is known by its Tibetan name Khasa. This town lies in the
southern region of Himalayas about 776 kilometers away from the
capital, Lhasa. Construction of the 125
kilometer Kodari highway linking Khasa with Kathmandu in
the early 1960's boosted trade ties.
traditional porters, and days-long brutal voyages through rugged
terrains were substituted by less than a four-hour drive.
Although every place is interesting, most tourists don't
stay in Khasa for long. Bordering Nepal to the south, it
has been one of the key routes of trans-Himalayan trade
between China and Nepal since time immemorial. It's a
convenient starting point for Mt. Everest climbers and is
situated in a scenic area with a semi-temperate climate. The
surrounding woods have waterfalls, pine trees and flowers,
but keep the humidity and bugs in mind during the hot
Khasa has a very colorful
bazaar that stays busy morning till night crowded with
bargaining tourists and businessmen.
This may be the only place in Tibet where you can buy
Tibetan, Chinese and Nepalese products at the same place.
Four decades after the Kodari highway project, Khasa, newly named Zangmo/Zhangmu by the
Chinese, is far
more than a popular hub for trans-Himalayan trade. China's policy of
"vast economic liberalization" in the 1980s has made this a
boom town of trade, including a safe haven for the flesh trade.
Within the bar district in
the Khasa Bazaar, the twinkling bulbs lure the knowing into
dens of desire while others look away and enjoy the regular
bars and restaurants right alongside. Like Lhasa, the
Chinese girls who run and work these brothels are not
bothered by the government. FYI- AIDS and STD's are rumored
to be rampant
Still, Khasa is a great
place to find supplies and gear for your trip to the
magnificent mountains nearby. Steer clear of the twinkling
lights and stay healthy!