My next trip! 我下一站

(下面有中文版!)

I’m going to take a break from listing favorite places and write about more pressing matters: my trip to Qinghai and Tibet Autonomous Region next month!

As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, I only have 4 more provinces to travel to in China before I’ve been to them all! In the fall, I’ll be going to China’s northeast, but for the summer, it’s out west. I’ll be experiencing the world’s highest altitude and stunning scenery, and of course, will come back with information and tips to share.

Here’s a breakdown of the trip.

Qinghai
First off, to get to Qinghai, I’ll be taking a 30-hour train from Shanghai to Xining, Qinghai’s capital city. I’ll be in Shanghai for a night because of a literary magazine launch. As the train rolls out west, though, I’ll see the landscape change and enter the Tibetan Plateau.

Since Qinghai is home to Tibetan people, and is historically Tibet, much of what I want to do in this province is related to Tibetan Buddhism. I don’t have many specifics nailed down for the 10 days or so that I’ll be here, but there are three things I want to do: Find the salt lakes, go to a Tibetan village, and go hiking. From what I’ve read online, all of this is extremely doable. There’s the Chaka Salt Lake, which is just to the North/Northwest of Qinghai Lake (the huge one), and there are national parks, and there are several Tibetan villages, including Tongren, to name just one. In addition there is the gorgeous Amnye Machen Mountain, which if I can’t hike around, can at least admire from a distance.
For this part of the trip, my travel will be cheap like the kind I’m used to. I’ll be staying in hostels, taking buses, perhaps even hitch-hiking. But that’s just fine with me!

Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)
To get to Lhasa, I’ll be taking the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which has been dubbed “The World’s Highest Railroad,” because of the altitude. While there are flights going into Lhasa, it’s better to go in slowly because 1) the scenery is amazing, and 2) it helps you adjust better to the high altitude.

As for my time in TAR, I will be on a much clearer schedule, because I’ll be going with a small group tour.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of group tours, but traveling alone in TAR as a foreigner is simply not the most economical idea. This is because all foreign travelers in Tibet must have a guide and a driver, since we are not allowed to take pubic transportation outside of Lhasa. Likewise, there are areas that foreigners are discouraged from visiting. Because having a guide and a driver can get pretty expensive pretty quickly, I’m joining a group to make it more affordable. That being said, the two company I’m going with (Budget Tibet Tours) seem to have a good itinerary in mind. Tibet Highland Tours also has a very good reputation and offers good services, from what I’ve read.

(By the way, if you want to know a lot more about traveling in Tibet, check out this website. The writer is very friendly.)

The trip I want to take will be an 8 or 9-day journey from Lhasa (where we will see the Potala Palace, which in itself is enthralling) all the way to the Mount Everest Base Camp. (“OMG you’re climbing Mt. Everest??” Hell no! I’m not a mountaineer and would need many years of training to even think of that — this is a “poking the base of the mountain” trip). The journey will take us past glaciers, the world’s highest monastery, and more gorgeous scenery.

Oh, and while I’m in Lhasa, I also plan on riding the World’s Highest Ferris Wheel. (Again, because of the altitude.) It has nothing to do with Buddhism, but seems just odd enough to be great.

Anyway, I’m getting pumped for my trip, and will share details as they come/I hit the road. As for now, that’s just a glimpse of where I’ll be in less than a month!

我现在暂时不写关于中国最喜欢地方的文章,我会先写一些其他的经历:我下个月就要去青海和西藏自治区!

我在其他的文章里已经写到在中国我只剩下四个省还没去过,我马上就可以说我踏遍了中国的每一寸土地!秋天,我会去中国的东北,但是夏天我要往西走。我会体验世界上最高点,也是让所有诗人极力赞美的风景。我当然会把照片,我的旅行经验以及一些建议分享给大家。
下面是我的旅行计划。

青海省
首先,我会坐30个小时的火车从上海到青海的首都西宁。我会直接从上海的一个杂志出版庆祝晚会出发坐火车慢慢往西走。我会渐渐看到中国的不同的景色,一步一步接近青藏高原。
因为青海是藏族人的家乡,也是历史上的西藏,我大部分的活动会跟藏族佛教有关。我会在青海十天左右,还没有很具体的安排,只不过我有几个地方特别想去:盐湖,藏族小镇,爬山。根据我网上查到的信息,这些项目应该不太难。首先有茶卡盐湖(就是在青海湖的西北边),有国家公园,也有各种各样的藏族小镇比如同仁。加上也有超级好看的阿尼玛卿山,如果我爬不了这座山,那最起码我也可以站在远处赞扬它。

这一部分的旅行就会按照我熟悉的方式:我会住青年旅社,坐巴士,有可能也搭顺风车,都没有问题!

西藏自治区
我会坐因为高地而被称作“世界上最高的铁路”的青藏铁路到拉萨。当然拉萨有很多航班,但是坐火车第一,可以看很多景色,第二,会慢慢习惯西藏的高地。
我在西藏自治区的时候我会有一个更系统的安排,因为我要跟一个小旅行团走。
说实话,我不那么喜欢跟团旅行,但是在西藏自治区独自旅行对外国游客来说不划算。这就是因为所有的外国游客必须有自己的导游和司机跟着,而不能在拉萨之外坐公共交通。除此之外,也有些小区外国游客不允许进去。当然,有导游和司机就会很贵,所以我决定了跟一个小旅行团比较划算。因为这样,我在考虑的两个旅行社好像不错。它们的计划看起来很好,而且评价也不错。

我想做的计划就是8天从拉萨(在那里可以看到布达拉故宫)到珠峰大本营。(“哇靠!你要爬珠峰啊?”当然不要!我并不是一个专业的登山者,也没有打算参加专业的训练……只是打算近距离看看而已。)这个路线会经过冰河,世界上最高的寺庙,还有意想不到的美丽风景。
哦,对了,我在拉萨也打算坐因为高地被称作世界上最高的摩天轮。跟佛教并没有关系,我只是感觉很高大上,所以想体验。

我现在就恨不得马上出发,但是还有几个星期做准备。我准备好以后我可以给大家分享更多的细节,现在只能给你们一个大概的描述。

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