ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View


Tibet with a Chinese Tour Group

This April and May, my husband and I toured China for a month as independent travelers. However we did book a 6 day trip to Tibet from Chengdu with a Chinese tour group ($700 per person). Travel to Tibet requires extra permits so we thought we would let someone else do all the paper work.

Our guide met us at the airport in Tibet and informed us that we were the only 'foreign guests', a Chinese term for foreigners, in the tour group of 60. At that moment, we thought we had made a grave mistake.

The group was broken into three groups as the specially designed high altitude buses could only accommodate smaller groups. We traveled over 15,000 foot passes on crumbling gravel roads over mountain sides of scree.

We ate, traveled with the same people the whole trip. We communicated with our Barron Mandarin Phrase Book, and with help from Angela, a young Chinese woman from Chengdu who managed a Yamaha piano store and who spoke some English. "Angela" was the English name given to her in her English class.

By the end of the trip, we were sad to part with our traveling companions. We had bonded with them all. We had laughed at jokes, given sympathy to each other when one felt badly from altitude sickness, inspected each others market purchases, photographed each other, searched for the lost, shared all our meals, "oohed" and "aahed" at the scary roads and awesome mountains.

There were many things we couldn't discuss because of language limitations but my husband and I felt we had made new friends in this country high in the Himalayas.




{ Previous Letter | This Week's Index | Next Letter }

{ Main Letters Page }

American Public Media
American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
©2004 American Public Media |
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy