After a long drive from the colourful village of Mato in the north, and after passing through beautiful, desolate landscapes, over high mountain passes, and countryside full of nomads in their black yak hair tents while only sporadically seeing settlements, I arrived in Jyekundo, or Yushu in Chinese. The change was big: suddenly I was staring at new, highrise apartment blocks, flashy shops, and steel-and-glass buildings you could see in so many other places. I saw cranes working on yet newer buildings where old ones were demolished.
First impressions are not always reliable, though. Soon after going for a walk in the streets, I noticed always more Tibetans. All the way down here I had not seen as high a concentration of Chinese people as here, but there certainly were many Tibetans, too. And they looked different from the ones I had seen so far. Most of them looked less rough, less countryside-like, and more elegant. I quite soon fell in love with them - and realized they looked gorgeous. Fortunately, I also discovered they were very willing to be pictured, and often asking for it.
There were the schoolkids, always curious about the foreigner, about the camera. But also other people were open to some difficult small talk with someone who did not speak their language. Some were surprised and turned shy when I tried to convince them that they were beautiful. They were very pleased to see the result immediately on the display of my camera. When, after four days, I left Jyekundo and was still in love with them, I stopped just outside the town and found a family with a particularly photogenic girl. I would wish to be able to give them a copy of the pictures - still now, while looking at them, I remember them with fond memories.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Jyekundo faces (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Jyekundo faces.
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