Lhasa to Kathmandu Ride – The People and Culture Photo Essay

One of the great things about travelling through a country by bike is the people that you meet along the way. Cycling through the villages of rural Tibet and Nepal exposed us to the culture in a way that going by bus or car never could. Here are some of my favourite photographs of the people we met along the way.

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This was taken in Lhasa. These pilgrims arrive daily from all over Tibet and circle the Jokhang temple in Barkhor Square in a clockwise direction, as is the Buddhist tradition.

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Tibetan man playing a dice game. He was playing with two friends and they gamble for who buys the beer. I think they played constantly for about 5 hours so for sure somebody was pretty drunk at the end!

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Tibetan women adding colourful hair extensions and plaits to Aiden’s (from our group) hair. Women across Tibet wore their hair like this with bright colours!

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Farmers walking their cattle along the road. We saw this everywhere we went and they pretty much always took priority!

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I’m guessing this is a group of nomads travelling to their next location. As we passed they they asked for money and cigarettes but we were pretty short on both!

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Women cutting barley in a Tibetan field. Barley is the staple of Tibet and across the plains we would see workers in the fields. Often they were singing what seemed like “working songs” to keep them moving rhythmically and together.

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Two women in traditional Tibetan dress walking along next to the fields. I found that almost everybody we met was happy to have their photograph taken and I love the smiles on their faces!

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We met so many children along the way it was great! They were all super happy to see us and get their picture taken.

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So this is an interesting type of “school bus”? We saw this everywhere in Tibet and the children would line up as we passed and stick their hands out for High 5’s! You had to watch some of the older ones though as they thought it was fun to try and pull you off your bike!

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Taken in Shigatse in Tibet, this little girl was not camera shy and posed for a good 5 minutes while we all got our camera’s out. I’m not sure where she learned the peace sign but a lot of the children we met adopted the same pose for us. This picture is made more ironic (or sad) when you consider the Chinese policemen in the background.

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Boys playing at the entrance to the national park where we started to head off road on our way to Mt Everest. Without all the fancy gadgets of the Western world it was so nice to see children creating their own fun!

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This little girl was fascinated by us and stood watching over us from her balcony for ages.

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Back in Nepal now. This was taken in Bahtkapur on our last day. Women of all generations sitting knitting. This was a common scene all over Bahtkapur.

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Another Nepalese women sitting and spinning yarn!

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Mother and child looking down us in Durbar Sq, Bahtkapur.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to see these people at their most relaxed.  They all made us feel welcome into their Country and have left me with memories I won’t forget!

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