China > Tibet > Lhasa
01 October 2010
Early morning at departure area, Chengdu Airport CTU today, after stringent security and document checks for Lhasa travellers.
Look at all the fiery red chops: Tibet permit, boarding pass, passport. I’m good for Tibet!
Flight on schedule on a cold, misty, miserable Chengdu day.
Boarding at a new gate, I just followed the crowd since the announcement was in Mandarin.
Sichuan Airlines A319 interior, reg. B-2300.
Here’s the well-appointed chow for the 2-hour ride. Plain congee to be eaten with pickled vegies. Quite filling I must say.
And the mandatory lady-shot.
Landed at Lhasa LXA about 10.30am. It was like flying from the floor to a table. No noticeable descent, and suddenly the mountains were in my face. That’s our A319 from CTU.
Another Sichuan plane on the other side of the terminal.
Baggage collection was harmless, and soon I am staring at the bright blue sky of Tibet. I’m at the Roof of the World now!
The 70km highway from the Lhasa Airport LXA to Lhasa is a teaser of what Tibet has to offer.
Rocky mountains surround the valley where the airport is located.
A long tunnel is cut right through the hard rock.
On the other side, a glacial valley if I ever saw one. Am I back in South Island NZ?
Autumn in full swing.
The highway skirts the northern bank of Lhasa River.
A beautiful bend along Lhasa River.
Autumn leaves abound.
Beginning to look more and more like South Island NZ.
My first encounter with the Tibetan prayer flags.
Closer to Lhasa, and its river becomes more scenic.
Finally in my hotel room, my breads from Chengdu are bursting, thanks to Lhasa’s low pressure.
Jingzhoi Rd towards the east, where my hotel is.
Junction of Jingzhoi Rd and Lingkuo Rd.
Nearby, a halal butcher obliges. He then shows me some Quranic script, which to his delight, I read. He insists I should get a kopiah like his. I draw the line.
The halal butchers are doing good business. I never realised they were so many Muslims living in Lhasa, obviously migrants.
A young Muslim mum carries her baby to cross the wide Jingzhoi Rd.
The Sun is low in the western sky, and I return to the hotel. It’s sunny but freezing cold. Lack of oxygen is not helping.
Soon, dusk falls on Lhasa, and time to find some halal chow which I spotted earlier.
Found one along Jingzhoi Rd, I promptly order dinner and the young man gets to work, with his family around us.
My dinner at last. Crispy tasty chicken with some spicy condiment. All for 8 Yuans.
~ THE END (10/10) ~