Last town before basecamp, Tingri is a simple town at 14,000′ with a strip of simple buildings on either side of the highway, which itself is actually very well constructed. You can see the Chinese influence from an infrastructure standpoint – great road in particular. Apparently these teahouses were much worse in the past but are quite decent today. Imagine a Motel 6 with no heat and only sporadic hot water, but we have our own rooms with two beds each that we share and a private toilet, which is big step-up even from most teahouses in the Khumbu Valley in Nepal where shared toilets at the end of the hall are the norm. We are having a rest day today to acclimate to 14,000′ and then we head to Cho Oyu base camp tomorrow.
We passed the border at Zangmu and proceeded to Nyalam (12,000′) where we did a rest day and a hike to 14,000′ (picture above), so we’re on target and doing well. The prayer flags in the picture above can be seen all over the Buddhist portions of Nepal and Tibet and therefore all throughout the Himalaya. Each color represents a different element (earth, water, sky, fire, etc.) with a unique prayer and as the wind blows through them it carries the prayer to the gods.