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Touratech Travel Time 03_2011_en

TOURATECH PEERAS TRIP TO TIBET 12 2 2011 Tibet is referred to as the Roof of the World, the kingdom of gods. A cloak of myths surrounds this destination for untold pilgrims. However, the cloak of mystery is lifting slowly day by day, unveiling more and more secrets of this country. It was high time to discover this mystical part of our planet. At least, that was the opinion of Peera Laohakarniyom, Touratech import agent in Thailand, as he made his way with five companions. Text and Photos: Peera Laohakarniyom travelMagic T he long trip to mythical Tibet was a luring challenge for a number of rea- sons. Much was unknown and wait- ing to be discovered, and we also want- ed test our endurance. And of course, this arduous trip was also an endurance chal- lenge for our motorcycles and equipment. Magical Tibet has a num- ber of down to earth prob- lems, too, most of them to do with interior politics. It took us more than four years of inten- sive efforts to obtain our entry permits. Our travel started in my home city of Bangkok and first took us to the province of Chiang Rai in the north of Thailand, then through Laos to Yunnan in southern China. Lili, our coordinator, accompanied us as a pillion passenger, through the moun- tain villages near the Burmese border, from the wide river valley up to the mag- nificent mountains. Day in, day out, we crossed over seemingly endless hills and mountains until we reached a height of 4000 me- tres above sea level. During one of our breaks we caught the first fleeting glimpse of snow-covered mountain tops – we had reached the Himalayas. We had expected good roads through Yunnan Province, instead we were confronted with a muddy, stony route which had suffered badly during the rainy season. Frequent rockfall made the road even more dangerous. Owing to these hurdles, there were some days where we only managed 37 kilometres. Our timing and the route had to be changed nearly every day. Delays be- came routine. On our way to Lhasa we met groups of bicyclists, pilgrims, nomads, as well From left to right: There were lots of nomad tents on our way to the Ever- est Base Camp. Our Chinese GuidesMs.Yu-GuangHan(left) and Ms. Dong-LiLi (right). We met a Tibetan who liked our bikes. Pilgrims walk clockwise around and pray at the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse. On G318 from Tibet to Sichuan.