Day 7 – Nam Tso to Yangpachen Hot Springs

by Touring Mama on July 5, 2010

The kids aren't very good at meditating but they love to climb in caves

We began day 7 by completing the kora (clockwise walk) around the hill that we had scaled the previous day.  This was the only day of our trip where we felt cold.  We actually wore hats and gloves for the walk.  I was beginning to wonder why we were packing around all that gear but we finally needed it.  The walk is level and is only a couple kilometers long so it is easily doable for the kids.  There are several meditation caves along the way that make for fun diversions to the walking.  Our guide also picked some pink flowers that could be played like a trumpet.  The kids had a lot of fun with that.

The studious monks of Nam Tso

There is a small monastery at Nam Tso which was really welcoming.  There is no charge to enter and you are allowed to take pictures.  When we entered the monks were sitting in a row chanting and studying.  It was the iconic image of monk behavior;  non of the monks were chatting on their cell phones.  I enjoy the small monasteries, the big ones overwhelm me.

After walking the kora on their own we spent $3 to let the kids ride a horse to the lake

After completing the kora we let the kids play in the sand some more while we decided what to do.  We were scheduled to spend two nights at Nam Tso, but were told that there was a nice hotel at Yangpachen Hot Springs as well if we wanted to move on.  In the end we decided to head for nicer lodging in the late afternoon.  While we were sitting on the beach we encountered a few interesting people.  The first was a Chinese teacher from Guangdong who was walking down the beach picking up trash and bottles.  It was the first time I’d seen anybody in China cleaning up the outdoors (except the street sweepers in the cities who do this for a living).  After assuring her that our children would properly dispose of the bottles they were playing with she moved on.  Another encounter was with one of the many beggars who hang out on the beach.  This teenage girl came and sat quietly next to me while I was reading and writing and would occasionally hold out her hand or point at some object she wanted.  She was so bold as to request the pen I was writing with as well as my son’s watch.  After sitting with her elbow on my knee for awhile I relented and gave her the last fruit leather from my purse (avoiding an argument between two kids for one snack).  She took off the wrapper and let it go sailing on the wind down the beach the teacher had just picked up trash from.  This did not get rid of the girl and I instantly regretted my decision.  She eventually decided that I was not going to give her anything else and moved on.

Who knew a pile of crap could be so pretty?

We decided to move on to Yangpachen and enjoy the hot springs for an extra evening before returning to Lhasa the next day.  Along the way we had stunning views of 23000 foot Nynchen Tanglha and we surprised our driver and some locals by stopping to take a picture of piles of yak dung.

Read about all our adventures in Tibet here.

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