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Finaly I changed "expedition" to "trip" which more describes such kind of event what we made. After quite short preparation (we got Chinese visa in Prague) we flew to Kathmandu via Dhaka (Bangladesh) which was the cheapest way how to get there. Obtaining a flight ticket from Kathmandu to Lhasa wasn't so big problem. Practically every travel agency was able to arrange it (one-way Kathmandu - Lhasa for 200 USD). Officially is not allowed to enter Tibet like a private person. But officials doesn't bother that our "tourist group" consist of only two persons!! Due to monsson season (much less crowded in Kathmandu) Himalayas range was mostly in the clouds.

View of the Mt.Everest area from the air

We suprissingly smoothly passed through all formalities on the Lhasa airport and took a link bus (don't forget to take juans in advance with you) for the fraction of the offered price for the taxi. According latest info (summer97) to get to Lhasa now is much harder.

We spend nearly week in Lhasa also for the aclimatisation reasons. But not only. You have a lot to do and to see. Of course No.1 attraction is magnificent Potala palace which dominates whole Lhasa valley. Old town is around the Jokhang Temple. Our Snowland hotel was few meters from there. A nice location was degraded by terrible every night dog's "opera".

Potala palace, Lhasa Jokhgang temple

I was interested in monasteries of the Gelukpa (yellow hat sect) around. From my previous trip to China & Amdo I visited Labrang and Taer monasteries. The rest are located around Lhasa (Sera, Ganden, Drepung) and Xigatze (Tashilhunpo).

Monasteries around Lhasa

Sera monastery is very easy accesible from the town even by foot (few km noth of the Lhasa). Close to this monastery is the sky burial site which is closed for the tourists.

Sera monastery

Drepung monastery is located about 18km west of Lhasa on the foot of the hill. In the past around 10 000 monks lived there (the largest monastery in the world) now only a few pavilons are restored.You can catch a local minibus to get there. During my visit a lot of tibetians climbs up to 5200m high mountain.

Drepung monastery

Ganden monastery located 80km from Lhasa in mountains. Early morning bus goes from the square in the front of Jokhgang monastery in town. After breathtaking weaving road we came to the large ruin area in altitude around 4500m.

Drepung monastery

I visited Tsurphu - a Kagyupa sect so called "black hat sect" 80 km from Lhasa 4550m high. To avoid jeep hiring you can try ones per week minibus from same place as to Ganden.
To finish list I am adding a photo of the last from "yellow hat sect" - Tashilhunpo monastery in Xigatze.

Tashilhunpo monastery

There are a lot of other mostly more interesting because of lack of the tourists (such as Gola Gompa - which we found in mountains totaly untouched).

Part Two

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