An Undiscovered Back
Road to Tibet - A CBP Journey
CBP 2005. Back to:Itineraries, Trek, Destionations, Tibet
In early 2005, I spent weeks collecting
information on the fascinating eastern roads toTibet for the
next trip. The south and north Sichuan-Tibet Highway, the
Yunnan-Tibet road via Zhongdian and Deqin are three popular
overland routes from the east. But I was lured by an unknown
backcountry footpath marked on a map that links the less
traveled Nujiang Gorge in Yunnan to the unknown Yuchu River
Gorge that open an outlet to access Zogong on the east Tibet
This back road winds through the magnificent Nujiang Gorge
(the upper reaches of the Salween) in Yunnan's remote western
borderland with (to) Myanmar, and touches the mysterious land
of Tibetís extreme southeast. Part of the road meets the
footpath of Sacred Kawa Karpo Kora, and another part of the
road belongs to the legendary ancient Tea-Horse Road.
Despite the lack of information on this road, I sensed that
it could not be a perilous or desolate route. In a sparsely
populated region without any motor-roads for modern vehicles,
this back road remains an important passage for local people
to access the outside world by foot with their horses and
With the help of local people I believed that I should be
able to make this journey and discover the hidden gems.
I set out from Kunming on April 26, visited the fabulous
Nujiang Gorge in Yunnan and trekked 7 days on this back road
to Tibet Enroute I visited indescribably beautiful places on
the east Tibet highway such as Rawu, Bomi, Yarlong Tsangpo
Gorges and finally arrived in Lhasa on May 18.
No other regions in China can boast as much diversity and
attractions as this east Tibetan area, and its time-wrap
appeal is irresistible.
Discovery - Journey 2005
Related article: Roads to Tibet.
Written by CBP in August