Mountains, Myth & Magic

{Part 4 - Our Founding Director Fionna Heiton is currently travelling in Tibet with her teenage twins}

The drive from Danba to Tagong is spectacular. Rushing rivers and forests give way to rocky outcrops and eventually climbing to the plateau home to Tibetan nomads and their herds of yaks. Every corner offers breath-taking views of snow- capped mountains, as we climbed back to the grasslands at an altitude of 3700 metres.

Tagong Monastery is one of the most important in Eastern Tibet and pilgrims flock here, particularly those unable to afford the trip to Lhasa. The monastery was founded when the Tang Princess, Wencheng who was to be married to the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo was passing through Tagong en route to Lhasa in the 7th century. A statue of Jowo Sakya–Muni Buddha fell at the exact spot where the monastery stands today. A replica of that statue remains today (the original is in Lhasa) attracting pilgrims. Inside the monastery, an unusual key and lock are believed to heal ailments. My guide taps it on my sore shoulder and I have to say, it did seem to make a difference!

Leaving Tagong we pass beautiful rock paintings depicting Buddha adorned with prayer flags. Our stop for the night is in traditional Tibetan castle style boutique hotel! The deluxe Tibetan style rooms offer comfortable beds, quality linen and even a steam machine to help increase the oxygen in the room. Dinner is Tibetan style thukpa, a kind of soup with noodles. Our host Norbu plays the guitar and sings Tibetan folk songs beautifully as we sit around the fire until the embers die down. We fall asleep inside our cosy room trying not to forget this amazing experience.

Want to experience Tibet for yourself?  Find out more about our Mountains, Myth & Magic Journey here.