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10:50 Mar 18 2009

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English>>Tibet Online>>Travel
French traveler: Tibetans are free, happy, sincere
11:27, March 10, 2009  

Monmar Francis, a travel lover, still has a fresh memory of his Tibet visit. "Drive-travel in Tibet is impressive and miraculous, " he said in a recent interview with People's Daily in Orbais, France.

"I'm a man living on wheels to travel the world. I'm 72 years old this year. Before 50, I had worked hard to make money and I retired at 53. Since then, I've been on the road to viewing and measuring the world by driving. So far, I've toured 60-odd countries already by driving a recreational vehicle (RV) modified from a jeep. And I think drive-travel in China's Tibet is the most impressive and miraculous."

"In 2000, a group of 35 retired old men from all over France drove 17 RVs to visit China. I clearly remember that a red-carpet opening ceremony was held for us in Paris on March 20. Then we chose our own route to west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. After entering China via Xinjiang's Turugart Port on July 14, we crossed 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. After a long journey of 35,600 km, we reached Tibet on September 26, where we stayed till October 12."

"Tibet is really exotic. How beautiful it is! I was greatly impressed by Tibetans' hospitality, friendliness and sincere smiles. How attractive the girls' red faces and bright-colored costumes were! It was so moving that the young men were always ready to try their best to do us favors when we got stuck. How lovely the children were when frolicking with our motorcade! "

"In Tibet, wherever we went, all the Tibetan and Han people extended their welcome with a sincere smile. It's our greatest honor to receive such smiles."

"When we drove to the altitude of 4,006 meters, the local people helped us mend roads and push vehicles. When we reached 4,800 meters above the sea level, almost as high as the top of the Alps, people there gave us milk tea and Tibetan-style cheese. That was really delicious!"

"We stayed in Lhasa for three days. I think the Potala Palace is so magnificent as to seem to meet the sky. Obviously, it has been specially renovated and protected. The square in front of the palace is big enough for local people to enjoy their pastime. Every day many people do exercises, do sightseeing, take walks or take pictures there. On the streets, you can see Buddhism followers either devotedly prostrating on the ground or rolling prayer wheels everywhere in Lhasa. They are really free and happy!"

Source: Xinhua

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