Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Xiahe, China

Cyclists, Labrang Monastery, Xiahe, Gansu Province, China

I've been sorting through photographs taken in China in 2005-06 when we lived in Yunnan, making picks for a show I'm hanging at a popular lunch place in Boulder called Breadworks.  Some of my favorites are from Western China, where we traveled during the summer after we finished our year of English teaching.  Xiahe is a small Tibetan town in the Gansu Province, outside of Tibet itself, but dominated by the Labrang Monastery, one of the great centers of Yellow Hat Buddhism (the Dalai Lama is of this tradition). 

We stayed in Xiahe for several days, spending some time at the monastery but also exploring in the beautiful vast grasslands surrounding the town amongst mountain peaks.  I remember one day walking down a dirt road across a vast grassland and being approached by a group of nomadic Tibetan herders who offered my daughter Bei a ride with them on one of their horses--she was afraid to accept so they wandered away, disappearing over a low hill with their sheep.

The photo above was taken early one morning as monks walked from their homes to the monastery.  It's one of my favorites from our travels that summer and looking at it has me wishing I were in China now.

The Xiahe valley.

A Tibetan herder.

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