Roof of the World - Printable Version

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Roof of the World - Avocet64 - 08/05/2017

I can't believe it was 2 years ago when I went to Tibet with what was then the Land of the Dragon tour, time flies by so quickly.  Thinking back to that great holiday I am envious of those who are now going on the Roof of the World tour.

One of the most enjoyable things we were given the privilege to see in Tibet was a show called Happiness On The Way whilst in Lhasa.  I don't know how your time in Lhasa will pan out but, if as we were, you are given the chance by your local Tibetan guide (not by JY) to see this show I can highly recommend you take the chance to see it, those of us who went were overwhelmed by the beauty of this production, it has got to be one of the best shows I have ever seen anywhere, depicting life and traditions of Tibet.  Ideally it would be best to see it on your last night in Lhasa as everything you have seen on your travels falls nicely into place in the show.

I know most of us do anyway but be sure to take plenty of extra tissues and hand sanitizers for the Tibetan leg of the tour.  Unless things have vastly changed in the past 2 years, which is always possible I suppose, for those who don't like ceramic squat toilets you will look on them as a luxury compared to some of the Tibetan public toilets you may encounter on your travels (low walled, no door, hole in a concrete floor, some with a long drop). I would recommend you take advantage of all restaurant/cafe and al fresco loo opportunities where possible.  Normally I'm not bothered by what type of loo I use but I drew a line at the Sera Monastery and got no further than putting my head around. the entrance door!

The Summit Cafe in Lhasa is a good place for coffee, I'm sure your local guide will point you in the right direction.

Be sure not to miss the Liu Sanjie Impression Show on the waters of the Li River in Yangshuo, another great show not to be missed performed by local people, as you will be sitting in the open maybe take a light waterproof jacket with you in case of the unthinkable, rain!

To all those taking the Roof of the World holiday this year, have a great time.

Avocet


RE: Roof of the World - Hils - 08/05/2017

Hi Avocet,

Many thanks for all your tips. I'm really looking forward to this tour, especially the Tibet part - not the loos though so much! Have been to India, Nepal and Burma, so am used to them! I'm sure one of us will write a review when we get back.

Cheers,
Hils


RE: Roof of the World - BGray - 08/05/2017

Hi Avocet,

Many thanks for these tips - I'm also envious of those doing the Roof of the World this year!  I'm hoping to do it in 2019, so fingers crossed it is still around then - and perhaps the loos might have improved as well!!

All the best,

Bob


RE: Roof of the World - 1981Kedi - 08/05/2017

Hi Avocet
I am one of the lucky 13 on the May trip! Smile  Many thanks for these tips and anything else you may think of before Sunday - so close! 

One thing I am wondering about is footwear? I usually wear walking sandals - would it be safer/more comfortable/more sensible to wear full shoes or trainers? Especially in Tibet?

Been following the weather in Chengdu and Tibet etc on line - looks "changeable" - any advice clothes wise?

Like many others I have experienced the best and worst of toilets worldwide. In fact at a motorway stop in China I was privileged to use a fully gold painted example of a "proper loo" - I took a photo of it! Not so sure how the old joints will hold out now for the alternative - may have to take my walking pole in! 

Top Tip for all! Let someone hold your rucksack if you are using a squattie! Not the place to do a stranded turtle act!

However in a monastery in Moscow we wondered why the nuns wanted us to line up in threes - once we turned the corner into the room we realised - the toilet was a wooden frame with a bench top over a trench - the bench had three neatly sawn out oval holes……………

Such memories!

Best regards


RE: Roof of the World - Dina - 08/05/2017

Hi 

Avocet, thank you very much for your advice.
I am going on the September departure, would have loved to have gone on this weeks departure but the date coincided with my son's 40th.

Hils and Kedi I would be very grateful if you or anyone else on the tour does do a review on your return.

Kedi your post has just made me chuckle. Yes, I am also used to all types of horrendous loos.

In one of his posts Jim had written about loads of steps up to temples so I have been practicing going up and down stairs but I need to keep it up for the next 4 months, hoping to be a bit fitter for this holiday.ho ho ho.

If anyone does a review I would be very interested to hear about the journey to Gyantse and then to Shigatse. As Hils has already put in a previous post there isn't much time to acclimatize in Lhasa before the travelling begins. I googled the the trip to Shigatse and quote now "a few reminders for future travellers --this not suitable for travellers who have motion sickness. Hairpin turns and high elevation can aggravate motion sickness symptoms.  Take this trip 3 or 4 days after arriving in Tibet" Hopefully these comments are too extreme. I suffer badly from motion sickness and my GP has already said that she will give me stronger travel sickness pills. The stunning scenery should make it all worth while though.


Avocet, did you do the trip to Shigatse, if you did, could you please advise me if it's that bad. 

Have a lovely holiday Hils and Kedi

Kind regards,
Di  (Kedi, I was the shorter haired one in Borneo)


RE: Roof of the World - 1981Kedi - 09/05/2017

Hi Di (short hair) - good to hear from you - I saw your article in one of the bits sent out by JY - don't think I received it but a friend did. What a star!

I am sure a report will be written following the trip - I think it may be useful for others to have a bit more detail - I did worry about things like the altitude but have tried to put that aside so now am just excited - although I am trying to blank out the info on the mountain passes - new mantra - "just enjoy the view"! 

I can confirm that the Chinese have an obsession with steps - an abiding memory of my first trip to China - a lot of the destinations were built on high points and every visit involved multiple steps up and/or winding paths. Jim also warned me about the steps in Tibet - 
"be prepared: every temple/monastery has about 200 steps, and the Potala palace (long external climb and internal staircases) has thousands ;-). The interior of the Potala is fabulous, much better than expected from the outside (you can buy a lavishly illustrated book about the Potala while you are there - well worth it)."

Best get on - nowhere near ready for the off. Luckily I am now used to doing everything last minute so only panic a little bit! 

Regards

The longer haired one
PS good luck with the steps exercise - worth it in the long run - wish I had stuck to it ?


RE: Roof of the World - Avocet64 - 09/05/2017

(08/05/2017, 02:42 PM)1981Kedi Wrote: Hi Avocet
I am one of the lucky 13 on the May trip! Smile  Many thanks for these tips and anything else you may think of before Sunday - so close! 

One thing I am wondering about is footwear? I usually wear walking sandals - would it be safer/more comfortable/more sensible to wear full shoes or trainers? Especially in Tibet?

Been following the weather in Chengdu and Tibet etc on line - looks "changeable" - any advice clothes wise?

Like many others I have experienced the best and worst of toilets worldwide. In fact at a motorway stop in China I was privileged to use a fully gold painted example of a "proper loo" - I took a photo of it! Not so sure how the old joints will hold out now for the alternative - may have to take my walking pole in! 

Top Tip for all! Let someone hold your rucksack if you are using a squattie! Not the place to do a stranded turtle act!

However in a monastery in Moscow we wondered why the nuns wanted us to line up in threes - once we turned the corner into the room we realised - the toilet was a wooden frame with a bench top over a trench - the bench had three neatly sawn out oval holes……………

Such memories!

Best regards
 


Hi Kedi

Love your loo stories! Hate the thought of having to share a loo with two others!!  Tibetan loos may be a bit primitive but a least you can hide behind a wall.

Footwear - You will be doing a lot of walking where ever you go so whatever you choose needs to be sturdy and comfortable.  A good pair of walking sandals or trainers should be equally as good for most places in China, the same for Tibet in Lhasa and Gyantse, we didn't go to Shigatse but I would think it is similar but don't really know.  There are a lot of steep steps and stairs in the monasteries so you need to be well supported on your feet.  There are 400+ steps to climb up to the Potala, quite a feat at high altitude, not everyone went up.  I have everything from good hiking sandals to walking boots but I now wear Merrell Sieve hiking shoes for everything, a cross between sandals and trainers and they can also be worn in water so are good all purpose footwear, I love them as they are so comfortable.

Clothes - lightweight layering is good, stuff you can put in and pull out of a rucksack without carrying too much weight depending on temperature.  Chengdu was very hot and humid when we were there, early June, the weather in Tibet was good and reasonably hot, T shirt weather, the only time I felt cold was in Gyantse, my hotel room was freezing at night but the day time temperature was fine.  It did turn a bit chilly in Lhasa when we had a bit of a rain shower and the mountains surrounding Lhasa became covered in snow but it soon became warm again and the snow disappeared. Hope this helps.

Wish I was coming with you all, I really want to go back to Tibet, have a safe journey and enjoy.

Best wishes

Avocet


RE: Roof of the World - Avocet64 - 09/05/2017

(08/05/2017, 01:09 PM)Hils Wrote: Hi Avocet,

Many thanks for all your tips. I'm really looking forward to this tour, especially the Tibet part - not the loos though so much! Have been to India, Nepal and Burma, so am used to them! I'm sure one of us will write a review when we get back.

Cheers,
Hils

Hi Hils

As long as you keep your head above the "parapet" so people can see you all should be ok, I managed to gate crash a couple of times, didn't see them behind the wall, the Chinese seem to squat very low, guess it's a lifetime of experience!

Cheers

Avocet


RE: Roof of the World - Avocet64 - 09/05/2017

(08/05/2017, 01:09 PM)BGray Wrote: Hi Avocet,

Many thanks for these tips - I'm also envious of those doing the Roof of the World this year!  I'm hoping to do it in 2019, so fingers crossed it is still around then - and perhaps the loos might have improved as well!!

All the best,

Bob

Hi Bob

Don't leave it too long, the Chinese seem to be determined to bring Tibet into line with the rest of China, such a shame, I really want to go back before it changes and the way of life is lost for ever.

Cheers

Avocet


RE: Roof of the World - Avocet64 - 09/05/2017

(08/05/2017, 09:32 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi 

Avocet, thank you very much for your advice.
I am going on the September departure, would have loved to have gone on this weeks departure but the date coincided with my son's 40th.

Hils and Kedi I would be very grateful if you or anyone else on the tour does do a review on your return.

Kedi your post has just made me chuckle. Yes, I am also used to all types of horrendous loos.

In one of his posts Jim had written about loads of steps up to temples so I have been practicing going up and down stairs but I need to keep it up for the next 4 months, hoping to be a bit fitter for this holiday.ho ho ho.

If anyone does a review I would be very interested to hear about the journey to Gyantse and then to Shigatse. As Hils has already put in a previous post there isn't much time to acclimatize in Lhasa before the travelling begins. I googled the the trip to Shigatse and quote now "a few reminders for future travellers --this not suitable for travellers who have motion sickness. Hairpin turns and high elevation can aggravate motion sickness symptoms.  Take this trip 3 or 4 days after arriving in Tibet" Hopefully these comments are too extreme. I suffer badly from motion sickness and my GP has already said that she will give me stronger travel sickness pills. The stunning scenery should make it all worth while though.


Avocet, did you do the trip to Shigatse, if you did, could you please advise me if it's that bad. 

Have a lovely holiday Hils and Kedi

Kind regards,
Di  (Kedi, I was the shorter haired one in Borneo)


Hi Di

No sorry, we didn't go to Shigatse, the itinerary has changed since I went but I'm sure someone will be able to answer your question when the first group get back.

Cheers

Avocet