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The use of Tibet guide books on the road to Ali

Tibet Guide Books help you finding your way in this amazingly beautiful and empty land at an altitude of 3500 meters and higher. Even ordinary roads pass passes of 5300 meter and higher. Be prepared if you visit, as Tibet is like no other place on earth.

My starting point to get a hitch to Ali, 1000m further on this road
My starting point to get a hitch to Ali, 1000km further on this road

To make this a little clearer, here is what happened when I came from the far west of China hitchhiking into Tibet.

It was way too late in the season but I still wanted to try. After a couple of days in Ye Cheng I found a truck willing to take me. There had been few if any truck passed me so I felt myself lucky to be able to get this one.

On the road in West Tibet to Ali
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The "highway" from Ye Cheng to Ali West Tibet, the truck finds its way on ice The "highway" to Ali The village on the way to Ali

My guide book told me it was likely I had to sit on the back of the truck but I was lucky. It was a convoy of a total of 2 trucks heading all the way to Ali.

The first few hundred km's went on empty plains, but at least there was a road, or a sort of road. Every once in a while I had to get out, and let the truck try to find a path either in the muddy grounds or on ice.

Camels of the Cavanaserai 
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The family I stayed with on the road to Ali West Tibet, junction of the village The village in the mountains The family I stayed with

The first night, so the driver told me would be spend in the truck. Did I have a blanket? Luckily my Tibet guide book had warned me so I had a blanket. I admit, I didn't sleep much. The next day we went into the mountains.

There was no other traffic, not even locals living in the area. That would change the next day. Here we found a little settlement. This was the first place were I saw again people. We were not even half way but we were in the mountains.

Camels waiting for the caranaserai

Unfortunately one of the trucks had damage. One of the drivers decided to drive back and get spare materials in Ye Cheng. It meant we had to stay in the village.

The village was no more than about 20 mud brick huts. We would stay in one of them, together with the whole family. It worked like this: the room is at day time a normal room for sitting, eating and drinking. At night mattresses are rolled out and everyone sleeps side by side.

Junction in the village

Food was another interesting thing. Every day another house would prepare the meals for the whole village. The first day I ate in the house where I slept too. The next day all of us moved to the next house for a meal. This way everyone could earn a little extra. There wasn't a menu, you simple had to eat what was available, usually noodles, meat and some veggie,

The road out of the village

After 2 nights the truck came back with spare materials but one truck could continue the journey. The second truck would follow later the next day.

The village was a junction for trucks on their way south to Ali but for locals it was also a point to trade. Caravanserais were prepared to get deep into the mountains.

But by now the truck was ready to continue the journey. It would take another 2 days (according to my Tibet Guide Book, it could be done in one) to reach Ali. But that is a complete different story.

All other related Tibet pages:

Tibet & Lhasa

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