You don’t have to visit Tibet to be able to experience the Tibetan culture, tradition and way of life. If you don’t feel like going though the rather complicated procedure of issuing a Chinese visa and a special permit for Tibet, Nepal offers quite an easy way out without having to face those difficulties. Go through our list of the three places in Nepal where you can find people who resemble the Tibetans, practice the same religion and even speak the same language. Not to forget that these places in Nepal have the similar landscape like the one of Tibet.
- Upper Dolpo
Upper Dolpo is one of the least explored areas in Nepal and it is a true heaven for the lovers of Tibetan culture. The high plateau where Upper Dolpo lies on perfectly resembles the Tibetan environment. The people of Dolpo are mainly Buddhists and speak a dialect of Tibetan as their mother tongue. Having said that, Upper Dolpo is isolated from the rest of the country, being reachable only by plane and at least a week of trekking. The lack of basic tourist facilities makes this trek even more difficult, as trekkers have to carry their own camping equipment and food. Hiring a guide and a porter is a must, both because the trails are not marked and because the government of Nepal has listed Upper Dolpo as a restricted area and travelling in a group and with a guide is required to obtain the special permit. For the travelers looking for a Tibetan experience and a trek through the unexplored areas of the country, Upper Dolpo is a perfect destination.
Manang is part of the famous Annapurna Circuit trek and far more reachable than Upper Dolpo. Manangis are people who have accidentally found themselves on the other side of the border – in Nepal. They speak their own language and have a culture and tradition that are very similar to the Tibetan one. Even though Manang is a place where there is a lot to explore, you can take a day trip to Milarepa cave or Ice Lake or trek for 2 more days to reach the famous high altitude Tilicho lake. That being said, Manang is a splendid combination of magnificent nature and a Tibetan lifestyle of the local people.
- Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang is an area of western Nepal very well known known for its ancient Tibetan culture. Lo Manthang is the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lo and its filled with old Tibetan monasteries and temples. The environment of Upper Mustang largely resembles Tibet, with its dry flat surfaces and bare hills along with the white Himalayan peaks peeking behind them. Trekking there usually takes around 10 days. The trail is not difficult and there are jeep roads connecting Jomsom – the district headquarters and Lo Manthang.