February 26, 2019

There were no shops in the village where I grew up in eastern Tibet. There is a small store there now. My family say that the upshot of this is that young people no longer eat so healthily. They say that the kids have become used to, even addicted to Chinese junk food....

January 8, 2019

Here is a wonderful short video sent to me this week from relatives in Tibet.

This blog often challenges your idea of Tibet: the food, the weather and so on, but this video, shot a few days ago in the mountains near my home, shows you exactly what you would expect of wi...

November 27, 2018


The Tibetan plateau is one of the driest places on earth: many areas receive less than 10cm of rain in a year. According to strict definition, this makes Tibet a desert region. Did you know that deserts can just as well be cold places as hot? When you consider that so...

October 30, 2018

An old Tibetan folk song likens a lady lover to a wooden bowl. It may not sound romantic, but traditionally Tibetan people owned one bowl for life, and they would take this bowl with them wherever they went, "in their bosom", as the song goes.

The Tibetans are a nomadic...

September 25, 2018

When I was growing up in Tibet, recycling wasn't a word in my vocabulary. It was something that we all did instinctively, given the scarcity of materials at our disposal, plus the fact that most - if not all - of what we used was biodegradable or ripe for upcycylcling....

September 18, 2018

In Tibet, like here, it is late summer, and my brothers have been busy on the high mountains herding yak and dri (the female yak). They move from place to place, and spend most of their time milking the dri and making butter and cheese. 

Every so often, they send b...

July 3, 2018

Tibet is a landlocked country (we share a border with mainland China, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar), and for those Tibetan people still inside Tibet, few ever have the chance to see the sea. 

I was in my early twenties before I saw the ocean for the first time. By t...

June 11, 2018

TV Chef Anthony Bourdain, who died this week, was a huge advocate of street food. He described it as "the cure for fast food chains".

Bourdain had hoped to create a food market in New York City to rival that of Singapore or Hong Kong. "Anybody’s grandma’s food," he once...

June 5, 2018

Outside of Tibet, the yak gets a lot of flak.

Visitors to Tibet have often sampled so-called yak butter tea, a drink that can taste super sour in parts of the plateau where fresh butter is hard to come by (see this post for more).

Tourists may also be familiar with the h...

May 1, 2018

Happy sunny May Day!

It seems such a paradox that life should get busier just as the weather gets nice. In Oxford, the students swap the sunshine for the libraries at this time of year. In Tibet, the men are off with the animals, and the women are spend long days farmin...

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