Dingri-Kodari (Nepal)

carte jour 29

Abstract= We leave Dingri for a last lap which will be feverish. Then we cross Nyalam and reach the border.

Dingri. In spite of my pleas, the drivers insists that the access to the monastery of Langkor 20 kilometres away to the west of Dingri is not open to us. Is it in the process of restoration? I am thus annoyed. I think that our driver, having sympathized with the other drivers, wants the three vehicles to stay together and, secondly, being tired, he wishes to return in Lhasa as soon as possible. At the level of the monastery, we stop the car to visit, 50m to the south of our road, an isolated building dissimulating a hot spring or spa.

The valley is narrower and the road passes between 2 hills before emerging onto in an immense plain extending in front of us. We follow the mountain range which is relatively low on our left.

At the end of this portion of the road, we see the plain and close to us on our right the vestiges of fortifications of a large dead city located at the territorial limit of the Center and Western Provinces.

The actual Tibetan city of GŁtso is 300m further in front of us. On a hilltop, on the left, there was an old dzong. Close to the Tibetan city, there was a new hospital where undoubtedly everything was missing.

A little further we reach Menkhapme.

We carry on down the valley in a westerly direction, crossed several villages, before taking a southerly direction which led us to the last pass in our travel.

We leave on our right a very, very broad valley which leads to Kyirong and the western provinces of Tibet. Our road went up along the south of this valley until we will crossed by a first pass (5030m high) on this montainside. Once crossing the pass, the road continued in the middle of a large highland.

The road sloped down for a few hundred meters before going up to the Lalung la pass at 5149m high (that drives to despair those who do a lot of miles on a bicycle or VTT). At the top, the sight is one of most beautiful in the world provided that the nebulosity is nil. To day, Mt Shishapangma and the Himalayan range are partially covered.

After a short stop at the top we go down straight to the S.

We pass the village of Yarle.
In a few hours we pass from an entirely sparse zone to a valley gradually thinly then thickly wooded, with a hot and wet climate

At about half way to the border, the valley widened a little and we crossed several villages surrounded by cultivated land. On the left is the entry of a valley leading to Lapchi. We could see the new road in construction with many bends climbing up the mountain.

In Pengyeling, we stoped to visit a small chapel and a cave (cave of Namkading) where relics such as a black stone representing the hand print of Milarepa. After this visit, we continued on our road on the right bank of Matsang tsangpo to the "Chinese" city (and prefecture) of Nyalam. A side valley coming from Shishapangma faces us from the West.
We engage in this one during 500m before passing a bridge to cross it, the Chinese city is right afterwards. We lunch with the group in a small restaurant.

le chorten de Nyalam - en bordure de route Nyalam vu du nord
At this point I decided to drive as fast as possible towards the border as there is nothing more significant to visit, the city seems sinister and the driver and the guide are increasingly difficult to respond and only think of returning to Lhasa as quickly as possible. The valley is very deep, the vegetation luxurious, strems and cascades emerge everywhere, as in the North valley of Nepal! You can imagine the last part of the travel is carried out at speed and I am forced, on several occasions, to ask the driver to reduce the speed but we are shaken regardless.

la route entre Nyalam et Zangmou la ville de Zangmou
At the border, we present our documents, and fortunately for us, the road between Zangmou (the Chinese city) and Kodari (the Nepalese barracks), 5km approximately, is achieved and the driver can drive us a hundred meters to the "Friendship Bridge" which is the border of the two countries and where now new shops have grown on the Chinese side.

vue de Kodari depuis Zangmou le pont de Kodari qui sert de frontiŤre les baraques de Kodari (et Zangmou dans le fond)
We leave a little roughly the guide and the driver, we exchange some gifts between us and a cloud of young nepaleses join us trying to carry our luggage and to tear them out off our hands. We are forced to take a firm attitude, and to run quickly without stopping forgetting to return and greet our friends. We cross the bridge and after a hundred meters, we arrive in front of the small wooden building of the Nepalese Customs. The crossing of Tibet is finished.

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