The journey took me from Rilong and the Siguniang Mountains to the next destination Bamei. Bamei is famous for the peculiar building style of the Tibetan houses which all have castle-like towers and can only be found in the Bamei area. Just have a look at some images:
Small town on the way from Rilong to Bamei
Unique ancient tower with a 'halo' ........
....and window paintings
The hills of Bamei offer a great view of the tower roofs of the Tibetan houses
On the way to Garze - an almost 6,000m high mountain chain is a permanent companion for the next hours.
Gompas are located all over the region but what is really noteworthy is that ALL gompas are either under restauration/renovation or have just finished this process. Anyhow, it is a permanent sight all over the places visited in Garze and Qinghai. In the following images it's the Garze Gompa which is the biggest monastery of the Gelugpa sect in the Kham region and was built by the 5th D.L.'s best student Huoer Choki Gyaltso Nangwang Phuntso in 1662.
View from the Gompa over Garze and the mountains in the background (highest is 5,994m).
The journey 's next and perhaps most beautiful place was yet to come. Shortly before reaching Manigang'ge the road splits into two sections. One leading to Serxu (Sershul) and Qinghai and the other to Derge and Tibet. On the Derge road (actually a pass of more than 5,000m) are the Chola mountains and the most beautiful and peaceful Yilung Lhatso (lake). It's not more than a 30 km detour from the original route planned. Yilung Lhatso is at an altitude of 4,062m and located in a breasthtakingly beautiful environment with Mt. Chola (the main peak) in the background. Mt. Chola (6.170 m) s heavily glaciated which makes it so attractive. I wished I could have stayed much longer in this area.
Back on the way to Qinghai one comes accross the Dzogchen gompa complex. This is really HUGE. All buildings, even the monk quarters, are either newly built or under construction. It will take until next year for the whole work to finish. I consider the location as well as the style and artwork of this gompa one of the highlights of the trip.