外文标题：One Month Family Trip to Xinjiang, China’s Central Asia and incredible Tibet
It will be a long day with many breaks to Shigatse, so we started off by 7.30 in morning having a quick breakfast at 7.00am. This was the first real cloudy day, with dark sky in our entire trip, Cyclone Philine’s effect started showing far away in Lhasa even, we understood not all would be well in the route. We quickly started off and the heavy rain started as soon as we left Lhasa. The roads were brilliantly colorful with fall colors and the friendship highway was all made of concrete, a superbly built road and driving on that road was certainly a charm. There are couple of routes from Lhasa to Shigatse but we choose the one going Gyantse because of its dramatic view over 2nd most holiest lake for Tibetans, Lake Yamdrak Tso. Superior views make journey through this longer and more winding road worth. After exiting Lhasa, we crossed the Tsangpo Bridge and wind up to Khambala with stunning views all around. From khambala where prayer flags are shaken by winds, we saw the grand vista of Yamdrak Tso (Means the Turquoise Lake in Tibetans) in the backdrop of large snowcap of Kulakangri Range in the horizon on Bhutanese Border. This is Tibet’s largest freshwater lake. The funny part is you would see lot of people selling photo opportunities with beautifully decorated Yaks and big dogs like Tibetan Mastiffs for 10 Yuan. After crossing the great lake, we entered the town of Gyantse, that was established in the 14th Century and famous for its Palkor choide Lamasery and Kumbum Monastery. Later Centuries Gyantse was developed as an important centre of wool trade in Tibet and a bustling caravan stop on the trade route from Lhasa to India via Bhutan and Sikkim. The road from Lhasa to India through Gyantse and subsequently through the famous pass Jelep La is known as Young Husband’s track as this ancient trade route was used by British army to invade Tibet in early part of 20th Century. After China took over Tibet in 1950, they stopped trading through all these routes and Gyantse since then fallen into obscurity. By afternoon we reached Shegatse, the second largest town in Tibet after Lhasa (going to get its train connectivity with Lhasa and mainland China by 2014). We had an excellent Indian dinner at Tashi restaurant and then checked into Tashi Choten Hotel for night stay. This was a 4 star hotel and quite clean and confortable at the height of 3750 meter.
The amazing Fall colors just outside of Lhasa towards South to Gyantse:
The epic river Tsangpo started from Mansarovar flowing eastwards till take the great bend near Namcha Barwa towards South, entered in India near Gelling, Arunachal Pradesh, named as Siang and then merged with Dibang and Lohit in Upper Assam to be named as Brahamputra in Indian Plains before flowing to Bangladesh and finally meeting the Ganges River system to become one of the mightiest river system in World to be flown into Bay of Bengal:
Tsangpo River Valley
Friendship Highway leaving Lhasa Valley, winding up the mountains: