Our hosts woke up at 6am, made breakfast, packed up fruits and cake for us to take on the road… we continued to sleep on the bus and arrived at Xiahe by noon. This city is home to one of the main Buddhist monastery, the Labrang Monastery (if anyone remembers, we also went to one of the important ones in Xining), and pretty much the whole city revolves around it and the tourists it brings.
We found a neat little hotel and got a room which overlooks the Labrang monastery.
One particular feature of this monastery is the fact that it is surrounded by 3km of prayer wheels. The small ones you turn once, while the larger ones you turn 7 times. A continuous stream of locals make their way around the monastery constantly all day. The most devoted ones would do the full body prayer, where you’d walk a step, and then kneel down and proceed to lean forward with your hands until your forehead touches the ground. Every step. 3 kilometers. Some people are so frail they can barely walk, and a lot of these old ladies have backs severely hurt and walk with a 60degree hunch….. but they still continue to do it….
Note: It is a very common for Tibetan people to “round” things, like walk around the monastery, walk around a stupa (white tower), even walking around mountains!!!
We walked around the town and surprisingly there was an “American owned, Peruvian breakfast, Mexican food.”. Pretty awkward set of combinations, but we went and had some good french toast!! They even have syrup!!!!!!! I’m beginning to miss 鬼佬 food.
The night was spent watching Olympics!