Jody's Adventures

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tibet- Train to Lhasa

So the shiny new train to Lhasa. This is the train line they said could not be built, but there is a whole region that China wants to exploit and populate, plus the Olympics are coming and lots of tourists will pay to go to Tibet, and so it was built. It does provide a very nice way to get there. You travel thru quite desolate plains and over several passes one of which is over 5200 meters (over 16,000 feet) the same height as Everest base camp. Saw endangered Tibetan antelope, eagles, yaks, marmots, a fox, and lots of sheep and Tibetan herders bundled up against the amazing cold. They have a special system to deal with the permafrost and keep the tracks from buckling. It's working.. so far. The train while shiny and new is still a Chinese train ridden by Chinese people, so it wasn't cleaned for the entire 26 hour trip, and Chinese people are not known for being neat, but it was really cool all the same and they smoked only slightly less on this train in total disregard for the constant flow of of pure oxygen pumped into the cars to prevent altitude sickness.


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