My Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-Neel

I am in awe of Alexandra David-Neel. In 1923 at the age of 55 she and a companion trekked through Tibet to become the first Western woman to go to Lhasa.  She traveled over mountains, through snow, surviving on butter tea and tsampa (a barley), part of it without a map, beset by bandits but helped by the locals. She was in Tibet for 8 months, 2 of it in Lhasa. Alexandra had been a student of Buddhism, spoke the language, and had a deep interest in the culture.  She writes about politics, culture, history, being chased by dogs, getting lost, telling fortunes for food and the awe she felt when she finally made it to Lhasa.

My Journey to Lhasa is not a light-hearted tale, she goes into a lot of details about things, but it’s an interesting read about a time and place and a woman who did what she wanted to do.

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