Paradox Lost: How Not To Be A Tourist In Tibet

Anyone planning to ever go to Tibet should read this:

“‘Paradox Lost’ gives a reality check on the sights of Lhasa, exploring how both China’s assertions of power and Tibetan expressions of identity are revealed in the architecture of the city, as well as the reality behind Tibet’s apparent economic progress. The report advises tourists how to avoid putting Tibetans, and themselves, at risk, and offers tips on how to understand the signs of religious repression, and subtle acts of dissent by Tibetans.

ICT recommends that tourists read it before they leave for Tibet. Carrying a copy in a backpack or suitcase into Tibet could be regarded as a political or ‘splittist’ act (in other words, as an attempt to ‘split’ the motherland), and could therefore put local contacts at risk”.

See the Travel Guide Here


4 thoughts on “Paradox Lost: How Not To Be A Tourist In Tibet

  1. Bhod Ki Bhumo

    Next time your friend e-mails and calls you up excitingly that they are heading to Tibet, donot forget to send them this travel guide better yet, print it for them as a gift but only to be taken to Tibet at their own risk!

  2. Anonymous

    Jigme la, this is very impressive. all the work and information you have here..
    also how passionate and knowledgeable you are about the tibet cause…

  3. Rich Felker

    I was a bit disappointed with the content of this guide; it’s a good introduction to the Tibetan issue for someone who doesn’t know anything to begin with, but it stops short on offering much practical advice on what tourists should do once they’re there.

    These days it’s very possible (in most places) to stay at Tibetan-owned hotels, eat at Tibetan-owned restaurants, buy souvenirs from Tibetans, etc. But there are a huge number of deceptive Chinese businesses in Lhasa masquerading as Tibetan businesses. Some advice to tourists (especially for the majority who can’t speak Tibetan to figure things out on their own) on how to avoid the fakes and find real Tibetan businesses is a practical aspect that’s sorely needed.

    There’s also the question of how to convey hope and support to people in Tibet without putting yourself or them in danger, as well as what sorts of things are worth documenting (photos/video/etc.) and sharing with the outside world.

    If I can come up with some good tips I might write a short article on that topic on my blog based on my own travels, but it’s a subject matter that really deserves the attention and contribution of a number of experts…

  4. Jigme32

    Maybe by learning basic Tibetan or even a few simple sentences like “Are you Tibetan?” tourists can distinguish who is and isn’t Tibetan since I heard the majority of Han Chinese in Tibet don’t speak Tibetan.

    Nice blog BTW Mr. Felker.

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