Tag Archives: Shigatse

Foto Friday: The Hairy Animals of Tibet

Shigatse, Tibet
June 2010

Hairy Cat

A phenomenon I was intrigued while travelling through Tibet was the amount of fur/hair that their animals possessed. Besides the yaks that have naturally long hair, the other animals just looked a little too hairy. The cats and dogs all looked like the types of breed we’re used to in Singapore, (but then again, I’m not really familiar with the difference between breeds of animals), just hairier.

I almost feel silly posting up this photo and talking about hair/fur. Most of the areas on the Tibetan Plateau sit above 4,000m, so how surprising is it that their animals are just a little extra hairy? After all they do need the extra fur to keep warm.

But say, doesn’t the cat’s butt look like Wolverine?

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Every photograph we take contains a story, but we often do not spend enough time sharing that story with others. Hence, Foto Friday was born to give some recognition to these forgotten photographs and the memories they hold. Taken over many trips (2004-present) using my crappy cameras and whatever minimal photography skills I have, these photographs serve to give you a little insight into my travels. And if you haven’t realised by now, they’ll be out on Fridays.

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In Shigatse, Tibet

After spending close to three weeks in Nepal (Kathmandu, Pokhara, Annapurna Region, Nagarkot), I’m now in Shigatse, Tibet.

We just spent almost two whole days on the road (13 hours yesterday, and 10 hours today) across barren lands, passing through hills and mountains, through 5000m high passes, and here we are in the second largest biggest city of Tibet.

The bus trip has been more pleasant that I had previously expected. With views of Mt Everest (or Qomolangma as they call it here), Mt Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, there’s really nothing to complain about. Except perhaps the toilets (that stink, literally and figuratively), when they are actually available that is.

Besides being wowed by the awesome views of nature, I’ve been very highly impressed with the level of infrastructure here in Tibet. Imagine electrical poles set up here at above 3800m, well-paved tarred roads, proper petrol kiosks, mobile reception at 5000m, proper drains next to the roads, solar panels, and great Internet facilities (we’re now sitting in a huge lan shop). Perhaps I’ve spent too much time in Nepal, where even traffic lights, clean water, and tarred roads are a rarity, at least in Kathmandu. But I would think it’s quite a feat to set up such infrastructure at such high altitudes.

Alright, gotta run. It’s 11 pm here (same time as SG, though the sun only set about an hour ago. ha!) and we gotta walk about 20 mins back to our hotel (our first luxurious stay in 3 weeks. Not that we had a choice, it’s part of the mandatory package we need to take to travel in Tibet.) Off to visit the Tashilumpo Monastry and the Potala Palace tomorrow (if they decide to open) tomorrow.

And sorry for the lack of updates. Been away from the online world quite a bit.

Will blog about Nepal soon hopefully. I miss it already.

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