Story On the National Highway 318

We came to Chengdu, for the trip on the National Highway 318, for the Sichuan-Tibet Line, and for the long-awaited paradise!


The day before we started the trip was the most relaxing day. We didn’t know how difficult to travel on the 318 National Highway.

This is our first stop: Erlang Mountain, but why it is called Erlang Mountain?

Looking at the invisible peak of Erlang Mountain, I don’t know how many people had contributed to Tibet’s construction. 


The foggy Qingyi River…

When we came to Ya’an, we had planed to taste the local fish in the famous rainy city Ya’an City, which is known for its rain, girls, and fish. But we couldn’t accept the outrageous price, so we had to change for another spicy and hot fish! And I had no idea what flavor the fish!

The Dadu River in the fog…we followed the hill road you can faintly see in the picture down to the Dadu River, and then went straightly to the revolutionary city: Luding.

Sculptures of the brave warriors who won the Luding Bridge

We visited the Luding Bridge for free because the bridge was just completely repaired. 


Looked at the rickety iron chains on the rushing river, and then thought of the warriors who won the Luding Bridge, I really didn’t know what to say…

In the street of Luding

We stayed at the home of love—Kangding, which was an important trading town for many centuries. It was deep night when we arrived at Kangding, there was white fog in the mountains as it had just rain, and rather cold!

The traffic is very bad on the Sichuan-Tibet line, and there is always traffic jam, because the geological condition of the road is too bad!

We got up early in the morning, only to find white mist outside, though wore one more clothes, I still felt cold! 


The rising sun in the clouds…the locals told us that it had been rainy for several days, and I hoped we would have sunny days in the next following days!

The new Kangding in the fog

Hit the road…the sun gradually sweep mist, blue sky, clear creek, gurgling water, there were different scenery when passing different cols.

Seeing our admiration for the outside scenery, the driver told us that when into Tibet, the scenery would be more beautiful.

First time to climb up a more than 4,000 meters high mountain, this is the Kamba First Pass — Zheduo Mountain Pass. 


The top of the 4298 m mountain was full of colorful prayer flags, eye-catching in the blue sky and white clouds.  We saw several bicycles at the pass. Seeing them cycling to Tibet, we admired their perseverance! 


Smart and devout Tibetans make full use of water, you can take a look at the water prayer wheel, which shows their passion to religious.

Fibers, high-voltage towers, pagodas, prayer flags…all of these combine the ancient faith and modern progress at the same time.

The large words: THE LOVE SONG OF KANGDING appeared in front of us, on the mountain in the distance. 


Overlooking the Gongga Mountain on the Gaoersi Mountain (in that far horizon)

Take a look in the telephoto, rather beautiful!

The next day, we came to Yajiang. The road from Xindu Bridge to Yajiang was serious damaged, each passing vehicles were all covered with mud.

Blue sky and white clouds have gradually become the main scenery in front of us. 


Blue sky, white clouds, grassland, and the yaks grazing on pasture 


There are numbers of mountains and cliffs in western Sichuan, and there is a bustling town in the mountains, that is, Yajiang, which is the traffic throat of the Sichuan-Tibet artery.

A glimpse of Yajiang

in the Yajiang stree…

We left from Yajiang and moved on, crossing two more than 4,000 meters high mountains and into the Maoya Prairie. It’s a vast and quality alpine prairie, with an average elevation of 4,000 meters, and there are undulating flowers every summer. The Litang County in the prairie can be known as the “World High City”, this is the reincarnation of VII and X. of the Dalai Lama.

We came across some cyclists on our way. They were heading for Lhasa, maybe it would take them a long time, but they still went on…This guy had been riding for days, we chatted with him for a while, admiring his perseverance. Looking his receding figure, we wish him a good journey!

On the peak, everybody was attracted by this dog. Take a photo together!

Alpine pasture

TUER MOUNTAIN

There is a village in the mountain.

River in the distance 


Tibetan women back home after a day’s work.

Look back to Litang

Red Grassland (Hongcaodi) is the only one in the world, and it has been circled up by some Tibetans for selling tickets. 


Tibetan model village

Goodbye, and I hope nobody come to develop this beautiful natural place.

We came to Bangpu Temple, the oldest temple in Daocheng, 30 kilometers from the county, with an altitude of 3940 meters, and Karmapa is the founder of Bangpu Temple. October 30 is the last day of the anniversary of Karmapa.

A Master warmly received us, who had innocent smile on the face. Looking at the devoted people dressed in their holiday to celebrate the birthday of Karmapa, you could see the Tibetan people have a good relationship with the religion. 

The main hall of Bangpu Temple

The Master I mentioned just now

The prayer wheel in front of Bangpu Temple… 


Tibetans attending the celebration

The monks attending the celebration were having their lunch.

The well-dressed little girl in the celebration

The honest Tibetan man

Three young men

busy

This family

Monks and beauties

Take a photo together

This happy brother and sister.

We must arrive at Batang in the evening, so we had to leave! Goodbye…

We finally arrive at Batang, which has the reputation of Beauty on Plateau. 

Batang panorama

The Tibetan clothing on the Yangle Festival is very beautiful, accompanied with simple musical instruments, just a drum and a gong, but the opera is too long, it may takes a few days to play, as well as too much content, so the actors were all holding the lines in the show!

The actor playing the prince was very conscientiously reading the lines.

The actors were having a rest nearby. 


The Tibetan monks had their special seats, showing the locals respect for the monks! 


This old man was the uncle of our guide, a prestigious Lama. He was 70 years old and very amiable, treat us good food, and explain the Tibetan show to us. Looking at the old kind face, we sincerely wished him a healthy life!

watch the show

Yangle Festival is a grand festival of the Tibetan people in Batang. Yangle Festival is actually a harvest celebrating festival. On that day, Tibetan people in their holiday best bring with them wine and food and gather at a big open ground to enjoy the Tibetan opera while visiting the commodities fair held at the site. Generally, this festival starts in early September and end in the mid-September, lasting for ten days.

Very family has a fix place to set up a tent, and this one belongs to our guide.

In our guide’s tent, we received a warm welcome, to drink a bowl of butter tea.

one more 


one more 


their own fruit

They were busy making noodles for us. 


A bowl of noodle, very delicious! Our guide’s father said we must eat eighteen bowls, oh my god, but I could only eat three bowls!

Look, everybody was happy, smiling…of course, I was in the photo, but behind the camera. 


Thank you, Batang, our guide, and all of his family!

We were still in Sichuan, far away from Lhasa…We left Batang and moved forward. 

a village deep in the mountain

Turned at a corner, a thick smell of sulfur came to us. 


boiling water

We came across some young Tibetan people on the way to CuoPu Valley. They were kowtowing all the way, tirelessly, shocked all of us! 


Blue sky, white clouds, snow mountains…

We deep into Cuopu Valley, though the mountain was still far away, but its majestic amazed us very much! The prairie under our foot was just like colored picture. 


take a close look at the mountain

The more into the valley, the scenery is more beautiful! A variety of colorful prayer flags tied on the trees around the Cuopu Lake dress up the lake more beautiful. 


This is a strange view in Cuopu Lake! As long as you shout to the lake, there will be fish swimming to you in droves! 


Cuopu Temple was surrounded in mountains. 


Cuopu Lake and Cuopu Temple

We climbed to the summit of the mountains behind Cuopu Temple, where there were Ksitigarbha. It was so great to overlook the beautiful Cuopu Lake and Cuopu Temple on the peak. 


The Sisters Lakes just like two gems hidden in the deep forest, we could only saw moss, rock, and several closed-door stone houses, and it is hard to find the lakes without a guide!

When we left, it began to rain, and there was even a rainbow in the sky on the way back! 

exciting things in the next following …

Tibet Museum: http://www.tourdechina.cn/ChinaGuide/lhasa/Attractions/Tibet-Museum.html

The next day, we had already crossed the Jinsha River, came to the territory of Tibet!

We drove on the mountains, gradually increased up from an altitude of 2700 m to 4000 m, it was still rainy at the foot of the mountain, but became snowy on the mountain! From that moment we fell into the world of winter! Our driver told us that it was the first time for him to see such beautiful scenery!


prayer flags in the snow

snow-covered villages

No matter what you shoot, you would get a landscape painting.

With the gradual decline of altitude, one after one piece of wonderful landscape painting appeared in front of us, we again cried out, so beautiful!

harvest highland barley in the snow… 

That patch of green vegetable was so dazzling…

There were many military vehicles at the side the road.

Highland barley stored on the shelf

a cow

cyclist

across the Lancang River

again, elevation increased

We were on a hilltop again, and entered a world of snow, just like an ink painting. 

We finally arrived at Basu after turning again and again!

The scenery was more beautiful in Tibet!

On the way to Ranwu Lake: snow-capped mountains, forests, rural scenery… and snow-capped mountains reflected in the Ranwu Lake, picturesque scenery! 

Midui Glacier

huts at the foot of the snow mountain

Look, the two men riding horses were very happy!

Someone regards Nyingchi as the Swiss of Tibet, but in fact, Nyingchi is far better than Switzerland. It is a world of Shambhala! I used to hold the idea that Tibet is arid, barren, but this trip to Tibet completely changed this view. As soon as entering Nyingchi, I was shocked!

Lulang stone chicken is very famous, and also very expensive, more expensive than that in other places! But, after all, it is on the national highway, and the only stone pot in Medog!

The pasture scenery in Lulang is very beautiful.

It was afternoon when we passed Lulang.

Namcha Barwa is always a topic of national highway 318, but few people have the chance to see its true colors, because its summit is always hidden behind the clouds! 

Barracks 

Nyang River

We were going to have supper.

Nyingchi hotel, in the early morning

We left Nyingchi… the last night on the national highway 318, we arrived our destination – Lhasa! The road condition is very good after entering Tibet. Although Lhasa was only five hundred kilometers away from Nyingchi, but there was strict speed limit here. And the rate-limiting method is very special, you must spend as long as the prescribed time on the road, so there were a lot of cars parked on the roadside to wait the time.

red rose on the plateau

shot at roadside when waited the time

lovely green grass in the morning sunshine 

as blue as the sky 

A young bull

prayer tower 

Mila mountain pass is the last mountain pass to Lhasa. 

sunset 

On the way to Yamdrok Lake, beautiful scenery

water burial platform at the riverside

A beautiful river, and a plane in the sky

Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is over 72 km long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake does have an outlet stream at its far western end.

There is a restaurant beside the lake. 

Beauties and the beast

So beautiful, no matter from which angle to look!!! 

Potala Palace’s tickets should be reserved in advance, so in the evening, we went to the Potala Palace Square to have a look at the night view first!

We couldn’t go inside right now, oh god!

Standing by the Namtso Lake, the shocking sacred lake on the highest point of the world, I felt like being in a blue world. Light blue, pale blue, gray-blue, sapphire blue, dark blue and deep blue-black, as if include all the blue in the world. 

Wooow… the wild yak is so cool!

The wind in the Nagenla pass is strong and clod

Nyainqentanglha Snow Mountain

Qinghai-Tibet railway under the snow-capped mountains

pasture under the snow-capped mountains

gilt roof of the Jokhang Temple

Look at the Potala Palace from Jokhang Temple

Barkhor Street

There are many tourist guestbooks in MAKEYAME, and it must be a pleasure to sit there and take your time.

those Tibetans prostrating in prayer

a girl prostrating in prayer

Potala is always full of mysterious

Lhasa has changed a lot in decades.

We had only two hours in the Potala Place.

Walk around outside the Potala Palace, the scenery outside is also good!

We followed the crowd who turning their prayer wheels and walked around Potala Palace, then came to the front again. 

Sunlight sprinkled on the mountains east of the Potala Palace, and a white moon rose in the east. Our 18 days Tibet tour would come to an end tomorrow, feeling a lot during this trip, if want to know and understand the meaning of life, jsut slowly stroll on the national highway 318 for some time, you will comprehend it!

This sunset glow is just like a bird, in pursuit of its dreams!

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