This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution in the 2006 journey, click to the left or right of an image in blog mode.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Streets and Markets of Old Lhasa

The Pilgrimages Inn where we moved

After leaving our designated tourist hotel, we moved to the much cheaper and intriguing Pilgrimages Inn in the Old City, a sparse but very clean hotel run by a Taiwanese woman for the benefit of Buddhist pilgrims to Lhasa.

The proprietress

Our clean bedroom and slightly noisy monks on pilgrimage

She told us we could stay on over the weekend but warned us that a large consignment of monks were arriving who might be noisy and sure enough they were as well as some being very camera shy, while others were courteous and friendly.

A series of views from the roof top of the hotel

Like many of the buildings the hotel had a flat rooftop with sweeping views of the Potala and the mountains around Lhasa.

Almost immediately the back-lighting on my laptop failed seemingly but possibly coincidentally a product of the high altitude and I had to rig up a long life bulb behind a small quarter of the screen, which wasn't obstructed by circuits, using very low quality electrical fittings from the old town which promptly broke leaving exposed terminals. This was alarming to use and sometimes fused out the hotel room or gave me a shock setting it up, but it did eventually get us through the entire trip.

The street outside the hotel

Here are a series of our images of the streets and markets and people of old Lhasa taken in mid September 2006.

For a series of shots of old Lhasa in 2004 when all the streets were being reconstructed try this gallery from G. Di Sciascio.

Some of the crazy signs in the street

The life in the old city was intriguing, both because of its slightly medieval character and because of the variety of traditional forms of Tibetan dress and jewelry and the endless presence of prayer wheels, particularly held by middle-aged women.

Video of the streets and markets

All manner of produce from hardware, through grains and vegetables to meat were sold openly on the street.

A lot of the guys and some women as well wore red head bands.

Everywhere there were shops offering a primitive standard of dental work, and even more offering denture repairs, suggesting many people had had their teeth pulled for lack of money. All of them sported gold fillings however, suggesting the gold standard was a major theme in the gleam of a Tibetan smile.

Dentistry/denture adverts abounded

Above and below, four dentist shops with old belt driven drills
and minimal hygiene from the dust of the street

The traditional forms of dress in the old city varied in intriguing ways which suggested a variety of different tribal groups were coming to Lhasa to shop and to worship.

Above and below:
One form of traditional dress, with split embroidery and a flat-topped ornamented cap

Two unusual forms of traditional dress with head scarves

Image taken by Silvia Venetto showing traditional headdresses like the ones above

Tibetan traditional apron and formal attire with ribbon braided hair.

More traditional forms, top left a peaked head over
top right turquoise head piece and bottom red bandanas

Two images taken by Silvia Venetto showing traditional turquoise headdress

Men's jewelry is often large and conspicuous. Woman in braided pigtails.

Another common form of traditional dress - the striped apron with large coral bead headpiece

Three masked women flaying goat hides

The Muslim quarter around the Mosque

A Chinese chess game and a desperate one-man street protest.
We saw another gruesome protest with large colour photos of severely burned bodies.

Clockwise: Buddhist nuns walking, a turquoise head dress,
a large coral bob and a group in traditional dress with children

Five faces of poverty

A blind beggar, traditional jewelry and a man reading Buddhist texts for alms

We frequently ate at Tashi 1 or Tashi 2 twin cafes/restaurants with a good cuisine and a nice atmosphere with a number of paintings and tankas.

Views of and in Tashi 1

Scenes from the trinket stalls beside the Barkhor Square and Jokhang

No comments:

Post a Comment