We drive four hours from Langmusi to Thankor. We are on the high plains at 3,400 meters. We stop to look at the first bend of the Yellow River.
Thankor has dirt roads. The government has rebuilt the downtown using typical brick buildings with Tibetan-syle facades.
Jam Young is our Tibetan guide. He has traveled with us for several days. He is from Thankor. His brother is a monk in the local monastery. We pick him up on our way.
We stop in a restaurant. There is no menu; the options are momos with yak or vegetables and noodles with yak or vegetables.
Men and women from the village take turns peering in the front window of the restaurant. They have seen Chinese tourists, but never white Westerners. One woman stands in the doorway, neither in nor out. She stares at us one by one. There are dozens of Honda dirt bikes. Men in traditional Tibetan dress ride up and down the street on horses and motorcycles.
We visit the local grammar school and are surrounded by hordes of children. We say Hello in Tibetan. They say, Hello, How are you? Their English teacher has taught them well. Very young boys run up to me, touch my pants leg and run away. The English teacher joins us on the bus; he is a well-known Tibetan singer and will perform for us in the evening. We now have a monk, a singer, a Tibetan guide and two Chinese drivers in addition to the thirteen of us.
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