DAY 5 (4/4): SAMYE TOWN (桑耶鎮), Shannan (山南), Tibet (西藏), 2017.09.20
Before sunset, we walked out Samye Monastery to the main plaza of Samye Town. Listed as one of China’s special villages, the home of the splendid Samye Monastery aims to further develop its tourism industry. Simple guesthouses, convenient stores and eateries mushroomed around the monastery and along the main street. Despite Samye Monastery is on the itinerary of many tourists, most travelers prefer to stay at a bigger city or town such as Tsedang or even Lhasa. As a result, Samye remains a quiet community after all day-trippers left. We stayed the night at Samye Monastery Guesthouse, probably the biggest accommodation establishment in town. For dinner and breakfast, we chose Friendship Snowland Restaurant at the main street just outside Samye Monastery. The plaza and main street outside Samye Monastery turned out to be a great place for people watching: balloon vendor interacting with a local family, laundry powder vendor giving away plastic wash basins to customers, a flock of sheep passing by… our memories of sleepy Samye Town.
Outside the main gate of Samye Monastery, the plaza and main street was a great place for people watching.
After the tourists and pilgrims left, the Samye Monastery returned to tranquility.
We wandered a bit on the main street to pick a restaurant for dinner.
Locals gathered at the vendor selling all kinds of household goods. The vendor gave away plastic wash basins to customers who bought her laundry powder.
Vendor selling colourful balloons at his auto rickshaw captured much attention in front of the monastery.
Local eateries dotted along the main street, but most of them were empty as we looked for a place for dinner.
To us, Samye was pretty laid back, including its sleepy dogs.
We finally chose the guidebook-recommended Friendship Snowland Restaurant for supper.
At the restaurant, we were greeted by friendly staff and two cute puppies.
We were the only customers at the restaurant. The interior was decorated in traditional Tibetan style.
Like the monasteries, the interior of Tibetan restaurants are also filled with vivid colours.
Samye Monastery and Yungbulakang Palace are probably the most important landmark in Shannan Prefecture.
Any meal in Tibet should start with Tibetan sweet tea.
The food was surprisingly good. We enjoyed a taste of Tibetan family cuisine with three local dishes and a bowl of vegetable soup.
Outside the restaurant, a flock of sheep walked by the main street.
After dinner, we picked up a few bottles of water and followed the enclosure wall of Samye Monastery back to our hotel.
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More blog posts on Tibet 2017:
JOURNEY ABOVE THE CLOUDS, Tibet 2017 (西藏之旅2017)
DAY 1: TOUCHDOWN ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, Lhasa
DAY 1: TRICHANG LABRANG HOTEL (赤江拉讓藏式賓館), Lhasa
DAY 1: KORA AT BARKHOR STREET (八廓街), Lhasa
DAY 2: FIRST GLIMPSE OF POTALA (布達拉宮), Lhasa
DAY 2: KORA OF DREPUNG MONASTERY (哲蚌寺), Lhasa
DAY 2: DREPUNG MONASTERY (哲蚌寺), Lhasa
DAY 2: JOKHANG MONASTERY (大昭寺), Lhasa
DAY 2 : SPINN CAFE (風轉咖啡館), Lhasa
DAY 2: NIGHT VIEW OF POTALA (布達拉宮), Lhasa
DAY 3: POTALA PALACE (布達拉宮), Lhasa
DAY 3: SERA MONASTERY (色拉寺), Lhasa
Day 4: KORA OF GANDEN MONASTERY (甘丹寺), Lhasa
Day 4: GANDEN MONASTERY (甘丹寺), Lhasa
DAY 4: TEA HOUSE AND FAMILY RESTAURANT, Lhasa
DAY 5: ON THE ROAD IN TIBET
DAY 5: MORNING IN SHANNAN (山南)
DAY 5: SAMYE MONASTERY (桑耶寺), Shannan
DAY 5: SAMYE TOWN (桑耶鎮), Shannan
DAY 6: YAMDROK LAKE (羊卓雍錯)
DAY 6: PALCHO MONASTERY (白居寺), Gyantse
DAY 6: WORDO COURTYARD (吾爾朵大宅院), Shigatse
DAY 7: ROAD TO EVEREST BASE CAMP (珠峰大本營)
DAY 7: EVEREST BASE CAMP (珠峰大本營)
DAY 7: STARRY NIGHT, Everest Base Camp
DAY 8: PANG LA PASS (加烏拉山口), Mount Everest Road
DAY 8: SAKYA MONASTERY (薩迦寺)
DAY 9: TASHI LHUNPO MONASTERY, (扎什倫布寺) Shigatse
DAY 9: ROAD TO NAMTSO LAKE (納木錯)
DAY 9: EVENING AT NAMTSO LAKE (納木錯)
DAY 10: SUNRISE AT NAMTSO LAKE (納木錯)
DAY 10: LAST DAY IN LHASA, Tibet
EPILOGUE: FACES OF LHASA, Tibet