Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Xiahe - a Tibetan city

It was a relatively short drive to get to Xiahe, a Tibetan city.  Xiahe is located in the Gansu province, which is not part of Tibet proper these days, though that's simply because of the way the Chinese decided to draw the borders of the provinces.  There are as many Tibetans living in other provinces in China as there are living in Tibet.

These are prayer wheels.  As you walk by, you spin each one, sending your prayers onward.  This city had hundreds of these, more than I saw in Tibet proper.

Lots of stray dogs (or maybe they belong to people - some did have collars).

The carved woodwork was pretty amazing.

The clockwise swastika is a symbol of the Buddhist religion  The counterclockwise one is a symbol of the Bon religion, which was in Tibet prior to Buddhism and still exists, but is not as common as Buddhism.   Both symbols existed long before the Nazis.

One of the town goats lounging less than a block from our hotel.

Some interesting reading on the back of our hotel room key card.

This sculpture and the next two are made entirely of yak butter!

This monastery had lots of pretty young monks.  We saw some of them playing soccer in their free time.

At 11:30am all of the monks go to the assembly hall for prayers.  They leave their shoes outside.  I'm not sure how they know which pair is theirs afterwards....

Lots of tourists (mostly Chinese) to watch them go into the assembly hall.

Christian talking to the monk who gave us a tour.

Watch your step!

Another town goat.

A challenge before we could leave....  This car was parked in the alley that we needed to drive the truck through to leave town.  There was no way we could fit alongside and the driver was nowhere to be found.  With help from a number of locals, we physically moved the car out into the street (where it promptly got a ticket from a policeman for being improperly parked), and we were on our way.

Next stop, Lanzhou.

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