Lonely Planet Writer

End of an era for Nepal’s trade caravans

Pak mules carrying imports through the Himalayas.
Pak mules carrying imports through the Himalayas. Image by travelwayoflife / CC BY-SA 2.0

For centuries, caravans of mules and yaks have transported salt, foodstuffs and other imports across the spine of the Himalayas between Nepal and Tibet, but the new road between Humla and Hilsa on the Chinese border looks set to end not just a tradition, but a way of life. Once the link downhill to Jumla is complete, trucks will be able to transport goods directly to Kathmandu, putting the caravan traders and their animals out of work. Not for the first time, progress looks set to be mixed blessing for the communities who subsist in one of the harshest environments in the world. Read more: themalayamailonline.com