It was one of the most remarkable tours I ever took that mid July 2016. The team of 35 journalists Fellows of the China Public Diplomacy in Journalism from 35 countries of Africa and South East Asia had visited Nyingchi City and county from Lhasa, the Tibet capital city.
From Nyingchi, just a day after arrival, we traveled to the Lulang countryside
Lulang would take your breath away. It is an amazing beauty buried deep in the vast valleys of the jutting Himalayas Mountain multiple spurs
You need guts to travel the Nyingchi-Lulang road perched delicately by the edge of curvy mountains. It looks like the vehicle would roll over into the bottomless valleys as it archs the bends.
A major attraction on the road apart from the endless roll of mountains is the common feature of weather-beaten men pushing their bicycles heavily laden with luggage up the mountain road. Those bikes are actually for normal ride. But since most of the road stretch are on mountains, they roll them up.
What’s the meaning of this array of bicycle-pushing people? They are pilgrims, Tibetan Buddhist faithful on their way to Lhasa, of course to the Temple of the Dalai Lama.
They go there on pilgrimage at some times of the year. Their take off point is mainly the Sichuan Province to the south of Tibet. Sichuan has a good percentage of Tibetan population, including of course, the Wenchuan natives. Wenchuan is the place a devastating earthquake rocked in May 2008, few months before China hosted the Beijing Olympics.
The travails these sojourners go through is part of piety and spiritual abnegation for the cleansing of the soul
So, instead of going by faster means, they take the journey through mountains, valleys, forests on bicycle.
It would amaze you that Sichuan to Lhasa by road is some 1,993km. That is the distance adherents engage for their faith.
Best description of the road is a weaving and snaky groove carved on the trunk of a standing tree.
At a point on the Sichuan-Nyingchi highway where Lulang is located, we stopped to have a view of the Namjagbarwa Mountain peak rising to over 7760m. It’s the tallest peak of the Himalayas range within Southern Tibet.
Right there in Lulang, this chief whose private home doubles as resort and hotel apartment welcomed us warmly.
His living room upstairs is a sort of museum littered with an array of artifacts and bowels for local delicacies
At one corner, the chief has a rich display of foreign currencies left by tourists who visited in the past.
We also signed graffitis, indicating our countries and day of visit
It was after the Chief hosted us and seeing us off that we had this photo with him.
I really appreciate Parveen Ahmed, co-Fellow from Bangladesh for sharing this photo on her Facebook wall this afternoon
Parveen in this photo stands first from left. Next to her is our Chinese tour guide, a Tibetan native and official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry office in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The chief, our host is next and then my humble self.
After leaving the chief’s home, as we headed back to Nyingchi, we stopped over at a leisure spot with a battery of restaurants that served us rich Tibetan delicacies. There we met Tibetan women colourfully dressed and hanging all their crafts meant for sale on their bodies. The crafts and items of sale to tourists filled their entire body frame from the front to the back.
The other two scenic photos are courtesy trip.com