Asian Corridor 5, Himalayan Salt Trek

Asian Corridor 5, Himalayan Salt Trek

Another in a series of films made by the Korean Broadcasting System looking at life in Tibet on the old trade routes. Last week we saw how salt was traded between Tibet and Yunnan, and this week we go the other way from Tibet to Nepal.

Every year the nomads who live around the Changtang Reserve take their yaks and go to Lake Drabye and dig up the almost endless supply of salt that the lake gives up. There are very specific rules: females cannot go to collect the salt and there is no sexual activity during the trip for fear of upsetting the god who rules the Lake.

Having collected their prize they then have to take it the Nepal border where they can trade it for grain and vegetables. This is no easy journey with one pass being over 5.500 metres high, and the yaks being weighed down with 30 kg of salt on their backs.

Many times lives, either of livestock or humans, are lost on these journeys so they are hazardous indeed. But then the reward is they are able to eat and sustain themselves for another year.

Personally I am always amazed by the extreme fortitude of the peoples we see in these films, and also their faith, and the traditions which have seen them through since time unknown. It is a something we could all do with learning about.


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