by Jeffrey Tayler | 07.10.13 | 11:22 AM ET
Jeffrey Tayler treks a Buddhist pilgrimage route through China's remotest, high-altitude domains
by Pico Iyer | 03.15.10 | 11:21 AM ET
Pico Iyer on the power of travel to make a forgettable Glenn Frey song last forever
by Eva Holland | 01.21.10 | 12:32 PM ET
The AFP reports that the new facility will be built in the Nagqu prefecture, at 4,436 meters (14,554 feet) above sea level—102 meters, or 335 feet, higher than the current record holder, also in Tibet. (Via @alisonbrick)
by Jim Benning | 09.23.09 | 2:25 PM ET
Why, you ask?
According to the AP, the closure is designed to ensure stability during celebrations of the 60th anniversary of communist rule in China, which will be marked Oct. 1. The closure will remain in effect through Oct. 8.
Officials have also curtailed kite flying in Beijing.
Critics will shake their heads, but I can think of no better way to celebrate authoritarian rule. Nicely done, China.
by World Hum | 09.02.09 | 4:27 PM ET
The Dalai Lama listens to his interpreter as Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi of Taiwan’s Catholic church says a prayer during a religious dialogue in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
by Julia Ross | 05.05.09 | 1:25 PM ET
I dropped by a lively discussion last night on all things Dalai Lama, by World Hum contributors Eric Weiner and Pico Iyer, and learned a few things about His Holiness’s travel habits: he always flies business class; is addicted to the BBC World service and feels out of sorts when he can’t tune in; and prefers to spend his downtime on trips visiting local high schools.
by Julia Ross | 03.25.09 | 1:00 PM ET
Here’s a new way to express support for Tibet, if you’re so inclined: Pick up a copy of this CD, produced by the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, of the Gyuto Monks Tantric Choir, chanting in multiple overtones at once (similar to the Tuvan throat singers). National Public Radio has a fascinating story about how the CD was produced, based on a rare 1960s recording of Tibetan monks in northern India made by religion scholar Huston Smith. NPR has a sample of Smith’s original recording online. Apparently the trained ear can discern up to nine harmonies sung by a single monk at one time; to me, the only word for it is “otherworldly.”
Proceeds from the CD support the New York-based Tibet House and the Tibetan Gyuto monastery-in-exile.
by Joanna Kakissis | 03.18.09 | 12:13 PM ET
The climate-change watchdog group Eco Everest hauled off 2,100 pounds of trash and human waste from Mount Everest last year and is now paying visitors $1.00 per pound for waste removed from the mountain, according to Outside and Rock and Ice magazine.
The Nepalese have recently tried to prevent dumping by withholding a $4,000 trash deposit from climbers who leave rubbish on the 29,028-foot peak. But there still a lot of waste up there from previous expeditions—enough to inspire a documentary and an artist who recycles discarded oxygen bottles into eco-provocative bowls, bells and ornaments.
by Julia Ross | 03.13.09 | 12:33 PM ET
News out of Tibet this week has been bleak. Thousands of Chinese troops descended on the plateau in anticipation of protests marking the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s exile; the Dalai Lama charged the Chinese government with making Tibet a “hell on earth,” and foreign tourists have been banned from the area. Since Tibetan protests erupted in March 2008, tourism in the region has suffered a steep drop and doesn’t look to recover anytime soon.
Until political tensions ease, we’ll have to make do with this small piece of good news: China just announced new restrictions on construction and advertising near Lhasa’s Potala Palace in an apparent attempt to preserve the complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO has criticized the growing number of shops and restaurants near the palace in recent years, many built to cater to domestic Chinese tourists.
So, why the announcement this week? China’s official news agency—in reply to the Dalai Lama—asserted that Tibet is in fact a “paradise on earth,” and paradise needs protecting, right?
by Michael Yessis | 02.23.09 | 9:46 AM ET
- A bomb exploded in Cairo’s Hussein Square, killing at least one tourist.
- China has closed Tibet to international travelers in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s exile.
- The Washington Post says the latest State Department travel alert for Mexico “reads like the plot of a crime thriller.”
- USA Today/Gallup poll: 58 percent of Americans “will shrink their vacation spending this year—or just not go.”
- Here’s what not to do at Mardi Gras.
- Tom Haines follows the wind in North Dakota.
- World Hum contributor David Farley will be speaking tonight at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
- The Christian Science Monitor has more on Lucca’s ban of ethnic restaurants.
- Is a lost empire concealed in the Amazon?
- Has Atlantis been found by Google Ocean? Google says no.
- Two travel books made the pages of The New York Times Sunday Book Review: Magic Bus and The Way of Herodotus.
- Another day, another mix-up: A pass for Philly Beer Week features the skyline of New York City. Really, how could you mix ‘em up?
by Frank Bures | 01.15.09 | 9:09 AM ET
Frank Bures talks to the author of a guide to a place that may or may not exist
by Michael Yessis | 01.08.09 | 9:29 AM ET
- Video: Slate interviews “an Algerian man who just walked alone across the United States with nothing but $217 and a backpack.”
- Some “serious soul-searching in French tourism circles” helped inspire the country’s new rebranding campaign.
- Mapped: 50 United States and their Mottos. Intelligent Travel talks to the map’s creator, Emily Wick.
- Rick Steves in Iran: The preview.
- Cheap flights abound for the New Year, but, by historical standards, they’re not as cheap as you might think.
- Peter Hessler takes a road trip to the Tibetan Plateau. (It’s only an abstract, unless you’re a New Yorker subscriber.)
- USA Today looks at Twitter and travel.
- Want more Twitter in your life? Maybe attend a Twestival.
- Cunard reveals its 2009 Queen Mary 2 voyages with “literary luminaries” on board. Among the writers on the transatlantic crossings: Kathryn Harrison and Oscar Hijuelos. It is my duty to tell you that if you’re interested in going, you should first read this (pdf).
by Julia Ross | 01.05.09 | 11:53 AM ET
Inspired by a recent New Yorker profile of the food writer/adventurer couple Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, I ordered a Christmas present for myself this year: the duo’s wonderful cookbook and travelogue, Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China. It’s an affectionate look at the cultures and foodways of China’s outlying regions, including Tibet, Yunnan and Xinjiang.
The recipes, for simple dishes like Ginger and Carrot Stir-Fry, are surprisingly low maintenance. But my favorite sections are Duguid’s and Alford’s recollections of traveling in China in the mid-1980s, when the country was just opening up to foreign tourists. Alford, who taught English in Taiwan in 1982, remembers the mystique China held for Westerners at the time:
“Every once in a while I’d hear a story about someone visiting ‘the Mainland,’ traveling independently, but it seemed very hard to believe. The rumor was that a visa could be arranged in Hong Kong from a travel agent in Chungking Mansions, a low-life building full of bottom-end hostels, Indian restaurants and drug deals. It all seemed a bit unlikely—it was ‘Communist China,’ after all.”
by Jim Benning | 08.26.08 | 12:54 PM ET
The use of incense dates back thousands of years, yet when it comes to incense in American cities these days, I associate it with Indian restaurants, yoga studios and head shops hawking bongs and tie-dye T-shirts. I also think of the glory days of the hippie trail, when young Western kids set off through Asia and, as Rory MacLean writes, “lit sticks of incense, strummed their guitars and read another chapter of Siddhartha, then stepped off the bus to help push the decrepit vehicle over the Hindu Kush.”
by Eva Holland | 06.27.08 | 10:31 AM ET
As we noted yesterday, Tibet has just been reopened to foreign visitors for the first time since March. The Globe and Mail’s Beijing bureau chief, Geoffrey York, was one of a select group of journalists invited to the region during the lockdown, and in this grimly humorous blog post he recalls the “unsolicited wake-up calls,” “official minders” and the dreaded “man with the megaphone” who made his official press tour not-so-pleasurable.
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