My husband was not too keen on venturing to Tibet but I was fervent to go. Located on the highest plateau in the world, reaching 15,748 feet in some areas, it is known as the "roof of the world". I must say that in the end, we were all three happy we had taken this enriching adventure. Tibet was both magical and inspiring.
One can either take the train to Tibet or one can fly. The train to Tibet deserves mention because it is one of the great engineering marvels of our time, not only because of the very high altitude but also because of the difficult terrain it traverses. Price tag: $4.2 billion dollars for construction.The flight is 2 hours 15 minutes from Chengdu, China, whereas the train takes 43 hours 7 minutes. The train has its merits but I wanted to spend more time in Tibet and less time getting there. So the three of us took our acetazolamide to prevent altitude sickness and boarded our plane in Chengdu, China.
I took these photos from my airplane window as we flew over the snow capped peaks. There were many and they stretched for what seemed a long time.
We arrived safely at Gonggar Airport which is about 40 miles from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. I found it to be an interesting drive into the city.
Once in Lhasa, my son and I enjoyed our first tastes of yak meat in a typical Tibetan restaurant and I can honestly recommend it. Not only is it tasty but low in fat and cholesterol (95-97% lean) and lower in calories than even skinless chicken breast. My husband doesn't eat meat but he was fine because there are many tasty and vegetarian options everywhere in Lhasa.
Afterwards we checked into our hotel, the St. Regis Lhasa. The hotel's stunning architecture fit perfectly into the environment. I adored that aspect of this hotel and only wish I had some photos that would do it justice. Some public areas of the hotel and even some rooms offer a view of the Potala Palace.
Here you can barely see the Potala Palace over the rooftops of the hotel, however, once inside, the view of the palace is quite stunning. We relaxed and acclimated to the higher altitude and the lower oxygen level. I was looking forward to visiting the sights of Lhasa over the next three days.