The Tibetan provinces of Amdo and Kham are the subject of my first multimedia project in a long while. Amdo and Kham are beautiful regions of the world that I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice recently…
Most westerners think of Tibet as being only what is today called the Tibet Autonomous Region (Xizang) in modern China. But what they don’t know is that this is only one third of the historical Tibetan Kingdom. Split off from modern day “Tibet” are the Tibetan Kham and Amdo provinces, now found in the Chinese Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces.
What is surprising though, is that these areas have become much better places to see Tibetan culture than Lhasa or many other places in Xizang. With both Chinese and Westerners’ attention focused on Lhasa, these areas are much less traveled and have far fewer travel restrictions than Xizang. That gives the Tibetans found there an sense of ease in their day to day lives and makes it a great place to explore.
If you’re interested in learning more or even visiting the region, have a look at my more in depth series of blog posts on the Kham and Amdo Provinces.
Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL
Tags: Amdo, Asia, Buddhism, China, Dege, Ganze, Kham, Litang, multimedia, PHOTOGRAPHY, portraits, Qinghai, Shangri La, Shangrila, Sichuan, Tibet, Tibetan, TRAVEL, Yunnan, Zhongdian
Litang (ལི་ཐང།) is a small Tibetan town in western Sichuan Provence (四川), China. Traditionally known as the Kham (ཁམས) Provence of the former Tibetan Kingdom, Litang is a dusty trade town in a high, grassy valley.
At an altitude of 4,014 meters (13,169 ft) it’s actually higher than Lhasa and one of the highest towns in the world. Every summer, they hold one of Tibet’s biggest horse racing festivals, an event that draws Tibetans (and tourists) from all over.
Several famous Buddhists are from Litang including the 7th and the 10th Dalai Lama. It has a beautiful, huge monastery (Litang Chöde) up on the mountain side overlooking the town. This area has a long history of resistance to Chinese rule, from before the Chinese bombing of the monastery in 1956 to a recent riot at the horse racing festival in 2007. During the PLA’s invasion of Tibet in 1950, Litang County was one of the strongest areas of resistance.
A Tibetan Cowboy waits for a friend on a remote mountain near Litang, Tibet (China).
Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Tibet, TRAVEL
Tags: ཁམས, ལི་ཐང།, chörten, China, 高城镇, Kham, Litang, Litang Chöde, Litang Town, monastery, mountains, prayer flags, Sichuan, Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism, 四川, 中國