Seven weeks in Tibet
Bill Hulme, Tom Ingram, and David Lonsdale-Eccles share their experiences of Shangri-La
On arriving in Lhasa, we found that our more cynical suspicions of “Shangri-la” were sadly confirmed. The city, which at one time comprised Tibet's religious core of the Potala palace, the Barkor square, Jokang temple, and a few houses, has been transformed in 40 years into a massive patchwork of Chinese style, bathroom tiled buildings sprawling for miles along the valley. Traditional Tibetan buildings have made way for neon lights and brothels lining the holiest pilgrimage routes throughout the city.
An Italian non-governmental organisation, Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP), has set up and partly funded the foundation of Tibet's first emergency departments. The scheme has been running now for three years, and the prevailing attitude of the local doctors was that the Lhasa accident and emergency ward was the best in Tibet. This was soon put to the test as the casualties started to roll in by