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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Summoned to Shambhala Palace

July 9, 2010

Martha Ann Overland
TIME Magazine
July 7, 2010

Getting to Tibet these days requires moving
mountains. Lhasa is often closed to foreigners,
the permit system is murky and tickets for
sleeper seats on the train can only be had on the
black market. After all that hard work, the idea
of staying in one of Lhasa's generic Chinese
hotel blocks is depressing. But luckily there are other options.

American lawyer turned preservationist Laurence
Brahm has just opened his second boutique hotel
in the city. (Both are located just off the
famous pilgrim route that circumnavigates the
Barkhor, the soul of old Lhasa.) The Shambhala
Palace,, is the former home
of a Tibetan lama, rebuilt by traditional
artisans with timber and stones rescued from
buildings demolished to make way for progress.

Rooms sit around a typical courtyard. Décor is
just this side of kitsch, but you can find visual
contrast in views of the distant Potala Palace
while staff serve yak-butter tea. Lhasa isn't
Shangri-la, but from Shambhala Palace's rooftop bar you'd never know it.
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