My 2019 New Year Trip
As the great proverb goes:
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
There are so many places in Tibet where I haven't traveled so every winter during the less tourist season; I used to take an opportunity to visit many remote areas in Tibet.
No matter if it's a work wound, family wound, or relationship wound, Tibet is known as one of the best places to heal for many Travelers.
2019 Tibetan New Year Losar
Even though New Year is actually the time for gathering, this time I have left the crowd and traveled alone to East Tibet Nyingchi Kongpo area and East South Tibet Tsetang Lhoka area.
Tibetan New Year Losar for the year 2019 starts on February 5th as Day1. Tibetans celebrate two New Years.
The first is the harvest new year, which will happen one month before the actual new year.
Harvest new year is celebrated in the Shigatse area, the Nyingchi Kongpo area, and some areas in Kham. These areas celebrate one month before the farmer's field harvest happens a bit earlier.
The actual new year will be celebrated after one month after the harvest new year. This new year will be celebrated almost by all the places in Tibet.
For me, it is essential to travel during the winter to different places in Tibet to check the changes and conditions of travel areas in Tibet.
Another reason is to do my best to avoid entertainment. This time I have planned to read a book from my ancestor who wrote the ( 37 practices of Bodhisattvas )
The Journey started from Lhasa towards the Nyingtri. I have traveled through the new LinLha highway which begins at the East of Lhasa and ends at the west of Nyingchi Bayi city.
Even the high pass Mila mountain, which is around nearly 5000 meters has a tunnel to make it convenient for the local people.
The highway is a great way to travel to Nyingtri faster and easier, but for Travelers, I would recommend going via the old road to have more stops along the Journey. We will pass by many farmers and also some Nomads between Rutok and Kongpo Gyamda town.
Around 15km from the main road, there is the Siji Lhatso Lake. One of the beautiful Lakes near Rutok town, around 180km from Lhasa.
Once we pass the Kongpo Gyamda town, after around an hour, we will reach the main route to Draksum Lake, also known as Basum Lake. Draksum Lake is the most famous lake in the Nyingtri area.
The travel duration from Lhasa to Nyingtri is around 400Km with a travel duration of around 5 hours via the LinLha highway and about 7-8 hours through the old route.
The next day, I have traveled to Lamaling monastery — about 20km from Bayi city. The Lamaling monastery is a Nyingmapa sect school monastery in the eastern Tibet Nyingtri area. The main chapel is known as SangDok Phelri. The four-floored monastery is stunning. I was very fortunate to witness the chantings from the Nuns and Monks group pilgrim.
After I have traveled to Nyingtri Miling town, Miling airport, from Miling town, there is another few hours drive to Nang town. I was planning to stay a night at Nang town, but I arrived there quite early, so I planned to travel further.
One monastery where I wanted to travel before many years ago is the Dhakla monastery.
It is built by the chief disciple of Jetsun Milarepa, known as Jetsun Dhakpo Lhaji or also known as Jetsun Gampopa.
The chief relic of the monastery is the Ngadrama ( Lookalike statue of Je Gampopa )
Photo: Je Gampopa lookalike statue is the chief relic of the Dhakpo monastery
The monastery is situated in the middle of the mountain facing towards the southwest. From the main road, it is dusty and zigzag for around 30km to the gate of the monastery. My car is quite small and low, so I was quite worried about the road, but it was fine in the end.
Once I reach the monastery, I asked the monk about the main relics of the monastery. Monk told me about the look-alike statue of Jetsun Gampopa in the main chapel. Other relics are the meditation cave, and the Golden Tomb of Jetsun Gampopa situated even higher from the monastery towards the upper summit.
I hiked for around nearly one hour and reached the excellent meditation cave. It was very peaceful, and I feel blessed. My dream came true finally when I meditate for 2-3 minutes in the meditation cave of Jetsun Gampopa.
The Stunning View from the Meditation Cave
The view was terrific on the hike to the meditation cave. I can see the whole valley and the mountains surrounding the monastery. The Monk told me that in summer from June to September. We can witness the beauties of green nature and unique white flower which grows near the monastery with a beautiful smell. The area was mainly for meditation. I wish to visit here again soon. They are few meditators who meditate for three years, three months, and three days above the monastery near the summit of the mountain. It is not allowed to visit the meditation caves.
The guest house of the monastery is very basic with no restaurant, and that's the beauty of the monastery from what I feel. That makes it authentic.
The next day, I have traveled towards the Tsetang Lhoka area to Gyatsa town, Sangri town, and finally arrived at Tsetang city. From Tsetang, the route to Lhasa is around 170km with a driving duration of around 4 hours.
As another great proverb says: Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
Traveling makes us richer from both inside and outside.
Traveling also helps us to be away from the entertainment which wastes lots of our precious time and opportunity so I highly recommend everyone to travel.
I will be traveling more to other places in Tibet and will make sure to share my experience, short videos, and photos with all the Travelers.
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It's been quite a few months that I have written an article again. Writing is a great way to express my mind and improve my English so I will write more soon.
Thank you for reading my recent travel article. As a Tibetan Tibet travel expert living in Tibet. Travelers can also ask me any questions regarding traveling to Tibet at [email protected]