Day 6: Lhasa


Norbulingka, Lhasa

The Dalai Lama’s summer palace, a complex of temples, pagodas, lakes and gardens.


Barkhor Square, Lhasa

Day 5: Lhasa

Urban sketching in Tibet.


Jokhang temple

The rooftop of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, the holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism. I’m sitting in the shade of a wall, trying to keep out of everyone’s way, but the Chinese tourists are fascinated by what I’m doing. In minutes, I’m surrounded by them, watching every brushstroke. I’ve had my photo taken hundreds of times.


Potala Palace

When I show this drawing to one of our Tibetan drivers, he puts his thumb over the Chinese flag.

Day 4: Samye monastery

Urban sketching in Tibet.



Samye Monastery is built in the shape of a giant mandala, that is a map of the Buddhist universe. The main temple represents Mount Meru in the centre. This black chorten represents one of the four continents.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Yumbulagang

Urban sketching in Nepal and Tibet.



Kathmandu airport, waiting for the flight across the Himalayas. A monk buys Tolberone and Pringles. 


In Tibet: Yumbulagang monastery. Prayer flags cover the hills around.

Day 2: Kathmandu

Urban sketching in Nepal. Second stage of the journey gets us a far as Kathmandu. Lunch at a restaurant overlooking the dome of the Boudhanath Stupa (behind the umbrellas).



Looking from my hotel window, I realise that we’re in one of the highest buildings in the city. Unlike every other capital, Kathmandu has no skyscrapers cluttering up the view. But it has enough traffic to match any other city: cars, painted lorries, overcrowded minibuses, bicycles, motorbikes, rickshaws, nervous pedestrians and sleeping dogs fight for road-space. It’s also the rule that when you’re driving, and you see another car (or van or lorry or minibus or bicycle or motorbike or rickshaw or pedestrian), you must sound your horn.