Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Picture Post 8: Tibet or Not Tibet, That is the Question. Then, Lijiang.

The second to last stop on our field trip tour was Zhongdian, just outside the borders of the Tibetan Autonomous Region and actually a part of Tibet, culturally speaking.

The Yangtze River on the road to Zhongidan as it begins its almost 3000 mile journey to Shanghai

Songzanlin monastery, outside Zhongdian. Modeled after the Potala Palace in Lhasa

Inside the monastery

View from the roof of the monastery

A lone stupa at the end of the Songzanlin complex. One of my favorite pictures from our whole two week trip.

View looking out from under the stupa

Tibetan orphans and their caretaker (in everyday Tibetan dress) at the orphanage in Zhongdian

The lamasery we went to outside Zhongdian was sometimes nothing but a forest of prayer flags on a mountain flank

Sutras carved into the rocks at the lamasery

Looking at this picture of a dog I saw in Zhongdian, you might be moved to ask: "What the heck? Are that dog's eyebrows painted on?" And the answer would be: yes. Yes they are.

Then came Lijiang, a disappointment over all and mostly an opportunity to experiment with how many orifices I could leak out of at once. Not the best end to a field trip.

A Naxi Dongba priest performing a ceremony for us in the park

Naxi Dongba script (the only ideographic--meaning each symbol represents one idea a la heiroglyphics--writing system left in the world) on a No Smoking sign

The Naxi Ancient Music Orchestra in Lijiang

Next stop: ISP!

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