Marieke ten Wolde's blog

Documentary photography, and other things interesting enough to bother you with

Tibet Travel log 3, Kangding airport

with 3 comments

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April 2012

After February and March when no foreigner would get access to any of the Tibetan area’s, I am back in China in April. I have tried to gage from the international news what the situation is like, but as all journalists and foreigners are banned from the Tibetan area’s it is hard to get a feeling for the situation.

The first signs are not good, the bus station still does not sell tickets into the Tibetan area’s and the drivers with shared cars are reluctant to take foreigners. But it seems to be possible to buy plane tickets. So that is then what I decide to do: fly to Kangding (in the Tibetan area in Sichuan). After all the issues in February I am nervous, but I can buy the plane ticket without any problems, I get through the security at the airport after unpacking my camera bag, and then it is fine. During the short flight the view on the snowy mountains is clear with just enough tiny clouds to make the scene perfectly beautiful. At the Kanding airport (at 4280 m the second highest airport in the world) all is very relaxed.

It is forbidden to take pictures of airports but when all the Chinese officials get their cameras out, I feel I can join in. They even offer to take pictures with my camera of me in front of the airport.

When they all start to leave in their luxurious four wheel drives with Chinese drivers, a very old, rusty small car arrives.  The Chinese man in suits laugh and point at me, and indeed that is my car with a helpful and smiling Tibetan driver.

Finally, I’ve made it!

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3 Responses

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  1. tibetan name of kangding is dartsedo.

    tenzing

    December 12, 2012 at 07:53

  2. Aahhhh. I love, just love the mountains. I miss our treks. It is just so amazing- the soft clouds and then the contrasts in colours between land and sky

    HelenN

    June 15, 2012 at 23:04

  3. I like the way one guy is really getting into the photography, even bending his knees to get a good shot and the other guy is just cold. You can just here the last guy thinking: “where is the bloody car? Why do I have to be here?”

    Willem

    June 15, 2012 at 21:48


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