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En Route For Tibet - Articles Surfing
North of the Himalayas, in western China , lies the self-governing land of Tibet. The Tibetan Plateau is the highest populated region on the planet and stands at an average elevation of 16,000 feet. To the north lie the imposing Kunlun Shan mountains, providing a natural border.
At one of the last great outposts is the isolated Argin Shan Reserve , the largest nature reserve in China. The large herds of hooved animals present in this wilderness have led to its nickname 'Serengeti of Asia'. The snow leopard is a frequent visitor to the reserve but unfortunately excessive hunting means it is now an endangered species.
Such imposing platformed territory offers source to some of the most powerful rivers in Asia including the Indus, Brahmaputra, Ganges, Salween and Mekong. The Yangtze twists and turns through the broad green valleys flowing eastwards across China and ultimately the East China Sea.
Many folk of Tibet are nomads and move their entire families around the country. Skin tents are popular living domains allowing easy departure should circumstances dictate. Rural life reigns in Tibet and starkly contradicts many westerners lifestyles. Religion is practised passionately with many a young boy aspiring to become a Buddhist monk.
Eager to preserve their nomadic way of life, summer chores must be completed by fall before the severe winter weather prevents passage through the mountains. The mountain trails are fundamental to trading and pattern a working myriad of paths during the more clement months of the year.
Much of Tibet is barren land scattered with modest neighbourhoods labouring arduously to earn a livelihood from the land. This is compensated some part however by the beautiful scenery in which these nomadic folk live. Soaring peaks bathe in cloud as colossal mountains command the horizon throughout this noble ground. In this pollution-free atmosphere the pure, brisk air permits unhindered panorama for miles on every side.
The brief spring and summer months bring an explosion of colour. Greenery is rife as efflorescence emerge almost overnight to complement the vivid territory. The outbreak of bloom however is short lived. The onset of winter blankets all in a sheet of white, as snow and ice mask the landscape.
Uncompromising winter months bring much Tibetan activity to a pause, as the elements seize a grip of the environment. The brief term of mild weather is crucial to the livelihood of the farmers. Livestock must be put to pasture and fattened up in time for winter.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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