Past this one, we arrive in a wide courtyard which presents 3 large Dukhangs facing S. It was founded and the seat of Karmapas since 1187. The walls surrounding the buildings were very high and constructed more regular than in the previous monasteries. The stone walls were painted dark blood red.
Abstract= We leave Lhasa following the road to China which follows the Kyi chu up to the Tolung chu tributary, in direction of the N-E. In Gurum we leave this valley to engage in another which leads to Tsurphu G. Then we visit Nenang G and in the side valley the monastery of Chemoling ani G before reaching Yangpachen.
We get up at 7h30 for a departure at 8h30 finally leaving Lhasa. We descend the Kyi chu up to Dongkar where the valley of the Tolung chu river start. We travelled up this lateral valley until Yangpachen. This road links Lhasa to China and we pass many trucks heavily loaded with concrete reinforced steel and covered in dust. The road surface was excellent. Past Dongkar, we pass the Chinese city of Tolung Dechen, which was of no interest. At the exit of the city, we see in a side valley, two kilometres on our right the monastery of Gadong. Here we have our first incident with the new guide.
The guide requests a supplementary amount for the detour to the monastery was not on the list I had provided. The driver takes his defense by announcing that the monastery is presently closed. I then lose my temper and threaten to returning to Lhassa but nevertheless I lost face because, I am only able to take pictures using the telephoto lens. I am dissatisfied with this first contact. We continue on the road and cross a metal bridge on our left and follow the track leading to the monastery of Tsurphu.
Here the track leading to the monastery is terrible but the driver never complains! There are several villages at the entry of this valley. Some are elevated compared to the road.
Upon arriving at the monastery, the road narrowed and ended in a car park in front of the entry gate.
The interior is very rich but recent.
Like Samye, the monastery is surrounded by 4 large chortens more than 20m high.
Higher in the valley, 8 other white chortens ten meters high are aligned.
There are two other Dukhangs above. These temples could contain hundreds of monks however the monastery seemed a little empty and sad. There seemed to be few visitors as these places are so vast.
After the Dalai-Lama's escape, the Chinese took a gamble when they supported this school. The new superior (or rinpoche) coming a pro-chinese family received a mixed education and the Chinese administration has helped with the rebuilding of the Dukhangs using new building material as we can see on pictures.
Unfortunately the new superior, a teenager, flew to Nepal and now resides in U.S.A. Consequently the Chinese have lost face in this affair and it is not for their relashionship with Tibetans.
By going up the river and crossing a pass we can reached Nyemo. The road was not passable by motor vehicles hence we planned to make a loop via the N. When leaving the monastery we take the track retracing our steps and lunch on the river bank. Ten kilometres further, we cross a bridge and follow the northern bank of the river passing a village.
In this village we found a lane leading to the monastery of Nenang. It was founded in the 14th century and is partially rebuilt. The Rinpoche left Tibet a long time ago and resided for a period in France. The lama who show us the place has sat two cave retreats of three years, three months and three days each and was deeply respected by the other monks. It is a great honour for us to meet him.
We go down up to the Tolung chu bridge and follow the road towards Yangpachen.
On the level of Dechen, a large valley opens on our right. We go up it on several kilometres and arrive at a small village located at the foot of the mountain.
We must leave our vehicle at the entry of this one and continue on foot in the middle of the houses to find the entrance to the small monastery of Chemoling run by nuns.
The nuns are singing sutras. Their songs are very harmonious but our arrival stops them . They are happy to receive foreigners and offer us Tibetan tea, tsampa, dry meat of yak and small fried buns. They allow me to take photos.
Further on, the road narrows, there are several stone extraction units on each side of the valley before arriving at Yangpachen. Here we find a Chinese city and its guesthouse. At the northern exit of this one, the valley opens on an immense E-W plain and the China road bends to the right. Here, the guesthouse run by Chinese is really inhospitable, dirty and badly maintained. To dine have the choice of only three or four low-class restaurants as dirty as the guesthouse but we have to do with them. The toilets in a public hut are located 50m from there. However the temperature noticeably fresh and announces a cold period! There is no electricity and we get into bed by the weak gleam of our torch as snow started to fall.