Friday, May 30, 2008

Tibet - Towards a Solution

Here is my proposal for a "win win" situation in Tibet:

Given that most of the people of China want a strong connection with Tibet and Tibet wants and needs a strong connection with China:

* China grants greater autonomy to Tibet in a relationship that is modelled after Hong Kong and respects Buddhist traditions and the right for people.

* Tibetans agree to work with China to make this relationship beneficial to all.

* China continues to build on the region's infrastructure, including the Pan Himalayan Railway.

* Tibetans embrace tourism as their primary agent of economic development, recognizing that the cultural and religious history of the region is a very powerful theme for travel marketing and a dramatic increase in regional tourism.

* China agrees that the region will be the key beneficiary of the tourism boom that will come from regional stability and national promotion of the wonders of Tibet.

* Tibetans will share their cultural and religious traditions as much as is culturally comfortable for them. The region can become another jewel in China's tourism crown as the country prepares to become one of the world's top travel destinations.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pictures from the Pan Himalayan

This site has some amazing pictures of the Pan Himalayan route:

China and Tibet's ongoing conflict led to the closure of the railroad during much of my trip to China last month, though I was not planning to take the train on this trip anyway. I did ride from Hong Kong to Shanghai on the overnight train with sleeper and then Shanghai to Beijing on the speedy train. Both were very clean and the trip very interesting although a bit long given the lack of much natural scenery.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hong Kong Railway Station

I´m sitting in the Hong Kong Hum Hong Kowloon railway station, and even though this post has nothing to do with the Pan Himalayan Railroad I felt I needed to write something.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tibetan conflicts 2008

Protests by Tibetans against Chinese have sparked a lot of violence in the region. I don't know how this affects train travel or tourism in that region, but Lhasa appears to be under some form of information blockade:

If you are planning a trip on the China trains to this region it might be wise to contact the US State Department for travel tips, though the violence is clearly not directed at Americans.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pan-Himalayan view from Kathmandu

Here's an interesting blog post about the Pan Himalayan from a guy from - I think - Kathmandu in Nepal:

He seems to think that the western presses concerns about how the railway could damage the Tibetan cultural landscape are foolish, and that the route is more likely to bring benefits than disadvantages to the region and perhaps on to Nepal.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lhasa, Tibet

Here's a great article at Wikipedia about Lhasa, your final stop on the Pan Himalayan Railway.

China's relationship to Tibet is controversial and somewhat tragic. I'm not familiar with all the issues so I'll wait to post more until I understand this controversy.

Pan Himalayan Mystery

Well, my first mystery is finding out why there is so little news about the Pan Himalayan Railroad. I'm pretty sure it's been completed and I've been spending a lot of time studying China for my upcoming Hong Kong to Shanghai to Beijing trip, but I'm now wondering if this name is no longer used to describe the route?

There is a new, beautiful rail station in Lhasa and I think this is a key stop on the route.

Seat61 for Railroad Information

The best site I've seen for Railroad information is The author and webmaster is a retired European rail worker with extensive information and experience travelling the world by rail.

He's got great tips, links, maps, and more.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pan Himalayan Railroad

We are now in the process of collecting the best information, official and otherwise, about the Pan Himalayan Railroad in China. The route is an engineering masterpiece and the highest railway every built on earth.

China's trains offer many great amenities and a way to visit the country in comfort while taking in the landscape and many sites.

Here are a few links to Pan Himalayan information:

The remarkable Pan-Himalayan Railway
Oct 19, 2005 ... One of the world’s greatest railway journeys is set to open in 2007 with the news....

Linkdonkey: The highest railway in the world
The pan-Himalayan line climbs 5 072m (16 640ft) above sea level and runs across Tibet's snow-covered...

Pan Himalayan Railroad. China to Tibet

The Pan Himalayan railroad is one of the world's engineering masterpieces.