Tibet lures the imagination. It is a place where stories, spirituality and a unique culture come together with an inhospitable landscape that is vast and dramatic. Tibet is alluring because, but for a few spots, it is not frequented by tourists. Due to the terrain, the remoteness and the few services, it has remained untouched, and the perfect destination for those on a quest. I have travelled in the Himalayas extensively, and I have learned that the dramatic mountains and the expansive plateaus are places to be experienced, not just visited, this is the way to truly appreciate all that there is in Tibet, and all that there isn’t.
COMMUNION WITH NATURE
Nature in Tibet is a protagonist. The tall, snow-capped mountains and the turquoise lakes, the endless blue skies and the whitewater rivers. Camping and hiking in Tibet is some of the best. After a night under a canopy of stars and a delicious meal by the fireside, you wake up to breathtaking views of the Himalayas in a pristine, remote and untouched landscape. Rafting and kayaking is also a fantastic way to experience Tibetan nature. You can enjoy a half-day excursion in the Tolung Chu, just one hour from Lhasa, or you can head out for adventure in a week-long trip down the course of the mighty Reting Tsangpo.
THE DAILY TIBET
Culture and the way of life at altitude are some of the greatest treasures of Tibet. Be invited into a local home and share tea with the family. As you sip your cup, thick with yak butter, you’ll begin to decipher the carvings on the wall and get a glimpse of the stories and idiosyncrasies of this mysterious land. Tap into the folklore and meet with a practitioner of traditional medicine, whose methods have come down through the ages. I also find it fascinating to see how the objects of daily life are made, so I always recommend to my travellers to visit a local workshop: see how incense and Tibetan Buddha statues are made.
A BALM FOR YOUR SOUL
Tibet holds a string to the heart of humanity because of its spiritual history and practices. Visit a local monastery and break bread with the monks. Immerse yourself in their way of life and experience first-hand their devotion and dedication to a life of the spirit. And while monasteries are awe-inspiring in both their significance and their beauty, the Tibetan landscape is rich with hermitages, and caves where sages have sought enlightenment. These places are very much alive. For example, we can arrange a meditation session at the Chimpu Caves, where, to this very day, many nuns and monks live out their commitment to a life of contemplation and searching. It is a profound experience that leaves no traveller unaffected.