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Hiking in Medog of Tibet

Time: 2012-02-16 23:51:04


Hikers enjoying a break at a refreshing river spot.

The remote area of Mdog in Tibet is becoming an increasingly popular site for hikers, with a highway set to open the area in 2012, many intrepid travelers are taking the opportunity to visit China's last county without paved roads before it is linked to modern civilization.

Located in the southeastern part of Tibet, on the region's Indian boarder, the only way to reach Mdog is to climb over the 4,800-meter-high Galongla or 4,300-meter-high Duoxiongla snow mountains.

Nestled among the high traverses, Mdog boasts picturesque views and is home to the Mengba ethnic people. Mdog means secret lotus in Tibetan language and is regarded as a holy land by Tibetan Buddhists.

"Cliffs, waterfalls, nature - experiencing four seasons in one day and indulging in nature in the most simple way, all these add to the charm of Mdog," said Jin Qiao, secretary general of China Volkssport Association (CVA), a walking and hiking group.

Due to its unique geographical position, beauty and isolation, Mdog has long been attractive to those who love the great outdoors. Only mountain paths connect local villages and towns, with residents mainly relying on horses and mules for transportation.

A popular trekking route is from Bom county to Bayi county, with Mdog in the middle and has been voted as one of China's top hiking journeys on many travel websites.

A recent group from Beijing saw 24 hikers take on the 300-kilometer journey. Arriving in Tibet by train, then taking a bus to Bom, the group covered an average 30 kilometers a day.

Hit by altitude sickness, snowblindness and leeches, most of the group agreed that the trip was worth it due to the amazing views, dramatic climactic changes and enchantment of the forests.


Taking on the famous snow mountains in Tibet. Photos: Pan Hao

One hiker, 33-year-old Pan Hao, who was part of the Beijing group, said he is concerned that the new road will change the people and the area irrevocably.

"Their words and smiles always come to my mind during my daily life back in Beijing. Their life is peaceful and simple. For us in a metropolitan city, we have too much desire," Pan told the Global Times.

Pan said that a local man told him that while the road may alter their peaceful lives, it will also allow the delivery of goods and services, with residents no longer needing to lug heavy backpacks of food and daily necessities over the mountains any more.

A tunnel passing through Galongla will also be built when the 118-kilometer-long highway is finished with Pan saying that locals he met along the way told him Mdog would be turned into a commercially-managed scenic area, a prospect that many of the hikers said could ruin the natural beauty of the area.

Source: Global Times

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