardware, textiles, literature, paintings, and sculptures. The music, dance, and local operas are great assets to enjoy as tourists.

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