Armin and Victoria Tibet Travel Experiences
We are now in Kathmandu, recovering from what has been the best and the worst of our travels. The worst, because of the problems of altitude, Victoria plagued by fatigue and headaches, I dragging myself upend down steep monastery stairs, weak and completely out of breath, even ending up in hospital. There best, because we have been dreaming about Tibet for a long time and we were expecting much. And we got more, much more. We were shown a different and extraordinary world, and for a short time we were had the privilege to live in it.
Much of this experience has to do with Nima and Tashi. Nima, who is not only a knowledgeable guide but also a very warm and open person who went out of her way to make us comfortable, both physically (especially me with my altitude problems) and personally. We had the most pleasant conversations with her that went well beyond what could be expected from a guide.
Tashi convinced us in the first five minutes of his driving. Particularly after the horrors of drivers we have experienced in the rest of China, he gave us a sense of security, never rushing, never taking risks, and always being courteous, always there to open and close the car doors. It was unfortunate that language barriers prevented him to engage in our conversations.
Yes, there were a few problems with accommodation. However, we conclude that these problems were due to the slackness of the management and the staff of the hotels and have nothing to do directly with you. Nevertheless, you might in future check out the places more thoroughly and insist on them to conform to their ratings.
Admittedly, these problems were made worse by us. The stress of four months on the road, plus the altitude problems made us somewhat short tempered. In this Nima showed an exceptional calm, even when she was being suspected of being part of the problem, and consequently she managed to diffuse then tensions and clear up the problem.
A general comment: we are completely happy with the places and routes you chose for your programme. The scenery on the way was extraordinary. However, we found the program in Lhasa too much for only three days. We had too little time to sit back and take in all the impressions and sights. The problem with the altitude made this worse. It would have been better to spent more time in Lhasa, visiting only one monastery per day and doing nothing the next. That way we would have had time to fully appreciate the extraordinary place.
I don’t know whether we ever will return to Tibet. But if we do, we would certainly begin to organise the trip with you.
PS: you may use all or part of this text for your brochures and publicity.