Trip Search

People and Custom

Zhangmu (7000ft.) better know by its Tibetan name, Khasa, Is a small settlement clinging to a hillside 10km inland from the friendship Bridge across the Bhotekoshi River. After the closure of the China/India border from Gangtok, Zhangmu has become the major trading post between Tibet and Nepal. The climate is quite different from the winterland. The hills around Zhangmu are heavily wooded with countless waterfalls in summer and frozen icicles during winter. It has a bank, a post office a government store, and is presently undergoing a construction boom to meet the demands of trade and tourism.

Nyalamu (12200ft.) known as “Kuti” to Nepalese traders, used to be an important trade post tucked into a fertile valley. Now days, barrack-style Chinese communes surround the typical old, flat roofed, mud-brick houses. Although vegetation is sparse, one can see an abundance of alpine fauna on the hillside during the summer months.

Gutsuo (14200ft) is a military base camp situated at the start of the plateau after passing through the Thongla pass, (16400ft.) from where a stunning panoramic view of the northern face of the Himalayan range unfolds. The best view of Mt. Everest and its neighboring peaks can be seen from the road at Gutsuo. Accommodation here would be in tented camps or at the barracks itself.

Xegar (13,800ft) is a new Chinese commune built at the foot of the ruins of Xegar Dzong, and is 7km from the main road. With a population of 3000 its importance lies in the fact that it is the center of this large and remote country and also a base from where expeditions to MT. Everest and other peaks are launched.

Lhaze(13100ft.) is situated at the crossroads from where the road turns westward towards MT. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. During the short summer season, the whole valley is covered with green barely fields and bright yellow mustard meadows, which is a welcome change after the barren lands of the Tibetan plateau. There is also a small hot spring located kilometers away.