… hitchhiking by Kangding, Tagong and Sertar

(English version from the text posted in Jun/2014)

Because of a misunderstanding between me and the Litang taxi drivers, as a result of my poor Chinese pronunciation and the limited knowledge shown by the Tibetans about Mandarin, I ended up going to Kanding, near Garzé instead of Ganzi… instead of going North, I was on my way to Chengdu, East, forcing me to spend a night in the uninteresting city of Kanding.

But everything happens for a reason and the disappointment brought a succession of events that become positive: in the hostel where I slept in Kanding, I met two Chinese on school vacations that were planning to travel in the western region of Sichuan.

So, it began a pleasant three-day adventure hitchhiking through the Kangding region, which took us to the green hills of Tagong, to a sky burial near Luhuó and the incredible monastery town of Sertar.

The Chinese generosity was evident during these days, with countless vehicles stopping to offer us a ride (with the exception of the trucks that are forbidden to carry foreigners) being available to arrange space even when the car was apparently full, offering us water and food. Along the way, our drivers stop at temples, monasteries, and viewpoints to appreciate the wide landscapes of this region, where the Tibetan presence is evident and the Buddhist religion has a strong presence, visible by the numerous stupas and prayer flags that stand out at the top of the hills.

Easy, easy hitchhike in China, but it’s necessary to speak the language or travel in the company of Chinese!

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Kangding district

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Monastry at Kangding disrict

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Luhuó

Luhuó
Tagong

Luhuó
Tagong

Luhuó
Sertar

Luhuó
Sertar

Luhuó
Sertar

Luhuó
Sertar

Luhuó
Sertar

Luhuó
Sertar

Luhuó
Sertar

Tibetan High-way: Estrada G318 que liga Chengdu a Lhasa e que é a rota mais popular para quem visita o Tibete, em especial entre os muitos chineses que efectuam este percurso mais de 2000 quilómetros, de carro, de bicicleta e por vezes a pé.
Tibetan High-way: Estrada G318 from Chengdu to Lhasa

Kangding
Kangding

Xinduqiao
Xinduqiao

Xinduqiao
Xinduqiao

Paragem na estrada perto de Xinduqiao, enquanto se espera por nova boleia...
Hitchhiking near Xinduqiao

Tagong Grasslands
Sertar

Itinerário dos possíveis percurso para chegar a Lhasa; este género de autocolantes que decoram muitos dos veículos da região fazem com que a viagem pelo Tibete se pareça com um rali, sobressaindo o espírito de aventura com que os Chineses encaram esta viagem... um pouco como a descoberta da "ultima fronteira"!
map of the tibet region with the different roads that reach Tibet

Tagong Grasslands
Tagong Grasslands

Muito mais que uma boleia, este ex-monge tibetano durante 17 anos, levou-nos a conhecer a região, mostrando paisagens, mosteiros, levando-nos a assistir a um sky burial, pagando refeições e alojando-nos no seu hotel... uma incrível generosidade!!
More than just a hitchhike, this tibetan, that was a monk for 17 years, took us to visit the region during two days… an amazing generosity!!

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