Tibet 2000: introduction

Potala Palace
Potala Palace, Lhasa

After our visit to Galapagos in 1999, which I blogged about earlier this year, we had a problem. Friends now regarded us as intrepid travellers and kept asking “Where on earth will you go next?” We felt we had to live up to our reputation, so the following year we chose Tibet. No-one we knew had been there….hmmm, I wonder why not? We were to find out. I know some people question whether it is ethical to visit Tibet at all (and it does make me uneasy) but, having decided to go, our big mistake was the timing.

Paintings on the road from the airport to Lhasa
Paintings on the road from the airport to Lhasa

In 2000, for work reasons, we had to take our holidays in September which is the beginning of the rainy season. The first company we booked with cancelled because there weren’t enough people to make a viable group. Should’ve taken the hint then. We found another company who would take us, but we discovered when we arrived for the start of the tour in Kathmandu* that we were their only clients. We were added to another company’s group, and when we arrived in Tibet we were delegated yet again to a Chinese company. This made it very difficult to know who to complain to if things went wrong – and go wrong they did.

Tibet bookWhat follows in the next few posts is a lightly edited version of an account I wrote at the time. This was long before I was a blogger, but a lot of friends and colleagues read it, and years later when I was leaving work one of them contacted John without me knowing to get some photographs and she made me a book as a retirement gift. Thanks Cheryl!

So – come back on Monday for the start of our adventures in Tibet.

* See K is for Kathmandu from 2014’s A to Z Challenge.


55 thoughts on “Tibet 2000: introduction

  1. Mona lisa July 21, 2016 / 11:49

    Very nice informative article about Tibet….
    This is exactly I was looking for from many time.Thanks for sharing this awesome article with us.


  2. Liesbet July 21, 2016 / 14:27

    Looking forward to reading about your experiences in Tibet, an intriguing “country” I hope to explore one day.


    • Anabel Marsh July 21, 2016 / 17:09

      I hope if you do you will have a more straightforward time than we did!


  3. hilarymb July 21, 2016 / 14:43

    Hi Anabel – why isn’t it a good idea to go to Tibet? I’m probably being stupid .. but can’t work it out – however – how amazing .. and you must have learnt loads – despite the mishaps I can see coming up in your storyline! Cheers Hilary


    • Anabel Marsh July 21, 2016 / 17:08

      Well, basically it was occupied by China and some people argue that visiting adds legitimacy to it. Against that, I believe the Dalai Lama has encouraged foreigners to visit Tibet and inform others of their experiences, which I am doing. There were practical problems as well as you’ve guessed! The situation might well have changed in the last 16 years though, so our experiences aren’t typical of what would happen today.


    • Anabel Marsh July 21, 2016 / 17:27

      Well, whichever, I hope it’s entertaining! I smile looking back if that reassures you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sarah Ferguson and Choppy July 22, 2016 / 18:13

        One thing I always try to remember when I am on vacation – while I really enjoy and remember the good things, it’s the stuff that seems bad at the time that I really look back on and remember/discuss in the future!


  4. Ann Coleman July 21, 2016 / 23:09

    I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures in Tibet!


  5. Retirementallychallenged.com July 22, 2016 / 00:09

    Another blogger I follow recently wrote about her less-than-wonderful travels to Tibet. Between the two of you, I may permanently scratch that destination off my list.


    • Anabel Marsh July 22, 2016 / 06:51

      Travelling Rockhopper wrote about it recently too. I’ll be referencing her posts at the end – much more positive!


  6. ms6282 July 22, 2016 / 08:41

    I’ll look forward to reading your posts. It can be fun reading of others misadventures !! 😉


      • ms6282 July 22, 2016 / 09:48

        Looking forward to reading your posts 😃 Seriously, though, it isn’t much fun when a holiday and/or experience you’ve been looking forward to doesn’t go as expected. But sounds that you have been able to look back on it and draw something from your experiences – and provide some insight for your friends and readers

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor July 22, 2016 / 18:08

    I’m looking forward to this. My mom and sister went to Tibet in the late 1980s and raved about their trip, although they did mention the torrential rainfall and quite scary trek they had to do in it. I’ll be very interested to hear your take on it.


  8. restlessjo July 23, 2016 / 16:27

    Sounds interesting. Give me a kick if I don’t make it on Monday. Got a busy week ahead. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh July 23, 2016 / 16:32

      Thanks. Will try to remember! This saga will be twice a week for the next 3 weeks. It’s THAT long.


      • restlessjo July 23, 2016 / 16:34

        I’ll catch up if I miss Monday’s then. In Birmingham meeting Gilly Tuesday/Wednesday. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. inesephoto July 23, 2016 / 22:06

    The only thing I know – you lived to tell the story 🙂 Looking forward to your next post.


  10. Blue Sky Scotland July 24, 2016 / 01:52

    I’ll enjoy reading about Tibet, even now it’s not really a tourist destination for the masses.


  11. Alex Hurst July 24, 2016 / 19:18

    I’ve always wanted to visit Tibet, but I don’t think I could ever do so now…. same reason I couldn’t bring myself to tour anywhere in China. 😦 And parts of Mexico. It’s sad, but I don’t think I’d be able to forget the elephant in the room. However, I’m looking forward to your posts!


  12. Birgit July 25, 2016 / 17:35

    Oh gosh…missed this! I read about the first adventure and now looking forward to the next. very nice of your friend to make a book for you


  13. jazzfeathers August 12, 2016 / 20:12

    Well, this sounds like quite the adventure.
    A workmate of mine is the advenurous type. She and her family always go on solo holidays in far away places. They are in Indonasia at the moment.


    • Anabel Marsh August 12, 2016 / 20:46

      Oh, you have a long way to go to hear all about this -7 episodes in total!


  14. maristravels August 13, 2016 / 15:08

    Tibet was on my list of places to visit (along with Nepal) until I had an accident which makes walking for long periods, or standing, an impossibility. However, I am lucky to have friends who travel there frequently for trekking and I hear their wonderful stories. One has just returned from Nepal where she helped (at age 81) to build a school for deprived children. I still do long haul to S.E. Asia but none involving trekking or hiking, and usually one that gives me a comfortable hotel. Ah, age and disability. What benefits they can also bring!


    • Anabel Marsh August 13, 2016 / 15:19

      Wow, that’s impressive of your friend at 81! I don’t think I would cope with Tibet now, this tale was a long time ago.


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