Lying 32km from the Tibetan border and 5½ bumpy hours down a dirt track from Lǐtáng, low-lying Bātáng is the closest town to Tibet that is open to foreigners. An easy-going and friendly place with lots of streetside barbecue grills and outdoor seating, the town itself is quite modern but the surrounding suburbs of ochre Tibetan houses are lovely. Bātáng is much lower than surrounding areas; when it’s still the end of winter in Lǐtáng it’s already spring in Bātáng.
Many travellers try to sneak into Tibet from Bātáng, so, unsurprisingly, the local PSB is a little suspicious of foreigners.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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