Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Tallest Mountain... Qomolangma (Tibet Day 5-8)

The highlight of my Tibet trip is a visit to Mt Everest base camp.

Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is known to the Tibetians as Mt Qomolangma. The magnificent mountain is 8844.43m tall and it is my main motivation for coming to Tibet.

Over the 3 days, I visited a couple of monastries and towns along the way to Everest. But those, we will save for discussions on a later day. Now, I shall present my treasured collection of photos of Mt Everest!

It was a warm and beautiful day. I was so lucky to be able to have such a clear view of the peak. There wasn't even a cloud. So my prayers did come true (remember, before I set off I pray for sunshine?)

Welcome to Mt Qomolangma Natural Protection Area

Yet another achievement. I visited the world highest monastry, Rongbuk Monastry. Before arriving at Mt Qomolangma base camp, it is a must to make a visit to this monastry.

I wish I could get someone to remove the satelite dish. It is such an inappropriate place to have an equipment like this.

The nomad's tents outside Rongbuk Monastry.

The final 8km to Mt Everet base camp. The road is extremely bumpy but thank goodness the jeep could manage. Some might trek to the base camp from here..... but it will take hours to do so especially at such high altitude.

Mt Qomolangma... I still think it looks the best from far... simply breath taking!

Mt Qomolangma from the base camp. There I was, enjoying the magnificent view of the world's tallest mountain. I kept silent the whole time, enjoying the moment of peace and holiness, listening to the sounds of the wind. At that time, I was nearest to heaven; I do not think I'll ever get any closer to heaven than this in my entire lifetime. Silly you may think, but I brought with me 3 wishes to Mt Qomolangma. As I closed my eyes and prayed, I honestly hoped that the gods above will hear me, now that I am so close to them.

Base camp at altitude of 5200m

If someone tells you that you can enter Tibet without an entry permit, don't believe them. If you are lucky, you can perhaps manage entry to Tibet without a permit, however, if you are thinking of visiting Mt Everest, it is important that you have one. Because the Mt Everest base camp is situated between the borders of Tibet and Nepal, you will need to apply for yet another special permit to travel pass the checkpoint set up by the Chinese authority at the border. Without a valid Tibet entry permit, you can forget about getting this special permit to Everest. And believe me, the officer on duty scrutinise the permits and passport rather carefully. It is not a lot of hassle as long as you have all the necessary documents in place.

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