What do Starcraft, Namco & yaks have in common?

[Originally posted on 1Up.com]

They're all things I've seen in Tibet these last 3 weeks. I originally intended on sticking to the subject of games in this blog, however since this is my only such outlet, I've decided to at least mention other interesting events as they occur. So, the gaming reference in the subject is very loose. Starcraft is little more than this Broodwars poster I was surprised to find in old-town Lijiang. A pleasant town in the south-west Yunnan province of China. Not much more game-related to say about this place except for a jade dragon living in the nearby mountains & a black dragon in the lake.

After a few days in Yunnan we moved on to Tibet-proper, our base of operations has been the capital, Lhasa from where we've gone on 2 to 3-day excursions out into the countryside. The main reason behind Tibet's many centuries of seclusion from the outside world is it's topography. The country is situated on a plateau at over 3000 meters above sea-level surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides, with the Himalayas & MT. Everest to the south. Elevating to such heights directly is almost sure to give you altitude sickness so we've taken it in intervals.

We've gone over passes of 5400+ meters & visited the worlds highest elevated lake. Yeah, I know I too thought it was Lake Titikaka but apparently it's only at around 3800 meters, while lake Namco (more commonly known as Namtso) is at 4700.

And so the yaks. Well, yaks are just everywhere in Tibet. Any piece of land that isn't cultivated or slanting at more than a 45' angle is sure to have a few resident yaks. And when they're not packed too tight, they're interspersed with horses, goats, & sheep for good measure. And there are a lot of open expanses and of course majestic mountain ranges that have given me the urge to play a good RTS or turn-based strategy game. This happened last year as well. After coming home from Kamtchatka I enjoyed a few days of Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War.

PS. I saw Peter Jackson's King Kong for the first time on the flight home. I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. I never thought I'd say this, but the game is actually a lot better than the movie! DS.

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