The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.
We had a long and tiresome journey of 23 miles slow in places owing to flooded track, and to steep climbs up and over the bluffs against which the river swirls in places. It was quite hot, but with a pleasant breeze near the river. The Kyi-chu or river of Lhasa is a. broad flood at this time of year, in places spreading half a mile wide, and in others narrowing and flowing rapidly against the bluffs and cliff. It is a very fertile valley with numerous small villages all growing excellent crops, and the climate is mild now.
Our camp at Netang is quite in the open close to the river; this is better than the Official camping ground in a grove of trees near by.
There are numerous places in the Kyi-chu valley where an aerodrome could be made but only with considerable labour in clearing stones, irrigation bunds, and filling in small nullahs.
A few miles on we left the Tsangpo valley and entered its tributary the Kyi- chu, and soon we had a distant view of the mountains surrounding Lhasa. The views up the Kyi-chu are impressive especially with the masses of cumulus clouds along the mountain ranges.
About half way we were met by a ceremonial guide from Lhasa who will accompany us in. He is a high lama, an Official of the fifth class in Lhasa and of the fourth class when outside Lhasa. He looks very intelligent and smart and well dressed in contrast to many of the provincial or local lamas. He wears a very wonderful headdress, gilded and lacquered and rides a handsome 'pacing' mule.
Skin boats seem to ply down the fast running Kyi-chu as we saw two lashed together whizz past camp this evening. They will do our days march in a couple of hours!
Author: Philip Neame [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]
Page Reference: Pt III p.6