Tsetang - Yumbulagang

Right: Yumbulagang, Tsetang.

I though I'd get out of Lhasa for a bit so I bowled on down to Tsetang, Tibet's third biggest city. What I found was basically a very boring very Chinese city with overpriced hotels.

I did enjoy my visit to Yumbulagang Palace (above) though, which was built more than 2000 years ago.It's small but quite picturesque, jutting out from the rocks.

Tsetang is near the site where in ancient times a monkey mated with an ogress giving rise to the Tibetan people. The six offspring of this unlikely union are represented by the six principle tribes of Tibet. The monkey is frequently associated with Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion (known to Tibetans as Chenrezi), though the myth clearly predates Buddhism.

Yambulagang Palace

Right: off road antics.

I also visited the Trandruk Monastery, which though historically significant, was somewhat dreary and perhaps overpriced.

Coming back to Lhasa on the bus we ran off the road into a ditch. Sitting right behind the driver I watched the whole thing pass as he came up too quickly behind a slow moving tractor and basically ran out of road.