Ngari: happy life on yaks' back

When one thinks of livestock carrying cargo, the first thought is often poverty, yet in Gangsha Village of Baga Township, part of Pulan County of Ngari Prefecture, people have used this way to overcome poverty and become prosperous.

Gangsha Village is an essential stop on the route to renowned holy mountain, Mt. Kangrinboqe. Since Mt. Kangrinboqe has an average altitude of 4,700 meters, so many tourists couldn't make it past this point and need help carrying cargo and luggage. Starting in the 1980s and 1990s, Gangsha villagers have begun to provide yak-transport service for visitors.

In 2010, Gangsha village organized a yak-transport service center. Whenever a tourist ordered the service, the center would organize the appropriate yak, horse, and manpower.

Jiumei Dorje, the Village Chief, said, "we have clear prices for hiring guides and animals; one yak is 240 yuan (37.8 US dollars), and one guide is 260 yuan (40.9 US dollars), and our service is very popular. We have already made tens of thousands of yuan in profit this year, and the peak tourism season hasn't even started yet."

In the past few years, as tourists increased, the yak-transport service center has expanded its operation.

In order to grow the profit chain, the center has used some of the income, along with government subsidies, to open supermarkets, tea houses, and inns, etc., adding even more sources of income.

"We predict that we'd have more than three million yuan (0.47 million US dollars) in income this year in just those supermarkets, tea houses, and inns," said village Party secretary Dorje Baima. "We have also hired college grads, and we hope to take online orders in three years."