Tibet is one of those places that have an inherent mythical appeal. Its isolated location at the “roof of the world” adds a lot to its mystery.
I mean it took us almost two full days of travel to reach Lhasa. Looking at the beautiful scenery from the train, I suppose our expectations built to a point where it would be hard to fulfil. This brings us to now….
We’ve been in Tibet for three days already and I have not been able to write much about it.
Our first impression of Lhasa can be simplified to this: “this can’t be Lhasa!!” I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t the modern city with busy motorways and franchised shops that first greeted us. This was not helped by the busy construction that seemed to be going on everywhere. Oxygen was scarce for us even without the smoky cars and the construction dust.
It was kinda underwhelming after the 44 hour train ride.
Of course, it is not all bad.
We were checked into a hostel that has… How do I put it? A lot of character.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Lhasa Hostel is how almost every accessible (and some not so accessible) surface is filled with graffiti. Great caricatures are mixed with foul profanities bemoaning the lack of central heating in the hostel.
True… The facilities and bedding in the hostel are old and leave a lot to be desired, but who wants to just stay in a perfect hotel right? Right?
There is a strong sense of community within the hostel. There are lots of common areas, including a rooftop pub/restaurant that provides free pool, futsal and music.
Another saving grace of Lhasa is definitely the food. After our culinary adventures in Chengdu, the non spicy food of Lhasa was a welcome change (for Jo). I’m talking about yak sizzlers and CHEESE SOUP. Clear soup with blocks of cheese in them.
Plus the most cutely-named meal we’ve ever had…
…consisting of Bobi, Momo and Chang.