Located in the lap of the Himalayas of the rain shadow region, this divergent mountain desert enclave was only recently opened to westerners ( 1988 ) and therefore, requires a special permit to enter.
Fly into Juphal and proceed north to enter the Phoksundo National Park and tarace the steps of the famous writer of the book “The Snow Leopard”, Peter Matthiessen. The trek passes over the Kang La Pass ( 5279 m / 17,320 ft ) and then the Crystal Mountain to reach the 7th century Shey Gompa ( Monastery ). On the way we pay a visit to one of the most secluded villages of Upper Dolpo. These are areas where locals still embrace the ancient pre-Buddhist Bon Po religion and villagers adorn themselves in Tibetan finery.
The remoteness of the Upper Dolpo region offers the hiker who prefers a more raw, yet culturally diverse experience.