+86-28-86707597 sales@budgettibettour.com
Budget Price & Quality Service, Your Smart and Wise Choice!

Old Ferryboats in Tibet

Time: 06-09-2018 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

According to Tibetan historical documents, as early as the Tubo period, sailing activities were recorded on the Yarlung Zangpo River and Lhasa River. According to Biography of Padmasambhava, he once crossed the Yarlung Zangpo by wooden boat with a horse's head to reach Samye Monastery; murals in the Samye Monastery, Potala Palace and Borbu Lingka record this.  

Old Ferryboats in Tibet

Boat with Horse's Head

Early Wooden Boat with Horse's Head. According to the illustrations in Tibet's Civilization written by Prof. R. A. Stein, this might be the earliest Tibetan wooden boat containg about 20 people.

Mid-period Wooden Boat with Horse's Head. According to murals in Samye Monastey, wooden boats with a horse's head emerged during the Tubo period able to carry about 30 people. This was much more advanced than early square wooden boats in sailing that had such disadvantages as low speed and inflexibility due to the large resistance from the square structure.

Late Wooden Boat with Horse's Head. There is no clue about the profile of later wooden boats in the murals, but it is presumed they emerged after the decline of the Tubo Kingdom.

Early Wooden Boat with Horse's Head
Foursquare wooden boats with horse's head as a symbol; there were iron-sheet decorative designs inlaid on the outer sides; there was a door on the left side towards the rear; paddles were fitted on both sides, and there was a wind-horse flag pole inserted on the back of the horse head.  

Old Ferryboats in Tibet

Mid-Period Wooden Boat with Horse's Head
There were iron-sheet decorative designs inlaid on the outer sides and an exit door on the left side of the front-half of the boat; the bow had a wooden-sculptured horse's head with wind-horse flags inserted on the back part; two paddles were fitted on both sides of the front-half of the boat, but no boatman steering the boat was seen at the stern according to the murals.

Late Wooden Boat with Horse's Head
The boat body was square, the bow was changed into the shape of triangle, the bottom of bow of bow was rounded, which greatly reduced the resistance from the water and improved speed and flexibility. The horse's head and wind-horse flags as decorations on how were still there. One paddle was fitted on each side of front-half of the bow, and it required 4 to 5 people to paddle powerfully; there was a big paddle on the stern for steering, and one door on each side of the middle part. There were iron-sheet decorative designs with reinforced wooden boats on the outer sides and four corners of the boat body.

At the end of the 1960s, this sort of boat was still available at the Nyanggu Ferry at Zetang Township of Shannan district in the middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River. With the opening of the Sichuan-Tibet and the Qinghai-Tibet highways, and the old wooden boats were replaced by wooden power boats. But boats with horse's heads retain their charm.

An old boatman aged over 70, living in the village by Nyanggu Ferry, Zetang, Shannan, told me that this sort of boat was about 10 meters long and five meters wide, containing about 200 people or 70 to 80 yaks. With the help of the old man, we copied a model of the boat one-tenth size, which is presented in the Hall of Folklore of the Tibet Museum. 

Old Ferryboats in Tibet

Today, the boats are square power wooden boats with a round bottom, but small boats with men padding away can still ocassionally be seen at every ferry of the Yarlung Zangbo River and the Lhasa River.

However, since 1959, with many rivers being spanned by bridges, the ferries gradually disappeared.

Yak Hide Rafts
The materials for making yak hide rafts are very simple, mainly timber and yak hide. Timber with good tenacity should be selected to make the frame. Four pieces of yak hide softened in water and with almost all the hair removed, and sewn together. The wet yak hide is then stretched tight over the wooden frame and tied with yak hide rope; it is left to dry in the sun, after which great deal of yak and goat grease is applied to the hide to make it waterproof. The raft can then be launched with a pair of paddles operated by one boatman.

Other Travelers' Questions

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Ms. Ho*** from: 7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp

Hello!


My husband and I are looking at travel in April 2019. We currently are only a group of 2, but it is possible we may have another 2 friends join us.
We are comparing tours for the 7 day tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu. What price can you offer for group tour for 2 (or 4 people) for the Lhasa to Kathmandu trips if we were to book in the next two weeks?


Many thanks,
Ho***

Answered by Nancy

Dear Ms. Ho***,

Greetings from Nancy Chung at Budget Tibet Tour, thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry, if there are 4 people in your group, I recommend you to take it as private tour, thus you will have the guide and driver on your own, and the tour can be flexible. If there are 2 in your group, of course take part in a group tour is better, and we have several groups in April, or we can open a new date based on your travel time, and our group size is 4 to 13 people. And if you will book in next weeks, I can apply some discount for you. Please check the email for more details. Best regards.

Email to Nancy about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Ms. Mi*** from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express

Hello,
I am interested in a tour with you all in and around Lhasa for a party of two.
We would be arriving on the 23rd of December and departing on the 25th.

We plan on arriving on train from Chengdu, China on the 23rd. Thinking of doing a monastery/temple tour the day we arrive. On the 24th, our full day, we would be interested in going to Yamdrok lake or something similar, 25th be in Lhasa to see rest other temples/monastery before we fly out in the evening.

We would like to get a tentative itinerary and price for the trip all inclusive.
Transportation, hotel stay, meals and Tibet permit. 


Thank you so much,
Mi***

Answered by Helen

Hi Ms. Mi***,

Thanks very much for your inquiry. According to your itinerary, there is no group tour that suits for you, while we can arrange a private tour for you. Taking private tour, our guide will take you to visit all the scenic spots that you mentioned, and we will give you a quotation of this tour based on two of you, which includes transportation, hotel, guide and Tibet Permit. I will send detailed itinerary and quotation to you by email, please check your email. Warm regards.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Mr. Go*** from: Why Mount Kailash is worshiped as the most sacred mountain in Tibet?

I want to organize tours to Tibet from Nepal can you sent me cost rate for all tours what you organize with detail itinerary

Answered by Nancy

Dear Mr. Go***,

Greetings from Nancy Chung at Budget Tibet Tour, thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry, please kindly let me know your nationality if you will visit Kailash, as we cannot apply Tibet permit to Kailash for Indian passport holders, and also Kailash is not possible to go from late Oct to early April due to the cold weather, and it will closed. If you will just take the tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa via Mt. Everest, which will be no problem to go year around (except every March). If you can provide how many people in your group and when you would like to take this tour, you will get the precise quote within 24 hours. Thanks and best regards to you.

Email to Nancy about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

Quick Question Form
Tell us your question in this quick inquiry form, we will reply you within 24 hours.
7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp