Tagong 6th-10th June 2010
Immediately when I arrived in Tagong I had the sense that I had finally arrived in an authentic Tibetan town. The look and feel of Tagong is truely Tibetan. Monks and traditionally dressed Tibetans wonder the lively streets. Lined by numerous eateries and cheap clothing/ jewellery stores- it's the perfect place to pick up a Tibetan piece or two.
What Tagong has also got is Angela and her Khampa Arts Cafe. Angela is an American national who has married into a Tibetan family. Quite unique, if not the only American-Tibetan marriage in the land!? And Angela brings a spot of something unique to Tagong. Her cafe- initially setup to distribute and sell Tibetan art works- now functions as a resturant and cafe hang out. Like the Tibetan jewellery and clothing on sale here the menu is authentic. Grab yourself a Yak burger or some Tsampa, a butter tea or a coffee- it's all there!
What Angela is also providing is the chance to experience a taste of a local Tibetan family life. Via her extended family it's possible to take a 1-2 day horse trek into the surrounding hills and stay with Angelas brother or mother in law. I enjoyed staying with Joyga and his family immensely. The house is small, but the Tibetan people have huge welcomming hearts. By western gauges looking around the hut it appears initally that these people have very little. Filth is but yet there life endemic, the children have a healthy layer of grime upon their bonny little faces. But these people are so rich and happy- in reality they have alot. They understand the land and how to live with it harmoniously- a trait largely missing in modern society.
The homestay is a 2-3hr walk up the valley. The accomodation is very basic- be prepaired to sleep on thick blankets on the floor. The horse trek is 5-6 hours eqch day and ia quite exhausting. But your surrounded by Yaks amongst the great plains and hills of Tibet. It's truely wonderful!
Stay- Jya Drolma and Gayla's Guesthouse
Beautifully decorated Tibetan family home. You feel like you hit
jackpot when you walk through the door.
Left off the town square.