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China: Amdo Tibetans

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Amdo Tibetans | China | Asia

[Visited: April 2007]

When I left Xining to drive north, the day was greyish and visibility not all that good. After hours of driving, which was mostly up because Xining lies at "only" 2300m, the sky was still overcast and the colours of the houses I saw were not very noticeable. However, when we stopped somewhere to take fuel and I had a possibility to get out for a short walk, I was at once very amazed to see a family with very colourful clothes on the other side of the street. I followed them a little and took some pictures, because I had never seen similar people or clothes before.

Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo woman and man in their traditional clothes in Mato

However, when a few hours later we arrived in Mato (Tibetan) or Maduo in Chinese, it felt like walking into a movie set or a folkloric museum. I was very excited to see people in traditional clothes everywhere. They were riding fantastically decorated motorbikes, going shopping, having a chat on the pavement, or going out to a restaurant. They all wore winter clothes and especially the women seemed very well protected against the biting cold with their mouths covered. They all seemed friendly, smiling at the lonely traveller and some tried to communicatie in one way or another.

Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Afternoon sun shining on Tibetan boy in Mato

Quite soon, I was invited home by a young guy who was pretty fluent in English, and he could tell me more about his life in the village. Before I knew it, I was sipping Tibetan tea (the easier to digest milk tea), met his parents and some friends, and was showed his room. A great guy, and I was sorry he couldn't travel with me to tell me more about his native land. After travelling south - and I met more Amdo Tibetans during my trip there - I was again struck by the beauty of the Tibetans in Mato/Maduo. The weather was brighter, and especially in the late afternoon the colours of the people's dresses was strikingly awesome. When the moment came to leave for Xining again, I was not at all ready to go and had wanted to stay in this pleasant town with its beautiful inhabitants.

Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Tibetan women in traditional dress in the main street of Mato
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo man with furry hat on his motorbike in Mato
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Broad smile of a friendly and wild looking Amdo man in Mato
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Boy on stairs in afternoon sun in Mato
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): People in traditional Amdo clothes walking the main street of Mato
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo family on motorbike in traditional dress
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo Tibetans on colourfully decorated motorbikes
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo Tibetan woman posing
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo Tibetan woman with traditional clothes
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Sun shining on face of traditionally dresses Amdo Tibetan woman
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo Tibetan couple in traditional dress in Mato - note the very long sleeves!
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Amdo women and schoolkids in Mato
Picture of Amdo Tibetans (China): Looking at Amdo Tibetan couple in traditional dress from behind

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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