Sunday, June 3, 2012

Scenes from Qinghai Lake and Environs

Previously I shared some photos of road scenes from my trip on Friday. Now I will share some of what I saw off the road that day. Early in the morning I met 5 Chinese college students who would be joining me and our driver. Our trip lasted until the evening and we explored Qinghai Lake, China's largest lake, and some of the areas around it. The driver chose the route, and I am happy to say he made some excellent choices. I am not sure I have ever seen such diverse scenery in a single day.

As seen in the photos, much Tibetan culture can be found in Qinghai. Although foreigners require a special permit and must be part of a tour group to even have a chance of entering Tibet (which is not always possible), no such restrictions exist in Qinghai -- at least for the regions I have visited so far.

In the order I experienced them, here are some scenes I will not soon forget:

yaks in Qinghai, China
Since yaks apparently prefer to avoid humans, this was as close as I could get.

view from Laji Mountain in Qinghai, China
The view from Laji Mountain at 3820 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level.

Tibetan prayer flags in Qinghai, China
Tibetan prayer flags on Laji Mountain

horse near Qinghai lake
Horse near Qinghai Lake

Tibetan woman and boy in Qinghai, China
Tibetan woman and boy

Tibetan tents in Qinghai, China
Tibetan woman and boy walking to some tents.

Tibetan prayer flags and rock piles at Qinghai Lake
Tibetan prayer flags and rock piles at Qinghai Lake

Tibetan prayer flags at Qinghai lake

woman making tsampa in Qinghai, China
Woman making a traditional Tibetan dish made from barley -- tsampa

young woman sitting amongst flowers and a young man riding a horse near Qinghai Lake
Two of my co-travelers that day -- one posing for a photo with the flowers and the other taking a short ride

sand dunes and snowcapped mountains near Qinghai Lake
In the distance are snowcapped mountains, but yet again I am surround by sand dunes.
Not too far behind me is Qinghai Lake.

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