Nizhu caravan

the forgotten village

EACH FALL, the Liotard Caravan offers a unique adventure that starts in the Nizhu village and reaches for the mountains that separate the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.

A wild

and traditional preserved enclave

NIZHU IS A REMOTE VILLAGE, a three-hour drive north-east of Shangri-La. In the true wilderness that is this valley, it is an enclave where the local inhabitants have managed to retain their ancestral traditions. For eight years now, the Caravane Liotard crews have been visiting the Tibetan villagers in Nizhu for their yearly festival.

At the heart of Tibetan ancestral traditions, a valley which has preserved the art of the mule drivers who have made the wealth of caravans

An adventure unique and wild

The fraternal relationship we have with these villagers has motivated us to push our caravan explorations towards the mountains that rise behind their homes. Exceptional flora and fairytale landscapes, sheltering a multitude of lakes over 4,000 meters high. For four days and three nights, our caravan makes its way across these Tibetan Marshes, through terrain surrounded by steep peaks. Our muleteer friends, men and women, are all Tibetan farmers from the Nizhu village.

Ancestrals Tibetans Traditions

On the fifteenth day of the ninth lunar month, the Nizhu villagers gather for their festival, celebrating horses and the mountain. The ceremony starts with sacrifices, as devout villagers burn juniper and hang prayer flags. At midday, men clad in all their finery compete in a horse-race around a sacred hill, while religious laymen – or chamba – recite prayers inscribed in Sanskrit books. The festival ends with a big collective picnic, where guests are offered a yak meat stew.

6 days programme

6 days in the heart of wilderness and traditional Tibetan villages

Walk level : Except the first day and its 1,000 m elevation gain, this is an accessible and moderately difficult route with very good trails.

Day 1 : Shangri-la to Nizhu

Departure by car from Shangri-la at 2 p.m for Nizhu (3 h drive through a splendid valley). Visiting the narrow streets of the village, altitude 2,850 m high. Supper and night in traditional Tibetan house.

Day 2 : Between passes and rivers

9 a.m beginning of a walk along a joyful river, through a dense and original forest. Crossing over a pass at 4,040 m. Camping at an alpine pasture at 3,900 meters. (12km – 6 h hike)

Day 3 : To the lake

Following the footsteps of the caravan, across hills and alpine pastures to the next campsite located beside a lake crowned by a range of mountain peaks. Tea-time and appetizer in front of this tremendous scenery. (8 km – 3 h hike)

Day 4 : Altitude landscapes

Trekking in a loop from the camp. 10 a.m departure toward hight altitude landscapes (up to 4,300 m) doted by lakes and rivers, fitted with a varied flora. Hiking back down to enjoy a last evening around the camp fire, under the stars. (15 km – 6 h hike)

Day 5 : Through woods and rivers

Hiking through woods, along rivers, down to 2,850 m, back to Nizhu. Supper and night in a country inn. (10 km – 4 h hike)

Day 6 : The horses festival

After the breakfast, beginning of the festivities right next to the sacred mountain: priers, flag ceremony, horse race, picnic with the villagers. 2.30 p.m departure, driving back to Shangri-la. Arriving by the end of the afternoon.