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The title says it all! As a treat, here are some photos of adorable red Tibetan mastiff puppies. While living in Lhasa during the fall of 2011 for three and a half months, I used to pass by a vet's office every day whenever I left the hotel. Inside there was a giant bear of a Tibetan mastiff (she's the one that I am playing with in the photos) and I always wondered why she/he was there. I assumed that the owner had gone somewhere and was boarding the dog until...

*Pictures at the bottom.  The post has been a long time coming and I am so thrilled to finally have time to write about Highland Trekking Initiatives. If you want to go trekking in Lhasa, this is the company to go with. I think that everyone should know about Highland Trekking Initiatives and its founder, Angie, is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. HTI is a trekking company that leads tours around Lhasa. I really think that this is an incredible company and deserves to be out...

Monks in a department store. Clearly making some prayer rounds.  The majority of articles on Tibet are filled with burgundy-robed monks silently twirling handheld prayer wheels. In a red columned assembly hall, they sit cross-legged on worn red pillows as shafts of light stream down from the rafters. Atop buildings and connecting pillars, prayer flags flutter in the wind as the faded yellows and greens contrast sharply with the piercing blue of the sky. Outside saffron stained temples, faithful adherents garbed in dull black and brown chupas prostrate themselves in...

I am currently on my way back to Hong Kong after three months in Lhasa. For the occasion, I have compiled a list of things that I am looking forward to in Hong Kong and things that I will miss about Lhasa. Everything that I am looking forward to applies only to my individual situation. I am not making any sweeping claims about what anyone else experiences or their priorities. I also know that some problems are beyond the control of any of the hotel staff and the people I am around....

  *Sorry this is so long! I wanted to be as descriptive as possible. I've created headers so you can just skip around if you can't be bothered to read it all. Also, apologies about the image quality. I had to compress them so that loading them onto blogger wouldn't take a year.*     Main points:  You don't have to be a guest to enjoy the restaurants, bars, and spa (although I think you have to pay to go to the gold-plated pool if you are not a guest)....

This has been a particularly busy week and I only pre-wrote enough posts to last me through Wednesday. I am about to go and stay at St. Regis, the huge resort here, for a night so I will just post some pictures of snowy Lhasa.    I was here last January and it didn't snow at all, nor did I see any snow on the mountains surrounding the city. Starting a week and a half ago, there are officially snow-covered mountains around Lhasa.      View from the roof Meru...

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To continue with my series on quirks of different cultures, here is one on TCKs. The first one I did was Top Ten Lhasa Quirks. If you enjoyed this, head over to part 2: Top Ten TCK Quirks Part 2   Here is a book about us TCKs that I also mentioned on my Me Page:Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds    1. Visas and passports   For the longest time, I didn’t know that there were two meanings to the word "visa". I thought it meant that thing in...

I have fallen in love with mastiffs. I think they are adorable, sweet, and very friendly. I know that they are traditionally viewed as guard dogs and can be raised to be aggressive, but all of the ones that I have seen are sweethearts. Plus, any dog can be brought up to be mean. I would eventually like a mastiff or at least a mastiff mutt. I have seen two main colors: red and black. While pedigreed mastiffs are notoriously expensive, I found some on Thieves' Island that were not...

I apologize for the hiatus in my writing. I was inadvertently involved in my first Facebook flame war this past weekend and it did not end so well. I will only say three things on the subject:    1. If you have a problem with me, take it to a private place.  2. If you persist in attacking me in my public venue, please be civil. 3. If you continue to attack me, at least have the courtesy to actually read my responses and try to find out what happened...

This is a continuation of Dorje Drak and the Drive to Samye Monastery and Samye Monastery     If your guide doesn’t know how to get to Mount Hepori, just ask. People will direct you the right way. Or you can just, you know, look up and try to angle your way towards it. Mount Hepori is a famous pilgrimage site. This is the most famous place that Padmasambhava subjected all of the gods and demons of Tibet. This area just becomes more and more Mortal Kombat-esque. I was told...