The Tibetan plateau can be a harsh and unforgiving place. The air is dry and cold and the nights are well below freezing. As harsh a place as it is, the western plateau is breathtakingly stunning. The landscape resembles a high desert with few trees and open plateau in all directions. The plateau is broken only by the majesty of the Himalayan range and an occasional land cruiser.
The people that I encountered, I will never forget. It's woth noting that facial features change dramatically as you travel west into the Plateau; My guide joked that they become very distinctly Tibetan.
The variety of wild life is stunning and although I wasn't fortunate enough to see the elusive snow leopard, I did see the very endangered black neck crane . There was flock of about 100 birds near a watering hole and as peered at them through my binoculars, I had a new appreciation of what endangered meant.
There is a visible Tantric influence from India that runs through the art, culture, and architecture in western Tibet. The influence is attributed to the fact that artists and scholars from India were invited to Tibet during its early kingdom. The connection between Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism is hard to miss and it's is quite literally written on the walls. :)
Tantric Temple Art