I've travelled most of the territory that is still open to foreigners in both the TAR (Tibetan Autonomous Region) and the Tibetan areas of Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai provinces. With one of the world's great legacies of painting and sculpture, an esoteric religious culture as complex and fascinating at the folk level as the elite, and a grand landscape unlike any other on earth, Tibet holds a special place in this travel writer's heart.
Some of the highlights of my travels included seeing the Tibetan Bathing Festival at the King Tiger Hot Springs, viewing Kashmiri-influenced wall murals at Tholing Monastery, meeting the lama who lives alone in a cave underground at Everest Base Camp throughout the winter months, interviewing researcher Kristen Cook on the geology of the plateau, and completely the Mt Kailash kora in the last year before Chinese tourists discovered it en masse. As a bonus, I also got to write the descriptive writeup of that 3-day kora for the Tibet guide.
Lonely Planet has sent me to the TAR three times, and to the Tibetan regions of China an equal number. My latest work in 2014 saw me covering Eastern Tibet, a subtropical region of lush forests and deep tectonically-challenged river valleys, which has an intriguing history and culture long at odds with the central authority of both Lhasa and Beijing. My first podcast, A Princess Story, is based on that trip.