Explore with The Planetary Society!
TIBET & TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE
invite you to explore Tibet in 2009 and see the Total
Solar Eclipse July 22, 2009, south of Shanghai.
Centerline of totality for this Eclipse arcs from India
across Bhutan and China. We will to see the eclipse
south of Shanghai, near Hangzhou, reputedly Marco Polo’s
favorite city in China. While we cannot guarantee eclipse
viewing, the area is on the path of totality with a
good probability of clear skies! It will be an excellent
location for viewing the eclipse.
Our adventure will begin with a visit to Chengdu, vibrant
capital city of Sichuan. We will then fly west to explore
the cultural heart of Tibet. The Tibetan Plateau has
long been a place of fascination for Western naturalists
Our first destination in Tibet will be Tsedang near
some of the oldest villages and sacred sites in Tibet.
They pre-date Buddhism in this area by more than a thousand
years. From Tsedang, we will follow the Yarlung Tsangpo
and Kyichu rivers upstream to Lhasa, historic center
of the Tibetan world.
is renowned for its sacred sites, each with distinctive
esoteric rituals, colorful iconography, and profound
spiritual significance to the Tibetan people. These
include Jorkang Temple, the Potala and Norbulinka Palace,
the winter and summer residences of the Dalai Lama,
and Ganden Monastery, poised dramatically on a ridge
that overlooks the upper reaches of the Lhasa Valley.
We will also explore Namco Lake which lies in a basin
at 15,500 feet elevation. Here the air is extraordinarily
clear, offering luminous vistas of glaciated peaks that
encircle the basin. Semi-nomadic families live here
during summer in felt tents, tending their herds of
yaks and ponies.
We will then fly to Hangzhou, an historic city south
of Shanghai, considered to have some of the best feng
shui of any city in China. It is situated on West Lake,
one of China’s most revered bodies of water. We
will drive a short distance to reach our site for the
Total Solar Eclipse. It will be a fascinating experience!
Although the Tibetan Plateau is quite high, we will
spend most of our time at moderate elevations. Lhasa,
our highest overnight destination, is 11,700 feet above
sea level. After a few days, most visitors acclimatize
and do fine at these elevations. Our highest point overall
is the pass that leads to Namco Lake at 16,900 feet.
Since we will cross the pass after having spent a week
in Tibet, we do not anticipate any major altitude problems,
even though this excursion probably will set a few personal
altitude records for our travelers!
We hope that you will join us to explore Tibet and the
2009 Total Solar Eclipse. Space is limited, so please
let us know right away.
(Requires an Adobe pdf reader to view)