This trip is an adventure of a lifetime and challenges people culturally, politically and physically. It is sometimes very exciting and sometimes frustrating as we travel through China and Tibet and Nepal with differing cultures, as we get out there and meet people, listen to them, hear their stories, breathe deeply and notice everything. Our longstanding experiences in these areas and our great local guides help us to negotiate our path.
Waste and litter is a serious issue in Tibet. We provide all travellers with reusable bags and chopsticks in order to avoid waste. For the train journey, we also encourage our travellers to buy food with less packaging and share more to avoid generating plastic wastes or general waste of food.
We encourage the use of “tea flasks” for drinking water (or tea, like the locals do!) so as not to purchase multiple plastic bottles. Safe drinking water is available in all our accommodation and transport. Any bottles that are purchased are given to the community of waste collectors who rely on this for an income.
With Tibet having one of the highest incidences of blindness in the world, a project that we have been supporting is Braille without Borders, based in Lhasa. Through visit their base in Lhasa, we’ll learn about the great work they’ve been doing for the blind Tibetan people, especially the education and work opportunities they’ve created for them. Our travellers can contribute directly by buying their products like t-shirts, bags etc, or donate through our Foundation to double your donation to them.
Other fun and practical contributions to the employment of Tibetans on our trips have been the introduction of a one hour Tibetan language class for our passengers (try saying Nga, Na and Nye and make them sound different) and also the opportunity to attend a Tibetan cooking class. We’ve also trained Tibetans to be the leaders of these trips so that they can develop their skills and career better.
There are also plenty of opportunities to interact with the locals by doing a family visit in Gyantse, or visit a local nunnery in Sakya – perfect chances for travellers to gain a deeper insight into the Tibetan life and community, a fun and educational experience for both the visiting and the visited.