The Jokhang Block - guarded (this map is right south of the map above)
They checked IDs at each point. Only residents were allowed in.
Therefore, most businesses in the alleys were closed, except for convenience stores and small Tibetan teahouses, which caters to the locals.
I picked a small alley and ventured into the North (the Ramoche block). I was surpised when they just let me in without a question, after checking my ID. I proceeded and went to another check point (marked as "C's" on the maps above) and asked the guards how to get to Romoche Monastery (I was a bit lost inside the alley maze). The young men even told me the direction. "make a left", "Is it closed?", "I don't know". So I was happy until I reached the east gate of Ramoche, where I saw a dozen PAP hands in hands blocking the gate. I asked and was told to go away (not surprising by then). I took a picture with my handphone pretending to be talking (see picture below, I couldn't look at the screen when I ended up taking the left 1/4 of the gate).
I wandered around a bit in front of the Ramoche. There are plenty of people, children in school uniforms are going home, playing soccers in the alleys. If you ignore the PAP, it is almost like a usual afternoon, sans tourists.
My adventure to the Johkang block was not as lucky. I was turned away a couple times at the alley entrance. The young soldier (in green, see picture below) went to ask his superior (who wears no helmet), then they asked another PAP in blue (looks like Tibetan, I suspect the blues are local and the greens are from Neighbouring provinces). I almost gave up. But I finally got lucky when I tried a small alley where there were only a few junior PAP. Even after I got in, there was another layer of check points on exits to Bakhorn. I pretended I was lost and they again let me in.
There are small temples inside the block there are still open. But I had no luck seeing what is beyond the walls in these 2 major monasteries.
Front (west) door of Johkang Monastery (大昭寺). Guarded. (but fewer gaurds than Ramoche, perhaps because there is a large plaza as buffer zone) -- this photo was cropped as my finger was blocking the right hand side of my camera-phone
North side of Bakhorn Square, deserted as no tourist allowed in
North side of Bakhorn Street, taking this picture almost got me into trouble. The PAP asked to check my mobile phone suspicious of me taking pictures. I showed him my blackberry which had no camera function:)
Ramoche Street. Between the Ramoche Temple and the famous PAP Shield (south entrance of Ramoche Street). enter with ID check but still quite busy
North of Johkang on North Bakhorn, old Tibetan ladies were amused at my hiding behind to take pictures. They were friendly.
Solar pot, in a residential courtyard, in alleys east of Johkang Monastery. A couple middle age ladies were looking at me suspiciously when I walked into the courtyard, but smiled back when I smiled at them
This is inside a small temple south of Jokhang, in the same block ("small templet" in the satellite map). Open, looks like business as usual
There pictures below were taken outside the two blocks.
Note: personal bloggers are welcome to use these pictures, as long as you do not crop the picture (the pictures here are the original ones without cropping), do not distort through captioning, and provide a courtesy link/acknowledgement.They should not be used by any organization (profit or non-profit) without seeking permission.This is the first time I put up such note. But I do not want my pictures be distorted as Kadfly's shield formation picture was.