Land of the Dalai Lama

23 04 2010

The guide met us in the morning and took us to Norbulingka, the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama. We saw the bedroom, study and temple of the Dalai Lama. On the walls were paintings explaining the life of all the Dalai Lamas and the history of the Tibetan people- they believe that Tibetans came from monks that lived in the caves that over time learnt to use tools and developed agriculture. There was a nice pond and gardens – the greenest in all of Lhasa. We took the public bus for 1 yuan back to the hostel and rested.

For lunch we went back to Holy Land Vegetarian Restaurant and saw 2 monks and a really tall Tibetan- maybe 2 m tall. The v. mutton kebabs and stirfried green beans were much tastier than yesterday’s lunch. We realised that the restaurant was actually quite close to the hostel so we bargained a price with a tricycle rider instead of taking a taxi.

Our guide met us again at 2 and we went by public bus to Sera Monastery. The buildings were very old looking- built in the 1400s. There used to be thousands of monks but now there are only a couple hundred. At 3pm we watched the monks debate and practice the scriptures in the courtyard.

For dinner we returned to Lucky Vegetarian restaurant and ate potato pancake, lightly fried dumplings and braised tofu for less than $10. Benno was feeling a bit under the weather so we returned to the hostel for an early night before our departure tomorrow.

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