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Old 25th July 2009, 17:39   #16
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Deky, I'am glued to this thread man. This certainly will be once in life time kind of experience. Your 1st pics is facinating. Keep them coming.
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Old 25th July 2009, 17:53   #17
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Wonderful pic of Mount Kaliash and the Manasarovar lake.Any more pics to come?
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Old 25th July 2009, 18:51   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Wow Deky, this is going to be awesome. One of a kind here. I don't know how many folks here can actually go where you have just gone.

The first picture itself is so breathtaking so I an just only imagine how wonderful it would have been for you there.

Keep it rolling..
Its pretty much doable, and I sincerely wish after reading this lots more of us will be doing this yatra/trek/adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Interested??! Are you kidding deky? Yes, YES, YES we are!!!

That sight of Mt Kailash and of Mansarovar is breathtaking. You must have come back feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and simply lighter in being.

For those who just cant wait there's Google Earth.

Rgds,
I will try to include as much info as I can as i continue this write-up, But if you guys do have anything else just keep on asking

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Guys, you all need to thank me for this travelogue. The threat, a very subtle one, was issued on 24th at 11:22 and a 24 hr deadline was given. And lo behold, within 7 hrs the 1st picture of Lord Shiva's abode appeared.

Deky posted on 24th at 20:07.

NOW DON"T STOP. Continue at a fast pace and satiate our hunger..
GD Sir, I keep crossing Gurgaon on my way to Delhi from Jaipur, and could not take the threat lightly

Quote:
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Wonderful pic of Mount Kaliash and the Manasarovar lake.Any more pics to come?
Over a 1000 pics but Ill keep posting the ones I think are good as the travelogue continues.
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Old 25th July 2009, 20:29   #19
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Default Day 1: Delhi To Kathmandu

Flight from Delhi to Kathmandu was just another routine flight. I was amazed to see the change at the Delhi Terminal. Though still not upto International standards I thought the airport was coming up pretty well. For those Indians going to Nepal an I-Card preferably passport is enough as a travel document. One of the few places where we dont require a visa.

Once in the aircraft I could make out that the plane is full of yatris going to Kailash Mansarovar. This was quite evident with loud chants of "Om Namah Shivayah" as soon as the plane was ready for take off. Later I came to know that there were 2 seperate groups, one of 22 pax and the other of 55 pax who did the trip on the same date as us were also travelling in the same plane.

After 1hr and 15 minutes of taking off from Delhi we landed right on time at Tribhuvan International Airport. Mom and I were greeted with Rudraksh Mala at the arrival gate by our travel agent. I thought that this welcome was sweet gesture. We were then taken to our Hotel.

Kathmandu was totally wet with rain and was quite a respite from Jaipur heat

OUR HOTEL IN KATHMANDU
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VIEW FROM THE HOTEL ROOM
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After having lunch I decided to walk around the shops close to the hotel. Luckily our Hotel, Marshyangdi was right in the centre of the tourist area of Kathmandu called Thamel.

Thamel is the busiest tourist area and comprises of shops, restaurants, internet cafes etc etc. Basically everything that a tourist would require is available here.

VIEW OF THAMEL STREET
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CHINESE LANTERNS
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Thamel shops are overflowing with trekking stuff new, used, fake and genuine or goods on rent for the duration also can be easily got here. For those going on treks from Kathmandu, Thamel can be a good option for shopping. I got my trekking shoes and socks from here and the shoes turned out to be really good through out the trip.

In Nepal INR is readily accepted everywhere, and the change would be given to you in Indian Currency (IC) or Nepali Currency(NC) as requested by you. The only problem is that Rs 500/- & 1000/- notes may not be accepted everywhere and if accepted you might have to give a small charge for this. Better to carry only Rs100/- or your credit card. At the moment the currency exchange rate is 100/- IC= 160/- NC.

Once back in the hotel the next was an organised trip to Pashupatinath Temple. This trip was part of the package and gave us an opportunity to meet other Yatris also in our group for the journey ahead.

Pashupatinath temple was nice but as all religious places that are turning out to be was getting more and more commercialised.

VIEW OF THE TEMPLE FROM FAR AS NO CAMERAS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE
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Once we finished offering our prayers and hoping for a successfull trip that was to follow we all came back to the Hotel and had a briefing from Mr Ramesh Naik our group manager who would be with us for the complete duration of the trip to Mt. Kailash.

The briefing was about basic guidelines as to how to survive at high altitude it also included the itenary, the accomodation we would get in Tibet, the must take list of items etc etc. During the briefing we came to know that our group would be a mix of 2 groups from 2 travel agents and would consist of 24 yatris in total. (mixing 2 groups is common if both the travel agents do not have desired numbers to start a trip)

Following were the things that were distributed as complimentries during the briefing.
1. Duffle bag
2. Small Shoulder Bag (ruck sack)
3. Cap
4. T shirt
5. Wind Sheeter
6. Down jacket
7. walking stick.

After dinner Mom called it a day and went off to sleep and I went ahead and to try my luck at the casino.

Tomorrow would be a rest day so I could afford to get up late before the grind starts.
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Old 25th July 2009, 21:11   #20
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Default Choosing The Correct Travel Agent & Expenses

There are only two travel agents in Tibet who have been given the permission by the Chinese Govt. to organise such travels for Indian Groups.

The Travel agents in Kathmandu are sub agents of either of the two Tibet agents and are incharge of organising group visa, stay in kathmandu, kathmandu sight seeing, sending sherpas, sending food stuff, cooking, tents and also transportation from Kathmandu to Tibet border.

Once across in Tibet, the tibet travel agency takes over and the appointed Tibetien tour manager in the group is responsible from now on for the entire trip. The Tibetien Guide as he is called is totally responsible for lodge bookings at various places, for cars and drivers for transportaion, helps in interpretation, getting ponies and porters for the Kailash parikrama on the Tibet side.

All the Indian travel agencies who claim to organise such trips are basically just sub agents or just commision agents for travel agencies in Kathmandu.

There is no harm in choosing an Indian travel agency for such trip but do keep the following points in mind:-

1. The price should be around 75,000/ INR- per person ex-kathmandu. If you can negotiate on the price its even better. I know of a person who did the same yatra with us and paid 65,000/- INR (if you book directly via Nepal u will definately save on commision taken by Indian Agent).

2. The group should not be bigger than 40 pax, or else managing gets difficult.

3. Ask how many sherpas to a guest. We had a ratio of 1:4 and was excellent.

4. Take everything in writing, Nepali agents are not know for their proffesionalism.

5. Discuss in detail what complimentaries would he be giving for the trip. This is so that you can avoid carrying those things to Nepal. The complimentaries should be following:-
a. Duffle bag:- very helpfull or else your suitcase will get battered.
b. Down jacket:- insist on one, or else you would be carrying one all the way from India. Also very helpfull in cold weather conditions
c. walking stick:- very helpfull during Kailash Parikrama
d. wind sheeter:- helpfull as it almost gets windy every day.

Also I would suggest if you do not get any of the above things, do not carry them, get them on hire from Kathmandu or in Tibet, hiring charges are very cheap.

The price of Rs 75,000/- INR (or whatever you settle at) should include the following ex kathmandu:_
accomodation as discussed including all veg meals, all transportation including you (4 pax each in new 4500 land cruisers)and your luggage, tents, sleeping bags, matresses, visa processing cost, any other fees levied on tourist during the trip, Oxygen cylinders, yaks for taking food stuff up during parikrama

You would have to bear the costs for the following
1. pony and porter (optional) cost during Kailash Parikrama, Hiring porters due to land slides, emergency evacuation due to illness, telephone call, tips and other personal expenses.
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Old 25th July 2009, 23:40   #21
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Wow. This is simply brilliant. Had a fascination for this place as i have been hearing that organising this trip is difficult but your details will help any one now on
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Old 26th July 2009, 00:45   #22
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Just can't wait ...really looking forward to this. And thats some great info as well!
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Old 26th July 2009, 06:07   #23
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You just put it on my 2012 itinerary. I didn't know it was that convenient via Kathmandu!
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Old 26th July 2009, 08:23   #24
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Superb mast head picture Decky.
My darshan will be completed reading this only. Although my sister did this trip three years back she could not do Kailash parikrama due to bad weather. She has been after me to go with hear as she wants to do the parikrama.

Aahhemmm....care to comment on this?
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Last edited by sudev : 26th July 2009 at 08:35.
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Old 26th July 2009, 09:48   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
VIEW OF THAMEL STREET
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Aahhemmm....care to comment on this?
It is Paharganj area of Kathmandu.

@deky,

Om namah shivay.

Please, complete at least one day itinerary on each day of posting on this thread, otherwise, you know what,.... you and GD1418 at Gurgaon....
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Old 26th July 2009, 10:08   #26
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Amazing travelogue and one that is quite interesting. Great pics there and am waiting to see more. Please keep it rolling.
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Old 26th July 2009, 13:37   #27
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Default Day2: Rest Day In Kathmandu

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Aahhemmm....care to comment on this?
Attachment 164687
Lol...no comments....dont forget this is a trip trying to attain spiritual salvation and not the salvation of other type:P

But good catch Sudev, Kathmandu would be an ideal place

DAY2: REST DAY IN KATHMANDU

Since it was suppose to be a rest day Mom and I decided to spend it actually resting. But the weather was splendid outside and we decided not to waste the day and to go out and walk around a bit.

First stop was the kings place now turned into a museum. But unfortunately being a Wednesday it was shut. So just took a few photographs from outside and decided we should proceed to the famous Swayambhu Temple on the outskirts of the city

KINGS PALACE
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SMART GAURDS OUTSIDE THE PALACE
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ITS SITUATED RIGHT AT THE BEGINING OF THE MAIN STREET (DURBAR MARG)
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Notice that most of the vehicles running on the street are Indian. Hence they are all CBU's the cost a lot. Just imagine a Maruti 800 in Nepal would cost u around 8 lakh IC

TRIED A PANNING SHOT OF A NEPALI DUDE
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Swayambhu which means self-created is one the holiest bhuddhist sites in Nepal. It lies on a hill top.

It was created in 5th century when a monk placed a Lotus in a lake. the lotus apparently turned in to a hill and the light that the flower radiated beacame the main stupa.

We took a cab from the city centre and he charged us 170/-NC for a 30 minutes drive through a crowded city to the temple.

The enterance has a statue of Buddha with an urn in front in which you suppose to toss coins and if the coin goes in the urn you suppose to be lucky.

MESSAGE OF PEACE
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As you climb up the steps to the main Temple you greeted with lots of Chortens (stupas) and prayer flags fluttering all around

CHORTENS, PRAYER FLAGS AND MOM
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CHORTENS LINING THE WAY UP TO THE MAIN TEMPLE
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BEAUTIFULLY CARVED WALLS
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MAIN TEMPLE SQUARE
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STANDING TALL FOR AGES
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LADY LIGHTING YAK BUTTER LAMPS
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YAK BUTTER LAMPS
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DEVOTEE OFFERING HIS PRAYERS BY ROTATING THE PRAYER WHEELS
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Here people are quite vocal about the Chinese oppression in Tibet. I asked this particular monk if I could take his photo, initially he refused but later agreed

A MESSAGE
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THE BELL, VAJRA AND LIONS PROTECTING THE MAIN ENETERANCE
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VAJRA
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EYES OF GOD
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DEVOTEE OFFERING HIS PRAYERS
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SOUVENIER SHOPS AROUND
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We realised that there are steps that take you stright down from the temple.

TOTAL OF 365 STEPS
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PRAYER STONES ALONG THE WAY
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Once back in the hotel the afternoon was spend lazily. In the evening we changed our money to Chinese Yuan. This was a bad decision as we later realised that we could have got a better rate at the Tibet-China border.

Evening was spent re-packing and transferring our stuff from our suitcases to the duffle bags. Checking and re checking was done as to not to forget anything that we may require later.

All done we called it a day and slept early as tomorrow would be an early start and the yatra would finally get on the way.
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Old 26th July 2009, 15:20   #28
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This is an awesome travelogue. Glued to this thread, please post as many pics as possible.
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Old 26th July 2009, 21:42   #29
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Default DAY 3: KATHMANDU (1300mtrs) TO NAYALAM (3750mtrs) MU VIA ZHANG MU

It was suppose to be an early start. The 5 of us in our group as instructed by the tour manager were ready by 7.30 am. We were suppose to be picked up by a mini bus along with the rest of the 19 and were to travel to the Kodari border. Kodari is the last village on Nepal side and from there you cross over to Zhang Mu which is on Tibet side.

The bus arrived at about 8.00 am with the other group and after boarding we carried on. From now on we were one group of 24. Along with the 24 of us we also had Ramesh the tour manager, prakash asst. tour manager and 6 sherpas in the bus.

The bus slowly crawled through the rush hour time in kathmandu and its suburbs. Kathmandu like other capital cities of the world has grown a lot over the five years. Lots of it has to do with maoist problem in rural areas, hence people have been thronging to cities for a more secured life.

Apart from the drizzle, the slow moving traffic, pot holes ridden road, the double laning of the road also added to our woes. Then there was this truck the bus could not overtake and got stuck behind for about an 45 mnts. Reading the See You on the back of the truck over and over again was getting quite irritating.

HIS WISHES WERE GRANTED FOR A LONG TIME
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But after the city limits finished and we came into the country side the scenery was getting more and more interesting. The road also got much better and the pace of the bus increased.

THE SCENERY GOT BETTER
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THE CLOUD COVER AND THE GREENERY WAS AMAZING
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At Dhulikhel, about 60kms from Kathmandu, the bus had a puncture and we lost around 1 hour in getting the puncture repaired. This time was well spent in knowing the other people of the group.

TANKING UP WHILE THE YATRIS STRETCH THEIR LEGS
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GETTING THE PUNCTURE REPAIRED
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MR. TATA DOES GOOD BUSINESS HERE
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Our group of 24 was a mix group consisting of yatris from all over India like Bhilai, Ranchi, Ahemdadbd, Jaipur, Patna and Mumbai. There was this gentleman from Ahemdadbad, and this was his 6th Mansarovar trip, since he had all the knowledge he was fondly called "Netaji", also there was this group of 7 friends from Ranchi between the age group of 40-45 who were making most of the noise and providing all the entertainment. The eldest in the group was a gentleman still fit at 74 years. And the youngest of the group was Amit, from Mumbai, at the age of 21. His sole intention of this trip was to judge his body from this trip, so that he can decided whether he should hope to climb Mt. Everest one day. Also not to miss naming Shamim Akhter, a book writer and an avid photographer was also part of the group. His motive was to one day write a book on Lord Shiva and Indian mythology surrounding him. He had so much knowledge on this subject that he was fondly called "guruji"

After the break we continued our journey, the views were magnificient. Most of the journey from Dhulikhel onwards was done by the side of River Bhode Koshi or river Kosi or The Sorrow of Bihar as called in India. The journey was mostly up than down and widing.

MOM AND I IN THE BUS
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RIVER BHODE KOSHI ALONG THE ROUTE MADE IT EVEN MORE SCENIC
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At a few places there were some landslides but luckily we did not encounter any major ones.

DAMAGED ROAD DUE TO LANDSLIDES
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BUT THEY WERE BEING CLEARED ALL THE TIME
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At around 12 noon i.e 4 hours from starting we reached the village of Kodari. We had covered a distance of 115kms in 4 hrs.

We were taken to a guesthouse where we were served lunch. Our passports were collected here and were given to the Nepalese immigration for clearance. This was done by the agent while we enjoyed lunch.

OUR BUS WITH OUR BAGS ON TOP AT KODARI BORDER
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KIDS AT THE BORDER
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A WATER FALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TOWN
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KOSHI FLOWING THROUGH A GORGE
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Also some yatris changed their INR to Chinese Yuan here. It was a good moove as here they were giving the best rate and also accepting Rs500/- INR notes.

After lunch we had to walk for about 15mnts towards the Nepal Immigration. Here is where you exit Nepal cross the Friendship bridge on a gorge, over river Bhode Koshi, clear the Chinese immigration and enter the Tibetien town of Zhang MU. We were verly clearly told not to take photographs of Chinese Immigration or the friendship bridge due to security issues.

MOM JUST BEFORE CROSSING THE NEPAL CUSTOMS
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Since Nepal immigration was done by agents it was a cake walk. Chinese immigration was not so simple. For the 24 of us + 8 staff it took around 2 hours to complete the formalities.

First you stand in the line and fill up the form, then you approach the officer, the officer looks at you suspiciously, you smile at the officer, the officer looks back at the computer screen, you dont know his reaction since he is wearing a breathing mask due to the swine flu scare, he looks at you again, this goes on for a a couple of minutes, he gets up and goes somewhere, he comes back, apparently with his boss, his boss looks at you again and signal's you to remove the cap you wearing, as soon as you remove your cap a buzzer on the screen starts ringing and a red light flashes. Everyone looks at you, you feel embarrased..what have you done wrong, you cant even ask coz these Chinese dont know a word of English, the officer calls someone on the 2 way radio, a lady approaches , she seems like a paramedic, you follow her in other room, she tells you to sit down in English...you say WOW aloud...she can talk.

Well this just did not happened to me, we were 10 of us out of the 32 who landed up in that room.

We were explained that the buzzer indicated that our body was warm and we had to be checked for swine flu.

Since most of us were wearing caps (remeber we got free caps the previous day!!!) the forehead temperature was warm. But after 10 minutes of re checking we were released except Amit. The poor guy got tensed and his body refused to cool down. he was also released after 30 mnts or so.

Once clearing the customs we all collected outside the building. here we met our Tibetien guide Tenzing, who would be our "my Baap" for the rest of the trip. Our luggage had already reached there courtesy, the Nepali porters.

We were finally in Tibet. Zhang Mu is 2200mtrs above sea level and is a very picturesque town. There is a lot of greenery around and water falls everywhere on the hills.

THE PICTURESQUE TOWN OF ZHANG MU
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Since Zhang Mu town is located at the border it has become a major trading toen between Nepal and Tibet. Nepali trucks are allowed to cross the Friendship bridge into Zhang Mu, fill up with Chinese made goods and carry them back to Nepal and also to India. Nepali residents of Kodari are also given permits to come to Zhang Mu buy stuff and act as porters here.

FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE, LEFT IS NEPAL RIGHT IS CHINA
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At Zhang mu we were assigned our Toyota land Cruisers. In our jeep was Mom and I and also we had the pleasure of having the eldest of the group Mr. Brij Mohan and the youngest Mr Amit with us.

OUR JEEPS
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We still had to wait for a while as the road to Nyalam Mu, that was our final stop for the day was shut due to road works. We spent time loitering around the town.

A VIEW OF THE VALLEY BENEATH
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It was a stark difference from Nepal, no one smiled, no one spoke English, forget Hindi, right hand drive changed to left hand drive, everything was written in Chinese. In all my of my travels on the ship this has been the starkest of differences I have noticed between two border towns.

TIBETIEN STRONG MEN
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Anyways, the road finally opened at around 5.00pm IST, I suddenly realised I still had not changed my watch to Chinese time that was 2.30 hrs ahead (beijing time). So basically it was 7.30 pm when we started the final leg of our Journey to Nayalm Mu.

We had'nt even settled in the jeep that we stopped again. It was a traffic jam. On not so a narrow road an army truck and a Nepali truck came in front of each other, since no one knew each others language, no one wanted to talk to each other and find a solution. Even the traffic policeman was scared of the army (everyone is scared of the army in Tibet) so even he didnt interfere. So basically we were stuck there for the next 2 hours. Finally Tenzing mediated, few trucks went back few forward and within minutes the jam was cleared.

THE STUPID JAM, NOTICE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE TWO TRUCKS
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It was 9.30 pm (all time from now will be Beijing time +2.30hrs India time) and the sun has set. We started our 40kms journey to Nyalam Mu. I could hear and in the jeeps light see lots of water falls around, but could not take pics. I made a mental note to take lots of pics of this place on the return journey.

We finally reached our guest house in Nyalam Mu at 11.30pm. It had been a long day, we had traveled 150kms from Kathmandu to Nyalam and in one day we had ascended from a height of 1200mtrs to 3750mtrs.

The guest house was basic, there were dormitories for us, we were 8 in a room and the toilets were open pits,3 in a row, seperated by walls for men and women. No bathing fascilities were available. Anyways no one was thinking about a bath as it was pretty cold and due to lack of oxygen most of the yatris were down with mild to severe headache and nausea.

Mom was fine and so was I, so we decided to stay awake for dinner. Simple dinner of Soup and khichadi was served, which I must admit was pretty nice, or we were just so hungry and tired.

We called it a day and went of to sleep. Before sleeping we started with our AVVA (same like Diamox) tablets, half tablet morning and evening was our course.
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Old 26th July 2009, 22:30   #30
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Awesome !!
Any pics of the Toyota Land Cruisers ?
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