Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Around Xining

After Chengdu I headed up to Xining. Not planning on going to Tibet I figured that I'd spend time in parts of China that had Tibetan villages or roots. Previously I'd been on the backroads of Sichuan and now heading around Xining seemed like a perfect idea for this. Before the takeover and formation of the Tibetan Autonomous Region both Xining and the western part of Sichuan were both part of the country then known as Tibet. Seeing these areas was in someways seeing the real Tibet as there isn't any military regime in these parts.

On my first full day in Xining I went out with some other hostel goers to Ping'an, the next neighboring big town, to go to two sites. Youning Si and the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama.

I read this about Youning Si, "The temples of the Youning Si monastery are embedded into the side of a mountain, amid dense green forests." Of course being in the beginning of winter that greenery was a yellow/brown and more arid looking land than lush vegetation. The temples themselves were nice and are less visited than other local temples so very peaceful.

After walking around the compound for a while we got in our cab and headed to the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama. There is apparently a golden stupa in the room he was born in, but unfortunately we weren't allowed to go inside. We never got the full reason why and heard a few different excuses. One was we were 5 minutes too late, another was foreigners aren't allowed in. Sort of a disappointment for the day but what are you going to do?

On the way to Youning Si our driver stopped off at this other small local temple built into a mountain side. this buddha sort of made me laugh.

The small local temple in the mountain side.

looking up at a buddha in the mountain near a pagoda at Youning Si.

Around Youning Si.

Near the top of the mountain and looking down on the Youning Si compound.

Looking out over the surrounding land and mountains.

Near the top of the mountain and looking down on the Youning Si compound and neighboring town.

At the bottom this lady sold us some fresh yak yoghurt. yum!

the local stupa near Youning Si.

The door to the house where the current Dalai Lama was born.

The land and area around where the Dalai Lama was born.

The land and area around where the Dalai Lama was born.

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